About Rigpa & Sogyal Rinpoche
Rigpa aims to present the Buddhist tradition of Tibet in a way that is both completely authentic, and as relevant as possible to the lives and needs of modern men and women.
Open to all schools and traditions of Buddhist wisdom, and with the guidance and gracious patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Rigpa offers those following the Buddhist teachings a complete path of study and practice, along with the environment they need to experience the teachings fully.
At the same time, Rigpa seeks to explore how the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha’s teachings can benefit many different areas of life in today’s world.
Inspired by the meaning of the word rigpa, Sogyal Rinpoche gave this as the name for his work and to the vehicle he was developing to serve the Buddha’s teaching in the West. Today, Rigpa has more than 130 centres in 30 countries around the world.
A world-renowned Buddhist teacher from Tibet, Sogyal Rinpoche is also the author of the highly acclaimed The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.
Born in Kham in Eastern Tibet, Sogyal Rinpoche was recognized at an early age as the incarnation of a great master and visionary saint of the nineteenth century, Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa (1856-1926), a teacher to the thirteenth Dalai Lama. He received the traditional training of a Tibetan lama under the close supervision of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, one of the most outstanding spiritual masters of the twentieth century, who raised Rinpoche like his own son.
He went on to study with many other great masters, of all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, especially Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche and Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. In 1971, Sogyal Rinpoche went to England, where he also studied Comparative Religion at Cambridge University.
First as a translator and aide to his revered masters, and then teaching in his own right, Sogyal Rinpoche traveled to many countries, observing the reality of people’s lives, and searching how to translate the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism so as to make them relevant to modern men and women of all faiths, by drawing out their universal message while losing none of their authenticity, purity and power.
Out of this was born his unique style of teaching, and his ability to attune these teachings to modern life, demonstrated so vividly in his ground-breaking book, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Over three million copies have been printed in thirty-four languages, and the book is available in eighty countries.
Sogyal Rinpoche is also the founder and spiritual director of Rigpa, an international network of over one hundred and thirty Buddhist centres and groups in forty countries around the world. He has been teaching for over thirty years and continues to travel widely in Europe, America, Australia and Asia.