Actually, it is not like that at all. I will admit to not having known that Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and Sogyal met as children, but I see no reason not to take your word for it, irrelevant as it may be. Khenchen Namdrol’s relationship with Sogyal and the Rigpa organisation is, however, of quite a different order. He has, as far as I know, been a regular teacher at the Rigpa centre in France, which can only be expected to yield an income stream. And his centre in Pharping hosts the “Rigpa Shedra East” each year, yielding another presumably not insignificant income stream.Malcolm wrote: ↑Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:09 pmKhenchen Namdrol is one of my main gurus, and he is the best person giving explanations of Dzogchen out there today; which is why many of the top Nyingma lamas, for example, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and so on, have been attending his teachings for years and years. He is the heir of Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok. You may not wish to study with him, but it would be wrong of you to discourage others from wishing to do so.
It would be like discouraging people from studying the teachings of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, merely because he and Sogyal were quite good friends from childhood.
I do not criticise him for either the teaching or the income. I know there are some, in particular those who were victims of Sogyal’s behaviour or who were personally close to such victims, who feel that the whole Rigpa organisation is so badly tainted that it should be entirely dismantled. However, the consequence would be that those Rigpa students whose complicity was of a negligible level would then be, so to speak, cast out, with the message that it’s their own fault, they should have checked the teacher more carefully in the first place. That would, in itself, be a form of low-level victim-blaming. So total closure seems to me as harmful an extreme as carrying on as if there was no problem, with Patrick Gaffney’s disbarring as a charity trustee being the only flicker of consequences. But most of those students do deserve to continue somehow, and anyone with the burden of a monastery to administer and maintain needs to get an income from somewhere.
What I DO find questionable is his failure to acknowledge the harm done to Sogyal’s victims, but his choice, rather, to condemn those who broke silence. He accuses them, instead, of being possessed by demons. His talk, both as a video and as a transcript, are available on the net in case of doubt. Some of us also have our own copies.
While I do, of course, entirely respect your decision to take him as your teacher, I think you must see that it is an entirely reasonable view for others to feel that someone who holds such a mediaeval mindset is not an example they want to follow. As is well-known, we are asked to study our potential teachers before committing to them. It is therefore quite proper to encourage others to take a look at these things before they make their minds up. If that, to use your word, “discourages” them from following this teacher, then so be it – but it is not specifically my intention. My intention is just to encourage people to have open eyes.
Finally, and I hope this is not too harsh, I’m not sure that it is up to you (or anyone else) to tell me (or anyone else) that it would be “wrong” to raise these points, even if it does, as you suggest, discourage them from taking teachings from him. Perhaps it would be wrong for you to do so, as you say that he is one of your main teachers. You may well wish to interpret your samaya-commitment to mean that you should maintain a code of sacred discretion. But perhaps that’s not how you meant it?