Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Rigpa Moving Forward

In September 2018, the boards of each national Rigpa and the Rigpa Vision Board committed to acting on the recommendations of the Lewis Silkin independent investigation report. The boards also committed to moving forward in consultation with our community.

How Rigpa is Moving Forward

We are moving forward together on six areas within Rigpa’s vision and culture, care and governance:

  1. Clarifying and embodying Rigpa’s Vision

  2. Communicating the relationship between Rigpa and Sogyal Rinpoche

  3. Pledging to a safe environment in Rigpa

  4. Taking responsibility for healing and past hurts

  5. Deepening our culture of listening, non-judgement and good communication

  6. Strengthening our governance, transparency and financial practices

Here you will find progress over the coming months. Each report recommendation will be addressed under one of these areas.


1. Clarifying and embodying Rigpa’s Vision

Our international community is entering a period of reflection on Rigpa’s vision, mission and culture.

What has been done so far?

Following the retirement of Sogyal Rinpoche from the role of Spiritual Director of Rigpa in August 2017, a Vision Board was appointed to guide Rigpa. The Vision Board is advised by eminent Tibetan Buddhist lamas, including Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and Mindrolling Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche both key figures in interpreting Tibetan Buddhism in the modern world, and Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche, a great scholar and lineage holder of the Ngagyur Nyingma tradition. Other Tibetan Buddhist lamas also advise Rigpa regularly.

Next steps

The Rigpa community will soon enter a process of reflection on Rigpa’s vision, mission and culture. This includes reflections on the history of Rigpa's vision over 40 years; what we have learnt about our culture in the last year, and what it means to uphold our lineage and tradition in the 21st century.

This process, led by the Vision Board, will begin in December 2018 and will be completed by June 2019.

Resources

Contact

vision.board@rigpa.org

Back to top


2. Communicating the relationship between Rigpa and Sogyal Rinpoche

Sogyal Rinpoche retired definitively as the spiritual director of Rigpa in August 2017. He has no other legal or organisational connection with Rigpa and does not receive any financial or organisational support from Rigpa. He is currently in retreat and undergoing medical treatment.

Communication with him is via his private secretariat: sogyalrinpocheoffice@gmail.com. Letters to Sogyal Rinpoche are sent directly to the above email address.

__________

Sogyal Rinpoche taught for over 40 years and recorded a large body of unique teachings. Recordings of Sogyal Rinpoche’s teachings continue to be available to students and to Rigpa centres who wish to listen to and study them.

Contact

vision.board@rigpa.org

Back to top


3. Pledging to a safe environment in Rigpa

We create a safe environment for all who come into contact with Rigpa at our centres and retreats.

At the centre of the Rigpa community’s strategy for creating a safe environment are the Rigpa Code of Conduct, Shared Values & Guidelines and a Grievance Procedure.

Rigpa role holders are required to sign the Code of Conduct and make a commitment to training which will include recognising misconduct, receiving complaints and dealing with grievances. The Code also applies to visiting masters, teachers and instructors.
The Grievance Procedure operates at the local and national level in each country and also includes an external Independent Council that can be contacted directly, and can be activated for past or present conduct. At this point in time, there are two members of the Independent Council. Both are senior western Buddhist teachers based in the USA with experience and qualifications in western psychology and counselling and were nominated by Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche. The Independent Council is empowered to make recommendations to the Rigpa boards, including the Vision Board, which the Rigpa boards commit to act on.

Information about the process of developing the Code of Conduct and Grievance Procedure can be found in the introduction to the Code, the Rigpa News Blog and past newsletters to the Rigpa sangha.

What has been done so far?

  • July 2017 Boards committed to creating a new code of conduct and to putting a grievance process in place

  • August 2017 to January 2018 the Rigpa community participated in values workshops

  • March 2018 draft code of conduct was circulated for community feedback and for consultation with external advisors

  • June 2018 Rigpa Code of Conduct was approved and adopted by the Vision Board and all Rigpa boards. All members received a copy of the Code by email and it became publicly available on Rigpa.org

  • June/July 2018 Members of the working group and national teams held Code of Conduct Q&A sessions with role holders and instructors

  • August 2018 grievance process was finalised and independent external grievance council appointed

  • September/October 2018 a National Grievance Council is established for each country

Speakers and teachers at Rigpa centres are made fully aware of relevant policies, including the safe environment and fundraising policies, before having contact with students.

Since July 2018, all visiting teachers and their teams have been informed about the Rigpa Code of Conduct and have signed it. This includes Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Orgyen Tobgyal Rinpoche, Neten Chokling Rinpoche, Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche and others.

Next steps

  • By end April 2019 to put in place a comprehensive and clear ‘safe environment’ plan for each country and retreat centre;

  • Throughout 2019 to develop policies and procedures that support the implementation of the Code of Conduct and Grievance Process;

  • Throughout 2019 to create and roll out training programs to include topics such as safeguarding vulnerable adults, recognising misconduct, receiving complaints and dealing with grievances.

Helpline and contacts


4. Taking responsibility for healing and past hurts

We are learning from the findings of the investigation report and are reaching out individually to past and present members of Rigpa who have been hurt.

What has been done so far?

  • Following the letter of allegations against Sogyal Rinpoche sent in July 2017, the writers were contacted individually by members of Rigpa’s national and/or international teams.

  • Rigpa boards jointly set up the independent investigation for complainants to come forward and be listened to in a confidential and sensitive way. The report was published on 5 September 2018.

  • In December 2017, as five of the eight letter-writers are based in the USA, Rigpa US also asked a neutral third party, the Zen-based reconciliation organisation An Olive Branch, to hold a listening post and a healing process. This process is still underway.

  • The teams managing Rigpa internationally and nationally, including the Vision Board, have been reflecting on the culture that enabled this situation to take place, and continue to do so. Workshops specifically addressing this topic will continue to take place in the coming months.

Next steps

We are completing and learning from the An Olive Branch process, and our reflections.
Rigpa will soon reach out formally on a one-to-one basis to those who have expressed their hurt.

This next phase will begin in December 2018 and is not limited in time. It will be held by the Vision Board with a small team of professional mediators. These next steps are not exhaustive and will be reviewed as we progress.

In the meantime, our community is encouraging anyone who wishes to, to make use of the grievance councils.

The Rigpa community will hold a prayer gathering in Bodhgaya in March 2019, which is dedicated to restoring and renewing our spiritual path, as well as our connections to each other and all our teachers.

Resources

Contact

vision.board@rigpa.org

Back to top


5. Deepening our culture of listening, non-judgement and good communication

We are embedding a culture change towards listening, non-judgement and good communication at all levels of the community and the organisation.

What has been done so far?

  • July 2017 - present Each Rigpa has created time for open spaces where any question can be asked, personal experiences can be shared, reactions expressed and the full diversity of views accommodated.

  • August 2017 - December 2017 Values workshops were held to bring out what we treasure as a community and what we wish to abandon. The values workshops then informed the Code of Conduct.

Channels of communication were opened within the organisation with the share@rigpa.org email address, and the Sangha Connection newsletter started in September 2017 with the wish to be fully transparent. Sangha Connection newsletters are sent to Rigpa members, and you can read past issues here.

Next steps

We recognise that listening, non-judgement and good communication need practice and on-going deepening. We are committed to checking regularly that we continue to change, and a new working group will be formed to track progress.

Resources

Contact

share@rigpa.org
This process is on-going since August 2017. It was held by the International Holding Group and is now held by the Moving Forward Working Group of the International Coordination Group with professional support.

Back to top


6. Strengthening our governance, transparency and financial practices

The new federative structure being put into place ensures that Rigpa continues to work harmoniously as one organisation internationally. It includes accountable transparent decision-making processes. The highest priorities are rigorous financial and fundraising processes and reporting.

What has been done so far?

  • The fourteen Rigpa entities have agreed to trial a federation model, and drafted a constitution and an affiliation agreement. They have are currently trialing the federative decision-making system over a period of nine months before adopting the constitution. The process is facilitated by a Federation Working Group.

  • The Chairs of the boards of each entity work collaboratively and meet fortnightly. The International Coordinating Group (the executive body) is formed of National Directors and retreat centre directors and meets fortnightly. It replaced the interim International Holding Group in September 2018.

  • Patrick Gaffney, Philip Philippou and Dominique Side have now fully stepped down from all their positions of governance in Rigpa, as of the end of September 2018. They are now in a period of reflection.

    • Patrick resigned from the Vision Board and the Rigpa UK Board.

    • Philip resigned from the Vision Board and his remaining governance roles in Rigpa Switzerland, Rigpa Germany and Dzogchen Beara.

    • Dominique retired from her role as Superior of the Lerab Ling Congregation.

    • Clear processes of hand-over are taking place in each of the organisations concerned.

  • Policies and practices for fundraising for visiting teachers are being updated to ensure they comply with modern requirements in each country and with the expectations of donors.

This process is led by the Chairs of the boards of each Rigpa entity.

Resources

Rigpa Moving Towards a Federation: Meeting Report

Rigpa Teams page

Contact

boards@rigpa.org

Back to top