Sogyal Rinpoche, famous for The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, passes away

Sogyal Rinpoche in an undated file photo.

Sogyal Rinpoche in an undated file photo. File photo/Facebook

Tibet Sun Newsroom

McLEOD GANJ, India, 28 August 2019

Well-known Tibetan Buddhist master Sogyal Rinpoche has passed away, according to a post on his Facebook page, which said he died of a pulmonary embolism in Bangkok, Thailand, around 1pm local time. He was 72.

He was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2017 and was being treated in Thailand.

The Facebook post said that he died surrounded by his students. “Rinpoche is now resting in meditation. Several Lamas are supporting us with precise guidance at every step, and especially Sakya Gongma Trichen Rinpoche.”

Rinpoche is best known for his book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, which he published in 1992. The book has helped to introduce Tibetan Buddhism to many people, particularly in the West. It has been printed in 30 languages in 56 countries.

Rinpoche began teaching Tibetan Buddhism in London in 1974, and then founded Rigpa, which became a chain of over 100 Buddhist learning centres in 23 countries around the world. He was director of the network until being charged in 2017 with sexual and physical abuse by some of his students, and with misusing charitable funds by the Rigpa management. He stepped down following the accusations and has been living in Thailand since then.

He has taught Tibetan Buddhism in the Nyingma tradition for 40 years in Europe, the US, Asia, and Australia.

Born in 1947 in Tehor, Kham region, in eastern Tibet, Sogyal Rinpoche was recognised as the reincarnation of Tertön Sogyal. He was educated and trained in the traditional Nyingma school under some great masters.


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