(TibetanReview.net, Sep16, 2018) – Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has, on Sep 14, reportedly undertaken to raise the issue of Tibetan Buddhist masters’ alleged sex and related emotional abuse of their students in the West during the upcoming November meeting in Dharamshala of the top leaders of all the religious schools of Tibet. The Dalai Lama was stated to have given the assurance to four claimed victims representing a group of 12 during a meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The meeting lasted about 20 minutes and the Dalai Lama, however, took no questions from reporters after the meeting, reported rfa.org Sep 14.
The Associated Press quoted meeting participant Oane Bijlsma as saying after the meeting, “What we want from him is that he is very clear about the fact that religious leaders in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition are not above the law.”
“That even if they claim that their tradition endorses behavior that is supposedly beyond good and evil, it can never be the case.”
She was also reported to have told the Efe news agency that it was “a very complicated meeting”.
The group had earlier in the week petitioned the Dalai Lama to seek a meeting. And during the meeting, the group – consisting of three women and one man – presented written testimonies from the 12 alleged victims.
The rfa.org report said Tibetan lamas named in the complaint presented to the Dalai Lama during the Sep 14 meeting included Rigdzin Namkha Rinpoche of the Swiss-based Rigdzin Community; Tulku Lobsang of the Nangten Menlang Center in Vienna, Austria; Sogyal Rinpoche of the Rigpa organization, an international community with over 100 centers worldwide; and Robert Spatz, a Belgian with the Tibetan name of Lama Ogyen Kunzang Dorje.
News reports in recent months have referred to sex scandals involving several Tibetan lamas teaching in the West, notably Sogyal Rinpoche of the Rigpa organization and Sakyong Mipham of Shambhala International.
The International Network of Practice Centers Rigpa last week released a report confirming many of the abuse allegations against their founder, Sogyal Rinpoche. He had resigned from the organization in Aug 2017, a month after several senior teachers publicly accused him of sexual, physical, and psychological abuse.
It has also been reported by tricycle.org Sep 15 that the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York may have to close at the end of September due to falling donations and membership in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Shambhala leaders.