Public Statement following Sogyal Rinpoche’s Passing

28 August 2019

With deep sadness, we announce the passing of Sogyal Rinpoche on Wednesday 28 August 2019, following complications during his cancer treatment.

Sogyal Rinpoche is currently resting in tukdam, which is when a realized practitioner continues to abide by the recognition of the nature of mind after the moment of death.

Sogyal Rinpoche was a world-renowned Buddhist teacher from Tibet, recognized as the incarnation of a great master and visionary saint of the nineteenth century, Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa. He founded the international Buddhist network Rigpa, was the author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, and dedicated over 45 years to bringing the Buddhist teachings to the West. He stepped down as spiritual director in 2017.

His students have now entered a traditional period of prayers and ceremonies that will extend over at least seven weeks. In Tibetan Buddhism, the period of forty-nine days following the moment of death is considered to be the most powerful time for spiritual practice.

We are deeply touched by the outpouring of condolences and recognition of Sogyal Rinpoche and his work, and of sincere kindness and fraternity towards the Rigpa Sangha, from members of the public, lamas and friends from around the world. You can see all the testimonies here.

Since Rigpa was founded, over 80 renowned teachers from all schools of Tibetan Buddhism and other Buddhist traditions, have been teaching in Rigpa and guiding the study and practice of Rigpa students, at the invitation of Sogyal Rinpoche. Rigpa upholds in particular the Nyingma tradition, the oldest school of Tibetan Buddhism, and offers the Buddhist teachings of meditation, compassion and wisdom to the modern world.

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