Monday, 15 January 2018

Letter To Teachers Visiting Rigpa London Centre

Open Letter To All Religious Teachers Planning To Teach At London Rigpa Centre
16th January 2018
Dear Teachers -
I speak as someone who would very much like to see the Holy Dharma flourish in new areas such as the western world where it can benefit innumerable beings - However we have a problem - A very big problem indeed that will not go away - Just to be clear: I am talking about abuse within the Dharma community - specifically the case of the Lama known as Sogyal Aka Rinpoche or Mr Sonam Lakar -
I do not claim to speak for anyone but myself and it may be that no-one agrees with me but my inner voice will shout out anyway -
Although certain efforts have been made to address the problem of Mr Lakar-s insane and dangerous conduct these efforts have so far been woefully insufficient and ineffective -
I am suggesting three crucial steps that need to be taken before the Rigpa organization can even begin to seriously consider continuing to operate as a valid conduit for transmitting the Holy Dharma -
First that the Rigpa organization publicly denounce Sogyal as a false-teacher who-s conduct undermined and discredited his message -
Secondly that somebody or some persons within the Rigpa organization actually take responsibility for the various egregious forms of oppression and exploitation that have been committed under the guise of spirituality - This would naturally involve a fully independent inquiry into the abuses - The nature of the inquiry would be determined by direct democratic participation of the entire Rigpa Sangha and would result in:
Thirdly - Genuine compensation to the many women and men traumatized by Sogyal-s predatory behaviour - a public apology and a democratically designed system of protection so that our daughters and sons can study the highest truths of humanity without being groped and punched - humiliated and stolen from by a man corrupted by wealth and power or any other form or manifestation of a false and deluded teacher -
In my heart I sincerely believe that if these remedies are not applied then the Rigpa organization will never have a chance to recover its gravely damaged reputation and many people will make it their life-s work to expose the skeletons in Rigpa Org-s cupboard - This would obviously have an extremely detrimental effect on business but people who have suffered years of exploitation are prepared to give a great deal of energy to a righteous cause -
The truth cannot be suppressed - this approach simply does not work - I ask you to consider the future of Buddhism in the west and realize that its acceptance in the west is dependent upon how it is perceived by the secular general public - not by the Buddhist community - We must see it the way the public will see it if we wish the best for the Dharma and sentient beings - That is my opinion and thank you for considering it - I wish for the best result to come out of this disastrous situation and ask you all to engage with the real issue of human suffering at the centre of all this -

Kind regards - Jeremy Schanche - Britain

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