Commenting Guidelines and Moderation

Why we’re here

This is a place for discussion on the matter of abuse in the Rigpa sangha. We follow the guidance of the Dalai Lama on making such issues public while still honoring the good we have received from our teacher.

It is our sincere wish for the harm to stop and for those who enter Rigpa to be aware of what they might encounter within that organisation. There is no intention to ruin Sogyal Rinpoche or Rigpa, only to hold him and the organisation accountable for any questionable actions. Although we oppose abuse, we still deeply appreciate all that we have received from Sogyal Rinpoche through his teachings, and we don’t deny that he is a brilliant teacher.

Posts are not intended to be scolarly, we are more interested in providing information and reflections that encourage deep reflection in students as they process the allegations of abuse in Rigpa and what it means for them.

Who we are

This blog has been set up by a group of past and present students of Sogyal Rinpoche. Moonfire is not one person, but many voices. We do not use our own names because some malign us for supporting those who spoke out about the abuse.

 

Commenting Guidelines & Moderation

This is a private blog, the owners have a right to maintain a positive atmosphere and remove people who don’t abide by the guidelines.

Please avoid:

  • harsh speech
  • personal criticism or attacks
  • aggression
  • sensationalism
  • inflammatory speech
  • spreading rumors
  • pushing an agendaThough we prefer not to have to moderate this conversation, individuals who engage in these forms of communication may have their comments removed without discussion – we don’t have time for arguments – and could be blocked from commenting on the blog.If you come across comments that don’t follow these guidelines, please use the comment form to let us know. In particular, attacks on Tibetan Buddhism are considered a breach of the guidelines. This is because, despite any limitations we see in any particular organization,  the majority of readers here have deep respect for Buddhism, and we wish to honour that point of view.  That does not mean that you can’t discuss its defects, but it does mean that in respect for the aim of this site which is to support Tibetan Buddhist practictioners, the positive aspects should be honoured as well as the negative. It’s all about tone; avoid agression and pushing an agenda.

We offer our support with the best of intentions. May you receive them in the same spirit.

Disclaimer

The opinons expressed on this blog and in the comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of those who set up or administer the blog, therefore liability for opinons expressed falls on the person who expressed their opinion.


Be sure to check out the What Now? References page for 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.

More personal and private support for current and previous students of Rigpa can be found in the What Now? Facebook group. Please contact us via the contact page and ask for an invite. Please use the email address you use on Facebook.

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HH the Dalia Lama Mentions Rigpa again.

On the 6th of Sept 2017 at his residence in Dharamshala, His Holiness mentioned Rigpa in a talk to some students from the University of California. Among other things he said that “If [institutions] use name of Dharma [for] exploitation, they, themselves, not properly practised  Dharma, including some Tibetan Lama.”

It’s short, so doesn’t take much time to watch.

A viewer made the following transcript:

“In the west when I use the word ‘secular’ some of my friends say secular means a little bit negative towards religion. You see, it’s understandable, during the French revolution and the Bolshevik revolution in Russia there is some sort of tendency [of a] negative attitude towards religion. That actually is not religion, but religious institution. Religion, real religion, means love. Even animal[s] appreciate love. So nobody can [be] against religion, or love. But, you see, these institution[s], frankly speaking, I think [in] many cases religious teachers or religious spiritual leaders or institution[s], frankly speaking, in some cases [are] rotten. [HHDL puts his tongue out]

So, it’s worthwhile to [HHDL makes a fist] against these things. During French Revolution, before that, the elite, or kings or queens, elite people very much related with religious institution. So, they got benefit from these group[s] so automatically they support them. So, when people really suffer due to exploitation, then people should develop courage in order to topple that institution. They also need courage to [go] against religious institution. Isn’t it? What do you think?

Now recently in Haryana some problems, now you know [HHDL points towards audience]. So the Dharma, if [institutions] use name of Dharma [for] exploitation, they, themselves, not properly practised Dharma, including some Tibetan Lama also like that. Now recently in America, Rigpa, you may [have] heard Rigpa Dharma Centre, the leader, I know him. Now recently one open letter, or against, full of criticism about that person. So, therefore, religious institution quite often, you see, spoilt, not caring [about] the real sort of message of religion, but rather use the name of religion, religion used [as an] instrument for exploitation. So French Revolution and Russian Bolshevik Revolution, some tendency against religion because of that.

So, when I say ‘secular’ some of my friend[s] have a little sort of reservation. But in this country [India] secular means respect [for] all religion and also, I think, one unique thing is according [to the] Indian concept of secularism, secular [is also] respect [for] non believer.”


 

Be sure to check out the What Now? References page for 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.

More personal and private support for current and previous students of Rigpa can be found in the What Now? Facebook group. Please contact us via the contact page and ask for an invite. Please use the email address you use on Facebook.

 

Help for Students Processing the Attestations of Abuse in Rigpa

The attestations by 8 long term close students of Sogyal Rinpoche that he had emotionally, physically and sexually abused students over a period of many years rocked the Rigpa community.  Early posts in this blog gave an indication of the kinds of issues students faced and how some managed the shocking revelations of abuse in Rigpa, but though some have found a level of equanimity about the situation, others are still struggling to come to terms with it. At the core of their struggle are the teachings on devotion and pure perception that don’t sit comfortably with humanitarian ethics and the behaviour of their teacher. Though many found statements by Tibetan Lamas helpful, their understanding of their Western students and what they are going through is limited simply because they have never been a Western student.

Venerable Thubten Chodron the abbess of Sravasti Abbey in the USA, however, was a Western student (of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa), and she is now a teacher. She has given a series of talks in response to the attestations of abuse in Rigpa that many students have found really helpful in processing the revelations. It clear from her talks that she understands exactly what students are going through and the misunderstandings Westerners tend to have on certain aspects of the teachings.

The What Now? team highly recommend watching the following teachings

 

 

 

 

Here are the links to the videos on You Tube

When things fall apart. https://youtu.be/WxucVpOV2FY

How could it happen: https://youtu.be/njY9kwgOXpA

Confusion in Tantra: https://youtu.be/b88r4NdHZVU

What it means to see the teacher as a Buddha: https://youtu.be/H9UVSw-OnDU


Be sure to check out the What Now? References page for 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.

More personal and private support for current and previous students of Rigpa can be found in the What Now? Facebook group. Please contact us via the contact page and ask for an invite. Please use the email address you use on Facebook.

What Did the Dalai Lama Say?

HHDL Remarks on Sogyal Rinpoche

Could the feudal system be influencing what happens in your Buddhist community?  This is one of the questions Bernie Schreck asks in his new article, What Did the Dalai Lama Really Say?  That might sound outrageous at first, but stay with me to take a deeper look at this and all the other parts of the Dalai Lama’s advice for Rigpa and Sogyal Rinpoche. Continue reading “What Did the Dalai Lama Say?”