Sogyal Rinpoche

Sogyal Rinpoche (Tibetan: བསོད་རྒྱལ་, Wylie: Bsod-rgyal; born 1947) is a Tibetan Dzogchen lama of the Nyingma tradition. Before his retirement, in the wake of abuse allegations in 2017,[1] he had been teaching for 40 years in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.[2] He is the founder and ex-spiritual director of Rigpa—an international network of over 100 Buddhist centres and groups in 23 countries around the world—and the author of the best-selling book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, which has been printed in 30 languages and 56 countries.[3] Sogyal Rinpoche has been accused of sexual and physical assault and abuse, as well as misusing charitable funds, with allegations stretching back to the 1970s[4][5]. Rigpa announced these allegations would be investigated by an outside party and a report has now been published, upholding most of the allegations.[6][7] Sogyal Rinpoche has not responded to the report but has stated that "I am clear in my own mind that I have never, ever, acted towards anyone with a motive of selfish gain or harmful intent." On a previous occasion, both he and Rigpa denied allegations. [8]

Sogyal Rinpoche
Sogyal Rinpoche Prayer
Sonam Gyaltsen Lakar

1947 (age 71–72)
ReligionTibetan Buddhism
ChildrenYeshe Gyaltsen
SchoolDzogchen, Nyingma
Senior posting
TeacherJamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, Dudjom Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche
ReincarnationTertön Sogyal


Early life and education

Sogyal Rinpoche was born in 1947 into the Lakar family of what the Tibetans called the Trehor region of Kham, Tibet.[9] According to his mother the patron of his courtesan aunt and de facto stepfather, Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, recognized him as the incarnation of Tertön Sogyal and supervised his education at Dzongsar Monastery.[10] However this claim appears to have no other source. He claims to have studied traditional subjects with several tutors, including Khenpo Appey, who was appointed as his tutor by Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö.[10][11]

Sogyal Rinpoche attended a Catholic school in Kalimpong, India and then studied at Delhi University in India's capital before coming to the West. In 1971, he was granted a place to study comparative religion at Trinity College, Cambridge as a visiting scholar.[12] He continued to study with many masters, of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, especially Dudjom Rinpoche, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche.[13] He first began to translate for Dudjom Rinpoche in Kalimpong in India[14] and later continued in the role of his translator in Europe and during a tour of the United States.[15] In 1973 he assisted in organizing the Dalai Lama's first visit to the West in Rome, which included an audience with Pope Paul VI.[16]

Teaching and establishing Rigpa

Sogyal Rinpoche began to teach in London in 1974. His centre, a house in Kilburn, was originally called Orgyen Chöling. The name later changed to Dzogchen Orgyen Chöling. Dudjom Rinpoche also asked Sogyal Rinpoche to take care of his centre in Rue Burq, Paris, which opened in 1978.[17] In 1979, Sogyal Rinpoche chose the name Rigpa—the innermost, essential nature of mind—for his work.[18]

Rigpa soon established an annual schedule of longer seminars, referred to as retreats, with Sogyal Rinpoche and other teachers leading events in France in the summer, California at Thanksgiving, Germany in Winter, followed by Myall Lakes in Australia, and then England at Easter.[19] The first winter event at Kirchheim in Germany took place in December 1986,[20] annual retreats in Tiona Park in Australia began in 1989, and the first Thanksgiving retreat in the US was in Oakland in 1988.[19]

In 1987, Rinpoche was invited to become spiritual director of the centre in County Cork in the west of Ireland which was to become Dzogchen Beara, Rigpa’s first long-term retreat facility.[21] In 1991, Sogyal Rinpoche founded the retreat centre of Lerab Ling near Montpellier in southern France. The first three-month retreat was held there in 1992.[22] A centre in Berlin named Dharma Mati was formally opened in October 2007.[20]

On August 11th, 2017, following allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse from current and ex-members of Rigpa, Sogyal Rinpoche "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".[1]

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

In 1983, Rinpoche met Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, Kenneth Ring and other figures in the caring professions and near-death research, and they encouraged him to develop his work in opening up the Tibetan teachings on death and helping the dying.[19] Rinpoche continued to teach throughout the world. Then, in 1989 in Nepal, Rinpoche met Andrew Harvey and invited him to help on the project.[23] About the writing process, co-editor Patrick Gaffney said, "Probably, a book has never been written in such an unusual way."[23]

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying was first launched in the United States in September 1992, where it received high acclaim and spent several weeks at the top of the bestseller lists.[24] It was subsequently released in the United Kingdom, Australia and India, and first translated into German and French. To date, more than two million copies have been printed in 30 languages and 56 countries.

Conferences and events

Rinpoche is a regular speaker at conferences around the world, addressing topics such as Buddhism in the modern world, death and dying, meditation and happiness. In 2004, he served as a keynote speaker at the Parliament of the World's Religions, where over 8,000 religious leaders and lay people gathered in Barcelona in Spain to discuss the issues of religious violence, access to safe water, the fate of refugees worldwide, and the elimination of developing countries' debts.[25] In August 2008 he joined Robert Thurman at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colorado, to speak about "Tibet’s Unique Buddhist Heritage" as part of a symposium called "His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Aspen: A Celebration of Tibetan Culture", organized jointly with the Conservancy for Tibetan Art and Culture.[26] In October 2010 he gave a keynote speech on "Tibetan Buddhism in Modern Western Culture" at the International Conference on Tibetan Buddhism held at Emory University.[27] In 2011, he was a keynote speaker and participant in the Global Buddhist Congregation in Delhi which brought together "religious, spiritual and world leaders, as well as 800 scholars, delegates and observers from 32 countries."[28] The goal was to examine both the capacity and the resilience of Buddhism to engage with the most pressing concerns of the modern world, namely violence, social and economic disparity, environmental degradation and discord between and within communities and nations" and "to contribute to cultivating and fostering peace, harmony, co-existence and a shared responsibility amidst the diversity of cultures, communities and nations."[28] In 2012, he was a keynote speaker at the Happiness and Its Causes conference in Sydney.[29]

In the East

SR wang with PM
Sogyal Rinpoche performing an empowerment ritual in Bhutan

Rinpoche teaches regularly in India, especially in Delhi at the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.[30] He also teaches in the Himalayan regions of Sikkim, where he lived for part of his childhood, and Bhutan. He has been teaching annually in Bhutan since 2007 and his teachings are regularly shown on television there.[31] The first Prime Minister of Bhutan and champion of its philosophy of Gross National Happiness, Lyonchen Jigme Yoser Thinley, regularly attends Rinpoche’s teachings.[32] Sogyal Rinpoche has said that he decided to make teaching in Bhutan a priority since it is the only remaining independent Vajrayana Buddhist country in the world. He also said that "today’s younger generation in the Himalayan region needed to understand the Dharma in a practical way" and that "understanding the Dharma in a real way is an important and integral part of the development of Bhutan."[32]

In 1998, Rinpoche was formally offered the throne of Tertön Sogyal's home monastery in Tibet, Kalzang Monastery, by the abbot, Sherab Özer Rinpoche, in a ceremony in France.[33]


According to Stephen Batchelor, Sogyal Rinpoche "is known for his sense of humour, indefatigable energy, forthrightness and periodic eccentricity."[12] In his teachings, he often focuses on the Buddhist understanding of the mind, and what is known in the Tibetan tradition as the nature of mind, pristine awareness or rigpa, along with meditation as a means for ultimately realizing the nature of mind. Another common topic is death and dying, which is one of the main themes of his book, "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying".

In what he sees as a continuation of the non-sectarian Rimé (Tib. ris med) movement, which rose to prominence in eastern Tibet in the nineteenth century, he frequently refers to teachings of all Tibetan traditions, and also quotes from non-Tibetan sources, such as the Dhammapada,[34] and teachers belonging to other traditions such as the Zen master, Shunryu Suzuki.[35] He wrote:

I feel there is an intriguing parallel between the extraordinary richness of the spiritual culture of Tibet at the time of the great pioneers of this Rimé movement, like Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamgön Kongtrul, and the great variety of lineages we find in the West today. In some ways the Rimé vision offers a model of how the Dharma must continue in the West and in America, with total respect for our separate authentic traditions, and yet with an eye to the creativity and resourcefulness of different branches of Buddha-dharma as they have settled into the American landscape. We can all inspire, help, and network with one another, yet without confusion or inappropriate mixing of our traditions.[36]

Rinpoche likes to recount stories of his own teachers and to stress the importance of devotion, often quoting Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, who said, "Devotion is the essence of the path."[37] Still, according to Charles Tart, he "encourages his students to direct their devotion toward his teachers rather than toward him personally, even though most of Tibetan Buddhism puts tremendous emphasis on devotion towards one's teacher."[38]

Abuse allegations

In 1994, a $10 million civil lawsuit was filed against Sogyal Rinpoche.[39] It was alleged that he had used his position as a spiritual leader to induce one of his female students to have sexual relations with him. The complaint included accusations of infliction of emotional distress, breach of fiduciary duty, as well as assault and battery.[40][41] The lawsuit was settled out of court.

In 2011, related allegations were introduced by journalist Mary Finnigan, who was also the main author of the original article in 1995.[42][43]

In 2014, Marion Dapsance reported on her seven-year investigation of Sogyal Rinpoche.[44][45] The experiences of one her respondents, "Mimi", a long-term female attendant of Sogyal Rinpoche, were also published in 2016 in l'Obs detailing the sexual and psychological abuse she and her fellow-attendants endured.[46][47][48] In 2015, the long-term director of Rigpa France, Olivier Raurich, left the organisation "in protest against the dictatorial atmosphere".[49] Another victim of Sogyal Rinpoche spoke out in the Dutch current affairs program Brandpunt on June 13, 2017.[50][51][52]

On 20 July 2017, Buddhist publication Lion's Roar published an article with excerpts from a letter written and sent to Sogyal Rinpoche by current and former senior Rigpa students, filled with details of accusations.[53][54] The eight students were all long-serving Rigpa members, many holding senior positions within the Rigpa organization, including directors, a former board member, and personal assistants to Sogyal Rinpoche. The twelve page letter, dated July 14, 2017, explicitly describes sexual, physical, and emotional abuse by Sogyal Rinpoche of Rigpa students, extending over a long period. It states that they have been beaten severely, were asked to perform sexual acts and lie in order to conceal Sogyal's misbehavior.[55] The letter also describes that Sogyal has a lavish and indulgent lifestyle, and depicts a cavalier use of donations to support this lifestyle, and a tyrannical and abusive manner towards those who worked closely with him and who were often key in managing the Rigpa organization.[53][54]

The letter also states that the public face of Sogyal Rinpoche was carefully crafted and managed to promote a person who was wise, compassionate, and virtually infallible, an image which was greatly at odds with the private Sogyal Rinpoche, whose abusive and narcissistic personality and deeds were kept hidden at great effort from the public and the wider Rigpa sangha by his inner circle.[53][54]

Matthieu Ricard, a close adviser to the Dalai Lama, has stated that Sogyal-Lakar’s behaviour, as described in the letter, "is obviously unacceptable — from the point of view of ordinary morality, let alone that of Buddhist ethics. This is all the more so given the considerable suffering that has resulted from such actions".[56][57]

On 1 August 2017, at a conference held in Ladakh, India, the Dalai Lama addressed the issue of misconduct in Buddhist communities, saying “Sogyal Rinpoche, my very good friend. Now he is disgraced.”[58] This criticism was extended to Rigpa's organisation during an interaction with students from the University of California, San Diego, at his residence in Dharamsala on 6 September 2017.[59]

On 3 August 2017, the French Buddhist Union (L’Union Bouddhiste de France) suspended the membership of Rigpa France and its Rigpa Lérab Ling Centre.[60]

On 11 August 2017, Sogyal retired from his position as Rigpa's spiritual director in the wake of the abuse allegations.[61]

On 5 September 2018, Rigpa released the report produced by the investigation of UK law firm Lewis Silkin.

Independent investigation from Lewis Silkin

The report[7] of Lewis Silkin confirmed that, on the balance of probabilities:

  • some students of Sogyal Lakar (who were part of the ‘inner circle’) have been subjected to serious physical, sexual and emotional abuse by him; and
  • there were senior individuals within Rigpa who were aware of at least some of these issues and failed to address them, leaving others at risk.

Her report includes 12 recommendations the first of which state that if Rigpa wishes continue as an organization:

  • Sogyal Lakar should not take part in any future event organised by Rigpa or otherwise have contact with its students;
  • Rigpa should take steps to disassociate itself from Sogyal Lakar as fully as is possible (having regard to any legal arrangements which may for the time being connect the organisation with him) [62]

Films and documentaries

Sogyal Rinpoche appeared in Bernardo Bertolucci's 1993 film Little Buddha in the role of Kenpo Tenzin.[63] He featured in Frank Cvitanovich's The Making of a Modern Mystic, made for the BBC in 1993.[64] He was also the subject of a documentary by German filmmaker Boris Penth called Sogyal Rinpoche: Ancient Wisdom for the Modern World (Mitgefühl, Weisheit und Humor), which includes interviews with John Cleese and former Tibetan prime minister Samdhong Rinpoche.[65] It was premiered at the International Buddhist Film Festival in London in 2008[66] and shown in other film festivals around the world.[67] He is also featured in Sasha Meyerowitz's 2008 documentary Teachings on Milarepa.[68]



  • Sogyal Rinpoche (1990). Dzogchen and Padmasambhava (2nd ed.). Rigpa Publications. ISBN 0-9624884-0-2.
  • Sogyal Rinpoche (1994). The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-250834-2.
  • Sogyal Rinpoche (1995). Glimpse After Glimpse: Daily Reflections on Living and Dying. Rider. ISBN 0-7126-6237-5.
  • Sogyal Rinpoche (2002). The Future of Buddhism. Rider & Co. ISBN 0-7126-1564-4.

Articles and contributions

  • Sogyal Rinpoche (contributor) (2004). Ray, Reginald A., ed. The Pocket Tibetan Buddhist Reader. Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications. ISBN 1-57062-851-3.
  • Sogyal Rinpoche (2004). "In the Mirror of Death". In Meeske, Kathryn. Sacred Voices of the Nyingma Masters. California: Padma Publishing. pp. 148–161. ISBN 1-881847-35-7.
  • Sogyal Rinpoche (2005). "The Remembrance of Past Lives from the Tibetan Buddhist Perspective". In Cott, Jonathon. On the Sea of Memory: A Journey from Forgetting to Remembering. Random House. ISBN 1-4000-6058-3.
  • Sogyal Rinpoche (2006). "Gift of Dharma". In Coburn, Brot. Himalaya: Personal Stories of Grandeur, Challenge and Hope. National Geographic Books. pp. 62–67. ISBN 978-0792261926.
  • Sogyal Rinpoche (2012). "Sogyal Rinpoche". In Bradley, Rosalind. A World of Prayer: Spiritual Leaders, Activists, and Humanitarians Share their Favorite Prayers. Orbis Books. pp. 150–151. ISBN 978-1-57075-952-9.
  • Sogyal Rinpoche (2012). "Tibetan Buddhism in Modern Western Culture". In Schuyler, Kathryn Goldman. Inner Peace—Global Impact: Tibetan Buddhism, Leadership, and Work. Information Age Publishing. ISBN 978-1-61735-918-7.
  • Sogyal Rinpoche (2013). "Understanding the Mind and Meditation: A Buddhist Approach to Well-Being". In Fraser, Andy. The Healing Power of Meditation: Leading Experts on Buddhism, Psychology, and Medicine Explore the Health Benefits of Contemplative Practice. Shambhala Publications. pp. 3–17. ISBN 978-1611800593.

Forewords and introductions

  • Dilgo Khyentse; Ani Jinpa Palmo (trans), 2008. Brilliant Moon: The Autobiography of Dilgo Khyentse. Shambhala. ISBN 978-1-59030-284-2.
  • the Dalai Lama, Mind in Comfort and Ease, Wisdom Publications, 2007, ISBN 0-86171-493-8
  • Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, Blazing Splendor: The Memoirs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, North Atlantic Books, 2005, ISBN 962-7341-56-8
  • Don Farber, Portraits of Tibetan Buddhist Masters, University of California Press 2005, ISBN 0-520-23973-3
  • Nyoshul Khenpo Jamyang Dorje (translated by Richard Barron), A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage (A Spiritual History of the Teachings on Natural Great Perfection), Padma Publications, 2005, ISBN 1-881847-41-1
  • Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Fearless Simplicity: The Dzogchen Way of Living Freely in a Complex World, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, Nepal, 2003, ISBN 962-7341-48-7
  • the Dalai Lama, Dzogchen: The Heart Essence of the Great Perfection, Snow Lion Publications, 2000, ISBN 1-55939-219-3
  • Khenpo Namdrol The Practice of Vajrakilaya, Snow Lion Publications, 1999, ISBN 1-55939-103-0
  • Christine Longaker, Facing Death and Finding Hope: A Guide to the Emotional and Spiritual Care of the Dying, Arrow Books, 1998, ISBN 0-09-917692-0
  • Mordicai Gerstein, The Mountains of Tibet, Barefoot Books 1993 and 2012 ISBN 9781782850472


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Michaela Haas, The Tibetan Book of Living and Lying, Süddeutsche Zeitung, August 13, 2017

External links

Aldershot Buddhist Centre

Aldershot Buddhist Centre (also the Buddhist Community Centre UK (BCCUK)) is a Buddhist temple and community centre catering for the Buddhists of Aldershot in Hampshire and surrounding area. It is described as the United Kingdom's first Buddhist community centre.With the influx of large numbers of Nepalis into the area in recent years giving Rushmoor the largest Buddhist community in the United Kingdom, a need for a temple and community centre to cater for their spiritual and secular needs was required. The Buddhist Community Centre UK was founded in 2007 by the founder and Chairman Mr Kaji Sherpa. The former Labour Exchange building (later the Social Club for Aldershot & District Traction Company Limited) beside the Recreation Ground on the High Street being empty, this was purchased and converted.

The centre and associated monastery were formally opened on 29 June 2015 by the 14th Dalai Lama who is also the centre's Patron. The visit to Aldershot of the Dalai Lama was greeted with protests by members of the Shugden Buddhist denomination who accused him of pursuing a policy of apartheid within the Buddhist community. Other noted Rinpoche to visit the centre include His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi, Phakchok Rinpoche, Sogyal Rinpoche, Chime Rinpoche, Lopön Tenzin Namdak, and Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche.In November 2018 thieves stole £10,000 in donations from the centre in a distraction burglary.

Dzogchen Beara

Dzogchen Beara is a Tibetan Buddhist retreat centre on the Beara Peninsula near Allihies in West Cork in Ireland established by Sogyal Rinpoche in 1987. It is home to the Spiritual Care Centre, which was opened by Mary McAleese on 12 September 2007.

Dzogchen Rinpoche

Dzogchen Rinpoche (Tibetan: ཛོགས་ཆེན་རིན་པོ་ཆེ, Wylie: rdzogs chen rin po che) is the head lama of Dzogchen Monastery, one of the largest monasteries in eastern Tibet which was destroyed in 1959 and rebuilt in the 1980s.

The current Dzogchen Rinpoche, who is enumerated as the seventh in the lineage of mindstream 'emanations' (Sanskrit: nirmanakaya), 'Jikme Losal Wangpo' (Tibetan: འཇིགས་མེད་བློ་གསལ་དབང་པོ, Wylie: 'jigs med blo gsal dbang po), was born in Gangtok, Sikkim in 1964, as the younger brother of Sogyal Rinpoche. He was enthroned by Dodrupchen Rinpoche at the Royal Palace in Gangtok 1972. He went on to study at the Institute of Dialectics in Dharamsala, where his education was closely supervised by the 14th Dalai Lama. His main teachers include Dodrupchen Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. He established a Dzogchen Monastery in exile, in Kollegal, South India, which was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 1992.

Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö

Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö (c. 1893 – 1959) was a Tibetan lama, a master of many lineages, and a teacher of many of the major figures in 20th-century Tibetan Buddhism. Though he died in 1959 in Sikkim, and is not so well known in the West; he was a major proponent of the Rimé movement within Tibetan Buddhism, and had a profound influence on many of the Tibetan lamas teaching today.


The Fettecke (Ger: "Fat Corner") was an abstract work of art from the German artist Joseph Beuys. On April 28, 1982, Beuys placed five kilograms of butter in a corner of his art room about two meters below the ceiling in the main building of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf Academy of Art). His motivation for the artwork came from the anticipation of Lama Sogyal Rinpoche, whom Beuys had invited on behalf of the Dalai Lama in Europe, and a seminar of the Free International University. In the Period that followed, the plastic served as "a constant demonstration object."

Lerab Ling

Lerab Ling is a Tibetan Buddhist centre founded in 1992 by Sogyal Rinpoche in Roqueredonde, near Lodève in Occitanie, France. It contains perhaps the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Europe, which was officially inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 2008 at a ceremony attended by Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.

Lingtsang Gyalpo

Wangchen Tenzin, King of Lingtsang (Tibetan: གླིང་ཚང་རྒྱལ་པོ་དབང་ཆེན་བསྟན་འཛིན་, Wylie: gling tshang rgyal po dbang chen bstan 'dzin), also Lingtsang Gyalgenma, was the King of Lingtsang in Kham, a tertön, a ngagpa and a kīla master of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He was said to be an incarnation of King Gésar of Ling and was known for his kindness and his siddhis linked to his kīla practice.

He is famous as a tertön for tséyum tsendali, a long-life practice based on Chandali, consort to Amitayus. His master was Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and he was one of the major teacher of Dzongsar Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö.He had three sons and one daughter, Dechen Tso, who became the mother of Khandro Tsering Chödrön, one of the foremost female practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism.Lingtsang Gyalpo died in Dzongri Lingtsang in 1942, and his King (Gyalpo) title was passed to his son Phuntsok Gelek Rabten, a monk, who died in Kalimpong. Phuntsok Gelek Rabten had 5 children, among whom 2 are still alive, a son, Sey Jigme, living in Chengdu and a daughter in Dehradun.

Lingtsang Gyalpo is the great-grandfather of Sogyal Rinpoche.

List of writers on Buddhism

This is a list of writers on Buddhism. The list is intended to include only those writers who have written books about Buddhism, and about whom there is already a Wikipedia article. Each entry needs to indicate the writer's most well-known work. Multiple works should be listed only if each work already has a Wikipedia article.

Little Buddha

Little Buddha is a 1993 Italian-French-British drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and starring Chris Isaak, Bridget Fonda and Keanu Reeves as Prince Siddhartha (the Buddha before his enlightenment). It is produced by Bertolucci's usual collaborator, Jeremy Thomas.


Lojong (Tib. བློ་སྦྱོང་,Wylie: blo sbyong) is a mind training practice in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition based on a set of aphorisms formulated in Tibet in the 12th century by Chekawa Yeshe Dorje. The practice involves refining and purifying one's motivations and attitudes.

The fifty-nine or so slogans that form the root text of the mind training practice are designed as a set of antidotes to undesired mental habits that cause suffering. They contain both methods to expand one's viewpoint towards absolute bodhicitta, such as "Find the consciousness you had before you were born" and "Treat everything you perceive as a dream", and methods for relating to the world in a more constructive way with relative bodhicitta, such as "Be grateful to everyone" and "When everything goes wrong, treat disaster as a way to wake up."

Prominent teachers who have popularized this practice in the West include Pema Chödrön, Ken McLeod, Alan Wallace, Chögyam Trungpa, Sogyal Rinpoche, Kelsang Gyatso, Norman Fischer and the 14th Dalai Lama.


Nirmāṇakāya is the third aspect of the trikāya and the physical manifestation of a buddha in time and space. In Vajrayāna it is also referred as the dimension of ceaseless manifestation.

Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche

Nyoshül Khenpo Rinpoche (1932–1999), more fully Nyoshül Khenpo Jamyang Dorje (Tibetan: སྨྱོ་ཤུལ་མཁན་པོ་འཇམ་དབྱངས་རྡོ་རྗེ་, Wylie: smyo shul mkhan po 'jam dbyangs rdo rje), was a Tibetan lama born in the Derge region of Kham.

Patrick Gaffney (Buddhist)

Patrick John Gaffney (born 6 February 1949) is an English author, editor, translator, and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism who studied at the University of Cambridge. He is also one of the main directors and teachers of Rigpa—the international network of Buddhist centres and groups founded by Sogyal Rinpoche.

Pointing-out instruction

The pointing-out instruction (ngo sprod) is the direct introduction to the nature of mind in the Tibetan Buddhist lineages of Mahāmudrā and Dzogchen. In these traditions, a "root guru" gives the "pointing-out instruction" in such a way that the disciple successfully recognizes the "nature of mind."

The tradition of conferring such instructions outside the context of formal empowerment (Sanskrit: abhiṣeka) is unique to the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages. Whether or not such instructions are valid without the formal empowerment has historically been a point of contention with the more conservative Gelug and Sakya lineages. The pointing-out instruction is often equated with the fourth formal vajrayana empowerment.

Rigpa organization

Rigpa is the name of an international Buddhist organization founded by Sogyal Rinpoche in 1979. It has centers and groups in 41 countries around the world. Following allegations of sexual and physical abuse in a letter by former students in 2017, Rigpa commissioned an independent investigation which found those claims to be largely substantiated, along with evidence of a cover-up. According to its website, Rigpa seeks to make the teachings of Buddha available to benefit as many people as possible, and to offer those following the Buddhist teachings a complete path of study and practice, along with the environment they need to explore the teachings to their fullest.

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, written by Sogyal Rinpoche in 1992, is a presentation of the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead or Bardo Thodol. The author wrote, "I have written The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying as the quintessence of the heart-advice of all my masters, to be a new Tibetan Book of the Dead and a Tibetan Book of Life." The book explores: the message of impermanence; evolution, karma and rebirth; the nature of mind and how to train the mind through meditation; how to follow a spiritual path in this day and age; the practice of compassion; how to care for and show love to the dying, and spiritual practices for the moment of death.

In his foreword to the book, the 14th Dalai Lama says:

In this timely book, Sogyal Rinpoche focuses on how to understand the true meaning of life, how to accept death, and how to help the dying, and the dead...Death and dying provide a meeting point between the Tibetan Buddhist and modern scientific traditions. I believe both have a great deal to contribute to each other on the level of understanding and practical benefit. Sogyal Rinpoche is particularly well placed to facilitate this meeting; having been born and brought up in the Tibetan tradition, he has received instructions from some of our greatest Lamas. Having also benefited from a modern education and lived and worked in the West, he has become well acquainted with Western ways of thought.


Thukdam (Tibetan: ཐུགས་དམ་) is a meditative practice, practiced during the period of death of a Buddhist master, during that time they are absorbed in ‘Clear Light Stage’, a process of inner dissolution of five elements and consciousness.As Sogyal Rinpoche describes it in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Tibetan Music Awards

Tibetan Music Awards were founded in 2003 by Lobsang Wangyal and are held every two years in Dharamshala, in northern India. Winners are chosen through online voting.In 2003, Techung won the best modern and traditional music award. Rangzen Shonu won "Best Album".

In 2005, Ama Dachung, Tibetan artist, 81 years, received the award for her lifetime work for Tibetan music.In 2007, a special recognition award was given to Nawang Khechog for his album "Tibetan Meditation Music". Namgyal Lhamo won the Best Female Artist. Amalia Rubin won the Best International Artist for Tibet her album of Tibetan folk songs.In 2009, Chthonic was named "Best International Artist".Tibetan Music Awards 2013 were held on 12 October 2013, in Dharamsala.

Trulshik Rinpoche

Trulshik Rinpoche Ngawang Chökyi Lodrö ('khrul zhig ngag dbang chos kyi blo gros) (1 January 1923 – 2 September 2011) born in Yardrok Taklung, Central Tibet was one of the main teachers of the 14th Dalai Lama and of many of the younger generation of Nyingma lamas today including Sogyal Rinpoche. He is considered the spiritual heir of several senior Nyingma masters of the last century such as Dudjom Rinpoche and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Rinpoche is the subject of a documentary film Destroyer of Illusion narrated by Richard Gere.

Trulshik Rinpoche founded the monastery of Thubten Chöling in Nepal. In 2010 he became the official head of the Nyingma school.Rinpoche lived in Solukhumbu, Nepal.

Trulshik Rinpoche died on September 2, 2011, and was succeeded by Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche who accepted the position on 22 March 2012.His reincarnation, or Yangsi, Ngawang Tendzin Lodrö Rabsel (Tib. ངག་དབང་བསྟན་འཛིན་བློ་གྲོས་རབ་གསལ་), was born in Kathmandu on July 25, 2013 and recognized in 2015.

The Buddha
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Modern Buddhist writers (19th century to date)
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