Friday, July 1, 2011

Lama Apologises for Having Sex with Women

by FRANCES STEWART, Canberra Times, 1 May, 2011

Canberra, Australia -- THE HEAD of Canberra's Tibetan Buddhist community has apologised to members of the society after allegations he had sexual relationships with several women from the group emerged late last year.

The Tibetan Buddhist Society of Canberra's leader Lama Choedak Rinpoche called a special meeting of the society in December to apologise if ''changes that his personal life has gone through have caused any confusion'' before leaving the country for a retreat in Nepal.
A number of women associated with the society contacted the Sunday Canberra Times, alleging the former monk had sexual relationships with several female group members after saying he had separated from his wife.

The women said they were shocked to discover their ''spiritual leader'' was engaged in multiple affairs within the group because Lama Choedak was considered a ''respected teacher and family man'' in the ACT branch.

The women were also able to provide documents to the Sunday Canberra Times that showed complaints about Lama Choedak's conduct were met with stern warnings from senior foreign figures in the Tibetan Buddhist movement, who said talking to the media or telling new group members what had happened could be spiritually damaging and prevent other Canberrans from ''achieving enlightenment through buddhism''.

Lama Choedak, who is currently teaching at a retreat in Adelaide, did not respond to requests for an interview from the Sunday Canberra Times, but a representative said in a statement he ''made an unequivocal apology'' to the women involved, as well as group members. The women claimed Lama Choedak warned them not to reveal his indiscretions a sentiment echoed in the organisation's statement, which said exposure could harm ''families and children as well as someone who is presently in the midst of dealing with a life-threatening illness''.

Apologising at the December meeting, Lama Choedak told his followers, ''I am making this statement today as I care about all of you, and as we need to maintain our work together for the sake of dharma and new members''.

''Due to the personal nature of this matter and the need to protect the feelings of my children and other people concerned, I ask you all to respect our privacy. I know how many broken families there are, and they all need moral support and understanding.''

Lama Choedak told the group that rather than being angry, they should use the experience to improve themselves.

''Every single one of us makes mistakes and it is up to each of us to forgive,'' he said. ''Used wisely, such personal difficulties can lead us to a stronger and more stable refuge which we find within our own hearts and and minds.'',10104,0,0,1,0


  1. The Ven. Tenpa Bejanke Duim, one of the women who approached the Canberra Times with the story of Lama Choedak's conduct, has just had an article on the subject published in the journal Non Duality. See here:

  2. Westerners should grow up and realise Lama are human beings as well.
    They are not your fantasised, projection of what a Lama is!
    Get on with your practise and your liberation for the sake of all beings.

  3. The devil said before the Buddha's enlightenment " Good After you make your enlightenment I wear your clothes , eat your meal (and) break your Buddhist " Lamaism is this thing.

  4. In true Buddhism it is said that from thousands and thousands of evil actions the misconduct of sex stands the first ! If a person wants to succeed then he or she must get rid of this sexual behavior otherwise he can not succeed at all.

    Tibetan Buddhism is not Buddhism!
    The Buddha was silent, and made no response. After Ánanda had repeated the question three times, the Buddha told him, "After my nirvana, the Five Mortal Sins (2) will foul the world, and the Mara-way will flourish exceedingly. The Maras will become monks, to spoil and wreck my Way or they will wear lay dress, rejoicing in multi-coloured clothing. They will drink wine and eat meat, killing living things in their desire for fine flavors.

  5. joseyOct 27, 2011 03:14 AM
    Westerners should learn that Tibetan Buddhism is not Buddhism. And teachers should learn to keep their hands off disciples. Those who can't, are human as you have said, but if they can't control themselves they should not be a teacher.

    Thanks for the post about Budda's statement of how monks will wreck Buddha's Way. Can you tell me where he said this?

  6. Frankly, I think he's hot, and if he wanted to have sex with me, I'd say, "Sure!" and not think a second thought about it.

    I think that the moral emptiness of Chinese Buddhists who fail to speak up against the appalling condition of their fellow citizens sentenced to prison labour in the laogai is much more deserving of condemnation.

  7. It's attitudes like this ("...he's hot, and if he wanted to have sex with me, I'd say, "Sure!") that encourage lamas and people like Sogyal to harass students, and cultivate a following. That's fine for women who go to teachings for sex, but for women who are interested only in serious Dharma study, it creates a problem. Not to mention the trashy reputation TB is gaining because of all this hanky-panky. Buddhist sanghas were never intended to be sex tourism destinations.


    A good threat on the subject.

    Women don't get much out of this tantric practice, nor do they reach enlightenment. It is all for the lama.

    You don't sound like a true Buddhist but more that you are in Tibetan Buddhism for the sex, which is why many join that tradition.

    Go for it if that is what you want, but don't expect to be treated with dignity. In Tibet young girls are used, and when they get too old or the lama gets bored with them, they let them go, and often they become prostitutes, which is all they were in the first place.

  9. There are tales about these issues in Western universities and in other religious sects. Most of it comes down to: how much can women and men be intimate and rely on one another without the relationship including sexual involvement. That's really what it is.