After Tibetan Buddhism, What Remains?

After Tibetan Buddhism, after you’ve left the religion, what happens to your spiritual life?

After Tibetan Buddhism. Girl walking away.
Image by Jose Antonio Alba from Pixabay

I was a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for 20 years and left the religion 5 years ago when I discovered that my teacher Sogyal Rinpoche was abusing his close students and those running the organisation not only enabled it but also saw his abuse as a beneficial teaching, not something harmful. In the video below, I reflect on what of value has remained with me and how I view the religion now in light of my knowledge of abusive gurus/lamas, the cult dynamics they often employ, and the teachings that enable abuse.

Joanne Clark’s article about Dzongsar Kyentse Rinpoche and Mathew Remski’s recent article on him inspired this video, so I do mention Dzongsar Kyentse, and if you’re one of his followers, be warned; I don’t hold back on my opinion of him. I’ve never said anything against him before, despite him ridiculing me in one of his teachings in Rigpa centres after the letter revealing Sogyal’s abuses became public.

It’s a long video (40 minutes) because I cover a lot of ground, so I hope you can take time to watch or listen to it.

The answer to the question of what remains from the tradition after Tibetan Buddhism and your perceptions of Tibetan Buddhism and its lamas after you’ve left will be different for different people, so please note that this is only my personal opinion and evaluation of my own experience. I know that some have been left with nothing but trauma after Tibetan Buddhism, and some are still struggling to sift through their experience and find anything worth keeping.

Though I share my understanding of dzogchen practice, please don’t take anything I say as any kind of teaching. My purpose in sharing my perspective is to provide the stimulation for you to reflect on these matters for yourself.

Please like the video and share it as it helps get it to more people.

If you were a Tibetan Buddhist and have left the religion, what has remained for you?

2 Replies to “After Tibetan Buddhism, What Remains?”

  1. What remains? A curiosity in learning from analysis. Your 3 points were also useful. Part of your video reminded me that the Catholic Church put unordained (they were not priests but called Christian Brothers) and unqualified people in charge of educating children from age 4 – 14 / 16 / 18. No one fully understood that or questioned it. At one time, children for minor offences eg skipping school, stealing or even being an orphan or illigimate, were incarcerated in places called industrial schools. This system allowed horrendous abuse in all types of schools run by male and female so called religious. No one in the structure of the church challenged, changed or stopped it. Instead it was hidden, denied, covered up. Just thought it ironic that, despite the teachings they are supposed to have access to, TB is similar. Except it transferred to adults looking for teachings, guidance, a path. It just shows if the foundation of learning, leadership, guidance and governance is not sound the organization / structure won’t be either. Of course this doesn’t just apply to religious structures.

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