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.

Press

 

Statement from Rigpa following the release of independent report

5 September 2018

We acknowledge the gravity of the independent report that Rigpa commissioned last year following allegations of misconduct by Rigpa’s Founder and former Spiritual Director Sogyal Rinpoche, and thank the investigator and the witnesses.

We feel deeply sorry and apologise for the hurt experienced by past and present members of the Rigpa community. We are contemplating on our role as an organisation, and how we may have contributed to this situation. We will do everything we can to reach out to, and support everyone who has been affected, and take full responsibility for ensuring that Rigpa provides a safe environment for all. These are our heartfelt commitments.

The findings in the report will affect many people. It will take time for all of us to reflect on the report’s contents.

Rigpa commits to act upon the report’s recommendations. We will move forward in consultation with our community.

In the face of the allegations, last year Sogyal Rinpoche retired definitively as Spiritual Director of Rigpa, and now has no organisational role in Rigpa.

Rigpa has already undertaken a number of significant steps in the last twelve months:

  • A new Vision Board was appointed, guided by spiritual advisors, and Rigpa boards have agreed a new decision-making and governance structure;
  • Our community has taken part in an international process to put in place a strong Code of Conduct published in June 2018. We have also just completed our grievance procedure, that includes an independent Grievance Council of senior western Buddhist teachers that will receive complaints brought by Rigpa members and the public;
  • And we set up this independent investigation for complainants to come forward, and be listened to in an open, impartial and sensitive way.

We are committed to continuing the process of healing, reconciliation and change. To acknowledge the importance of this process of healing and change, senior members of management are stepping down from their positions of governance.

Rigpa’s goal has always been, and continues to be, to offer a complete spiritual path, to invite many teachers, especially from the “Ancient” Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, and to offer the Buddhist teachings of meditation, compassion and wisdom to the modern world.

The Vision Board, Rigpa Boards, and the boards of Lerab Ling and Dzogchen Beara

-------

The report of the independent investigation can be found here.


Previous statements

Rigpa Statement

20 June 2018

The Rigpa Code of Conduct and the Shared Values and Guidelines of the Rigpa Community have been adopted by all the boards of the Rigpa entities in June 2018.

Rigpa is committed to creating a culture where every person feels confident and empowered to give feedback fearlessly, express their concerns and report unethical behavior.

Extensive advice about ethical conduct already exists within the teaching of Buddha. In the Code of Conduct, we summarise certain key features while providing practical guidelines to clarify what is expected of all who participate in Rigpa events and activities. Everyone who participates in Rigpa has a responsibility to conduct themselves in accordance with the laws of the land and the values outlined in this Rigpa Code of Conduct.

Over several months, the international Rigpa community took part in a series of workshops and discussions, and had opportunities to submit feedback on these issues. Their combined input was also distilled into a broad set of Shared Values and Guidelines of the Rigpa Community, which are rooted in the wisdom and compassion of the Buddhist path, and complement the Code of Conduct for Rigpa members and anyone with a role in the activities associated with Rigpa.

In setting out certain values and standards of behaviour, we hope the Code of Conduct and the Guidelines will not only serve as a basis for education and training, but also inspire individuals to reflect on their own behaviour in the light of contemporary secular and Buddhist ethical standards, and provide a clear basis to report breaches of conduct and resolve grievances.

In addition to the Code and Guidelines, a Grievance Procedure has been developed, that is easy to use, with options for resolving conflicts, receiving formal complaints and making recommendations on misconduct to boards and national teams. The Procedure will be announced once we have received the results of the investigation report, as this may include additional recommendations.

Read the Rigpa Code of Conduct and Shared Values & Guidelines of the Rigpa Community


Rigpa Statement

April 2018

This statement is a summary of the 5-page communication sent to the Rigpa community by the Vision Board on 30 April 2018.

Following Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s tour of Europe, the new Vision Board has met for the first time in March. That immensely clarifying and timely visit provided the ideal springboard for us to begin our work together.

We recognize and feel ourselves the anguish and shock, and sense of loss and pain, that our community has been through these past months. There have also been moments of extraordinary openness, togetherness and shared resolve, that have shone through.

We believe the willingness of our Sangha to be open, to listen to each other and to exchange, has shown the strength and big heartedness of our community. We, as a Vision Board, feel a deep and humble sense of responsibility, and will do all that we can to support this way forward for the Sangha. We are also committed to looking into what we need to learn from this situation, and what we need to change, in order to provide the safest and most conducive environment for everyone in Rigpa.

We also realize that Rigpa needs to renew its vision. Several threads of consultation and enquiry will need to come together in order for us to do so, including the guidance from our main spiritual advisors (Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche and Khenchen Namdrol), as well as other progressive, experienced Buddhist teachers, and the input from the Sangha—your expressed wishes and aspirations, calls for change, wisdom and insight.

We feel it important to recognize that we, as a community, still need time to heal and process the upheavals that we have been through. We also need to appreciate and be sensitive to our diversity. Rigpa has been many things to many different people. Some of us remain deeply devoted to Sogyal Rinpoche and will continue to follow his teachings. Some of us are uncertain about our relationship and are still in a process of reflection and uncertainty. Some of us relate to Rigpa as a place where we receive teachings from multiple teachers. It is important that Rigpa remains a home to all, open to all, and as inclusive as possible.

We will do our best to support the development of a renewed vision, taking all this into account, while also remaining true to Sogyal Rinpoche’s original intention for Rigpa to offer a clear and authentic path to enlightenment for the modern world.

The Vision Board has since held a second meeting in May, and will communicate again to the Rigpa sangha over the summer.

Read more about the Vision Board


Rigpa Statement

January 2018

Spiritual Governance

Following the retirement of Sogyal Rinpoche from the role of Spiritual Director of Rigpa in August 2017, a 'Vision Board' has now been appointed to guide Rigpa into the future.

The Vision Board is made up of seven of Sogyal Rinpoche's long-standing students who share a deep understanding of the vision of Rigpa. Their task will be to oversee the culture of study and practice, care for the Rigpa community, nurture teachers, and strengthen links with other Buddhist teachers and organizations—all in the open and inclusive spirit that Rigpa has sought to cultivate over the last forty years.

The Vision Board is composed, alphabetically, of: Valerie Baker, Mauro de March, Seth Dye, Patrick Gaffney, Verena Pfeiffer, Philip Philippou and Vinciane Rycroft. Read more about the Vision Board members.

To maintain the authenticity of Rigpa's work, the Vision Board will be advised by a number of 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 (a great scholar and lineage holder of the Ngagyur Nyingma tradition). Other Tibetan Buddhist lamas will be invited to advise in the future. 

The Vision Board will commence its role from March 2018.

Although Sogyal Rinpoche is no longer the Spiritual Director of Rigpa, he has an ongoing responsibility as a teacher to his students. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, the sacred bond between student and teacher continues until enlightenment. At present, as Sogyal Rinpoche is in a period of retreat and undergoing medical treatment for colon cancer, he may only give occasional pre-recorded teachings to his students.

Rigpa Investigation

In August 2017, Rigpa pledged to set up an independent investigation by a neutral third party into the allegations made against Sogyal Rinpoche in July 2017.

Rigpa's heartfelt concern is for the wellbeing of its Rigpa community, including the authors of the letter of allegations, and to ensure that the positive qualities shared in the Rigpa community do not diminish.

The UK law firm Lewis Silkin, highly regarded in Europe for working with harassment complaints, has been appointed to undertake this investigation. Lewis Silkin will act as a neutral, third-party investigator conducting confidential fact-finding interviews, primarily with the eight individuals who wrote the letter of complaint.

The Boards of Rigpa understand that it is their duty to investigate the allegations made against Sogyal Rinpoche in the July letter, according to the laws in the respective countries. While no criminal charges have been made, it is essential that Rigpa follows through with engaging a neutral third-party who can listen objectively to the description of the events as described in the letter.

Concurrently, the Rigpa US Board has engaged An Olive Branch, a Zen-based reconciliation organisation, to help support the Rigpa community in US and in all countries with healing and reconciliation. We consider this to be a crucially important part of the process we need to go through together as community.

Code of Conduct and Grievance Procedure

Rigpa has also instigated a consultation process within its international community, through which a code of conduct and a grievance process for Rigpa are being established. The Rigpa community will have the opportunity to review and reflect on the first draft of these procedures in January.
 

Throughout this period of change, Rigpa continues to focus on its vision of making the Buddhist teachings of meditation, compassion and wisdom available to the modern world. Rigpa's centres around the world continue to offer courses, programmes and retreats led by Rigpa teachers and, instructors, as well as and visiting teachers and lamas. More information.


Rigpa Statement

22 November, 2017

Rigpa is an international network of Buddhist centres dedicated to making the Buddhist teachings of meditation, compassion and wisdom available to the modern world. The courses and programmes offered by Rigpa have helped many thousands of people around the world experience relief from suffering and find meaning in their lives.

In July this year, a number of allegations were brought against Sogyal Rinpoche, the then spiritual director of Rigpa, which have been widely shared in the media and on the internet. The governing boards and management teams of Rigpa worldwide have taken this matter very seriously and are working through the current issues with respect and compassion for everyone concerned, and in a way that is entirely consistent with Buddhist values.

We would like to state clearly that there is no place for abuse in our community and we are conscious of our responsibility to provide a safe, welcoming and supportive environment for our members and the public.

Following the allegations, Sogyal Rinpoche decided to retire as Spiritual Director of Rigpa and has entered a period of retreat. The governing boards and management teams of Rigpa, having sought professional and spiritual advice, are currently undertaking the following actions:

  • Setting up an independent investigation by a neutral third party into the various allegations that have been made. We hope to announce shortly further details of this process that will be a first step towards healing and reconciliation.
  • Launching an international consultation process to establish both a code of conduct and a grievance process for Rigpa, which should be finalized by the end of the year.
  • Establishing a new spiritual advisory group to guide the Rigpa organization, comprising an Advisory Panel of Lamas and a Vision Board formed of some of Rigpa’s most senior and trusted students.

Rigpa has also instigated a worldwide consultation process, to listen to its students and to strengthen Rigpa's key values and culture. This includes open meetings for students at our centres and a process for bringing feedback together from across all countries.

Rigpa continues to uphold its membership in Buddhist Unions in many countries in Europe, as well as on the European Buddhist Union. The Union Bouddhiste Française is the only Buddhist Union to suspend Rigpa's membership, however this is only on a temporary basis, pending clarification of the allegations that have been made.


Rigpa Statement

11 August 2017

Rigpa is an international network of Buddhist centres dedicated to making the Buddhist teachings of meditation, compassion and wisdom available to the modern world. The courses and programmes offered by Rigpa have helped many thousands of people around the world experience relief from suffering and find meaning in their lives.

Recently, a number of allegations have been brought against Sogyal Rinpoche, the spiritual director of Rigpa, which have been widely shared in the media and on the internet. The governing boards and management teams of Rigpa worldwide take this matter very seriously and are resolved to clarify the situation responsibly, and in a way that is entirely consistent with Buddhist values.

After internal consultation, Sogyal Rinpoche has decided, with immediate effect, to retire as spiritual director from all the organizations that bear the name of Rigpa in different countries around the world.

The governing boards and management teams of Rigpa, having sought professional and spiritual advice, will assure that the following steps are taken:

1. Set up an independent investigation by a neutral third party into the various allegations that have been made.

2. Launch an international consultation process to establish both a code of conduct and a grievance process for Rigpa.

3. Establish a new spiritual advisory group to guide the Rigpa organization.

These steps are being taken by the boards and management teams of Rigpa worldwide, in a true spirit of collaboration. Channels will be established so that any member of our community has the opportunity to express their wishes, views and concerns.