Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

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Malcolm
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:26 am

Sogyal's realization is a nonissue. All that matters is whether he has any civil or criminal liability. The rest of it is irrelevant.
Karma Dorje wrote:With all due respect, if this fat, abusive Sogyal prick was a Mormon we would all be going on about how degenerate the Mormon religion is and not hemming and hawing about whether he "has realization".

I am sorry, but all of the equivocation on this is not good for Tibetan Buddhism in the West. The ridiculous level of sexism and misogyny in Tibetan culture has to stop, if not in Tibet and the diaspora, then certainly among western practitioners. This is not a case of he said/she said. There are years of reports from some of his closest students that substantiate Sogyal's abusive, predatory behaviour.

If we can't draw clear lines against behaviour like that, it is no wonder that western sanghas with a few exceptions are the domain of aging hippies and GenX'ers. Even if this alleged tulku has the realization to carry on like this without harm to himself, he is clearly harming others. I mean, Jesus H. Christ have we learned nothing from the Osel Tenzin fiasco? This is not a difficult topic.

What would we say about abusive Catholic priests molesting young boys? That it was OK because it brought the boys closer to God? Give me a break.

Whether you are Sogyal Lhakar, Younge Khachab or Osel Tenzin if you can't keep your pants on, don't call yourself a Dharma teacher.

Temicco
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Temicco » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:39 am

Karma Dorje wrote: Whether you are Sogyal Lhakar, Younge Khachab or Osel Tenzin if you can't keep your pants on, don't call yourself a Dharma teacher.
Does Younge Khachab have controversies like Sogyal and Osel Tenzin?
"Deliberate upon that which does not deliberate."
-Yaoshan Weiyan

ཚེ་འདི་ལ་ཞེན་ན་ཆོས་པ་མིན། །
འཁོར་བ་ལ་ཞེན་ན་ངེས་འབྱུང་མིན། །
བདག་དོན་ལ་ཞེན་ན་བྱང་སེམས་མིན། །
འཛིན་པ་བྱུང་ན་ལྟ་བ་མིན། །

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cky
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Re: Very sad news

Post by cky » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:03 am

Thank you Malcolm and smcj for your answers to my earlier questions!

And thanks dzogchungpa for that amazing Mingyur Rinpoche story! :thumbsup:

TRC
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Re: Very sad news

Post by TRC » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:03 am

Yes, all that matters is that Sogyal hasn’t done anything legally wrong in the regards to the law, not whether he has done anything ethically and morally wrong in regards to the Dharma.

Stewart
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Stewart » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:48 am

dzogchungpa wrote:I've been having a look at https://whatnow727.wordpress.com/ and just to lighten things up a bit I thought I would point out a nice story about Mingyur Rinpoche I read in a comment there:
TENPEL wrote: I had the good luck to be with him together for 12 days almost around the clock many years ago. That’s why I was able to see how he responded and dealt with daily life situations, from swimming to people who sought his help (for whom I often translated), from travelling with the train, visiting a sight up to a violent situation and how he dealt with that. Here is the latter story (abbreviated): When we wanted to go by the subway a young man wanted to hit him right into the face with his fist. When the man and his aggressive friends came nearer (I was paralysed knowing something violent will happen), Mingyur Rinpoche, who walked in front of me was totally calm. He just walked on as he uses to walk totally open, aware and relaxed. When the man put forward his fist and arm to hit Mingyur Rinpoche right into the face, at the almost last moment, Mingyur Rinpoche grabbed the arm of the man, moved the fist beside his face and joyfully smiled at him with a move of his own fist only softly suggesting to hit him too – like a friendly child game or children who only PLAY boxing. The man was utterly perplex, his aggression fell off of him, and due to the power of his move he fell almost down. Mingyur Rinpoche gave him a slight push so that he could continue to walk without falling down. Them Mingyur Rinpoche moves on in awareness or meditation, totally relaxed as IF NOTHING HAPPENED AT ALL. He didn’t say a word, his body didn’t shake. There was not the slightest excitement or nervous reaction, fear or arrogance or any word about the whole thing.
Great story, I have a similar one from a time I was out with Mingyur Rinpoche about 15 years ago, in a rough part of a town in England, if I get time later I'll post it.
Last edited by Stewart on Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
s.

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Lingpupa
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Lingpupa » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:49 am

TRC wrote:Yes, all that matters is that Sogyal hasn’t done anything legally wrong in the regards to the law, not whether he has done anything ethically and morally wrong in regards to the Dharma.
With all due respect, that is far from clear. There have long been allegations (I stress the word) that he has done harmful things that are quite clearly illegal. So what matters is if those involved are ready, willing and able to complain to the police with sufficient clarity and force to have him charged, tried and found either guilty or innocent.

And also, with all due respect again, surely part of the issue really is that of whether he has been unethical and immoral? Now I can be unethical and immoral - perhaps I even am - and it is of no great importance to you, because I do not claim to be a realised teacher, I do not demand your obedience or your money, and I do not snort, scowl and snap my fingers at you when I come into the room (late, in all probability). Nor do I have lackeys to threaten you with "broken samaya" when you tell me what an abusive sh*** I am and that you are leaving me.

He set himself up as special. He gave himself high standards.

And BTW, Karma Dorje's post that also began with "With all due respect, ..." :good:
All the best
Alex Wilding
Stupa in the Snow blog at http://chagchen.org/

TRC
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Re: Very sad news

Post by TRC » Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:31 am

Lingpupa wrote:
TRC wrote:Yes, all that matters is that Sogyal hasn’t done anything legally wrong in the regards to the law, not whether he has done anything ethically and morally wrong in regards to the Dharma.
With all due respect, that is far from clear. There have long been allegations (I stress the word) that he has done harmful things that are quite clearly illegal. So what matters is if those involved are ready, willing and able to complain to the police with sufficient clarity and force to have him charged, tried and found either guilty or innocent.

And also, with all due respect again, surely part of the issue really is that of whether he has been unethical and immoral? Now I can be unethical and immoral - perhaps I even am - and it is of no great importance to you, because I do not claim to be a realised teacher, I do not demand your obedience or your money, and I do not snort, scowl and snap my fingers at you when I come into the room (late, in all probability). Nor do I have lackeys to threaten you with "broken samaya" when you tell me what an abusive sh*** I am and that you are leaving me.

He set himself up as special. He gave himself high standards.

And BTW, Karma Dorje's post that also began with "With all due respect, ..." :good:
Sorry for any confusion Lingpupa. This was a sarcastic comment of mine to make a point.

Please read my previous posts, they make it quite clear where I stand. Well at least I think they do. Maybe I need to make more plainly spoken posts like Karma Dorje (which I also appreciated) to save any confusion.

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Adamantine
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Adamantine » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:00 am

TRC wrote:This was a sarcastic comment of mine to make a point.

Please read my previous posts, they make it quite clear where I stand. Well at least I think they do. Maybe I need to make more plainly spoken posts like Karma Dorje (which I also appreciated) to save any confusion.
Hey TRC, I thought your sarcasm was loud and clear. But then,
sarcasm is like its own language, and not always easy to decipher over text without facial expressions or vocal tone. Emojis can help though. I like this one for sarcastic punctuation which may have worked at the end of the post in question: :rolleye:
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Könchok Thrinley
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:02 am

Stewart wrote:Great story, I have a similar one from a time I was out with Mingyur Rinpoche about 15 years ago, in a rough part of a town in England, if I get time later I'll post it.
Oh, please do Stewart! I enjoyed the previous story a lot. :)
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

Formerly known as Miroku.

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cky
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Re: Very sad news

Post by cky » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:47 am

Miroku wrote:
Stewart wrote:Great story, I have a similar one from a time I was out with Mingyur Rinpoche about 15 years ago, in a rough part of a town in England, if I get time later I'll post it.
Oh, please do Stewart! I enjoyed the previous story a lot. :)
Seconded!

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Lingpupa
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Lingpupa » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:11 pm

TRC wrote: Sorry for any confusion Lingpupa. This was a sarcastic comment of mine to make a point.

Please read my previous posts, they make it quite clear where I stand. Well at least I think they do. Maybe I need to make more plainly spoken posts like Karma Dorje (which I also appreciated) to save any confusion.
My bad. The posts have been coming too fast and I haven't really watched who said what.
All the best
Alex Wilding
Stupa in the Snow blog at http://chagchen.org/

MalaBeads
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Re: Very sad news

Post by MalaBeads » Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:33 pm

cky wrote:
And thanks dzogchungpa for that amazing Mingyur Rinpoche story! :thumbsup:
I am well aware of my idiocy. I am also very aware that you too are an idiot. Therein lies our mutuality.

Malcolm
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:04 pm

TRC wrote:Yes, all that matters is that Sogyal hasn’t done anything legally wrong in the regards to the law, not whether he has done anything ethically and morally wrong in regards to the Dharma.


Correct, we ought not lynch people in an open democratic society. The general principle is innocent until proven guilty.

This whole thread is Mi kha.

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Karma Dorje
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Karma Dorje » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:30 pm

Malcolm wrote:
TRC wrote:Yes, all that matters is that Sogyal hasn’t done anything legally wrong in the regards to the law, not whether he has done anything ethically and morally wrong in regards to the Dharma.


Correct, we ought not lynch people in an open democratic society. The general principle is innocent until proven guilty.

This whole thread is Mi kha.
One ought not to use a term like "lynch" to describe criticism of an authority figure for hypocrisy and moral turpitude, particularly when you live in a not so open, not so democratic country that has actually lynched people of colour in the not-so-distant past.

This is not a court of law. You are free to choose not to speak out about the bad behaviour of your coreligionists. It is not the moral high ground you are presenting it as, however. I have first hand experience of the obstacles this kind of depravity can put in the way of new and potential Buddhists. While you choose not to speak of it, you have had the same experience with friends of yours (as you have shared). There have already been several out-of-court settlements for large sums of money made by Sogyal/Rigpa to his accusers. This is not mere rumour. or gossip.

After consideration and reflection I will continue to speak out about what I see as wrong. At least the conversation here is not devolving to talking about lizard creatures and Big Pharma poisoning the water and our food supply, or opining that the reason people have a problem with this fiasco is that they don't like Asian men sleeping with white women like that other Vajrayana forum.
"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
-Padmasambhava

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Quay
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Quay » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:39 pm

smcj wrote:...But basically it is a moot point in that there are very few beings alive today that are on that level--if any. I cannot swear to you that there is even one....
Doesn't this presume that if such ones were about that they would always choose to reveal themselves or would be able to be recognized as such? Sure, there are many of the stories of great masters of the past and recent past. There are also as many if not more stories of "hidden yogis" and others who are walking Buddhas but do not come to the attention of people.

When someone with a high public profile has problems it commands a lot of attention. But who really can say how many are with us right now who choose not to be known? The stories passed down to us say there could be very many, not a few, much less one one. May we all have the merit to encounter such people!
"Knowledge is as infinite as the stars in the sky;
There is no end to all the subjects one could study.
It is better to grasp straight away their very essence--
The unchanging fortress of the Dharmakaya."

– Longchenpa.

Malcolm
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:50 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
TRC wrote:Yes, all that matters is that Sogyal hasn’t done anything legally wrong in the regards to the law, not whether he has done anything ethically and morally wrong in regards to the Dharma.


Correct, we ought not lynch people in an open democratic society. The general principle is innocent until proven guilty.

This whole thread is Mi kha.
One ought not to use a term like "lynch" to describe criticism of an authority figure for hypocrisy and moral turpitude, particularly when you live in a not so open, not so democratic country that has actually lynched people of colour in the not-so-distant past.

This is not a court of law. You are free to choose not to speak out about the bad behaviour of your coreligionists. It is not the moral high ground you are presenting it as, however. I have first hand experience of the obstacles this kind of depravity can put in the way of new and potential Buddhists. While you choose not to speak of it, you have had the same experience with friends of yours (as you have shared). There have already been several out-of-court settlements for large sums of money made by Sogyal/Rigpa to his accusers. This is not mere rumour. or gossip.

After consideration and reflection I will continue to speak out about what I see as wrong. At least the conversation here is not devolving to talking about lizard creatures and Big Pharma poisoning the water and our food supply, or opining that the reason people have a problem with this fiasco is that they don't like Asian men sleeping with white women like that other Vajrayana forum.
I am not claiming any moral high ground at all. I am simple observing that no one here is in possession of facts. All we have is allegations of misconduct and one or more settlements out of court (which are not admissions of guilt). I would also observe that truly unethical teachers are rarely, if ever, "brought down" by "outing" them. I have no opposition to his students releasing their letter. However, the perseveration, speculations, moral indignation, and pointless gossip present in this thread serves no one.

No one can put obstacles in front of new Buddhists (are there any in truth?), including a bad teacher. If we make a connection with a bad teacher, that is on us. That is our karma. We learn from that experience and move on. We all have lived many lifetimes, and have done many worse things in our past lives than Sogyal's accusers allege against him. When criticizing others it is useful to maintain a multi-life perspective about oneself. And of course there is Angulimala.

The tone of this thread is rather WASPy, and not very Buddhist at all. I am not defending Sogyal, incidentally. My point is completely different. And if in the end Sogyal is actually guilty of all these alleged misdeeds, he will suffer the result of his own karma. Karma is unerring.
Last edited by Malcolm on Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Norwegian
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Norwegian » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:52 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:At least the conversation here is not devolving to talking about lizard creatures and Big Pharma poisoning the water and our food supply, or opining that the reason people have a problem with this fiasco is that they don't like Asian men sleeping with white women like that other Vajrayana forum.
Those are the posts of two individuals only. Two individuals, might I add, that are not taken seriously by anybody on any kind of forum or site. Which is not very hard to understand if one reads their post history here, other forums, Reddit, etc.
"The Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the Dharma,
The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

-- The Secret Assembly Tantra

Malcolm
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Malcolm » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:56 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
One ought not to use a term like "lynch" to describe criticism of an authority figure for hypocrisy and moral turpitude, particularly when you live in a not so open, not so democratic country that has actually lynched people of colour in the not-so-distant past.

In point of fact, he is being accused of far more than "hypocrisy and moral turpitude." Your have aversion to the country of your birth is irrelevant.

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Re: Very sad news

Post by smcj » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:07 pm

But who really can say how many are with us right now who choose not to be known? The stories passed down to us say there could be very many, not a few, much less one one. May we all have the merit to encounter such people!
True. :good:
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1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Karma Dorje
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Re: Very sad news

Post by Karma Dorje » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:17 pm

Malcolm wrote: I am not claiming any moral high ground at all. I am simple observing that no one here is in possession of facts. All we have is allegations of misconduct and one or more settlements out of court (which are not admissions of guilt). I would also observe that truly unethical teachers are rarely, if ever, "brought down" by "outing" them. I have no opposition to his students releasing their letter. However, the perseveration, speculations, moral indignation, and pointless gossip present in this thread serves no one.

No one can put obstacles in front of new Buddhists, including a bad teacher. If we make a connection with a bad teacher, that is on us. That is our karma. We learn from that experience and move on. We all have lived many lifetimes, and have done many worse things in our past lives than Sogyal's accusers allege against him. When criticizing others it is useful to maintain a multi-life perspective about oneself. And of course there is Angulimala.

The tone of this thread is rather WASPy, and not very Buddhist at all. I am not defending Sogyal, incidentally. My point is completely different. And if in the end Sogyal is actually guilty of all these alleged misdeeds, he will suffer the result of his own karma. Karma is unerring.
Of course bad actions by those acting from a position of authority can pose obstacles to the faithful. If we substitute Gilbert Gauthe for Sogyal, and the Catholic sexual abuse scandals for this current 20-year long Rigpa trainwreck, would you really say "Well that's just those boys' karma"?

Of course we have all done worse things many times over in previous lives, but that's not the point. This is not a question of policing morality but of trying to prevent further harm. The more voices raised to declare that this behaviour is unacceptable, the more chance of real reform in our Buddhist organizations. That is the democratic principle in operation. I don't look forward to Sogyal suffering as a result of his actions, nor do I wish it on him.

Threads like this can help inform vulnerable students that they can and should say no to unscrupulous teachers. If you think that makes me a WASP rather than a Buddhist, then so be it. I don't see how chasing pussy is anything other than a worldly activity. If Sogyal wants to do that, he at very least should not abuse the position of trust he is in to do so. That's not Buddhist or Protestant, it's just common decency.
"Although my view is higher than the sky, My respect for the cause and effect of actions is as fine as grains of flour."
-Padmasambhava

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