Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Forum for discussion of Tibetan Buddhism. Questions specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
User avatar
Josef
Posts: 2406
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Josef »

Malcolm wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:31 pm
TRC wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:11 pm
Josef wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:49 pm
No, they dont.
His behavior, and his apologists behavior removes them from the ranks of Mahayana practitioners.
Thank you Josef. That was exactly the point.
While I generally agree with Josef, on this point, I cannot agree. Papayin Māra's attempt to trick the Buddha by taking the bodhisattva vow to gain access to the Buddha's presence resulted in Papayin Māra's prediction to complete Buddhahood (Śūraṅgamasamādhi Sūtra), so it is impossible that Sogyal has been separated from the Mahāyāna gotra. You, TRC, are underestimating the tremendous merit of the bodhisattva aspiration.
That's a great point.
"removes" was not the most skillful way stating my point.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.
User avatar
PuerAzaelis
Posts: 958
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by PuerAzaelis »

I think what was said, which apparently got everyone so breathless, was:
TRC wrote: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:06 pm Good points. I'm saying a long-life prayer for Sogyal so he can spend a bit of that time in prison. This would be the best and most compassionate outcome for him to help ripen that huge back log of negative karma, and good for the victims of his abuse too, to see some justice done. His actions were not just "unpleasant", but criminal.
Apparently many people objected to the words "best", "compassionate", "justice" and "prison" being used in the same sentence. Once upon a time perhaps I'd find the lynch mob a bit odd.

Now, carry on everyone, I'm busy developing my vague idea of justice - I have to go f the patriarchy by keeping a rapist out of jail.
Last edited by PuerAzaelis on Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.
User avatar
Josef
Posts: 2406
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Josef »

Sonam Wangchug wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:18 pm
Josef wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:49 pm
Simon E. wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:14 pm

But clearly they do or we would not be having this discussion.

The answer is not to rush to punishment. The answer is to raise the awareness of would be Dharma students. To encourage caution when approaching teachers. To take our time. To keep our eyes and ears open fully.
I am not interested in victim blaming, but it is a fact that Sogyal's reputation was widespread long before the scandals were in the public domain.
That did not help those already in the organisation where a different set of dynamics apply..but could have been a warning those thinking of joining.
No, they dont.
His behavior, and his apologists behavior removes them from the ranks of Mahayana practitioners.
Removes them from the ranks of Mahayana practitioners? What a horrible and judgmental accusation to make on not just a teacher but also their students.

Ironically a very non-Mahayana statement to make AFAIK. Good luck with your practice.

Jetsun tenzin palmo is teaching at UK Rigpa this year as well, I guess she's removed from the ranks of mahayana practitioners as well. Oh well, at least they'll be in good company.
She's teaching at a center, I doubt she will be punching nuns in the stomach while shes there.
Or be motivated by the servitude of her "students".
And thanks (again) for the well-wishes on my practice. I cant even begin to tell you how much that means to me.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.
User avatar
dzogchungpa
Posts: 6333
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by dzogchungpa »

TRC wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:08 pm Well I'm still waiting for you to pull up the quote where I said I would be rejoicing in Sogyal's suffering if he went to prison.

Well, you said:
TRC wrote: I'm saying a long-life prayer for Sogyal so he can spend a bit of that time in prison. This would be the best and most compassionate outcome for him to help ripen that huge back log of negative karma, and good for the victims of his abuse too, to see some justice done.
I'm guessing that means you want him to go to prison and would feel satisfaction if he does. I'm also guessing you understand that he would be suffering there, right?
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
climb-up
Posts: 666
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:32 am

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by climb-up »

TRC wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:59 pm Please point out where I said I wanted Sogyal to suffer.
Well, you did say that you wanted him to live longer so he could be in jail longer.
Did you mean that you hoped he would be in prison for a long time but not be suffering?
(that's not meant as a "gotcha," I'm curious if thats what you meant).

EDIT:
Oh, dzogchungpa and I seem to have had the same thought at the same time.
TRC
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:23 am

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by TRC »

PuerAzaelis wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:10 pm I think what was said, which apparently got everyone so breathless, was:
TRC wrote: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:06 pm Good points. I'm saying a long-life prayer for Sogyal so he can spend a bit of that time in prison. This would be the best and most compassionate outcome for him to help ripen that huge back log of negative karma, and good for the victims of his abuse too, to see some justice done. His actions were not just "unpleasant", but criminal.
Apparently many people objected to the words "best", "compassionate", "justice" and "prison" being used in the same sentence. Once upon a time perhaps I'd find the lynch mob a bit odd.

Now, carry on everyone, I'm busy, I have to go f the patriarchy by keeping a rapist out of prison.
Thank you Pure Azaelis. Now people can actually read what I said.

No mention of "rejoicing" in Sogyal's "suffering". I classic case of a straw man.

And yes I still emphatically stand by my statement that I believe Sogyal should spend some time in prison for his crimes.
User avatar
PuerAzaelis
Posts: 958
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by PuerAzaelis »

It's hardly a controversial statement - someone who has been accused of sexual and physical abuse should face the allegations, and if they are proven true, be punished. Except - around here, apparently. Where there are so many, I assume, feminists and other enlightened persons.

I wonder how many posting here had strong opinions about, say, the Roman Catholic Church?

I really don't care who it is. This man is an alleged physical and sexual abuser. I invite others to characterize his alleged behavior in their own words. Without, that is, the weasel words and eel-wriggling.

https://www.lionsroar.com/wp-content/up ... -2017-.pdf
Last edited by PuerAzaelis on Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.
TRC
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:23 am

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by TRC »

dzogchungpa wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:13 pm
TRC wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:08 pm Well I'm still waiting for you to pull up the quote where I said I would be rejoicing in Sogyal's suffering if he went to prison.

Well, you said:
TRC wrote: I'm saying a long-life prayer for Sogyal so he can spend a bit of that time in prison. This would be the best and most compassionate outcome for him to help ripen that huge back log of negative karma, and good for the victims of his abuse too, to see some justice done.
I'm guessing that means you want him to go to prison and would feel satisfaction if he does. I'm also guessing you understand that he would be suffering there, right?
Exactly you are guessing. Where did I say I would be satisfied?

Just to refresh people's memories. I'm not the only one who has stated that Sogyal should spend time in prison. I recall Malcolm stating very categorically the same in this thread, on at least two occasions.
TRC
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:23 am

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by TRC »

PuerAzaelis wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:23 pm It's hardly a controversial statement - someone who has been accused of sexual and physical abuse should face the allegations, and if they are proven true, be punished. Except - around here, apparently. Where there are so many, I assume, feminists and other enlightened persons.

I wonder how many posting here had strong opinions about, say, the Roman Catholic Church?

I really don't care who it is. This man is an alleged physical and sexual abuser. I invite others to characterize his alleged behavior in their own words. Without, that is, the weasel words and eel-wriggling.

https://www.lionsroar.com/wp-content/up ... -2017-.pdf
Yes, how controversial! To expect some one to spend time in prison for committing crimes and harming others.
User avatar
dzogchungpa
Posts: 6333
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 10:50 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by dzogchungpa »

TRC wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:25 pm
dzogchungpa wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:13 pm
TRC wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:08 pm Well I'm still waiting for you to pull up the quote where I said I would be rejoicing in Sogyal's suffering if he went to prison.

Well, you said:
TRC wrote: I'm saying a long-life prayer for Sogyal so he can spend a bit of that time in prison. This would be the best and most compassionate outcome for him to help ripen that huge back log of negative karma, and good for the victims of his abuse too, to see some justice done.
I'm guessing that means you want him to go to prison and would feel satisfaction if he does. I'm also guessing you understand that he would be suffering there, right?
Exactly you are guessing. Where did I say I would be satisfied?

Just to refresh people's memories. I'm not the only one who has stated that Sogyal should spend time in prison. I recall Malcolm stating very categorically the same in this thread, on at least two occasions.

Hey, no problem. Perhaps he should go to prison. I think it was the idea of saying a long-life prayer for someone so that he could go to prison that set people off. You have to admit, that sounds kind of weird.
There is not only nothingness because there is always, and always can manifest. - Thinley Norbu Rinpoche
User avatar
heart
Posts: 5109
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by heart »

PuerAzaelis wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:04 pm
heart wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:01 pm
PuerAzaelis wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:39 pm So punishment = harm, then.

Interesting.
And if punishment = no harm, where does that leave you?

/magnus
Plunging the toilet, occasionally. I wonder why it is important where I am left, however. When you are plunging a toilet the location of the person using the plunger is not the issue - the location of other things is the issue.
And if punishment = no harm, then? If you prefer.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)
User avatar
Josef
Posts: 2406
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Josef »

I think it's fairly clear that the only "punishment" Sogyal and his ilk will ever endure is the inability to be openly welcomed to "teach" in the west (if that even happens). They seem to have a free pass to return to the east and blame the situation on their victims rather than facing any actual repercussions or even shame for their actions.
Kye ma!
The river of continuity is marked by impermanence.
Ceaseless flowing of appearance.
Beautiful and repulsive.
The dance of life and death is a display of the vast expanse.
With gratitude the watcher and the watched pass through the barrier of duality.
User avatar
PuerAzaelis
Posts: 958
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by PuerAzaelis »

heart wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:48 pm And if punishment = no harm, then? If you prefer.
/magnus
I'm not wise enough to design better plumbing. But when there's a mess, someone has to clean it up.

In fact it's only when things get real like that, that you truly learn what your practice has turned out to be.

Noone in their right minds would choose to be the cleaner-upper. But sometimes there's no choice. If what these women are saying is true, that is very, very, very, very, very bad.

Another hypothetical just occurred to me. You have two men. One has a conscience. Ten years in jail may actually rehabilitate him in some way, who knows. Or, at the least, may prevent him from committing more crimes when he gets out, because he won't want to go back. In other words, the suffering this man spends in prison is somehow skillful, it has a result. The other has no conscience at all. Somehow, we know this, as a fact. One, ten, a hundred years in prison won't affect him in the least. No rehabilitation, no prevention, even - when he gets out he'll just do the same thing, again. So the suffering of this man in prison isn't skillful at all. If the suffering of the guy who has a conscience is somehow skillful, but the suffering of the guy without a conscience isn't - do we sent the first guy to prison, but let the other go free?
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.
User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 1294
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Aryjna »

PuerAzaelis wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:05 am
heart wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:48 pm And if punishment = no harm, then? If you prefer.
/magnus
I'm not wise enough to design better plumbing. But when there's a mess, someone has to clean it up.

In fact it's only when things get real like that, that you truly learn what your practice has turned out to be.

Noone in their right minds would choose to be the cleaner-upper. But sometimes there's no choice. If what these women are saying is true, that is very, very, very, very, very bad.

Another hypothetical just occurred to me. You have two men. One has a conscience. Ten years in jail may actually rehabilitate him in some way, who knows. Or, at the least, may prevent him from committing more crimes when he gets out, because he won't want to go back. In other words, the suffering this man spends in prison is somehow skillful, it has a result. The other has no conscience at all. Somehow, we know this, as a fact. One, ten, a hundred years in prison won't affect him in the least. No rehabilitation, no prevention, even - when he gets out he'll just do the same thing, again. So the suffering of this man in prison isn't skillful at all. If the suffering of the guy who has a conscience is somehow skillful, but the suffering of the guy without a conscience isn't - do we sent the first guy to prison, but let the other go free?
These are concerns for people involved in the justice system. What do they have to do with practicing the Dharma?
User avatar
PuerAzaelis
Posts: 958
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by PuerAzaelis »

Aryjna wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:12 am These are concerns for people involved in the justice system. What do they have to do with practicing the Dharma?
I've taken the Bodhisattva vow. After a few months of practice maybe I'm also prepared to say I "achieved tranquil abiding" or some such. But - next to calm abiding, which is like an anthill, bodhichitta is like Mount Everest. Can anyone here say they practice bodhichitta 24/7?

But that's Mahayana. So - we're all "in the justice system". There's only one boat and it's my boat. There's only one system and its my system. The world is the result of my impulses - that's not an intellectual exercise. I'm responsible for Sogyal. Also all those women. They're my children. That really is the fact. Therefore - I need to do something about it. So do you. There's no choice.

"Go to your room" sometimes really is the "best" and most "compassionate" thing to say.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.
User avatar
PuerAzaelis
Posts: 958
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:37 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by PuerAzaelis »

But, yes ... "I pray you stay alive as long as humanly possible in order to stay in that room and reflect on your life" - maybe not the best.
Generally, enjoyment of speech is the gateway to poor [results]. So it becomes the foundation for generating all negative emotional states. Jampel Pawo, The Certainty of the Diamond Mind

For posts from this user, see Karma Dondrup Tashi account.
User avatar
Aryjna
Posts: 1294
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:45 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Aryjna »

PuerAzaelis wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:26 am
Aryjna wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:12 am These are concerns for people involved in the justice system. What do they have to do with practicing the Dharma?
I've taken the Bodhisattva vow. After a few months of practice maybe I'm also prepared to say I "achieved tranquil abiding" or some such. But - next to calm abiding, which is like an anthill, bodhichitta is like Mount Everest. Can anyone here say they practice bodhichitta 24/7?

But that's Mahayana. So - we're all "in the justice system". There's only one boat and it's my boat. There's only one system and its my system. The world is the result of my impulses - that's not an intellectual exercise. I'm responsible for Sogyal. Also all those women. They're my children. That really is the fact. Therefore - I need to do something about it. So do you. There's no choice.

"Go to your room" sometimes really is the "best" and most "compassionate" thing to say.
Speaking generally, no justice system is anywhere close to perfect, this cannot change. As for specific cases, unless Sogyal has a trial and one of us happens to be in the jury, there is not much to be gained thinking about it. A few decades in jail is nothing compared to the karma created by actions like the ones attributed to him anyway.
TRC
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:23 am

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by TRC »

Aryjna wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:39 am
PuerAzaelis wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:26 am
Aryjna wrote: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:12 am These are concerns for people involved in the justice system. What do they have to do with practicing the Dharma?
I've taken the Bodhisattva vow. After a few months of practice maybe I'm also prepared to say I "achieved tranquil abiding" or some such. But - next to calm abiding, which is like an anthill, bodhichitta is like Mount Everest. Can anyone here say they practice bodhichitta 24/7?

But that's Mahayana. So - we're all "in the justice system". There's only one boat and it's my boat. There's only one system and its my system. The world is the result of my impulses - that's not an intellectual exercise. I'm responsible for Sogyal. Also all those women. They're my children. That really is the fact. Therefore - I need to do something about it. So do you. There's no choice.

"Go to your room" sometimes really is the "best" and most "compassionate" thing to say.
Speaking generally, no justice system is anywhere close to perfect, this cannot change. As for specific cases, unless Sogyal has a trial and one of us happens to be in the jury, there is not much to be gained thinking about it. A few decades in jail is nothing compared to the karma created by actions like the ones attributed to him anyway.
Yes, and likewise for all those Christian Clergy who are child molesters, a stint in prison would be a just a minor distraction compared to an eternity in hell.
Malcolm
Posts: 33799
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Malcolm »

TRC wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:25 pm
dzogchungpa wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:13 pm
TRC wrote: Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:08 pm Well I'm still waiting for you to pull up the quote where I said I would be rejoicing in Sogyal's suffering if he went to prison.

Well, you said:
TRC wrote: I'm saying a long-life prayer for Sogyal so he can spend a bit of that time in prison. This would be the best and most compassionate outcome for him to help ripen that huge back log of negative karma, and good for the victims of his abuse too, to see some justice done.
I'm guessing that means you want him to go to prison and would feel satisfaction if he does. I'm also guessing you understand that he would be suffering there, right?
Exactly you are guessing. Where did I say I would be satisfied?

Just to refresh people's memories. I'm not the only one who has stated that Sogyal should spend time in prison. I recall Malcolm stating very categorically the same in this thread, on at least two occasions.
No. I stated that this was a matter for the courts. However, no criminal complaint has brought been against the man so far.
"Nonduality is merely a name;
that name does not exist."
—Kotalipa
PeterC
Posts: 3055
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by PeterC »

We’re getting tied up in a very remote hypothetical. The chances of any actual criminal charges being brought are vanishingly small. The abuse will be very hard to prove - testimony in these situations is often unreliable. There is more mileage in the points around his lifestyle and expenses - Rigpa US is a charity, this looks like self-dealing, and other common-law jurisdictions would take a similar view - but that gun would be pointed at the trustees of the Charity, which would include a few of the letters’ signatories. Sogyal himself may have not been in a position of legal responsibility. Moreover he would just flee the jurisdiction of the court (as effectively he has done already).

Civil cases are of course possible. But victims of abuse are very hesitant to relive their trauma through the court system in return for what would be a symbolic compensation - they would have to go after the assets of Rigpa, which they may not be willing to do, and they can forget about ever getting an apology from the abuser.

So any ‘justice’ is only going to come from how the sangha and the broader Buddhist community treats him going forward.
Locked

Return to “Tibetan Buddhism”