Abuse in Buddhism Articles

Below are links (in no particular order) to articles of interest to anyone concerned about abuse in Tibetan Buddhism.  At the end are links to relevant words of the Buddha.

Articles on Topics Related to Abuse in Tibetan Buddhism:

Ethics in the Teacher-Student Relationship: The Responsibilities of Teachers and Students. HH Dalai Lama

Notes taken during the meeting of H.H. the Dalai Lama and Western Buddhist Teachers in Dharamsala, 1993. https://info-buddhism.com/Ethics-in-the-Teacher-Student-Relationship.html
Videos from the Western Buddhist Teacher’s Conference with HH Dalia Lama in Dharamsala 1993. This series of videos covers a wide range of topics. Video 4 (from about 40 mins in), the first part of Video 5 and 60 mins into Vid 5 are very relevant to the topic at hand. The main points are noted in the document on Ethics in the Teacher-Student Relationship: The Responsibilities of Teachers and Students. http://meridian-trust.org/category/conference/?sub-categories=the-western-buddhist-teachers-conference

Tibetan Buddhism Enters the 21st Century: Trouble in Shangri-la: Stuart Lachs

Journalist David Leser on Sogyal Lakar


Abuse in Buddhism: Anna Sawertha


Dealing with Problematic Teachers

Dealing with Abusive Behaviour by Spiritual Teachers.

An excerpt: “There are members of spiritual communities who will deny that anything is wrong even in the face of overwhelming evidence of abuse. They often come to Buddhism as an escape from the problems of the world, hoping for an ideal world with perfect teachers. Identifying with their projections of wishful thinking blinds them to seeing and accepting reality. A correct understanding of voidness can help them and us overcome a state of denial. Unbiased, discriminating awareness is always essential.”

Questioning the Advice of the Guru:  H.H. the XIV. Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso

Breaking the Silence on Sexual Misconduct

Breaking the Silence on Sexual Misconduct

Guru Disciple Relationship Advice from HH the Dalia Lama

Venerable Thubten Choden

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. A series of talks by Venerable Thubten Choden inspired by the revelations of abuse in Rigpa. Her talks help students to gain a correct understanding of the relevant teachings and see the whole situation with compassion and wisdom. whatnow727.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/help-for-students-processing-abuse-in-rigpa/

Alexander Birzin

EXCELLENT: the following two links are from ‘Wise Teacher, Wise Student: Tibetan Approaches to a Healthy Relationship’ by Alexander Birzin (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2010). They are essential reading for ganing a correct understanding of these concepts. The rest of the book which deals with further aspects is also available in sections on the website. See links at the bottom of these pages.
Is the Guru Really A buddha?
How Can you Tell if Something is Actually Crazy Wisdom.

A short talk by Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche, a Nyingma Dzogchen master. https://youtu.be/FzB6a1-aFyU

Nilanda Institute: The Guru Question

Why I quit Guru Yoga. Stephen Batchelor

Legitimating Mythology and Cultish Behavior

See page 6. About Zen but also relevant for Tibetan Buddhism

Stephen Schettini: ‘The Inconvenience of Doubt.’ http://www.thenakedmonk.com/2013/06/09/inconvenience-of-doubt/

Teachers are not Gods.

Article by Rob Preece in The Lion’s Roar Magazine https://www.lionsroar.com/teachers-not-gods/

Overcoming Emotional Blocks in Developing Trust, Appreciation, or Respect

Berzin, Alexander from ch. 10 in Wise Teacher, Wise Student: Tibetan Approaches to a Healthy Relationship (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2010).



Is Tibetan Buddhism in the West Working

Cultural Issues Related to Sexual Abuse by lamas, Martine Bachelor

Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth

Please note that the writer of this article has a known pro-China bias, and some question the validity of his research. http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html

Buddhist Teachers to Avoid


Other angles and broader perspectives:

FREEDOM FROM RELIGIOUS ABUSE, NOT SIMPLY FREEDOM OF RELIGION https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/religious-freedom-submissions/6649.doc

Excerpt from Kosmic Consciousnesswith Ken Wilber by Sounds True. It helps to marry the helpful and unhelpful in a teacher. https://markrathbun.blog/2013/03/04/
Why it’s Important to Speak Your Truth http://www.oprah.com/spirit/speak-your-truth_2
Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

Relevant words of the Buddha

On wise choice of choosing to whom you will devote yourself https://info-buddhism.com/IntimateFriends-Mitra-vargha.html
The Buddha on using our own discernment. The Kalama Sutta. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.065.than.html
Commentary on the Kalama Sutta – the right to ask questions and use critical thinking