In May 2021 the Lineage & Legacy Initiative brought the vision of the Tertön Sogyal Foundations and of Rigpa into action by disbursing grants funded by donations and by investments made through the foundations. Enjoy our financial details and the inspiring testimonials of some of our grant recipients.

Lineage and
Legacy Initiative

Annual Report
2021

Vision

Since ancient times, the great Buddhist masters and their monasteries, study colleges, retreat centres and publishing works have been supported almost entirely through the kindness and generosity of their students and sponsors. This spirit of generosity is a defining characteristic of the Buddhist tradition and its practice continues to the present day.

The Lineage and Legacy initiative aims to contribute to the flourishing of the authentic Buddhist teachings in the West and thus to bring benefit to the world long into the future. It primarily aims to do this through securing the key pillars of Rigpa’s unique Tibetan Buddhist heritage. This will be accomplished through vital financial support for the activities of those who are teaching, studying and practising within this lineage.

The Lineage and Legacy Initiative is a partnership between Rigpa and the Tertön Sogyal Foundations, established by Rigpa’s International Steering Group and the Lineage and Legacy Team.

History

Recognizing the need to assure the long-term sustainability of Rigpa, 30 years ago a group of students set up a network of Tertön Sogyal Foundations. The Foundations differ from National Rigpa non-profit organisations in that they specialise in investing larger gifts through the Rigpa Endowment Fund and restricted funds. In recent years, the Tertön Sogyal Foundations have provided financial support for the Treasury of Wisdom, Prajna, Dzogchen Beara, and Lotsawa House.

Through the Lineage and Legacy Initiative, the Tertön Sogyal Foundations and Rigpa through the restricted funds held at the Congregation Rigpa Lerab Ling will support students and practitioners in need of financial assistance for their studies and practice at every stage of their path as well as projects and programmes that make the Dharma available through various types of grants. 

 

Tertön Sogyal Foundations have been established in each country where Rigpa has a significant presence, to receive donations and legacies. To date, these foundations have been established in:

Lerab Lingpa Tertön Sogyal (1856-1926)

Lerab Lingpa Tertön Sogyal (1856-1926) was a great nineteenth century Tibetan saint and mystic, who was the teacher of the thirteenth Dalai Lama and a leading figure in the revitalisation of the Buddhist teachings in Tibet. His visionary teachings have a profound relevance for our modern times and are the inspiration behind the work of Rigpa.

As a child, Tertön Sogyal was taught by Nyala Pema Duddul, Patrul Rinpoche, and Khenpo Pema Vajra at Dzogchen Monastery. In the later years of his life, he stayed near Dodrupchen Monastery, often exchanging teachings with Dodrupchen Jikmé Tenpé Nyima.

Tertön Sogyal died on the tenth day of the second lunar month of the year of the Fire Tiger, March 23, 1926 according to the Gregorian calendar.

Terön Sogyal’s disciples also included great masters such as Jamgön Kongtrul, the Fifth Dzogchen Rinpoche (Thubten Chökyi Dorje), Dzogchen Khenpo Pema Vajra, Jamgon Ju Mipham Gyatso, Nyoshul Lungtok, Dzahka Choktrul Rinpoche, Tertön Drimé, Kathok Situ, Minyak Khenpo Kunzang Sonam, Dodrupchen Jikmé Tenpé Nyima, Demo Rinpoche, Dorje Drak Rigdzin Nyamnyi Dorje (1886-1932/5), Minling Trichen Rinpoche, Sakya Trichen, the Fifteenth Karmapa Khakhyab Dorje, Amdo Geshe Jampal Rolwe Lodrö and Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö.

Less well-known disciples included Tulku Tsultrim Zangpo (aka Tsüllo) of Shukjung Monastery, who composed a biography of Tertön Sogyal which is more than 700 pages long. His lineage also passed on to his sons, such as Rigdzin Namgyal and Chöpel Gyatso, and to his grandson, Tromgé Tulku Dechen Dorjé, who currently lives at the Tromgé encampment in eastern Tibet (Kham).

 

Grants

The Lineage and Legacy Initiative supports three types of grants.

Study and Practice
Grants

Financially support Rigpa sangha members in their study, practice, retreat and events, from newer students to senior teachers.

Light of Dharma
Grants

Sponsor projects and programmes that make Dharma teachings available in new and inventive ways, attuned to current societal needs.

LaL_Fund3

Elders
Grants

Create communities for senior Rigpa members who have devoted their lives to Rigpa and reached retirement age, to spend the remaining years of their lives deepening their spiritual path.

In 2021, the Lineage and Legacy Initiative supported two types of grants.

Types of Grant 2021

Study and Practice

Study and Practice
Grants

awarded in 2021

Long-Term Retreat at
Dzogchen Beara Drupdra
0

These are grants for students who want to do a Nyenpa or a long-term retreat in the Dzogchen Beara (Drupdra). Grants provide financial support for the registration, food and accommodation.

In 2021, one student received a grant to do a Ridzin Düpa Nyenpa. One other student received a multi-year grant for a closed solitary 3.5yr retreat.

Short-term Retreat
at a main Rigpa Centre
0

These grants are primarily offered to students that want to attend one of the international retreats held at one of Rigpa’s main retreat centres: Lerab Ling, Dzogchen Beara, Dharma Mati, Blueys Beach. Retreat duration maybe from a single week to a few months.

In 2021, 6 grants were awarded for students to do short-term retreat. 

3 students attended the summer retreats (Dzogchen Retreat and the Paranirvana Retreat) in Lerab Ling. 

One grant was awarded to 5 Australian students to hold a Ridzin Dupa Nyenpa in Blueys for a period of around 4 weeks. 

One grant was awarded to a student for a short-term retreat in Dzogchen Beara. 

One grant for a student that did a 6 week retreat at retreat centre in the Hautes Pyrénées in France

Training
Practice Holders
0

of which €38,100 was allocated to 2021 funding and €15,250 for 2022

These grants are for practitioners who made a commitment to be trained by the main holders of Rigpa’s practice lineage in the Vajrayana Practice roles of Chöpön and Umdze with the aim that they will give trainings themselves in the future. While these initial grants are for training in Lerab Ling, some may also take place, in Dharma Mati and Dzogchen Beara. 

Eleven grants have been awarded for Training the Practice Holders to support practitioners to be trained, as well as some of the work that made the training possible. Practicioners from France, Germany, UK, Spain and Belgium benefited from these grants.

Shedra and Milinda
Teacher Training
0

These grants are for students that want to follow Shedra studies under the Rigpa Shedra program or outside such as the Milinda teachers training

9 grants were awarded for students to attend Rigpa’s Shedra program held online (6 students) as well as onsite (3 students) in Lerab Ling. Students from the US, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Australia benefited from these grants.

1 grant was awarded for a student to follow the Milinda teachers training program for a period of 3 months

Study and Practice
Geographical Locations 2021

Study and Practice
Grant Recipients

2021

Jennifer Cronly – Dzogchen Beara

Philip Jelovsek – Australia

Gyurme Avertin – France

Nadine Sutter – France

Alya Saïdi – France 

Damien Brohon – France

Grégoire Langouet – Belgium

Wendy Wright – Australia

Jesse van Delft – Netherlands

Jana Biedka – Germany/France

Adele Hersey – UK/Scotland

Tui Schrijver – Germany

Sebastian Diebetsberger – Dzogchen Beara

Martine Veyre – Lerab Ling

Chökyi – Lerab Ling

Suthari Sisowath – France

Ian Patten – Spain

Gwen Berrou – Belgium

Mikaele Lagadec – France

Lee Geisselmann – France

Günther Brost – Germany

Javier Torales – Spain

Birdie Ciccarelli – US

Harry Macfarlane – Ireland

Jonathan White – Belgium 

Gabriele Schüller – Germany

John O‘Rourke – Ireland

Isabel Haber – Germany

Lucien Tinga – Netherlands

Alexandre Nevsky – Switzerland

Katrin Ogilvy – Australia

Study and Practice
Testimonials

Group Practice Retreat at Blueys Retreat Centre

Personal Retreat at Dzogchen Beara Buddhist Meditation Centre

Practice Holders Training

Over the years, many Rigpa students have learned from each other, passing on the experience and knowledge they gained holding Vajrayana practice in their Rigpa centre. They now form the international community of Vajrayana practice holders.

A few people have taken the responsibility to train others and be a reference point when it comes to upholding our practice tradition and lineages. Our main trainers in our lineage of Vajrayana practice are:

  • Chöpön: Chokyi
  • Umdze: Pascal Rey
  • Pratice Coordinator: Claudia Thurn
  • Practice Texts: Ane Chözöm


In 2021, a training program for practice holders who have demonstrated qualities and the commitment to train personally with the main holders of our practice lineage has taken place. They have committed to receiving the training and sharing their knowledge and experience with their Rigpa centre.

Shedra Programme

Isabel Haber has been a student in Rigpa since 2010. She jumped right in, began following the teachings, and moved into Dharma Mati where she lived for 6 years. Isabel had a longtime desire to attend the Shedra program where she could study the Dharma more systematically. Her opportunity arose in 2020 when she went to Pharping, Nepal to attend the Rigpa Shedra under the guidance of Khenchen Namdrol Rinpoche. She had set aside funds to participate in the 2-year study program to study Longchenpa’s Text “Finding Rest in the Nature of Mind, a teaching of the Great Perfection”.

Unfortunately, the pandemic impacted the program and they were forced to return home early that year. As a result, the 2-year study program changed to 3 years, and unfortunately, Isabel didn’t have the funds to complete the last year. She was glad to learn of the opportunity to receive a study and practice grant through the Tertön Sogyal Foundations, which provided her the opportunity to complete studying the text in the rich environment of Lerab Ling.

The program this year began on January 3rd. She begins each day with her study group, followed by a review session led by Shedra teachers Verena Pfeiffer and Chantal Bergers, and then the main session with Khenpo Tashi Tseten who reads and explains Longchenpa’s verses. It was important for Isabel to receive these teachings in a sacred atmosphere surrounded by the support from a community of practitioners. Isabel highly recommends the Shedra program and although she prefers the spicy food of Nepal, she appreciates the hot water in Lerab Ling.

Ngöndro Retreat

Thank you to the Tertön Sogyal Trust who gave me the opportunity to have a six-week strict, solitary retreat in France. In a sacred environment, charged with prayers and the lineage, under the personal guidance of the master, it was possible to totally focus on the practice, day and night, without thinking about anything else. The conditions were perfect to deepen my practice and integrate into daily activity while eating or walking between formal sessions. As the retreat deepened, the experiences of my practice became more and more subtle, precise, and profound, leaving me with a greater determination to get out of samsara and for that purpose, continue practicing again and again. It took me some time to come back to the natural flow of relative reality, where birds and insects, cows and sheep, and wind in the trees are your companion along the path – knowing that all appearances are the mind. What a profound and simple peace, making yourself ready to confront with the maras!

Grégoire  Languoet 
Personal Retreat at La Sauveté

Light of Dharma

Light of Dharma
Grants

awarded in 2021

Curriculum
0

Light of Dharma grants were awarded to support the development of new curriculum, from concept to production. These grants are funding the upfront investment needed during the months or in some cases years that it takes to develop new curriculum. This way, when the new curriculum is delivered at local Rigpa centres, the majority of the registration fees remain at the local centre to support its expenses. 

In 2021, 4 grants were awarded for the development of new curriculum

One grant was awarded to financially support one project manager that helped launching two new courses in 2021: “Mind and Its True Nature; and “Introduction to Buddhism Wisdom”

One grant to fund the research for a definitive compilation of transcripts and edited video of Dzoghen teachings

 One grant for production of a new entry level course “Exploring Mind and Its True Nature” 

One grant for the pre-production of a new course “Practical Wisdom – teachings on Wisdom & Compassion”. This is a course based on Sogyal Rinpoche’s teachings on activity/integration/lamtön. An additional grant is expected to be requested in 2022 for the production of the new course which is expected to be launched in 2022

Student Training-Teaching Team
0

These grants are primarily offered to a group of Senior Teachers and Teachers that work closely with Patrick Gaffney to produce additional content.

For 2021, 2 grants were awarded for the development of new courses and content. 

One grant was awarded for the pre-production of a new course with Patrick Gaffney on impermanence and death. This course is planned to be launched in 2022

One grant to record interviews with Patrick Gaffney on the creation of the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.

Treasury of Wisdom
0

These grants are for the investment of hardware and software of ToW (Rigpa’s archive) to ensure that the wealth of teachings given in the past, present and future are secured and can be made available to the sangha and public. 

One grant was provided to replace older storage with new servers and to upgrade the current software.

Light of Dharma
Testimonials

A New Way of Seeing the World

This 12-week online interactive course provided an opportunity for students and instructors to deepen their understanding on essential elements of the Buddhist view and path, at a foundation level. The course was designed and piloted by Dominique Side, Rigpa Senior Teacher.

Course topics included: 

  • What is wisdom?
  • Mindfulness: the support of wisdom
  • How things appear and how things are
  • The Four Noble Truths
  • Who am I? Part 1: The body
  • Who am I? Part 2: The mind
  • How do body and mind work together?
  • The afflictions: how do they function and how can we eliminate them?
  • Karma: what it is, how it works, can a Buddhist do without it?
  • The Wheel of Life
  • What does enlightenment mean
  • The journey: Stages on the Buddhist path

 

Rigpa instructors had the opportunity to receive 2 training sessions to further their preparation in offering this course at a Rigpa centre. 

A Light of Dharma grant provided funds to support the project management of this course.

 

Treasury of Wisdom

The Treasury of Wisdom (Rigpa’s archive) cares for and ensures that the incredible wealth of teachings shared with the Rigpa sangha in the past, present, and future are secured and accessible to those who wish to receive the teachings.

The archive has only been accessible to a few researchers and the Treasury of Wisdom team. As Rigpa embarks on a new focus of empowering teachers and practice holders, it has become more and more important to prepare the ground so that a wider group of students can access the archive directly for their research.

A Light of Dharma grant provided funds to support an upgrade of the archival software and infrastructure, enabling the teachings in the Treasury of Wisdom to be a more accessible resource.

Exploring Mind and Its True Nature

With our Thoughts
We Make the World

Based on how Sogyal Rinpoche taught on the Mind, this course introduces the Mind and its Nature in a 9 session course. It provides opportunities to deepen our experience of the teachings by incorporating them more personally through contemplation and reflection, in a spirit of open exploration.

The Buddha stressed the importance of subjective inquiry when he said:

Just as a goldsmith would test his gold by burning, cutting, and rubbing it, so you must examine my words

In that spirit, let’s explore! Click the audio link above to experience a contemplation from the course.

Grants by Priority

Study and Practice

Light of Dharma

Grant-making Process

The Grant-making Process is based on the principles of fairness, transparency, inclusion and adherence to Rigpa’s long-term priorities. It is led by a Grant-making Committee that meets at a minimum twice a year to award grants. The Committee will oversee applications made to all of the three grants as well as other projects that are conducive to securing Rigpa’s Lineage and Legacy.

The Grant-making Committee

The Grant-making Committee will give their recommendations to be ratified by the Rigpa International Boards and by the boards of the Tertön Sogyal Foundations that are funding the grants.

Fiona Feather

Tertön Sogyal Trust (UK)

Heinz Siepmann

Tertön Sogyal Stiftung (Germany)

Juan Brouilhet

Fundación Tertön Sogyal (Spain)

Michele Phamtan

Fonds Tertön Sogyal (France)

Christian Hauser

Investment Committee

Mauro de March

Vision Board

Jane Gray

International Steering Group

Alain Beauregard

International Boards

France Manghardt

Rigpa‘s  ICG

Malcolm MacClancy

Lineage & Legacy Team

Anneke Hakman

Lineage & Legacy Team

Jessica DuVal

Lineage & Legacy Team

Pedro Beroy

Tertön Sogyal Foundation (US)

Funding of Grants

The Grants awarded are funded through a combination of:

  • The Study and Practice Grants and the Light of Dharma Grants are Restricted Funds held in the Congregation Rigpa Lerab Ling
  • Through Restricted Funds held at one of the Tertön Sogyal Foundations
  • Through Income and Realized Returns earned by the Endowment Fund.

The Endowment Fund

Is money held in each of the three Tertön Sogyal Foundations below, that is restricted to disburse the original capital received where only interest and realised capital gains can be disbursed for grants. The purpose of the Endowment Fund is to provide long-term financial security and resources that are necessary for the work of Rigpa to continue to flourish and grow, for the benefit of future generations.

The Investment Committee

The majority of the Restricted Funds and all of the Endowment Fund moneys held by the three Tertön Sogyal Foundations are invested through the advisory of the Investment Committee comprised of Rigpa students with experience in financial markets and that hold a close relationship with Rigpa and the Tertön Sogyal Foundations. All members of the Investment Committee are contributing their time and expertise on a voluntary basis.

Pedro has been a Rigpa student for the last 24 years. He is currently a partner at AP Structured Finance. Prior to his current role, Pedro spent 16 years at Credit Suisse in the Investment Banking Division with diverse responsibilities. He was a Managing Director in New York, a member of the Fixed Income Operating Committee, global head of the Longevity Markets Group and prior to that role, head of Latin America Structuring and Coverage Group. He is the president of the Tertön Sogyal Foundation (US), a member of Rigpa’s International Steering Group and of Lerab Ling’s Advisory Group. Pedro is based in New York.

Christian has been a Rigpa student for the last 20 years. Christian is a Managing Director in a large state-owned foundation for children and adolescent psychiatry. Prior to that, Christian was the President of the Investment Committee. He is the President of the Board of Directors of the Swiss Rigpa Foundation, a member of the Rigpa Chairs of Boards, and a member of the Rigpa International Finance Team. He holds a PhD in philosophy and completed his studies of psychoanalysis in 1989. Christian is still active as a psychoanalyst therapist. Christian is based in Zurich.

Heinz has been a Rigpa student for the last 21 years. Heinz is active developing real estate projects and manages his investment portfolio. For sixteen years he managed successfully his family business. Prior to that, he worked in a German bank and in an American wholesale company. Heinz was part of the team of students that established the Rigpa Centre in Berlin. Heinz has devoted considerable amount of time serving the Investment Committee and the Tertön Sogyal Stiftung. Heinz is based in Berlin.

Dan has 30 years of experience in the investment industry He began his career in 1991 as a mortgage backed securities portfolio manager and trader. In 1996 he worked for Mellon Capital Management specializing in global asset allocation serving as the firms Global Strategist and as a Director of Hedge Funds. In 2004 Dan was a founding partner of Bayswater Asset Management, a macro alternative asset management firm. Since 2012 Dan has been an independent investor. He is a member of the Investment Committee. Dan is based in San Francisco.

Investment Process

The Investment Committee advises the Tertön Sogyal boards on the investment of its restricted funds by recommending the asset allocation and individual investments following the guidance from a global large asset manager (an investment advisor for the Tertön Sogyal Foundation in the US). All the investments are into major managed funds or indices. The Investment Committee will invest the funds as wisely and prudent as possible.

The Investment Committee meets every month to monitor the investments and discuss the market.

The Investment Committee has a target return of 3%-5% per annum during long periods of time.

As of February 10, 2022, the total amount of assets that are invested or planning to be invested in a short period of time is €1.55MM. We aspire to bring the assets under management to €3-5MM in a period of 5-10yrs through wills and legacy fundraising.

Assets under Management

Types of Investment Funds

A Big Thank You

to all donors who so generously supported the Tertön Sogyal Foundations that lead to this first year of supporting students and projects in Rigpa. This is a major endeavour that we aim to continue long into the future to benefit a growing number of Buddhist students. Your support to make this happen is vital. 

Please continue supporting us.