Tertön Sogyal Foundation

Securing Rigpa's Lineage and Legacy

The Tertön Sogyal Foundations were named after Lerab Lingpa Tertön Sogyal (1856-1926), 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.

Recognising the need to assure the long-term sustainability of Rigpa in 1996, a group of Rigpa 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. 

The Tertön Sogyal Foundations offer support to students, instructors, scholars, practitioners and teachers in need of financial assistance for their studies and practice at every stage of their path.

To preserve Rigpa’s lineage and legacy, three types of grants have been established to ensure the key pillars of its unique spiritual heritage receive the vital support they need.

The Precious Cycle of Giving and Receiving

Key Pillars of Rigpa's Heritage

  • Protect the vast library of teachings that is Rigpa’s precious heritage and make it available to the sangha and the public.
  • Support Senior Teachers and Practice Holders to deepen their understanding and experience and to allow them to teach and guide others.
  • Appreciate and acknowledge the selfless offering of those who have dedicated their lives to manifesting the vision of Rigpa, and support them as elders in the sangha community
  • Support  as many students as possible who have a sincere wish to engage in study, practice and retreat  to  have the best opportunities to do so.

Annual Rpiorities and Grant Amounts

Projects that receive support from the Tertön Sogyal Foundation are based on priorities established by the vision board and international Rigpa leadership.

The Tertön Sogyal Foundations inform the Grant-Making Committee of the total amount of money to be disbursed.

Rigpa’s  Vision Board then meets with the International Steering Group to agree the priorities for the next round of grants  which are then recommended to the International Board for approval.

Once approved, the priorities are shared with the Committee as guidelines for this grant-making cycle after which the Committee makes a formal announcement to the Rigpa sangha including priorities, total amount to be granted and deadlines.

Grant-making Process and Committee

The Grant-making Committee is made up of 12 members representing a broad range of experience both within Rigpa and professionally. It oversees the grant-making process based on principles of fairness, transparency and inclusion.

The Committee meets regularly throughout the year to award grants. They discuss applications made for all three grants as well as for other projects that are conducive to securing Rigpa’s Lineage and Legacy.

Grants can be awarded for a single year, multiple years or for the long-term, for instance in the case of the Elders grant. 

How to Apply for a Grant

Grant applications are accepted up to 6 weeks before the start date of an event or retreat. The Committee reviews all applications, checks their referrals and recommendations and will contact the applicant with comments if there are any corrections to be made.

The committee strives for unanimous decisions but when that cannot be reached they will decide by majority vote. Grants are awarded equal to and not exceeding the available funds for each year. 

As soon as the Committee has awarded the grants, the applicants will be informed of the result. Information on the grants awarded are shared in the Impact Report.