The Investigation: How Reassuring are Those Assurances?

When the details of Rigpa’s ‘Independent’ investigation were released last December, I posted an article on the matter, and we heard nothing more until I was given the update on the investigation I posted last week.  The contents of that blog post were the opinion of one person, who had nothing to do with writing the letter revealing the abuse and was never a Rigpa student. I have also been informed that he had no actual role in the negotiations over the investigation. 

 The comments on that update raised issues about the assurances reported and reminded me of issues around the investigation that we’ve pointed out here before, that haven’t changed and that should not be forgotten when evaluating the function and usefulness of the investigation. This follow up is to clarify some points and remind us of the questions we need to keep asking.

 Clarification

New assurances have been made via email, but to date none of the new assurances have been shared publicly by Rigpa or Lewis Silken, so it’s questionable how useful these assurances are. Have they come from an entity that is vested with the authority to speak for all official Rigpa entities? If so why not produce written proof that is legally binding? Even if it is proven that the Investigating Committee can make binding agreements for all Rigpa entities worldwide I suspect that wouldn’t include a group of individuals like the Rigpa community in LL who are currently suing an attorney who said something they didn’t like. 

The original agreement between Lewis Silkin and Rigpa US and Rigpa UK has not changed. This includes this part relating to confidentiality: “We have agreed that all interviews conducted as part of the investigation will be protected by confidentiality and not shared with Rigpa, or anyone else unless the witness specifically agrees to this, or we are required disclose this information by law.”

So Lewis Silken will not share your name with Rigpa or anyone else unless a judge in a legal case in the UK asks for the info. In that case LS would have to hand over whatever the judge requested for him or her to use in the proceedings in what ever way he or she saw fit.

It seems to me that since the report will not use anyone’s names without their permission, it’s unlikely that anyone would take someone to court over the report, because how would they know who to sue? But a judge on a related legal case – were there to be one – could ask for the information if he or she deemed it relevant. So it’s possible your information and name may end up with a judge, but as far as I can tell it’s pretty unlikely.

Don’t forget that an Olive Branch does guarantee anonymity, however,  so perhaps students wanting a more reliable result from an investigation could demand that the Olive Branch investigation be expanded to take testimony from all countries?

The aim of this clarification is not to put you off participating in the investigation, it’s just to make sure that you see the full picture.

  Questions to remember

·         Who chose Lewis Silken?  Answer: From an email from Kathryn James on Thursday, September 14, 2017 Subject: personal thoughts, updates and some information; she wrote to Rigpa members in Australia, ” The investigation – Philip Philippou has started interviewing potential investigators.”

·         Who, apart from Sogyal, has the most to lose from a report unfavourable to Rigpa?

·         Why are Rigpa investigating something that those in the inner circle, and many in upper management, already know to be true?  We were told that it was because they had to have an investigation in order to retain charitable status in the UK and US, but it’s been verified that no such law exists in either country.

·         Why hire such a high profile and expensive firm?
From the Lewis Silken website: “I help my clients to deal with any employment law challenges which come their way and aim to make the process as smooth as possible for them.” http://www.lewissilkin.com/People/Karen-Baxter

·         Who are the client? Answer: Rigpa US and Rigpa UK. Not you, the person who has suffered abuse. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that KB is working for you. She is working for her client, and regardless of her professional standards, which I am not calling into question, she will still do her best for them, not for you.

·         If you expect the report to expose the truth then ask yourself; why would anyone pay what might amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars for their own downfall?

·         Is an investigation into abuse where the investigating team is hired by and paid for by the perpetrator ever truly independent?

·          Given their 40 years’ experience of covering up the abuse, do you think that this isn’t part of their PR game plan?  They have hired high powered PR firms in the past, it’s logical to assume this ‘campaign’ is being planned by professionals.

Trust

For me it comes down to the issue of trust. It would be nice to think that we could trust Rigpa management and Sogyal, but they have broken our trust. Can they ever get it back? 

Other investigations are happening, so consider giving your testimony to them. Click here for contact details for all of them.


Private discussion on this and other related topics can be had on our Secret Facebook Group. It is only for current and previous students of Rigpa, however, and we do moderate it closely. If you’re interested in joining, please contact us via the contact page and ask for an invite.

Ex-Rigpa students and their Rigpa dharma friends who want to move on from the discussion of abuse in Rigpa can stay in touch through the Dharma Companions Facebook Group.

The What Now? Reference Material page has links to a wealth of articles in the topics related to abuse in Buddhist communities. For links to places to assist in healing from abuse see the sangha care resources page.

Those of you who are interested in ‘keeping Buddhism clean’ could ‘Like’ the Dharma Protectors Facebook page.

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44 thoughts on “The Investigation: How Reassuring are Those Assurances?

  1. We need not continue to rely on the Rigpa Organization or those in the inner circle to look into these issues and discover “What Now?”

    We might consider the possibility that our continued reliance on authority may be a part of what created this situation.

    ” a person can see awful things that have happened to them in their life, but until they see their own part, they can never escape a victimology mindset, and a victim mind certainly cannot generate any real creative energies for change.” Peter Senge

    How might we take response-ability and discover for ourselves possible alternatives (regardless of how others decide to respond).

    “Drawing from long histories of creative resistance and generative living in even the worst circumstances, people everywhere found themselves profoundly tired of waiting for external, never materializing solutions to local and systemic problems. Both large and small individuals, organizations, and communities joined with each other…” Donna Haraway, Staying With the Trouble.

    How might we turn toward one another and join together, first facing our own part, then joining together to generate new possibilities, perhaps unthought?

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  2. Trust has been broken by SL and Rigpa elite.
    They cannot win it back unless they are willing to purify and acknowledge what they have done.
    All the teaching of SL has lost its power for the very simple fact that whenever you see a video teaching of SL or hear a tape your ask yourself what did you do shortly before this teaching, what sexual pleasure was needed. The teaching will always been linked to,strange behavior by SL.
    The teaching should be linked to the power of the teachings itself that is that they lead to purification of the starnge behavoir done by SL. So Sl has to confess to save the teachings otherwise they are nothing more than a blasphemy. Its up to him, butbsincenhe is a coward his teaching will remain a blasphemy.

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  3. Very well put. Rigpa has a history of denial, distortions, lies, untruths and finding allies for their version of events. No shame to distort the dharma either, attacking critics and portraying questionable actions as holy. After 40 years it’s totally unlikely that there is a real change. I can’t see a real change either when it’s been propounded that sex between teacher and student is the basis of their lineage and that there is no truth but only individual perception. None person of the Rigpa management has so far questioned their own role in a game of lies and propaganda nor can I see any shame or apology for the perfidious Rigpa therapy which was just “gaslighting”. I think it’s reasonable to be highly sceptical and it’s good that you wrote this background clarifying post. Thank you. We need to be alert and realistic.

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  4. I depart a little here from my usual sceptical POV . I have participated in Karen Baxter’s investigation and am impressed with her determination to access a truthful account of the hell realm that was and still is Rigpa. She put out an alert at one point for people with direct personal experience of Sogyal’s sex and violence behaviour to testify for her. I passed it on to 4 women I know who could do this. But the red lines are still in place. Rigpa is no longer fit for purpose and should be disbanded. Sogyal should face Criminal charges.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mary.
      Here is the press statement of The Old Vic about the findings of Lewis Silken in the Kevin Spacey case: https://cdn.oldvictheatre.com/uploads/2017/11/THE-OLD-VIC-PRESS-STATEMENT-FINAL-16.11.17.pdf

      This could give an idea of how it will be proceeded afterwards.

      In general people only open up in such cases if the person they can speak to seems to be honest and trustworthy to them. There might be not the slightest reason to doubt the integrity of Karen Baxter. You might similarly collaborate with a journalist who IS or appears to be trustworthy. But the editorial board of a newspaper can decide to use what you said in faith against you. This happens – even against the will of the journalist. So the question at the end is how truthful and committed to truth and transparency the lawfirm itself is going to be. Therefore, considering the setting, accepting the honesty of Karen Baxter, I keep scepticism until I am proven to have erred. Nevertheless, I would hope that the Lewis Silken report really breaths truth, honesty, integrity and the shocking details, finally doing some justice to those been harmed. This would be fantastic. However, considering Rigpa history and who pays the law firm, for the time being, I side with the sceptics though encouraging to give it a trial.

      On the other hand, I wonder if by the many reports the law firm might receive, they could later not be asked by Rigpa to develop a strategy to defend SL or Rigpa at court? Is there any means been taken to prevent this?

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      1. Ahah, I don’t know Karen Baxter but you all seem pretty naive about what this sort of business is all about… It’s not even about defending the interests of your client (Rigpa in this case), but about charging the maximum of fees while enhancing your reputation and prospect of future clients.

        This is just business as usual and integrity is a nice tool to promote the brand of your cabinet and yourself. Of course, at the end nobody cares or really believe in this phony concept as this is just a nice marketing tool.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, it’s business. And why should they „harm“ the hand that feeds them? If Rigpa gets seriously „harmed“ by an honest report, what would other companies who would like to hire them learn from it? Would it encourage companies to hire the law firm if those who paid them are finally faced with the hard reality, ending with a damaged reputation, their opponents being confirmed with their accusations?

          It’s quite tricky, because also the law firm has to loose a reputation. I will give it a chance but not having expectations. It might have had been better to rely on An Olive Branch totally.

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          1. Don’t even give it a chance! Who said this law firm had a reputation of treating fairly victims, it is not even its job! Why should some victims participate to Rigpa’s management PR BS campaign? Don’t give a legitimacy to their lies with your participation!

            If they get enough testimonies, they will say: you see, an independent inquiry has been led and there is nothing grave or unlawful to report. Plus, there is no formal or biding proof that anyone of the board was aware of those problems.

            In a couple of years, Rigpa will say: there is no problem for Sogyal Rinpoche to come back as the problems have been addressed. There is not legal complaint, an INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION has been led, all the problems have been addressed by the new “Ethical Code of Conduct” and Sogyal Rinpoche has signed a document that he will comply with this code.

            ALL OF THIS PROCESS LACKS TRUTH, INTEGRITY, RESPONSIBILITY: IT JUST SHOWS A HIGH LEVEL OF CORRUPTION. IT IS NOT EVEN THAT IT DOESN’T RESPECT THE DHARMA, IT DOESN’T RESPECT SOME VERY BASIC HUMAN VALUES.

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            1. Here is the investigation that should lead Rigpa’s management: an exhaustive report describing all the financial status of Rigpa’s foundations with all the cash outflows since July 2017.

              Who is deciding the policy and allocation of those funds, is it still Sogyal Rinpoche as according to the status of those foundations? Does Sogyal Rinpoche still receive directly or indirectly funding from Rigpa? What have been the emoluments received by Sogyal Rinpoche and his family for the last 5 years?

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              1. The Tertön Sogyal Foundations

                Endowment Fund Investment Policy – The Investment Policy sets forth the investment objectives of the Endowment Fund, as well as guidelines and parameters for achieving those objectives. This includes the asset allocation, target returns and disbursement policy, which are reviewed and approved by the Terton Sogyal Board and Sogyal Rinpoche.

                http://www.terton-sogyal.org/index.php/the-rigpa-endowment-fund/investment-policy.html

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              2. I totally agree with everything you say French observer. I am interested in the cash outflows since july 2017.Do you have numbers or details?I’d like to know more.

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  5. “There is no truth, there is only individual perception.” I’ve heard this line before, myself. I would counter it very simply by saying, “No, sometimes things really are as bad as they seem.”

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    1. Perhaps “things being as bad as they seem.” could be seen as the starting point for buddhist practice?.

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  6. Never, never trust.

    But be friendly.
    By being friendly toward others
    You increase your non-trusting.
    The idea is to be independent,
    Not involved,
    Not glued, one might say, to others.
    Thus one becomes ever more
    Compassionate and friendly.
    Whatever happens, stand on your own feet
    And memorize this incantation:
    Do not trust.

    ~ Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche

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  7. Ha ha, I have no idea how it happened but that comment of mine above was an email I wrote– how on earth it became a comment is beyond me!

    My comment (that I haven’t written yet) is that if Rigpa– or Karen– really got it– if they had even an inkling of the harm that has been caused, they wouldn’t even consider mixing things like this. They would honor the word “independent” so that a little bit of trust could begin. It doesn’t even need to be An Olive Branch– and it’s problematic because it has to be someone they pay for, no one else is going to pay– but even if they just hired someone separate from their own law firm? Surely there are ways to legally bind the investigator and insure safety for survivors?

    I am not confident in the safety of survivors if Rigpa has any loopholes to use to their advantage.

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  8. I wish that there was a group of students who were interested in sponsoring a truly independent investigation. I think it’s sad that many seem to trust this process and are waiting for an outcome designed by pp and pg. I wonder if they are just wanting to assuage their conscience because they don’t want to hear that their lama is only human after all.

    It all feels like an elaborate way to hang on to their idea of spirituality and their place as a dzogchen insider. What a farce in the face of emptiness. Let’s solidify this idea of this man being an infallible deity despite the fact that so many people have shared that they have suffered abuse at his hands and at the hands of rigpa the organization. That certainly seems open and free from concepts…NOT.

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    1. Though some may say, “The student entrusts herself to the guru, and therefore it is the guru’s responsibility to lead in a wholesome manner,” the truth is that the power is always in the hands of the student: “Should I stay or is it time to go?” How prepared is the student to exercise sound judgment in the presence of the blinding light of his or her spiritual mentor?”

      https://tricycle.org/magazine/whos-charge-here-anyway/

      We need not have ever relied on authority then or now.

      We are free to start an independent inquiry into why we gave up our power and how we encouraged others to give up power. How we fail to deeply listen to one another, how we disparage and force out those with different views. The failures inside the Rigpa Organization are not in the past, we carry them with us.

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      1. If you truly inquire you might end up with disagreeing with your guru a lot or also going against his advice (a lot). In an environment where reliance on the guru is understood to mean to follow his advice like a command or being loyal you need much inner strength and good reasons to be able to do that.

        Interestingly, as far as it concerns Je Tsongkhapa, he disagreed a lot with his teachers and also didn’t necessarily follow their advice.

        I wonder how many are able to find the right balance with disagreeing based on good reasons, respect and reliance.

        BTW, this is a topic for myself with which I struggle or where people (dharma friends) find problems with me.

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        1. Hi Tenpel,

          Thanks for your reply.

          >> “If you truly inquire you might end up with disagreeing with your guru a lot or also going against his advice (a lot).”

          Yes, it seems to me this could happen, too.

          >> “In an environment where reliance on the guru is understood to mean to follow his advice like a command or being loyal you need much inner strength and good reasons to be able to do that.”

          Right, and we create this environment. And since we create this environment, we can question and support one another’s questions, rather than putting pressure on one another to conform (for or against the teacher).

          >> “I wonder how many are able to find the right balance with disagreeing based on good reasons, respect and reliance.”

          Seems like a great question and approach. I’d add to this: how can we all question together, become a sangha and listen to one another, especially when it is hard, when we don’t understand each other, when we are in conflict.

          “BTW, this is a topic for myself with which I struggle or where people (dharma friends) find problems with me.”

          This seems the root of the problem: our own community and how we relate to difference and to questions which might upset our own beliefs and points of view.

          Thanks again for your reply,

          Rick

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “What is it to surrender the capacity to think?”

            “..when every fiber of our being is interlaced, even complicit, in the webs of processes that must somehow be engaged and repatterned? Recursively, whether we asked for it or not, the pattern
            is in our hands. The answer to the trust of the held-out hand: think we must.”

            Donna Haraway, Staying With the Trouble

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          2. You are right Rick in that we, collectively, do create the environment around a teacher, but an individual is carried along by the collective, and it’s very hard to go against that, which is why people leave rather than stay and try to change things

            Rigpa was never a culture that encouraged self-reliance or questioning, and criticism of the teacher was simply not allowed. The reason people are still leaving is because despite them trying, the basic culture has not changed. Your suggestions are for those still in Rigpa; those who already do as you suggest I think are those who have left.

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            1. Those that have left are in a unique space to come together and collectively take responsibility for the conditions we have created.

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              1. I’m confused – are we to take individual responsibility, or collective responsibility?

                Or both?

                Or maybe there are those who left who actually have no responsibility – what do you think?

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                1. Thanks, RH.

                  Maybe if we see responsibility as response-ability, there can be a shift from blame to response.

                  In that sense, we all have response-ability for what we have done, what we are doing, in how we respond to finding ourselves in this situation.

                  For example. Form-making, form-forcing to borrow some words from Eugene Gendlin.

                  We participated in the ‘old-form’, how we perceived Tibetan Buddhism with authority and the collective form. We ‘forced’ this form on each other. The form making of buddhism wasn’t the problem, but the form-forcing was.

                  Here, we are trying to create new forms, so we want to create new forms where the teacher can or cannot do such and such, where the teacher is held accountable to certain rules. The common pattern is that we want to force these forms, we have an idea and are engaged in form-forcing, we think “this is how it should be.”

                  If we see form-forcing as the common ‘problem’ we are facing here AND in the Rigpa Organization, then perhaps the doorway to creative solutions emerges. We can see our destructive participation in gross and subtle ways. We can see this tendency in our daily lives, too.

                  Perhaps we could use this moment of insight, this in-between, to come together in a fluid pattern-making way.

                  We not only become more sensitive to oppressions, but we discover the creative capacity for change that need not force-forms. We may also become increasingly open to wanting to hear difference. A leaning toward the fluid, compassionate creativity that comes from this kind of listening to one another.

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                  1. “I was at a lunch with the Dalai Lama and five Buddhist teachers at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. We were sitting in a charming room with white carpets and many windows. The food was a delightful, fragrant, vegetarian Indian meal. There were lovely flower arrangements on the table.

                    “We were discussing sexual misconduct among Western Buddhist teachers. A woman Buddhist from California brought up someone who was using his students for his own sexual needs. One woman said, ‘We are working with him with compassion, trying to get him to understand his motives for exploiting female students and to help him change his actions.’

                    “The Dalai Lama slammed his fist on the table, saying loudly, ‘Compassion is fine, but it has to stop! And those doing it should be exposed!’ All the serving plates on the table jumped, the water glasses tipped precariously, and I almost choked on the bite of saffron rice in my mouth.

                    “Suddenly I saw him as a fierce manifestation of compassion and realized that this clarity did not mean that the Dalai Lama had moved away from compassion. Rather, he was bringing compassion and manifesting it as decisive fierceness. His magnetism was glowing like a fire.

                    “I will always remember that day, because it was such a good teaching on compassion and precision. Compassion is not a wishy-washy ‘anything goes’ approach. Compassion can say a fierce no!“

                    ~ Tsültrim Allione, “Wisdom Rising“

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                    1. Thanks, RH.

                      That’s a great story and an important one. It fits closely with the quote from C. Trungpa about “Never Trust”, too.

                      It is precisely because of this brave attitude that the letter writers felt no choice but to expose what had been going on in the Rigpa Organization. It is ALSO why those who are part of this action (to expose) should directly face our own participation in the process. From these two approaches, creative options might emerge. One without the other is dangerous.

                      “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster…”
                      ~ Nietzsche

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                    2. Thanks, Joanne.

                      Exactly! And it is never to early to spot those destructive ways of being. We can quash this organization, but if we don’t come together and recognize our own destructiveness, the cycle will just start all over again. Because we recognize how bad it can get, this insight could energize us to look more deeply together.

                      “it’s easy to protest against the State (and also against corporations), but it’s more difficult to recognize that we tend to reaffirm the same repressive power of the State in our intimate relationships, communities, our languages, our habits, our casual interactions and the infinitesimal negotiations of power that accompany them–in our micropolitics. Unlike totalitarianism which oppresses from without and from above, fascism is a cancer that permeates down in our daily and mundane lives.” -X-

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                    3. Rick, from what I have seen, I think that most of the people involved in this trouble are looking deeply into themselves and their part in all of this. As well, they are very busy with the messy business of healing from it. I think it would be helpful if you acknowledged that, instead of assuming that we are all just blaming blaming blaming and not digging deep as well. Blaming– or rather, acknowledging harm– is part of the process, but of course, it isn’t all of it. It is very hard to accurately judge how others are responding to trouble and I have found that everyone is responding differently and all of it has worth if I just listen.

                      Perhaps, instead of accusing people on-masse of not being accountable for their role in things, you could identify specific statements or beliefs or assumptions that you see people making that you think are adding to the problem rather than helping solve things. If you are specific then maybe we can address what you have to say.

                      Also, I think that your perspective has more worth in the context of Rigpa itself moving forward as a sangha. In terms of those who have left, they are no longer part of a group, so any damaging dynamics that they might have engaged in in the past will no longer apply. Most of us are dealing with our own troubles with this alone and moving forward as best as we can.

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                    4. Also Rick, it’s important to look at the function of each of the forums that people are engaging in. For example, in this particular thread, the idea of trust is being explored. Other threads have other important issues, all of which help us move forward into better understanding the totality of this trouble– both our part (putting blind trust) and the part of Rigpa (betraying that trust).

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. Hi Joanne,

                      I’m not intending to accuse anyone of anything at all. Does the quote below from P. Senge seem accusatory?

                      “The difficulty here is that until individuals take responsibility for their own life experience, or at least their experience of their experience, little deep change is possible. The challenge, when you are dealing with larger-scale human systems, is that collectively people have to take some responsibility. I think it’s a perfect parallel to that therapeutic axiom that a person can see awful things that have happened to them in their life, but until they see their own part, they can never escape a victimology mindset, and a victim mind certainly cannot generate any real creative energies for change. De Maree used this term sociotherapy. From the standpoint of the purpose or intent or the theory of change, it is probably exactly right. It’s how we collectively learn to take responsibility for the conditions we have created.”

                      I’ve consistently applauded the efforts to expose and talk about what goes on in the Rigpa Organization, because I think it is a good thing. I think people who do it are brave and it is a very good thing it happened. For example, in my last post I wrote “It is precisely because of this brave attitude that the letter writers felt no choice but to expose what had been going on in the Rigpa Organization”

                      However, if all we do is focus on the Rigpa Organization and Sogyal Rinpoche, then I think we risk becoming that which we are “fighting”.

                      As a part of this community, I’ve got another take. Expressing that take is not usually met with much encouragement, (though RH was encouraging in this very thread and Tenpel, too.) I feel Peter Senge’s quote is very important and is pointing us in the direction of making deeper change. Isn’t that what we, here, together, are working toward? Isn’t this our shared wish? Might we not adopt a multiplicity of approaches?

                      There IS a ‘we’ here for the time being. This we is those who feel the problems raised by the 8 are real and need addressing. Since the Rigpa Organization isn’t here, I’m not sure what good it would do for me (or anyone else on this blog) to only try and write about them.

                      We are here, we can be open to change. We can be open to the same demands we are making of those in the Rigpa Organization, can we not? Why is asking ourselves (as a group) the same questions we are asking the Rigpa Organization problematic or accusatory?

                      “As moonfire wrote:
                      “we, collectively, do create the environment… but an individual is carried along by the collective, and it’s very hard to go against that, which is why people leave rather than stay and try to change things … Rigpa was never a culture that encouraged self-reliance or questioning, and criticism of [the authority] was simply not allowed…the basic culture has not changed.”

                      Thanks,

                      Rick

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                    6. Thanks, Joanne.

                      Also Rick, it’s important to look at the function of each of the forums that people are engaging in. For example, in this particular thread, the idea of trust is being explored. Other threads have other important issues, all of which help us move forward into better understanding the totality of this trouble– both our part (putting blind trust) and the part of Rigpa (betraying that trust).

                      Yes, I agree.

                      Since those in the Rigpa Organization aren’t here to discuss, doesn’t it make sense for those who are here to talk mostly (by no means exclusively) about their part? Otherwise, who are we talking to?

                      Liked by 1 person

        2. Tenzin, I think when you’re living in an environment where there are a lot of bush fires, then you are smart to build your house accordingly and to live accordingly. If you’ve already had one house burnt down because you listened to authorities who were inattentive and corrupt– and you see that there are many authorities still inattentive and corrupt causing other people to lose their homes and maybe their lives– then it’s only common sense to pause and question before following any instructions from authorities.

          That’s the analogy that came to my mind reading your comment. Dharma practitioners in the West who aren’t wary aren’t paying attention. And if we want to follow the Buddha’s teachings, then we keep hold of two things– our respect and our discerning ability to judge. If we loose either of those, then we risk losing the Buddhist path. Anyone who says that it is safe these days to follow any lama’s advice without some (respectful) introspective questioning first is not accounting for the reality we are in.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you Joanne. It’s interesting, I got more support by educating and sharing information on the Shugden issue than on Rigpa.

            Basically, many Buddhists don’t put the energy into first understand an issue (listening to it) and then making up their mind. This is sadly true also for Rinpoche’s or tulkus (not all but most it seems). I think I just have to live with that.

            I wonder how the whistle blowers might feel. I read whistle blowers tend to be excluded from communities and some might get depressed. Though they are admired by some or many, their communities, those people who were their family or friends, the people which were their social life, turn their backs on them.

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            1. Thanks, Tenpel.

              Whistleblowers are a last resort, those who wrote the letter to Sogyal Rinpoche said as much.

              If the process that culminated within the Rigpa Organization could be addressed much, much earlier, perhaps all this wouldn’t be so necessary. We could consider starting now, discovering for ourselves our own continued participation.

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    2. Concerning the idea of students sponsoring a genuinely independent investigation, maybe you & the other affected students could nut out a framework and then crowd-fund? All over the world there are examples of activism that’s initiated by small groups of concerned citizens. It wouldn’t take many more than the eight letter-writers, backed by supporters, to launch something.

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    1. Thanks for the link.

      I’d heard the term “sky-dancer” before, but never put exactly like in the article: “The word for “dakini” in Tibetan is khandro, literally “she who moves through space.”

      “We know that we are part of the universe; that our bodies and minds participate in space and time, sharing intimately in the dynamic through which knowledge arises. If we explore our present presence and the dynamic of its unfolding, we may discover that knowledge is available in ways we do not now recognize. ” Tarthang Tulku

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  9. @ matilda7
    I think that the investigation needs to be spearheaded by students not directly affected lest rigpa be able to say that it’s biased. The challenge is that most people who believe the testimony of truth in the letter have left, the rest don’t want the truth so they insincerely mouth platitudes and say they are waiting for the results, hoping nothing is turned up.

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