Evolving Spiritual Practice

Sex and violence in Tibetan Buddhism: the rise and fall of Sogyal Rinpoche

February 12, 2022

Mary Finnigan and Rob Hogendoorn have co-authored an amazing book exposing the corruption and abuse perpetrated by Sogyal Rinpoche and his multinational Tibetan Buddhist organisation Rigpa. Sogyal was probably the 2nd most famous Tibetan Buddhist in the world, after the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying is a hugely successful book, selling millions of copies and being translated into many languages and in fact started my own spiritual journey in the 1990’s. Mary and Rob show that Sogyal didn’t even write most of the book, and that it was mainly written by a couple of his students, although he claimed authorship. Incredibly, despite numerous serious scandals revolving around sex, power and money, Sogyal managed to “teach” and lead the Rigpa organisation for about 45 years. This demonstrates a failure of the Tibetan Buddhist community at large to rein in such rogue actors and charlatans. In this conversation we explore the nature of Sogyal’s abuse of his students and what the warning signs are that people should look out for when joining spiritual communities and teachers. We also make suggestions of actions individuals and communities can take to make wholesome and healthy environments for spiritual practice and learning. 

Mary and Rob’s book (Sex and violence in Tibetan Buddhism: the rise and fall of Sogyal Rinpoche) can be found here www.amazon.co.uk/Sex-Violence-Tibetan-Buddhism-Rinpoche/dp/0986377090

For more information about Rob’s work please visit www.openbuddhism.org/

For more information about my work please visit www.bodyheartmindspirit.co.uk

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P and C owned by Ralph Cree 2022

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