Recently, author and journalist Michaela Haas asked the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for a statement about the current situation in Rigpa, in particular the allegations of abuse made by 8 former and current students.
In response, they referred to the following remarks the Dalai Lama gave at the Inauguration of Seminar on ‘Buddhism in Ladakh’ on August 1, 2017.
This is a transcript of his remarks. There’s a video clip of this part of his address at the end of this post.
It can be helpful to listen to the video in addition to reading the transcript so you can hear the emphasis the Dalai Lama gives certain points. For example, he’s quite adamant when he says, “That’s totally wrong,” in reference to following a spiritual teacher blindly.
Continue reading “Dalai Lama Speaks Out About Sogyal Rinpoche”
Samaya, Devotion & Beliefs that Alter Perception
The love in the room is palpable. It flows directly from the man on the dais at the front into my heart, and into the heart of the other 300 people sharing this experience. He swivels on his chair and scans the room, looking at each of the students in turn. He does not rush. He holds us all with his wisdom mind. He looks at me and our minds connect. Heart-mind in one. Transformative power flows through him from his masters and from their masters before them. He is a light bulb plugged into the socket of devotion, and the blessings of the lineage flow through him into me. He is all the lineage masters in one. He is Guru Rinpoche. He is also a mirror. He mirrors and evokes my own wisdom mind. I recognise it and smile. His eyes twinkle and the corner of his mouth rises just slightly, then he turns to the next person. I remain in spacious awareness.
In that moment, I hear and see all and every single sound and sight in its own place all at once, in one glance—panoramic awareness—and I hold it all in my heart, aware of every interconnection that brings it all into being and keeps it always changing. The world is luminous, alive with being. Like my lama, my Vajra brothers and sisters are perfect in their primordial nature. This is without a shred of doubt the perfect time, the perfect place, the perfect teacher, the perfect teaching and the perfect students. It still is. It always is. Continue reading “Confessions of a Devoted Student – Part 1”
Feeling confused or conflicted?
You may have received teachings that tell you to see the teacher as a Buddha and all his actions as skillful means, enlightened activity, or crazy wisdom. On the other hand, you may have experienced, observed, or heard about behaviors on the teacher’s part that seem outrageous and perhaps, even unethical.
Is it crazy wisdom? Is it abuse? Should you stay silent? Should you question? Should you speak out?
These kinds of questions can silently torment a student for months and even years. The deep appreciation you feel for all that you’ve received — teachings that may have brought meaning to your life in inexpressible ways — pulls you in one direction. The questionable behavior pulls you in another. And fear of repercussions, like criticism, exile from your community or the threat of vajra hell, can keep you paralyzed.
Let’s look to the Dalai Lama for guidance on how to approach what appears to be unethical behavior by a teacher. The Dalai Lama gave very clear instructions about this at the 1993 Western Buddhist Teachers Conference.
Continue reading “Confused or Conflicted? What the Dalai Lama Says About Teachers and Unethical Behavior”