Sogyal Rinpoche – The Purpose of Life

Soygal Rinpoche on the nature of the mind and the purpose of life

Sogyal Rinpoche was born in Kham, in eastern Tibet, and was recognized as the incarnation of a great master and visionary saint of the 19th century: Tertön Sogyal Lerab Lingpa. When he was six months old, he entered the monastery of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö, one of the most outstanding spiritual masters of the 20th century. Jamyang Kyentse raised him as his own son and foresaw that Rinpoche would help continue his work in the future. After the death of his teacher, Rinpoche continued his studies with many great masters of Tibetan Buddhism, in particular with Kyabjé Dudjom Rinpoche and Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

Western thinking – Cambridge – Rigpa

In 1971, Sogyal Rinpoche first came to the West, where he studied comparative religious studies at Cambridge University. By traveling a lot, he experienced how Westerners live their lives; from this came his unique teaching style and The Tibetan Book of Life and Death, his way of making Tibetan Buddhism accessible and relevant to men and women in the modern world.

Soygal Rinpoche has a close relationship with His Holiness the Dalai Lama; in 1973 he was closely involved in the organization of the Dalai Lama’s first visit to the West. The Dalai Lama has also given his blessing and protection to Rigpa.

More of his lectures on this subject can also be found on his website:

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Sogyal Rinpoche (born 1947 in Kham, Tibet and died August 28, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand) was a Tibetan Dzogchen lama of the Nyingma tradition. He taught for more than 30 years and traveled extensively in Europe, America, Australia and Asia. He was also the founder and spiritual director of Rigpa — an international network of more than 100 Buddhist centers and groups in 23 countries around the world — and the author of the best-selling book The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, which has been printed in 30 languages and 56 countries. He was known for his ability to present his understanding of Tibetan Buddhism in the language of contemporary Western thought. Considerable controversy, due to claims of student abuse, has been prominent throughout much of his career. For more information: