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.
You can read the full report here
The Vision Board, Rigpa Boards, and the boards of Lerab Ling and Dzogchen Beara