Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

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

Post by Malcolm »

A lot of bullshit, not 100%, but a very high percentage of bullshit.
"Death stands before all who are born."
— Ācārya Aśvaghoṣa
Tiago Simões
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Tiago Simões »

Malcolm wrote:
A lot of bullshit, not 100%, but a very high percentage of bullshit.
What parts did you find bullshit?
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Quay
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Quay »

Malcolm wrote:
A lot of bullshit, not 100%, but a very high percentage of bullshit.
I always appreciate someone's concise review. I think the post would, depending on formatting, run 20-25 pages or so. Is there anything you found of use in it?
"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.
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Quay
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Quay »

tiagolps wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
A lot of bullshit, not 100%, but a very high percentage of bullshit.
What parts did you find bullshit?
I'd rather hear about the non-bullshit parts myself. ;)
"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.
buddhagirl
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by buddhagirl »

Quay wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
A lot of bullshit, not 100%, but a very high percentage of bullshit.
I always appreciate someone's concise review. I think the post would, depending on formatting, run 20-25 pages or so. Is there anything you found of use in it?
Exactly. So many words - it suggests equivocation, hedging one's bets. I don't have time to read now but if he's worried about the press cutting up his quotes then why not keep it super brief, to the point and crystal clear. Here's what i'd like to hear from Dzongsar Khyentse (and OTR): " Look, Sogyal is my friend, i have taught at Lerabling and conducted ceremonies to benefit Sogyal and Rigpa. My monastery has benefited from the donations received from Rigpa. Consequently I have a conflict of interest but wish to express deep compassion for the Rigpa students, past and present, who are suffering due to behaviours unworthy of a realized Buddhist teacher. Please heed the words of the Dalai Lama and Mingyur Rinpoche. Om mani padme hung. Om ah hung benza guru pema siddhi hung."

You're welcome.
Schrödinger’s Yidam
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

I think posting a dissenting opinion from HHDL will help balance the discussion.
https://youtu.be/0wP4rsM7AZQ
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)
gb9810
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by gb9810 »

smcj wrote:I think posting a dissenting opinion from HHDL will help balance the discussion.
https://youtu.be/0wP4rsM7AZQ
why do you say dissenting? I am only 2/3 done (phew..), but it seems DJKR's piece covers a wide range of issues and is also adorned with enough conditionalities (if and if and more if's...) that it's unclear that its messages is in conflict with Dalai Lama's more succinct view.

Of course, as he warned in the beginning, we are each likely to grasp onto certain pieces and extrapolate... :) Personally I had trouble getting over some of the initial smart-arse comments, but that's his style.. which one could call BS, but that's not real the substance. Once I settled down and read along without looking for anything to affirm or negate in particular, it so far is quite sensible
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Nemo
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Nemo »

Malcolm wrote:
A lot of bullshit, not 100%, but a very high percentage of bullshit.
Tibetans really don't get it. Having orgies with students half your age, demanding money and beating nuns is not acceptable behaviour. They seem to equate practicing Dharma with being an entitled royal douche bag. Buddha's monks were not even allowed to touch money. It seems Tibet was wiped out for a reason.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by conebeckham »

Nemo wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
A lot of bullshit, not 100%, but a very high percentage of bullshit.
Tibetans really don't get it. Having orgies with students half your age, demanding money and beating nuns is not acceptable behaviour. They seem to equate practicing Dharma with being an entitled royal douche bag. Buddha's monks were not even allowed to touch money. It seems Tibet was wiped out for a reason.

Racist, much?
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
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It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
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Schrödinger’s Yidam
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

Tibetans really don't get it.
HHDL gets it. He himself had to break samaya when he outlawed that one unmentionable Gelug practice. He had been initiated into it by one of his teachers.
Last edited by Schrödinger’s Yidam on Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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)
Malcolm
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Malcolm »

Quay wrote:
tiagolps wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
A lot of bullshit, not 100%, but a very high percentage of bullshit.
What parts did you find bullshit?
I'd rather hear about the non-bullshit parts myself. ;)
Most of the piece was self-indulgent babble. The essence of the bullshit in this piece is that Dzongsar blames students for rejecting and abandoning deluded gurus when those students find out about the delusion of their deluded guru. It is not fair, it is not rational, and it is pure superstition to imagine that attending a ritual, no matter how profound and meaningful when administered by a realized person to a group of well prepared students, creates an irreversible bond when administered by foolish and deluded teachers. No one imagines that attending a monastic ordination lead by a madman would have any force at all. Such thinking represents the worst example of the fetter of attachment to rules and rituals. Indeed, this whole idea comes from such fettered thinking.

Why should we imagine that empowerments administered to poorly educated Western Dharma students by deluded fools who imagine themselves gurus, whether Tibetan or any other ethnicity, would have any binding power via samaya other than through accepting an irrational interpretation of how rites that impart Vajrayāna vows actually function? Most people have no idea what is happening when they attend empowerments. They do not understand the visualizations as they happen, and so on. Even if the gurus in question are realized, if the student does not understand what is going on, no samaya is transmitted.

I would suggest, honestly, that there are probably few people who actually have samaya at all among so called Vajrayāna students—— by and large because they have no idea what is happening during empowerments, direct introductions, and so on. There is no magic bond created by an empowerment, none whatsoever. The only true bond or samaya we have is our understanding of Dharma, how deep it goes, and our appreciation of the teacher and community within which this blossoms.

The other samayas are relative. But it is the relative ones that receive all the attention. Even in terms of relative samaya, samaya is something that gradually builds, matures, and becomes deeper as the student matures in their understanding of profound Secret Mantra.

I would suggest also that there are very few gurus alive today who can actually impart samayas, since they have not realized the meaning of the teachings they are imparting. I will discuss this in the conclusion.

When we think about debacles like Rikpa (as it presently exists), we should not even be discussing the issue of breaking samaya. First of all it is bad for the students. It demoralizes them. Secondly, we are not sure that they have samaya from Sogyal. It has yet to be determined that he ever was a qualified teacher. If he was never a qualified teacher, they never received samaya. When we read comments such as the one below it is seem very questionable whether Sogyal is a qualified teacher, (the part of the article which is not bullshit, apart from just a little):
  • I know a little about Sogyal Rinpoche because I have visited several Rigpa centres and have witnessed the Rigpa set-up first hand. To be frank, I didn’t see enough evidence to convince me that the appropriate warnings had been given, or that adequate foundations had been laid, or that the fundamental teachings were properly given. On several occasions it seemed to me that some of the students had been Christians until perhaps the day before they attended the teaching, then suddenly, 24-hours later, they were hearing about guru devotion, receiving pointing out instructions and practising Guru Yoga – it was as extreme as that.

    If that’s how it happened – if no proper warnings and no fundamental training were given prior to the Vajrayana teachings¬ ¬– then Sogyal Rinpoche is even more in the wrong than his critical students. Why? Because it is his responsibility to prepare the ground in accordance with the Vajrayana’s prescribed and well-established foundation teachings and practice. There is no question that the person with the greater knowledge, power and therefore responsibility is also more culpable when those obligations are not fulfilled.
If Sogyal is in the wrong, and did not prepare his students properly, this automatically means he is an unqualified teacher and his students have no samaya with him at all, apart from as a Vajra brother. If Sogyal is in the wrong, it is axiomatic that his critical students are not in the wrong at all, from a samaya point of view, and thus this line is bullshit because they have no samaya with him.

Dzongsar also says this, which is 2% bullshit, 96% ok, and 2% requires a little more comment. Ok part in green; bullshit part in red, other part in orange:
  • If the teacher and student have reached a genuine understanding about the path being practised, and if all the necessary and appropriate foundations have been laid and a clear idea of possible consequences conveyed, but the student still has a wrong view and acts on it by slandering and criticizing the teacher, then, according to tantra, that student will face grave and unimaginable consequences.

    But the same also applies to the teacher. In fact, if the teacher hasn’t laid the proper foundations, if the teacher takes advantage of a student physically, emotionally or financially, and if the teacher gives the highest yoga tantric teachings to those who have not established a proper foundation and as a result an immature student breaks the most fundamental root samayas, then the teacher will also suffer extremely grave consequencesconsequences even more serious and terrible than those faced by the student.
With respect to the section marked in orange: the serious and terrible consequences to a student that has been taken advantage of by a guru or teacher is that their trust in Dharma might be damaged for some time in this life or even multiple lifetimes, and they may suffering secret obstacles which prevent them from applying the Dharma. This is what renders the broken samaya of a teacher irreparable.

In short, people should consult the Rigpa Rangshar's chapter on samaya and cease laying blame on blameless students who have the misfortune of choosing mad guides. It not fair, it is not just, it is not right, it is not rational, and should not be accepted regardless of what the traditions seems to say on the matter because to take all this literally is merely an expression of the fetter of attachment to rules and rituals. What do I mean by "literally?" By "literal" I mean that empowerments given by gurus who are not truly realized have very little force. They have very little force to produce realization in their disciples, for many, many reasons. Likewise, they also have very little power to impart any real samaya.

The reasons why we see so much broken samaya today is not the fault of students, it is the fault of too many unrealized teachers giving empowerments which they are not qualified to give in the first place.

Oh, and BTW, bringing up Naropa and Tilopa, etc. is bullshit. Please stop doing it. The twelves trials are just stories, didactic stories to show what a huge egotist Naropa was. They doubtless have some basis, but they are exaggerated way beyond anything anyone can reasonably accept as anything other than Indian/Tibetan dramatic hyperbole.
"Death stands before all who are born."
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Arnoud
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Arnoud »

VERY :good:
liuzg150181
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by liuzg150181 »

:good: from Malcolm,though I think DJK Rinpoche is trying too hard to write a "balanced" article as well.
Though:
"The reasons why we see so much broken samaya today is not the fault of students, it is the fault of too many unrealized teachers giving empowerments which they are not qualified to give in the first place."
So how to identify a realised or qualifed teachers who give empowerment? Though being realized certainly means a teacher is qualifed,but is there a case whereby a teacher is (not yet) realized but qualified to give empowerment,such as having done a 3yrs retreat on a particular deity?
And based on Malcolm's reply,I wager we still can make judgement or assess gurus who have given us empowerments?
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by buddhagirl »

gb9810 wrote:
smcj wrote:I think posting a dissenting opinion from HHDL will help balance the discussion.
https://youtu.be/0wP4rsM7AZQ
why do you say dissenting? I am only 2/3 done (phew..), but it seems DJKR's piece covers a wide range of issues and is also adorned with enough conditionalities (if and if and more if's...) that it's unclear that its messages is in conflict with Dalai Lama's more succinct view.

Of course, as he warned in the beginning, we are each likely to grasp onto certain pieces and extrapolate... :) Personally I had trouble getting over some of the initial smart-arse comments, but that's his style.. which one could call BS, but that's not real the substance. Once I settled down and read along without looking for anything to affirm or negate in particular, it so far is quite sensible
Yes but does it help the students who are traumatised by SR's behaviour? Does it help Rigpa to find an inclusive way forward? Or does it just reinforce the status quo?
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Quay
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Quay »

Thank you, Malcolm, for such a considered, considerate and thoughtful reply. It is much appreciated. I find much in it and was especially struck by this:
The other samayas are relative. But it is the relative ones that receive all the attention. Even in terms of relative samaya, samaya is something that gradually builds, matures, and becomes deeper as the student matures in their understanding of profound Secret Mantra.
The relative ones that receive all the attention. Oh yes.
"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.
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Virgo »

Great post Malcolm.

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

Post by Virgo »

Quay wrote:Thank you, Malcolm, for such a considered, considerate and thoughtful reply. It is much appreciated. I find much in it and was especially struck by this:
The other samayas are relative. But it is the relative ones that receive all the attention. Even in terms of relative samaya, samaya is something that gradually builds, matures, and becomes deeper as the student matures in their understanding of profound Secret Mantra.
The relative ones that receive all the attention. Oh yes.
I like this part:
Malcolm wrote:bullshit
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gb9810
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by gb9810 »

buddhagirl wrote:
gb9810 wrote:
smcj wrote:I think posting a dissenting opinion from HHDL will help balance the discussion.
https://youtu.be/0wP4rsM7AZQ
why do you say dissenting? I am only 2/3 done (phew..), but it seems DJKR's piece covers a wide range of issues and is also adorned with enough conditionalities (if and if and more if's...) that it's unclear that its messages is in conflict with Dalai Lama's more succinct view.

Of course, as he warned in the beginning, we are each likely to grasp onto certain pieces and extrapolate... :) Personally I had trouble getting over some of the initial smart-arse comments, but that's his style.. which one could call BS, but that's not real the substance. Once I settled down and read along without looking for anything to affirm or negate in particular, it so far is quite sensible
Yes but does it help the students who are traumatised by SR's behaviour? Does it help Rigpa to find an inclusive way forward? Or does it just reinforce the status quo?
good point, but assuming that I've put the if's and if's together correctly (convoluted no doubt.. so I am not sure), I think he IS affirming, if not very explicitly, that the students did the right thing.. and in his own convoluted way (his style?) denouncing Sogyal. I mean, it's unclear if his intention is to offer traumatized students advice forward, or to discuss the general situation (and more), no?

I didn't get the sense that he's reinforcing the status quo either..as he's trying to point out multiple problematic aspects in the current situation. Even those wise-arse comments, seemingly against western intellectuals, could be interpreted as mocking the carelessness or naivety of the Tibetan teachers for believing that westerners could be as easily "fooled". (so if racist, unclear in which direction...) And as a teacher myself (not in dharma), I completely agree with the stupidity or lack of wisdom in blindly assuming that one teaching pedagogy would apply to another..e.g. teaching PhDs the same way as undergrads = foolish and will surely lead to trouble.

Anyway, I guess I give him more benefit of the doubt. Without knowing him very well, this seems to fit his general style, no? Does he ever behave in a very overtly caring fashion, e.g. like Khandro Rinpoche? :) It seems parts of the writing are even mocking himself.

But I agree, under the current situation, a more explicit message may be much more beneficial, rather than requiring students to read through the first 10th which he later deemed irrelevant (e.g. about Tilo-Naro) for the current case, and then more (and more and more...)
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by buddhagirl »

:thanks:
gb9810 wrote:
buddhagirl wrote:
gb9810 wrote:
why do you say dissenting? I am only 2/3 done (phew..), but it seems DJKR's piece covers a wide range of issues and is also adorned with enough conditionalities (if and if and more if's...) that it's unclear that its messages is in conflict with Dalai Lama's more succinct view.

Of course, as he warned in the beginning, we are each likely to grasp onto certain pieces and extrapolate... :) Personally I had trouble getting over some of the initial smart-arse comments, but that's his style.. which one could call BS, but that's not real the substance. Once I settled down and read along without looking for anything to affirm or negate in particular, it so far is quite sensible
Yes but does it help the students who are traumatised by SR's behaviour? Does it help Rigpa to find an inclusive way forward? Or does it just reinforce the status quo?
good point, but assuming that I've put the if's and if's together correctly (convoluted no doubt.. so I am not sure), I think he IS affirming, if not very explicitly, that the students did the right thing.. and in his own convoluted way (his style?) denouncing Sogyal. I mean, it's unclear if his intention is to offer traumatized students advice forward, or to discuss the general situation (and more), no?

I didn't get the sense that he's reinforcing the status quo either..as he's trying to point out multiple problematic aspects in the current situation. Even those wise-arse comments, seemingly against western intellectuals, could be interpreted as mocking the carelessness or naivety of the Tibetan teachers for believing that westerners could be as easily "fooled". (so if racist, unclear in which direction...) And as a teacher myself (not in dharma), I completely agree with the stupidity or lack of wisdom in blindly assuming that one teaching pedagogy would apply to another..e.g. teaching PhDs the same way as undergrads = foolish and will surely lead to trouble.

Anyway, I guess I give him more benefit of the doubt. Without knowing him very well, this seems to fit his general style, no? Does he ever behave in a very overtly caring fashion, e.g. like Khandro Rinpoche? :) It seems parts of the writing are even mocking himself.

But I agree, under the current situation, a more explicit message may be much more beneficial, rather than requiring students to read through the first 10th which he later deemed irrelevant (e.g. about Tilo-Naro) for the current case, and then more (and more and more...)
Thankyou!
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Re: Very sad news: Letter to Sogyal Rinpoche / Abuse allegations

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

I think he IS affirming, if not very explicitly, that the students did the right thing.. and in his own convoluted way (his style?) denouncing Sogyal.
I don't think so.
DJKR wrote:If an impure perception – such as criticism of one’s guru – is made deliberately and consciously, and if it then goes on to become a well-organized, choreographed public discussion with no room for amendment or correction, it constitutes a total breakage of samaya.
Later he continues...
It’s a big mistake to speculate about the possibility of continuing to analyze and criticize the guru after having received a major initiation – actually it’s totally wrong. We cannot modify Vajrayana’s fundamental view just because it doesn’t suit the minds of a few liberal, puritanical, Abrahamic, or individualistic activists.

If you find this view doesn’t suit you, but you still want to follow the Buddha’s path, you can always try the Mahayana and Sravakayana paths instead.
I think that this is why Chime R. (Karma Kagyu/U.K.) has been in the West for 50 years and never once given an initiation. It's not that he can't, he won't.
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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