Understanding and Healing Abuse in Buddhist Communities

Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö’s Dream of Sogyal Lakar

Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro's DreamRecently published, The Life and Times of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö recounts many dreams and visions of this exceptional 19th-20th century Tibetan Buddhist master, including this one concerning Sogyal Lakar (Sogyal Rinpoche), who he watched over as a child.

One night, I dreamt that at dusk I went to meet someone thought to be the divine prince of Derge, Ngawang Jampal Rinchen.  He was said to live in a grass hut with a very small door that stood inside an ordinary house in a hamlet at the foot of the mountain.  He looked youthful, had a small topknot of dark matted hair, was clothed in green leaves, and sat gazing at the floor as I expressed my joy and devotion.  The prince, who wore a red woolen robe, put a similar one around my shoulders, stood up, and went outside.  I went with him, removed the robe, and offered it to him, having cut off a piece, saying I wanted it as an object of devotion.  Then I stood naked before him.  It was completely dark, and I couldn’t seen the whole vision properly, but I sense there was a row of people and that he was beating them—Lakar Sogyal, for example.  The prince was quite mad!  He then lay on his back, naked, and said the boy might go crazy and cause internal strife.  After many such dreams, I woke up.

I fell asleep once more and at first dreamt the same dream again.

Just a Dream or a Prophesy?

What are we to make of this dream?  The dreams of great masters like Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö are more likely to be prophetic than those of ordinary humans, but not every prophecy comes to pass.  Also, in the dream, Ngawang Jampal Rinchen uses the word “might.”

However, since so much internal strife, as hinted at in the dream, has occurred over the years in Rigpa in response to questionable behavior on the part of Sogyal Rinpoche, are we not obliged to explore the implications of this dream?  After all, the dream repeated itself at least once and perhaps again in other forms as Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö said he had “many such dreams” that same night.

Complicating Factors?

In light of this dream, perhaps we need to revisit the fact that Sogyal Rinpoche fell into a coma for five days in 2005.  Although his physicians could never determine the exact cause of the coma, they concluded with near certainty that a virus was most likely the culprit.  When he left the hospital, he had cognitive, visual, and speech difficulties.  People around him found his temper to be more intense than ever.

It took him months to recover.  But did he fully recover?  Damage from a brain infection can cause long-term mental and physical problems, including personality and behavioral changes.  Some have noticed an acceleration of violent, erratic, and aberrant behavior since the hospitalization that hasn’t diminished over time.

That’s not to say problems didn’t exist before the hospitalization. But, they may have multiplied and intensified afterwards, perhaps making it even more imperative for students to speak out.

Asking Hard Questions

What if “pure perception” or “guru devotion” obstructed us from seeing an unresolved medical problem that led to an escalation of rageful behavior? Would that be beneficial to a teacher, when it could lead him to harm others in ways that have irreversible consequences?  For example, what if someone died when he allegedly struck them unconscious?

This may seem like an indelicate topic given Sogyal Rinpoche’s diagnosis of cancer, the fact that he’s in recovery from surgery, and the reality that he is or will be receiving mild chemotherapy as a preventive measure for a period of six months.  I’m so sorry for his suffering and wish him a full recovery from the depth of my heart.

At the same time, we cannot forget the victims who have also suffered, have been virtually unacknowledged by key leaders in Rigpa, and  have been vilified in various ways by any number of senior Rigpa students.

A firm will be chosen soon for the independent investigation, according to Rigpa management in different countries.  Medical issues, like possible long-term effects from his brain infection or complications from diabetes should be considered in the review process so a complete picture can be ascertained.

Medical problems don’t excuse unethical behavior.  But if they exist, knowing about them can help us understand, in part, how abuse could have happened in the Rigpa community.

















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  1. Nicole

    Dear Sandra.
    I am moved by the dream and the way you skilfully and kindly relate it to the behaviour of Sogyal.The dream is very relevant indeed.
    Just 2 things I ‘ll draw your attention to.The word “might” is only a translation.We don’t know if it’s accurate.
    As for “mild chemotherapy”, I’ve done some research work: chemotherapy is not used as a preventive measure.It’s only used after a surgery when cancer cells have spread.That’s what I have read.

    I also feel that putting the stress on an unresolved medical problem after a coma in 2005, that led to an escalation of rageful behaviour, is very skilfull because it is something that everybody could hear, even those who are blind and stubborn.Most of the students remember that Sogyal was in coma in 2005 and Kimberley played the practices for him in his bedroom.This will ring a bell.Nobody will say you are wrong.

    The dream could also make them think twice because it is recounted by such respected teachers as Dilgo KR and OTR. Strangely enough, it seems that, although he is one of the authors of that biography, OTR has forgotten about the dream.If he had borne it in mind, he would not have urged the students to keep their samayas, and put the blame on them for being responsible for Sogyal’s cancer.

    Anyway, there is food for thought in your article, clues are given, especially for those who are still in denial.I hope they will open their minds and hearts.

    • Godfrey

      Don’t worry, OTR has an encyclopaedic memory!

      So, in this dream he said ‘might”, but JKCL also said SR is the reincarnation of TS and that SR will spread JKCL’s teachings all over the world. So we have two definite and one ‘might’

      • Godfrey,

        Can you give us the source for those statements from JKCL? Thanks very much. I only found 2 or 3 mentions of Sogyal Rinpoche in this book, and they don’t relate to these future predictions. BTW, the three are not mutually exclusive. I don’t doubt that SR is the reincarnation of TS and that he has spread the teachings of his master all over the world.

        • Godfrey

          From Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche’s ‘History of the Dzogchen Lineage’.
          In India, after his master passed away, Sogyal Rinpoche continued to study in India with Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and other masters. He currently lives abroad in the United States and other countries throughout the world, turning the wheel of the Dharma.

          Many masters prophesied that Sogyal Rinpoche would be born as the authentic incarnation of Tertön Lerab Lingpa. At his birth, there were many wonderful signs, such as rainbows arching over the roof of the house, and on that auspicious day there was not the slightest problem of any kind.

          Only six months later, the young child was invited to see Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö at Dzongsar, the seat of the Khyentses. Whilst on the way, his father Jamga and mother Tsering Wangmo, as well as Ani Pema Lhamo, the male servant Tsering Pepe, the female servant Ape Lhadzom and many others heard him utter his very first words as he recited the vajra guru mantra aloud three times.

          Khyentse Rinpoche invited the party to join him for a special meal on an auspicious date, and when they went in to see him, everything had been prepared for an enthronement ceremony. As soon as Ani-la saw what was intended, she was amazed and said aloud, “What are you doing? He is the family’s only son. He can not be given away to anyone.” In response, Khyentse Rinpoche wrote a statement in his own hand, in which he clearly identified the boy as a genuine incarnation of Tertön Sogyal.

        • Godfrey

          When they visited the practice cave of Lhodrak Kharchu, Khyentse Rinpoche said, “The boy should come in here alone.” And he conferred on Sogyal Rinpoche the extraordinary Dzogchen empowerment of the expressive power of awareness (rig pa’i rtsal dbang). On this and other occasions he entrusted him with the blessings of the lineage and he made prophetic statements, such as, “In the future, this boy will benefit my teachings.”

          I put the wrong paragraph in the earlier reply!

      • matilda7

        Godfrey, where did JKCL state that SR is the reincarnation of Terton Sogyal?

        • check carefully

          Godfrey, I also want to know where did JKCL state that SR is the reincarnate of Terton Sogyal? At this point it is dubious. Where is the so called recognition letter?

          This dream in JKCL’s biography is remarkably telling and prophetic. And he did not call Sogyal a rinpoche, nor a tulku, nor a terton.

          My postulation: Remarkable as JKCL being so omniscient, being the bodhisattva he was likely gave him extra attention and blessings in order to protect people in the future from Sogyal’s harm. Though sadly seems these great blessings were poured into a leaky vessel….

          • Check Carefully, Godfrey gave links to her sources, so please check them. Sogyal Rinpoche is referred to as Sogyal Tulku in other sections of the book. I personally don’t have any doubt about SR’s authenticity. I’ve been present when Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok said he was the other reincarnation of Terton Sogyal.

            • Check carefully

              Then we can agree to disagree on this important point. I doubt his authenticity as there is not enough evidence. The links do not provide evidence. If an actual letter from JKCL was written then please post it. And in the absence of JKCL then formal recognition from HHDL is next best. The rest is tibetan politics.

              • From Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche’s History of the Dzogchen Lineage,

                “Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö recognized Sogyal Rinpoche and took him under his care, treating him with enormous kindness. He instructed him personally, beginning with the most basic skills, including reading and writing. He also conferred countless empowerments, oral transmissions, and teachings on Sogyal Rinpoche, who has thus received the majority of empowerments and teachings found in the Nyingma and Sarma schools. Before he died, Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö left specific instructions, saying, “As the boy is still young, I have not been able to complete his education; it will be up to Khenpo Appey and others to take up this task in the future.”

                When they visited the practice cave of Lhodrak Kharchu, Khyentse Rinpoche said, “The boy should come in here alone.” And he conferred on Sogyal Rinpoche the extraordinary Dzogchen empowerment of the expressive power of awareness (rig pa’i rtsal dbang). On this and other occasions he entrusted him with the blessings of the lineage and he made prophetic statements, such as, “In the future, this boy will benefit my teachings.”


                If you choose not to believe Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche and Khenpo Jigmey Phuntsok, that is up to you.

              • check carefully

                Considering the dream which JKCL had and relayed above it seems to me that all of the care the great bodhisattva JKCL was taking in SL was to try to prevent the dream from playing out further down the line in which people would get hurt. As far as Khyentse RInpoche saying ‘the boy should come in alone’ : we don’t know what was conferred in fact, and a great being could see if SL took a transmission with others there then the samaya broken later in life by SL could harm anyone else who took a transmission with SL. JKCL was a living buddha and his compassion to minimize or prevent harm must be beyond our comprehension. I am just an ignorant observer, but have great faith in HHDL and JKCL which sets the bar for me. I do believe SL is a charlatan.

                Again, I’m looking for an actual recognition letter as proof- SL’s mother claims as such- so I fully doubt he is anyone but a Lakar until I see the letter.

              • BeyondChecking

                So, in this book JKCL referred to SR as Sogyal Tulku. And before you say where, go and read it!
                A tulku is a reincarnation of a master…..so SR is ‘somebody’ according to JKCL. Sure go on and wriggle out of that one, which I’m sure you will try.
                Where’s the cert? Why don’t you ask all the other lamas who had to flee for months to reach India, did they bring their certs!

              • check carefully

                SL left Tibet before people had to flee. Unlike the Tibetans who fled in a hurry, I read that his family left in a relaxed way and carrying the letter of recognition would be like holding your passport and papers close to your heart and always keeping it with you. Anything written in the hand of JKCL would be cherished. Also a reincarnate of the previous terton would have a full enthronement ceremony at a young age. If JKCL truly recognized him or anyone, nobody would dare resist or deny such a great master as JKCL. And for this particular terton, I think HHDL would have to confirm.

                As for all the other lamas who fled in a hurry, the greats are verified. There are many charlatans who come to the west and spin a story and westerners fail to check. People tend to be gullible in their sincere desire to gain wisdom.

                Also even DJKR and others spoke about the need to let go of the tulku system. A lot of Tibetan politics wrapped up in it.

                Anyway I’m not trying to start an argument but want to present an angle as I was taught to investigate and analyze (I am buddhist). A Tibetologist unaffiliated with Rigpa would be the best to consult on this matter. Isn’t Lotsawa House primarily Rigpa? I would think that influences some things. Just food for thought. If you don’t agree, just leave it.

              • Check Carefully, If you have questions about Sogyal Rinpoche’s authorization to teach, please take them up with Rigpa. The purpose of this blog is to understand and heal abuse. We’e not hear to spread doubt about Sogyal Rinpoche’s authorization to teach based on speculation and theory. If you repeat the same unfounded theories again and again, your comments will be deleted. You can read the commenting guidelines here: http://howdidithappen.org/commenting-guidelines/

                BTW, The History of the Dzogchen Lineage by Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche was not published by Lotsawa House. Lotsawa House only published a quote from the book.

              • beyondChecking

                No need to ask a Tibetoligist etc, I’ve heard Trulshik Rinpoche (HHDL’s teacher) say himself that SR is TS on several occasions. He was around JKCL when he was younger and saw the whole situation. Same with DKR.
                Doesn’t matter what you think! And good luck to you!!!

              • matilda

                @beyondchecking: “He was around JKCL when he was younger and saw the whole situation. Same with DKR.” By DKR are you referring to Dilgo Khyentse or Dzongsar who is the incarnation of Jamyang Khyentse Lodro?

              • check carefully

                You are right -this is not the right platform for my views. Please remove my comments.

    • Thank you, Nicole. I’ve shared this because I’m deeply concerned about Rinpoche and of course, about those who have felt abused as well. This is not necessarily an answer, but it might give us more perspective.

  2. Nicole

    Dear Sandra.I can see you are deeply concerned with SR because you are still attached to him. To a certain extent, he was a kind hearted, lovable man until he fell into a coma in 2005.I’m thinking of Tendrel Nyesel: Interdependent circumstances occurred. Nobody stopped him. Nobody erected boundaries.He considered he had the right to break the laws of the countries where he was only a guest. He brought his Tibetan backward culture with him. He did not realize that for us, Westeners, only his knowledge of Buddhism made him “superior” and teaching did not entitle him to treat us as if he were still in his homeland. Nobody has heard of women’s rights in Tibet! Only HHDL has understood that Tibetan society is still feodal.SR became an abuser, but also a victim.I hope I’m not shocking anybody.I guess that’s why you are concerned about him.Don’t worry, Sandra.C’est la vie.When you can’t do anything about a situation, it’s useless to worry!

    • Europa

      Dear Nicole, this is a very pithy and good comment. I find this one very helpful today. It’s bringing me down to earth on a dull and depressing Monday morning as I contemplate what practice I will do today to keep me steady in all this drama (and the drama of the rest of my life)!

      Yes I love him too and his teachings changed my life for the good but as those very teachings helped me get over violence and sexual abuse, I can hardly let him off the hook for those very same crimes (in the west!) now can I!

      It’s very clear to me that while I’m grateful for everything he offered, and always will be, he was definitely lacking healthy boundaries somewhere, so I can also feel compassion for him also. I sat cozily in so many retreats loving the atmosphere, projecting all sorts of emotions on to him from afar. I don’t think I have ever been up to him close apart from my blessings, and had video teachings and retreats once a year, and maybe an extra weekend if I was lucky.

      Now that this has all come crashing down around him, it’s another reminder and another teaching on impermanence (so I guess he is still teaching, just not quite like he intended!) And also on interconnectedness for all the times we as students put him on a pedestal.

      I’ve been around lots of narcissistic CEOs and senior executives in my time, so somehow all that giving out to the senior students up front didn’t phase me. Perhaps because I thought that there was a human resources department in place to keep any extremes of the boss in check, and also an avenue for people to complain when vulnerable or get the training they needed to live up to the job specifications – always a two-way street you see?

      But then I guess I was projecting there too, as Rigpa is being run by some very well meaning and wonderfully warm-hearted people, but who are fundamentally amateurs and making it up as they go along. It’s time to call in the professionals and fix this mess!

    • Solenodon

      “To a certain extent, he was a kind hearted, lovable man until he fell into a coma in 2005.”

      Erm, from what I have observed he didn’t change before and after 2005. He was treating people rather rough verbally in public before 2005

  3. Kristen Drake

    I am so glad Rinpoche’s health is being considered here. I have been watching these events unfold since the letter came out, and before I continue, I need to say that the situations described in the letter made my heart drop, and it has stayed there. Why? Because it verified so much that I had been silently witnessing and intuiting over the years as a long time student. But what I want to address here is the very telling difference in SR after the coma. As a distance student, I only see him once a year and the changes in him were chilling, at least to me. Also, during the three year retreat, I found the contrast between his teachings and behavior in his older videos and his behavior during the retreat very peculiar. My last long stays in Lerab Ling 2012 & 2014 were even more disturbing. I was a bit of a Temple Rat as I was performing as both Steward and living in a personal tent and I saw a great deal of behavior that made me uncomfortable in the off hours between teachings. But again, what I want to address here is the changes in Rinpoche. I do need to tell you that I see the world as a caregiver, since I work with families who are attempting to keep their elderly loved ones in their homes as long as possible. It is very hard to people who close to loved who has changed to be objective and careful with situations that seem to be beyond their control…because they are beyond their control. While I rarely see families exploit the situation, I do see huge levels of fear, denial, anger and yes…Love. How to use those reactions effectively is the challenge. In my experience, the best you can do is set boundaries that keep the individual who has changed safe…and those around him safe as well. It is hard, you stumble, and it is never pretty. It takes the kind of courage that only love for others, not for self, springs from. (And that by the way, is my Love song to the Eight.) I could very go Dharma here but you all know and live your Dharma, so how about a little Shakepeare? Do you remember your King Lear? It is my favorite play. Lear is descending into old age and has some obvious Dementia, and all those who both need, want and/or fear his power act differently. Two of his daughters flatter him into giving up his most of his riches and land and then refuse him any refuge in it. Various friends and foes attempt to subdue or rationalize with him and end of with gouged out eyes and other unhappiness. Even the ones who love him the best and stick with him die tragically in the end. Because, of course, it is a tragedy. And so is this. Mistakes have been made. Whether people admit them or not might make a difference. But I think we have all learned the dangers of Power and Ego in a very important way. That is very very good, That is growth. And for me, that is what the teachings are about. We can use it forever.

    • Dear Kristen,

      Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and your observations over the years. This is exactly what I fear has happened. Your advice to set boundaries is so wise. I only wish that those close around him could see this wisdom and heed your advice. Unfortunately, the boundaries had to begin to be set the hard way via the letter. I too hope we can grow from this. I wish for healing for all. Thank you again. I cherish your insight and keen observations.

    • Europa

      Dear Kirsten, I so love your observations and the parallels you draw with King Lear, also my favourite play. Abuse of power and ego to be sure. And Lear’s famous cry….

      “I am a man more sinned against than sinning.”

      That’s very astute that Lear probably had dementia. I never thought about it in that way before. Thank you!

      Yes SR is continuing to teach with this, although probably not quite how he intended! Ha ha!

    • Solenodon

      What exactly did you see that was different before and after 2005?

      Because complaints of women existed pre 2005 and addressing students rather harshly in public existed pre 2005 too.

      If anything I found he got more mellow the last few years, at least in public and that was not an act.

      What exactly do you mean by “he has changed”

  4. Gay

    Organised religion seems to have consistent problems where the organisation takes on an importance as if it exists from its own side. It reinforces its existence stepping on the heads and hands of the volunteers who really deserve at least some of the credit for inviting, attending, supporting and paying for the teachings. Once they have moved on a new set of supporters carry it forward and all along people build incomes around it’s location and ongoing commitment to it’s students. When something goes wrong instead of protecting the real organisation – the students – it decides to retreat into it’s circle of power and nostalgia.
    It has nothing to do with the situation who this teacher is supposed to be … and has been. One needs to evaluate the message, the actions and the results of the work. There is a lot left to be desired – much of the organisation still exists in fragments of ex-students. Change management has been failing for decades because it is all vetoed for spiritual reasons. That is like leaving the health unchecked, ignoring the warning signs and eventually waiting for the dramatic symptoms to force one to come back to reality and seek help. There is a great disparity between people who are considered on the inside or outside but they all came to learn the dharma.

    • Europa

      Dear Gay, very interesting comment.

      I have found that many “spiritual” types are dismissive of “corporate” teachings on organisational behaviour (OB). But as a masters business student I can tell you that OB is all grounded in social science and political science. So the “spiritual” types resist any observations from the “business” types, because it’s not “spiritual” enough… as it if wasn’t all grounded in human behavioural tendencies and common sense.

      Rigpa has been run by well meaning amateurs and it’s time they took professional advice and actually applied it…. and not just that PR cr*p, but real sound organisational structural advice. I can’t believe that I never saw this before now….

      • Solenodon

        You mean well meaning amateurs like the VW management and their scandal?

        Because I don’t see where business corporations, universities etc handle their f–ups and scandals in any way better. Sorry.

    • Thank you for your insights, Gay. It’s taken a long time for many people to see the problems, including myself, and some still deny them. Time will tell if the independent investigation can institute positive organizational change.

  5. Nicole

    I also love Kristen’s comments. Instead of erecting boundaries, they fall prey to lama worship by showing videos of a broken childish man who, obviously, is not an enlightened teacher.They should not show such videos.I’m afraid they use then to manipulate the students once more.Obviously, SR needs care.He should be in a retirement home instead of appealing to his students’ love. All this is very unhealthy!

  6. Nicole

    Dear Europa.It’s the drama of the rest of your life.I find this very moving.It applies to all the students who have been in Rigpa for at least 15 years and couldn’t fancy that impermanence was going to strike where it’s most painful.Anyway, once we have unravelled, cleared up the mess,as you have done, it becomes an opportunity for freedom and growth and to let go of everything we are attached to, including the lama and, why not, the words of the dharma.This is what should bring you comfort.Love.Nicole

    I don’t remember well, but would tend to think that Dzongsar KR said one day we would have to let go of the dharma.

  7. Mara Shnay

    Well it is certainly possible that the coma affected behavior, on the other hand I can remember witnessing and experiencing what struck me as abusive and inappropriate behavior in the early and mid 90s (although admittedly not as severe as described in the letter). It led me to look for other teachers and stop attending Rigpa events. But at the same time, TTBLD and those teachings and retreats with SR when I was just starting out in the dharma did help get my feet firmly planted on the path. I recognize it is a difficult and extremely painful situation for many.

    • Hello Mara,

      Thanks for your sensitivity. It is difficult and painful situation because almost everyone has received so much on the positive side from Sogyal Rinpoche. If people haven’t seen inappropriate behavior, it’s hard for them to cognize the thought. This isn’t to say there was inappropriate behavior before the coma, only to say it may have intensified afterwards. Wishing you well.

      • Mara

        Thank you for the good wishes. What is important to remember I think is the preciousness of the dharma. SRs teachings helped many connect but it is also true that experiences over the years made others leave the dharma entirely and reject ever having a root guru. I personally have met a few, and I felt heartbroken in these cases.

        So it is important to recognize both of these truths aND do our best to keep the dharma in our hearts.

        It is important not to minimize the pain and suffering. I personally believe part of that needs to be people saying “that behavior was wrong” which is a tremendously difficult thing to say about one’s guru. But perhaps necessary for the development of our inner guru.

        At the same time from a space of emptiness and non duality encompassing both relative and absolute reality, the relative reality of SRs actions must not be ignored. As Guru Rinpoche said ones view must be vast as space, but actions fine as a grain of sand.

        Personally the most profoundly disturbing thing for me was when I saw a clip of OTR teaching I’m not sure where that was extremely critical of the students who had written the letter, saying they had done harm and their actions could bring no good. I disagreed most deeply with this.

        If I was new to the dharma and heard a respected lama say that I would completely reject Buddhism. To be overly defensive of SR harms the dharma. Anyway, that is what I think.

        • Solenodon

          “If I was new to the dharma and heard a respected lama say that”

          The problem here starts with the fact that people extremely new to the dharma shouldn’t be exposed to anything that is related to vajrayana. Not to the possibility of taking a teacher as their “guru” nor advice related to the practice of vajrayana, which should never be made public.

          A lot in vajrayana can be offensive to new people. Just look at some of the sadhana texts.

          I can only agree with Dzongsar Khyentse’s article on the topic.

          By the way, the overwhelming majority of the tantric initiations in Rigpa were not given by SR but by other teachers. So those commitments are not with SR but with the lamas giving those initiations.

          In terms of dzogchen practice, as I understand it only those who got a valid experience out of the introductions into the nature of mind have a dzogchen samaya with him (how could you have a commitment while not being enabled to do dzogchen meditation?). Now in the stories of the old Tibetan masters there are incidents where it took the disciple years of intensive, dedicated practice until they were at a point that introduction actually worked.

          So it may very well be that somebody who spent decades in Rigpa and may very well be one of the victims of his behaviours doesn’t actually have samaya with SR. (I know I attended one Tendrel Nyesel empowerment with him and the introductions never worked)

        • Thank you again, Mara. I hear a lot of wisdom in your words. Its’ not easy to balance all this and stay in the heart of the Dharma. But it seems you have accomplished this to a great degree.

  8. Catlover

    How does one certify whether a dzogchen introductions into the nature of ones mind is really a valid dzogchen experience, or just somebody who wants to believe that they had a valid dzogchen experience? Do you have to ask a lama whether the experience was valid or not? What if you can’t talk to the lama who gave you a dzogchen experience? (Like if some famous lama gave you a dzogchen experience, and you couldn’t meet him to ask him about it.) So if you get a dzogchen experience from a lama, how do you verify whether it “works” or not?

    I will say this….I saw Sogyal one time, and did give one of his “mind transmissions” and it felt predatory to me. I did not want him in my mind, but it felt like he forced his way in, (like a psychic attack). To me, that is not a valid transmission at all. That is an invasion of ones psychic space and the energy did not feel good to me. It felt icky and it took me a few days to sort of get “cleansed” of the icky energy and get back to normal. What can I say? Even if I knew nothing about his behavior, that experience, just by itself, would be enough to make me want to run away from him. Some people might think I sound crazy now, talking about energy and psychic attacks, but I believe he is a psychic predator, as much as a sexual one, based on my own experience with him.

    • Catlover, There are many clarifications you receive when you receive the in-depth Dzogchen teachings to help you distinguish between Rigpa, the ordinary mind, and alaya. Ideally, your teacher would also check you individually to ensure you were on the right track and not in the ordinary mind. Also, once you receive the true introduction, at least in the traditional stories, students went off on their own and practiced sustaining it for 10 years or more. So it’s not a one shot deal.

  9. Nicole

    Dear Sandra.

    JKCL’s dream is, indeed, a very relevant prophecy about SR’s illness and the internal strife.

    Sangye has just told us there was another prophecy by the KARMAPA. There may be many more prophecies we have never heard of.I don’t know how to help you.

    Yet, I remember there is another prophecy by a master who had had a near death experience.That master was consulted by either OTR or Sogyal R or both of them, about 1 or 2 years ago.That master, whose name I don’t know, confirmed what OTR had already said:ie Sogyal Rinpoche’s life will be in danger for 3 years when he is 70 years old.If he survives his health problems, he will live until 85 or 87.That’s why there were so many long life practices, Chime Pakme Nyingtik drupchens and long life ceremonies led by OTR and Neten Chokling R. in LLing. The last one was in may 2017.I attended.

    I’m also thinking of the oracle, the young girl:Khandro Tseringma.Sogyal R consulted her because he was concerned about the problems that were about to occur.She answered something like:”Don’t worry, I’ll help you when it happens”That’s what Sogyal R.reported to us.

    Last but not least, Sogyal R.recently said:”Don’t worry, I’m not going to die”

    We definitely need help.Would you consider asking for Tseringma’s advice, for instance?


    • Solenodon

      For a really realized person “don’t worry, I’m not going to die” could also be a statement that he or she is quite beyond the concepts of living or dying.

      Interpreting what lamas actually mean with what they are saying can be tricky. PARTICULARLY with the cultural gap between westerners and Tibetans as an additional problem.

      It would also be interesting what the Tibetan term for this “go crazy” was. Because what we translate into for example English mostly doesn’t cover the full meaning of the words at all and is at best an approximation. So the exact term would be important. (Tibetans had/have a markedly different view of mental illness/craziness than we do, read books that talk about mental illness in Tibetan medicine. And, yes, they talk about demons, as the manifest form of our own negative, deluded impulses, there is a whole demonology corresponding different mental illnesses, like mania, depression, ideas of grandiosity, narcissism etc)

      Recklessness behaviour while spreading vajrayana to random people, as Dzongsar Khyentse suggested in his article, may also very well fall into this “crazy”.

      I wish the lamas would take better care of their “kin” and it didn’t end up as the problem of some random western disciples who have to sort out that mess. I mean, he was a student of Dilgo Khyentse and Dudjom, he is the fellow disciple of all those other lamas who have studied with them. As I see it, samaya problems he himself creates (for example by spreading vajrayana in an inappropriate way) affect the other disciples of the same teacher as well. Isn’t it the proper thing to to to say something to a fellow student when you see him or her stagger?????

      I honestly not only sometimes don’t understand those Tibetans….

    • Godfrey

      Tseringma and SR have been close for a good few years now, but why insinuate something like that when the above quote was paraphrased? I’m very happy they have a powerful and close connection.

    • I’m not sure what you’re asking, Nicole. You can send me a PM.

  10. Solenodon

    Oh yes, and just for entertainment value. In one of those dreams the “spiritual entity” took the form of my old riding instructor, telling me a few personally important things in horse training analogies while he was showing me an arena with a clumsy rider struggling on a magnificent red jumping horse.

    He was totally right with his observations he shared with me. The symbolicism of the horse and rider is obvious, when you consider Lungta.

    So, do not make the mistake of dismissing prophetic dreams, just because you fell prey to a charlatan. They are very real and you don’t need to be enlightened to have some.

  11. Solenodon

    By the way, until recently I didn’t even know that the Kangyur Rinpoche branch had a bad apple like this Spatz guy.. That is nasty!

  12. Nicole

    Dear Sandra.Look at Ken HOLMES Facebook page july 22nd

  13. Catlover

    I do believe in prophetic dreams, but I don’t think that it is necessarily something that only lamas or realized beings can do. I think we all have that ability, and in some people, it is more developed than in others. it doesn’t surprise me that lamas can do this.

    My question: when the lamas had these prophetic dreams about Sogyal, why didn’t anyone listen and be wary? The Tibetans take these kinds of dreams seriously, so what happened?

    • Maybe they understood them differently.

    • Solenodon

      The attitude seems to be, be polite, don’t get involved in other people’s affairs, never say anything negative about anybody.

      Plus, they are clannish. They may not even be overly interested in what other lamas/groups do or how they do it.

  14. Nicole

    I mean some lamas have prophesized SR ‘s health and life are in danger , and they all agree.The first ones were made by the Karmapa and JKCL who are both reliable masters.Anyway, the situation is confused.For example, we don’t know the name of the enlightened master who had a near death experience, who was consulted recently and said the same things.We’d like to know more and to receive sound advice on how to deal with the situation. Tseringma oracle would be the right person. That’s why I suggested asking her for help. Can we write to her? Do you know someone who lives in Dharamsala and who could consult her? Sorry if my questions are irrelevant.

  15. Catlover

    I would say, don’t get Tseringma involved unless she wants to be. Why would you write to her about Sogyal?

    Anyway, it sounds like the prophesies were also about him being violent, as well as about him being ill. Didn’t anyone pay attention to the warnings about his behavior?

  16. Catlover

    The best way to reach Tseringma would be through FPMT, (if you don’t know anyone who knows her in Dharamsala). She has a close connection to Lama Zopa, (who is the head of FPMT). She has also become one of FPMT’s teachers, so they would know how to put someone in touch with her, (if they wanna). So, if I wanted to reach her, I would contact FPMT. She would probably advise doing a lot of mantras and purification because that’s what she did regarding Lama Zopa.

  17. Catlover


    I hope you’re not talking to me. I am still saying Sogyal was/is abusive. So are a lot of other lamas, (including the “authentic” ones).

    I personally think the most compelling part of the dream was about his abusive behavior. It still baffles me as to why no one payed any attention to that part. It was very clear what the dream was warning about. Do the Tibetans just ignore this kind of pertinent information and only pick out the parts they want to believe in?

    • Catlover

      Sorry, I meant to say, Kungyal

    • Solenodon

      “I personally think the most compelling part of the dream was about his abusive behavior. ”

      Doesn’t have to be. Violent behaviour is seen as rather trivial and normal in Tibetan culture. Beating the young monk children in the monasteries to discipline them was seen as perfectly normal.

      Could also point to what Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche mentions in his article, that from his observation he believes SR is careless in spreading vajrayana. Which is karmically worse than being randomly violent to people.

    • In my experience these “pertinent information” are much more interesting to westerners than to Tibetans, westerners are the ones looking and wanting to believe in such dreams and whatever prophecies, they are cultural norms or habit in Tibet, they are not factual, they may represent fears, projections or anything that the prophet wanted to pass on based on a dream he or she had, does it mean it’s based on grounded reality ? I don’t think so and I think taking this without any grain of salt and giving to these dreams/prophecies more than the Tibetans themselves attribute to it is a big mistake.

      This whole think of going to pick up a little boy somewhere in a village and put him in a throne and declaring he is the reincarnation of whatever is utterly primary and most important was the core structure that allowed a retarded system of control and power to take place, that’s the true nature of the Tulku’s role in Tibetan culture.

      any westerners that take this for granted and honestly think that these “revelations” are true facts, in my view is being delusional. And I say this after being educated for 17 years, from my very early age about all this folklore. I don’t say this out of my imagination just because I want and just because I’m angered at the passivity of the Tibetan clergy regarding the abuses. I say what I think after having thought about it years before being able to formulate this here.

      It’s not science, it’s my opinion, why should others opinions about so called re incarnation of dreams are to be factual ? want to play this game ? fine, well everything is an illusion and is a creation of our disturbed mind and everything we see and create is a creation of our minds, including these man-made notions of dreams, prophecies and Tulku’s

      Let’s go back to the hard on Buddhism shall we ?

      • Solenodon

        “And I say this after being educated for 17 years, from my very early age about all this folklore.”

        Because you were “educated” by a quack.

        To think just because there are quacks like Hamer who go on a harming patients spree that everyone who is a physician and has studied medicin is a charlatan and dangerous is ludicrous.

        Again. Have you ever been a student of Rigpa or another Tibetan master outside of that Spatz cult, that didn’t even have a Tibetan teacher?

        • Well the quacks that educated me is called CNED for the french remote class system and the other religious quacks that educated me (Buddhism wise) is a long list of Tibetan Buddhist teachers that where often passing by Nyima-Dzong, Humkara-Dzong or OKC Brussels, usually they are not called quacks and people have great devotion for most of them, so here is the list : https://twitter.com/OKCinformation/status/902471410840457217
          So yes I never have been the direct student at RIGPA but I have taken “refuge” with many of them and still have respect for Ringu Tulku or Mingyur most notably for their lack of abuse and their integrity but also their sane way to teach Buddhism to westerners, today I’m not a Buddhist practitioner but I respect those that do their practice without harming others.

          Spatz OKC didn’t have a Tibetan in the early days in the 70’s but in the early 90’s there was a permanent Khempo in Nyima-Dzong and countless other Tibetan/Butanese crafting the gigantic statues for the temple. later this monk was replaced by another one still in charge today of ND, this new Khempo also did a great job with the younger generation without harming them.

          in short, Spatz is a psycho & serial rapist abuser but he made sure to decorate his center with countless visits of Tibetan teachers, some of them considered the greatest enlightened beings of recent history. And this is and was a crucial element to make the whole manipulation & cult stick together.

          Also maybe you should Know : Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra, Ngondrö and countless other Saddhanas were not modified or changed under Spatz, the practices we all did for 17 years (and more for some) are the same you can find in countless other Buddhist centers, they have the same effect on the mind and served as trainings for many many of us, maybe this is a quack “education” but it was ours.

          in fact the best moments of this whole period was when Spatz wasn’t there and since I’m a boy and not a girl, I didn’t got abducted by the abuser in chief and hopefully didn’t suffered directly from the sexual abuses, even if yes, other abuses were ongoing with or without Buddhism practices on top.

      • Solenodon

        By the way, “supernatural” phenomenon are also experienced by totally non religious people.

        A popular seems to be that people “know” at what time a beloved relative dies, even if no communication about the event has reached them.

        Also, if you want “hard” buddhism, the tales of the life of buddha are full of miraculous events.
        Or the Heart Sutra, that was kind of telepathically “inspired” and took place as two students talking while the buddha was present. The sutrayana teachings are full of miraculous events.

        • of course they are, but to me that’s not hard Buddhism,
          hard buddhism is Buddhism without the folklore and the culture mixed with it.
          it’s the essence of Buddha’s teaching and while these supernatural stuff are nice to hear bed time stories for lost westerners alike, to me they do not constitute what’s important about Buddhism : the mind training and the working with ourselves : that’s the essence of it, the rest in my opinion is a whole lot of folklore that can be dismissed.

          • Solenodon

            Sorry, but even if you take Theravada, the arhat students of the buddha have supposedly worked miracles and had supernatural powers.

            If you deny that advancement on the spiritual path comes with so called supernatural abilities, you are not following buddhism.

            Because a fully enlightened being is supposed to be omniscient ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS.

            It’s even fairly easy to explain how it works. It’s emptiness nature that makes all these phenomenon work. That means, the seperation between sentient beings that deluded beings perceive is an illusion of the samsaric mind. It does not exist from it’s own side. Once this deluded illusion is removed, phenomenon like telepathy are no big deal.
            That also is the case for forseeing future events that are already determined by the accumulated karma of the beings involved. These things can be known by practitioners who are advanced on their path to liberation.

            These can even be on occasion experienced by non practitioners or non spiritual people, simply because we all have the emptiness nature, that makes us potential receivers of this kind of thing.

            • Well…like it or not but I don’t believe this things ever happened. in my view these stories are embedded in Buddhism for a lack of better explanation of these manifestation and I don’t think they should be taken as hard facts. in my view Buddhism has nothing to do with supernatural abilities but I agree that’s one of the key reasons westerns jumped on the wagon, if for you Buddhism without supernatural power is not Buddhism then we can agree to disagree.

              the classic theory here is that the five elements are so polluted in this dark age that even today’s best dharma students can’t reach high level of realization because of the era in which we live now. To me it’s a very poor excuse to explain the lack of supernatural abilities and realization in 50 years of Buddhism across the planet. What if these stories are nothing else than un-explained manifestation transcribed by people at that time ?

              Take the Native American Indians example : the first time they saw Colombus boat approaching, for them it was a miracle, because their mind wasn’t prepared to see huge boats floating on top of water, hence the shamanic role in their tradition : explaining unknown manifestation in men’s reality hence translating the unknown into things they could grasp and understand.

              This is just an analogy but I think it can be applied to any of the ancient traditions.

              • Solenodon

                “To me it’s a very poor excuse to explain the lack of supernatural abilities and realization in 50 years of Buddhism across the planet. ”

                How do you know they don’t exist when bragging about abilities like this is explicitly against the precepts of all three vehicles and would only bear the risk of getting you into the tabloid press these days if shown publicly?
                If you had an ability like that and were a serious buddhist meditator, would you dare to make it public???? Would there be any use for your benefit or the benefit of others to make it public?

                Of course these days less practitioners achieve such abilities, simply because all over buddhist Asia less people do long intensive retreat compared to 100 years ago. Seriously long term Western meditation retreatants are quite rare anyway.

              • Solenodon

                “Well…like it or not but I don’t believe this things ever happened. in my view these stories are embedded in Buddhism for a lack of better explanation of these manifestation”

                With emptiness nature of all phenomenon buddhism is the only religion that has a plausible explanation for supernatural experiences, compare that the the theistic theological systems where these are either miracles of god or demonic interveniton.

                BTW, I’d like to one day be able to walk through a wall. Just for fun. I totally believe it’s possible.

          • Solenodon

            hard buddhism is Buddhism without the folklore and the culture mixed with it.
            it’s the essence of Buddha’s teaching and while these supernatural stuff are nice to hear bed time stories for lost westerners alike, to me they do not constitute what’s important about Buddhism : the mind training and the working with ourselves : that’s the essence of it, the rest in my opinion is a whole lot of folklore that can be dismissed.”

            Sorry, but mind training without any “supernatural” element, that’s psychotherapy, has nothing to do with a spiritual path.

  18. Solenodon

    Have you ever heard that there are not only perfectly good and horribly evil people but also people who sit inbetween, who have good and bad traits simultaneously?

    If you don’t understand this idea, it doesn’t mean that other people won’t.

    Why would we need to take your personal opinion as factual science?

    As far as I understand it you haven’t even been in Rigpa. Is that correct?

    • yeah the In-between argument, also used inside OKC is an argument that I don’t buy for the simple reason that no matter what Sogyal did, the kind of abuses he provoked and enacted in pure Buddhist logic is going to send him to hell many times over and perhaps if he is lucky, the good he did by introducing others to Buddhism will serve as cold water to slow down the burning in hell He alone dragged upon himself by abusing his position, his authority, using Buddhism as a weapon to hurt others, so no, there is no in-between bad but good Sogyal, I don’t ask anyone to agree with me, this is just my opinion, you can simply ignore it if you don’t agree with it or we can discuss it. my position is that this bad but good argument is a fallacy. a fallacy that emanates from Buddhist logics when anyone wants to spare their school or tradition or religion to be scrutinized.

      It is the exact same argument we heard at OKC : ho but Spatz also introduced X or Y to Buddhism blablabla so my question is simple : If a killer does something good in his life are you all going to insist the good he did the day you discover who was killed ? or are you only going to focus on the killed person ?

      Why would Sogyal or Spatz be treated differently ? if you truly think they both did good and should not face their actions, their responsibility or face their Sangha and the students they did hurt and abused, why are you not applying this concept to all murderers and abusers currently in jail in westerns countries ?

      Are Buddhist Guru’s the only one that can at the same time be good and bad and still evade the weight of their own actions ? and if so why ?

      Regarding RIGPA , I read Sogyal’s book when I got out of the monastery I was in when i was 17 years old, honestly the part about caring for the dead people deeply moved me and I even got the chance to assist someone dying soon after, I knew what to do, even I i had never done it before…but I never entered a RIGPA center, but I know Buddhist Sangha’s in France, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, I have been part of OKC since my childhood and believe me, what I have read about Sogyal, the letter from the 8 mainly is a lot of information that is amazingly very very similar to behaviors that were ongoing inside OKC, I don’t think buddhist centers are very different, they all share the same base, they all share the same culture, they all arrived in the west in the same era, they all got used in some way by westerners to find something to add to their life, there is lot and lots of comparison points that I can base on to make similarities between 2 abusers and I don’t think you need to enter a RIGPA temple to be able to talk about it.

      So you don’t need to take my opinions for more than they are : opinions
      they certainly are not prophecies or factual science, they are based on my experience of Buddhism in the west and the effect of Buddhism on westerners, including my parents and thousands of people I met during my life that either find a way with Buddhism to live healthy life or dwelled into cultism and personality cults that have nothing to do with Buddhism.

      At OKCinfo we call the drift by OKC Spatzism and we call the drift inside RIGPA Sogyalism, none is Buddhism and that my dear is also my opinion.

      • Solenodon

        SR has only harmed a small fraction of all the people who studied with Rigpa.
        But plenty of the people who studied with Rigpa claim that it benefits them.

        So, do you think that everyone who claims that their involvement with Rigpa has benefitted them is delusional?

        • Well it’s very hard to tell without knowing them but I don’t trust the benefit claim, I think it’s a human defense mechanism to find reasons that justify the choice made by these people and I think by going away from RIGPA, only then they will be objective about these benefits, what I mean by that is : you can’t be in the river and affirm what the river gave to you or not, you need to get out to be able to have a more balanced view on what was the result, it’s the same for when you leave a personality cult system under the cover of religion : you need to go away to be able to reclaim your thoughts, your judgment etc… I’m seeing it with OKC since many years : it’s very hard to be objective while still drowning inside the cult.

          my theory is that conditioning, indoctrination and un-healthy mechanism can be at play while still inside the cult and that only a real dissociation & real distance, even if temporary, can allow human beings to ground their position on what happened, you can’t do that while drowning.

          In this example, anyone still at RIGPA is still drowning, same for OKC, only time will allow these people to dissociate and find another devotion support that can work for them in a more sane and healthy relation.

          So in short benefits they claim having received from RIGPA might be benefits they, themselves created, participated and crafted while being there and these benefits could have been available in any sane Buddhist center anywhere in the world.

          nobody needs RIGPA or OKC to find benefits to culture one’s mind. you can do that alone by yourself and if you do the benefit source will be the philosophy, the dharma itself and not the RIGPA folklore & arrogant display of tibetan culture.

  19. Catlover


    The Tibetans (especially among lamas), take their dreams and prophesies very seriously. Where do you get the idea that Tibetans don’t care about dreams and Westerners do? If anything, the opposite is more true. Tibetans are MORE invested in that kind of thing than Westerners. Just because lamas don’t talk about that kind of thing much in the West, that doesn’t mean they don’t believe in it. You can think what you want about their beliefs, and you can agree or disagree, think it’s silly, or whatever, but it is a very important part of their belief system. If you don’t know that, then you have had no exposure to Tibetan culture. (Even the Dalai Lama takes dreams, oracles, signs and visions seriously, even if he does not talk about it much to Westerners). I have read LONG accounts about his dreams and visions.

    • Catlover

      My point was to say that I wonder, why didn’t they notice about Sogyal being abusive in the dream visions? That was my point. No one comments or answers that question.

    • Catlover

      Maybe lay, average Tibetans don’t care much, so I should say that you’re probably right about the average Tibetan on the street not caring much. BUT lamas and Varjrayana mystics do care quite a bit.

      • I was obviously talking about the “average Tibetans” and I guess new generation care even less beside the few “selected”. Completely agree that lama’s care about it quite a lot, but even if they care about it, it doesn’t mean these dreams etc…are a tangible reality that can be fact-checked, they can’t. my theory is that these belief systems use dreams, prophecies and what not to explain or justify things that otherwise wouldn’t be possible to explain or to make a whole society to adopt.

        • Catlover

          I wasn’t talking about whether the dreams are actually real, or just beliefs. That is a matter of opinion. I personally believe that dreams *can* mean something, but I agree that the lamas often use dreams, signs, visions, and other similar stuff, to push an agenda, (such as recognizing a tulku), and they give way too much credit to dreams, etc. My point was that since they make such a big deal out of dreams and visions, they didn’t seem to care when the dreams were pointing out problems ahead with Sogyal. They completely ignored the visions about him being violent, so that was what I was asking about.

          • Catlover

            I do think it is interesting that the dreams indicated things about Sogyal’s behavior, and I think there may have been some sort of premonition coming through. My point was that everything regarding his behavior was ignored, so my question is, why did they ignore all of the warnings coming through dreams about his violent behavior? Even if the dreams meant nothing in terms of reality, since THEY believe in dreams, why didn’t they pay attention to all the warnings about Sogyal?

            Freud was obsessed with sex, and if you ask me, he himself needed therapy, lol! 😀 In any case, Freud only found dreams relevant in terms of what they supposedly revealed about the subconscious mind. On the other hand, Tibetan lamas think dreams have meaning outside of just the human subconscious. They believe that dreams are prophetic or that they indicate all kinds of mystical things. Freud did not have such beliefs, as far as I know. He merely used dreams to try to figure out what was going on inside people’s heads, and to uncover what they were “repressing” in their subconscious, etc.

            • matilda

              Generally, Tibetan Lamas teach that we shouldn’t pay much importance to our dreams. Like other phenomena, they’re illusory and there’s no need to dwell on them.

              • Catlover


                Actually, the lamas mostly just say that to Westerners, to keep them from getting caught up in distractions. Among themselves, they really do pay a lot of attention to dreams. In fact, I think they pay too much attention to dreams.

              • This is true, what lamas generally say about dreams. At the same time, they also say some dreams are prophetic.

    • Solenodon

      Hey, psychoanalysis is obsessed about dreams too, because even Freud knew that in dreams we manifest knowledge via symbols that is only latent and not accessible in waking consciousness.

      Once you are fully enlightened you no longer need to rely on dreams as complete liberation from samsara comes with omniscience.

      • I know but still think even Freud obsession was based on not understand their origin not necessarily that dreams MUST have a meaning & a function. Dreams can be considered as your brain on auto-pilot, does it mean that anything that happens during that auto pilot session is necessarily tangled to something else in this reality ? I don’t know but I don’t believe it is.

        Dreams might be just the mind manifesting variables, possibilities, options and then we Humans take these dreams for something else and influenced by our own interpretations/desires react accordingly in our collective subjective reality.

        And if you have a follow-ship for some reason you might even take these dreams/variables for real possibilities, spit them out in the open for anyone to hear and watch the effects on our relative reality: it must be a lot of fun if used by real honest people or it can be used in dark ways to manipulate others. but in the end, from the dream emerged a set of possibilities and outside of the dream Humans decided to pick one or the other meaning and make something about it, so what is real here ? the human acting on a dream based on it’s own interpretation and belief system OR the dream has it’s own objective & absolute reality ?

        I think the answer is obvious.

        • Solenodon

          Not all dreams have a meaning. Only some do.

          The rest is kind of white noise that represents the things we do and experience in everyday life.

          Hey, most lamas I know are pretty tight lipped about any kind of experiences. They would totally deny having any special abilities or knowledge. When it’s totally clear the person has.

          It’s totally not common that lamas talk about these things. A lof of it you will only find in their autobiograpies or as recordings of the very closest students after they are dead

          • Catlover

            I totally agree with you on this one. Lamas don’t often talk about the dream stuff, but judging from their private notes, (which are often made public after the lama dies), and from what they say to their closest students, it’s clear that dreams and visions are a big part of their world view, (whether an outsider believes in it or not).

  20. Tom

    … a lot of fantasy stories here!

    do you like another one?

    As far back as 1976 was the rumour that Sogyal Lakar was not the incarnation of Tértön Sogyal. Some Lamas told the story that Sogyal Lakar is the son of a fabulously wealthy trading family who bought he fame for him. He was brought up as a little prince and was sent to the most expensive school in India. He was later sent to Cambridge University before launching his career as a cult guru. Since then he has perpetrated sexual abuse, violent physical abuse, and financial exploitation for three decades. Fear of denouncing him is now over – as the Dalai Lama has spoken out against him”.

    When I saw the pictures of this Lerab Ling Center in France I thought for myself: ” This is a very nice country-club for rich people!”

    I never felt rich enough for Tibetan Buddhism. Nowadays I am more connected to Vipassana/Zen Groups and it´s the right thing for me. Take care people!

    Still a Rinpoche? – Still a believer ?

    … a lot of questions to ask!

  21. Larry Mallet

    May my comments not create harm. May my perceptions and speech not create harm. May my actions not create harm.

    Due to our inner angst, some valid reflections occur. Also contaminated perceptions occur. By contaminated, I mean to say, we add our own projections, our own arguments, our own deluded attempts to validate that we have a self, and that the endless rumblings of our self are correct as opposed to someone else’s self who sees things differently. We project supposed answers and cultural illusions, as well as emotional and karmic turbulence. (If someone doesn’t believe in karma, I suppose they will just have to censor that part out). We argue endlessly about the correctness of our view; or how we don’t accept someone else’s view, Each of us looks for other “authoritative figures: to validate ourself while we add a lot of presumption, speculation, and habitual responses.

    We are all wounded. We all make mistakes.

    Whether someone is called a tulku or not, even by an authoritative source, in my opinion is not very important; not so much as how we defer to someone without our reflection and analysis. It is after all just a title, one which we endow with great significance, if we are hypnotized by titles and authoritative figures. Has that person helped us to watch our own mind and practice compassion? Can we acknowledge the good as well as the bad? Can we acknowledge the destructive and well as the constructive?

    People who have had lovely relations may end up in divorce hating each other. People who have had mixed experience in their relations may remain in them, though possibly dysfunctional or end in divorce, without acknowledging both the good or bad. Many relations in this world are a mixed bag. Of course, we continue to look for the “perfect relationship” and feel at east with those we can trust (whether or not they are in fact worthy of that trust; and sometimes even, whose to say? It’s sometimes an issue of the eyes of the beholder; or one’s own direct experience; or how one admits the validity of someone else’s perceptions though different from oneself).

    People look to punish their mates and ex-mates; their friends and ex friends for trespasses. Some find it most important to find grounds for a lawsuit to be recompensed, as if these values are always so easy to assign, and juries always find the truth and are always just. We want to make ourselves happy or at least obtain vindictive satisfaction and sometimes a significant measure of wealth to make ourselves happy – us the victims against our so called victimizers. But will others also be harmed in the process of getting even, extracting confession, and obtaining recompense? But will you do any better and exercise greater compassion than the person you have labeled a perpetrator? Well, that depends on lots of things, doesn’t it? Of course some of us may insist on punishment and retribution, only compounding and extending pain. Are we able to look on ourselves and others lovingly, and with our own mind and actions, effect healing in self and others?

    What matters is our motivation, our kindness, whether we manage to look at our own pain and others pain with compassion, and are able to exercise wisdom and compassion to effectively accomplish healing in as many as possible.

    All of our endless browbeating, stirring the pot, criticizing others viewpoints (frequently the same people over and over and over again), – does it accomplish this purpose of healing ourselves and others? Does it create more and not less compassion in the world? Or simply leave the holder of a particular view with their determined conviction to be right above all others?

    It seems to me that we, meaning almost all of us – have endless neurotic addiction to stir the pot, never giving our own mind’s muddy water a chance to settle.

    Are we able to sit with all of these terribly uncomfortable feelings, the negative ones – to sit and sit and sit and experience them and observe our own minds, and allow some kind of unconditioned natural healing to take place? And are we able to appreciate others – even those we feel hurt by, or those who have different views?

    My apologies to anyone I may have deeply disturbed with my own mental musings. May each of us and all beings find genuine peace and contentment.

  22. BT Tay

    Well, Sogyal should just seek modern Western medical scientific treatment for his colon cancer.
    Why is Tibetan Buddhism so funny ? The “guru” has illness , blame it on students samaya?Then scare tactics!
    Please force DJKR to elaborate on JK Chokyi Lodro’s dream(more than once)(provided that the translation is correct) — hey DJKR your previous
    incarnation had this dream of Sogyal!
    Is Sogyal’s samaya to Guru Rinpoche perfect or not?

    To have to wait for external inquiries betrays a lack of diligent morality from people who are supposed to know how to behave.

    dhIh !

  23. Zyph

    The above quote about Lakar Sogyal from The Life and Times of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö is on page 496. Sandra, you might want to add it. Took me a while to find.

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