Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexually as

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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

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Finance Report to the Shambhala Community
by Ryan Watson, Director of Finance
with Susan Engel, Treasury Council Chair
August 15, 2018

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Reviewed by the Kalapa Council and Treasury Council

As requested by the outgoing Kalapa Council, this report to the Shambhala community shares the current state of Shambhala’s finances and how we are organized, as well a sense of the challenges ahead. We have done our best to share the complexity of this information as transparently and clearly as possible, so it can be better understood by the community.

Accompanying this report, and linked in the Appendices section at the end of this document, are financial statements and spreadsheets that further illuminate the financial picture.

Questions and comments from members are welcomed at info@shambhala.org. These questions will be compiled and responded to in the coming weeks.

Summary

Shambhala’s organizational and financial structures have sustained our community for almost three generations of practitioners. While hard questions about the future are being asked, and organizational change may be required, we have a solid foundation and many resources to draw on.

Shambhala in North America has net assets of $22.5 million USD and gross annual revenue of $18 million USD.

● Since late 2017, there have been steadily increasing cash flow challenges in Shambhala Global Services, the Sakyong Potrang, and other entities. This pattern has occurred with some regularity in Shambhala’s history. The outgoing Kalapa Council has initiated actions to address the current situation in the short term, with the intention to leave the incoming Interim Board as stable a financial situation as possible. Further changes are likely to be required in the coming months.

● The Sakyong and his teaching have played a critical role in overall revenue generation for Shambhala. The financial impact of his current step back from teaching is not yet fully known.

In 2017, no Shambhala funds were used to pay compensation for the Sakyong or Sakyong Wangmo or lineage or parsonage expenses. These expenses are currently funded by direct donations to the Sakyong Potrang entities.

● The financial health of Shambhala Global Services is fully dependent on Unified Giving transfers and donations from Shambhala Centres and members.

Elevated debt levels and low cash balances in Shambhala Global Services and the Sakyong Potrang are prompting consideration of asset sales as one option to build financial stability going forward.

A Snapshot of Legal Entities in Shambhala

Shambhala is a global conglomerate of nonprofit organizations, currently based primarily in North America and Europe.

Shambhala Legal Entities in North America

● Shambhala Canada Society

The Shambhala Canada Society (Shambhala Canada) is a registered Canadian charity. This corporation manages all city centres and retreat centres in Canada. All Canadian Shambhala Centres and Groups are authorized to represent Shambhala, and use its name, service marks, and copyrighted materials through the International Charter and Bylaws.

● Shambhala USA

Shambhala USA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable nonprofit corporation registered in the state of Colorado. This corporation manages Shambhala’s city centers and retreat centers in the United States (except Shambhala Mountain Center, below). All U.S. Shambhala Centers and Groups are authorized to represent Shambhala, use its name, service marks, and copyrighted materials through the International Charter and Bylaws. Centers and Groups are identified as “subordinate organizations” for purposes of the Shambhala USA group exemption from federal income taxation.

The Charter and Bylaws provide that the centers are authorized to establish local governance bodies and rules, subject however, to the ultimate governance of Shambhala USA. While some centers are incorporated in their local jurisdictions (usually for banking purposes to finance property purchases), this does not affect the basic relationship between those centers and Shambhala USA.

● Shambhala Mountain Center

Shambhala Mountain Center is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable nonprofit organization registered in the state of Colorado that operates a Shambhala retreat center located in Red Feather Lakes, CO.

The corporations above collectively manage the operations of Shambhala in North America, including Shambhala Global Services (see below). Management authority, including financial decision making, is delegated by the Boards of Directors of Shambhala Canada and Shambhala USA to 130+ divisions of these corporations, including retreat centres, media divisions, Shambhala Centres, and Shambhala Groups across the continent.

On December 31, 2016, Shambhala entities in North America held a combined $35 million USD in assets and $12.5 million USD in liabilities, for net assets (total equity) with a book value of $22.5 million USD. Book value is based on purchase price and depreciation, while the actual market value of Shambhala’s assets would likely be substantially higher.

Donations, program revenue, and merchandise sales are Shambhala’s primary revenue streams. In 2016, members, donors, and patrons of Shambhala gave over $6 million USD. Program fees and merchandise sales brought in over $10 million USD. Gross revenue totalled $18 million USD across the North American Shambhala corporations.

The largest consolidated expense line was the almost $5 million USD spent on salaries and contract staff expenses across the 130+ divisions. Direct program expenses and cost of merchandise sales totalled $4 million USD. Rent and facilities expenses were $3.5 million USD. Total expenses were $18 million USD.

In 2016, the 130+ Shambhala entities managed in these North American corporations ran at a combined operational deficit of $91,000 USD. 2017 numbers are not yet available.


Shambhala Legal Entities in Europe

● Shambhala Europe GmbH

Shambhala’s corporate structure in Europe is locally oriented. With the exception of the Netherlands where there is a national organization, in most other cases centers and groups are incorporated separately and independently.

Shambhala Europe GmbH is a non-profit limited liability corporation registered in Germany, and is a 100% subsidiary of Shambhala USA. It shares ownership of the real estate of the French land center of Dechen Chöling and is the owner of a number of European and global trademarks of Shambhala, which it licenses to European Shambhala Centres.

At the end of 2016, Shambhala Europe held net assets of 1.5 million EUR. This figure includes a building asset in Cologne, which was effectively sold in 2017. Shambhala Europe booked an operating deficit of 120,000€ in 2016. Audited figures are not yet available for 2017.

● Association Shambhala Europe (Dechen Chöling)

Association Shambhala Europe (Dechen Chöling) is an Association 1901 incorporated in France to manage the Dechen Chöling retreat center near Limoges, France. In 2017 it held net assets of 773,000€ and booked an operating surplus of 43,000€.

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-- Dechen Choling


Shambhala Legal Entities in South America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania

Shambhala centers and divisions in other regions of the world have simple or no corporate structures, and less financial activity than their North American and European counterparts. These centers and Groups manage their finances independently of any centralized oversight and structure, although they do connect to and benefit from the services and activities of Shambhala Global Services.

Shambhala Global Services

Shambhala Global Services manages the combined operations of the head office divisions of Shambhala USA and Shambhala Canada Society. Global Services provides the following resources and support to local centers, groups, and land centers:

Please note that the staffing numbers shown below reflect staffing after recently announced staff cuts are fully implemented in October.

● Practice & Education Pillar - International program planning, scheduling and support; curriculum development and support; training and support of teachers, meditation instructors and guides; training and guidance in ritual and form; support of local/regional P&E leaders. Staffing: 2.5 full time equivalent positions, including a part time position in Europe.

● Government Pillar - Support and mentorship of regional and center leadership, leadership trainings (Monarch Retreat), facilitation of regional gatherings, development of regions. Staffing: 1 full time equivalent position.

● Dorje Kasung Pillar - Ongoing support of Dorje Kasung curriculum development, classes and trainings. Staffing: 0.5 full time equivalent position.

● Economy Pillar - Ongoing work to develop Pillar of Economy teachings, curriculum, and retreats. Staffing: 0 full time equivalent positions; volunteer work only.

● Finance - Accounting, banking, reporting, regulatory filings, tax receipts, insurance, and payroll. Staffing: 3.5 full time equivalent positions.

● Development - Fundraising (Shambhala Day, Harvest of Peace, patrons, donor events, campaigns, bequests), other revenue generation. Staffing: 1 full time equivalent position.

● Communications - Ongoing emails to all members regarding community updates and programming, dissemination of translations, media relations, website updates. Staffing: 1 full time equivalent position.

● IT - Shambhala database maintenance and trainings, mentoring of database administrators, website maintenance, compliance with applicable privacy laws. Staffing: 1.5 full time equivalent positions.

● Office of Culture and Decorum - Works with Shambhala holidays, celebrations, ceremonies, environments, design and iconography, resources for programs, Centres and Culture & Decorum Delegates, and the biennial Shambhala Service Awards. Staffing: 0.2 full time equivalent positions.

● Office of Social Engagement - Supports engagement projects both within the Shambhala community and externally. Includes projects that work with understanding systemic oppression, racism, gender harm, classism, and other forms of discrimination. Works to better understand how justice in an enlightened society may look and feel. Funded through December 10 by restricted donations received in early 2018, and therefore currently has no bottom line budget impact. Staffing: 1 full time equivalent position.

● Executive Secretary to the Sakyong - Oversees schedules and responds to communications directed to the Sakyong and Shambhala. The Executive Secretary also serves as Secretary of the Shambhala corporations. Staffing: 1 full time equivalent position.

Shambhala Global Services Is Funded by “Unified Giving”

Unified Giving is the mechanism by which program and donation revenue received at Shambhala Centres and Shambhala Global Services is transferred internally to fund the local, national, and global work of Shambhala. It is the way that centers and groups fund the support they receive from the center of the mandala.

Most Shambhala Centres in Canada and the United States transfer funds monthly to the Global Services division of their respective corporation. Local Shambhala centers and groups make their own independent decisions about finances, including what programs to offer, program pricing, whether to have paid staff, how to structure membership dues (Unified Giving guidelines exist for membership, but are not currently monitored or enforced), fundraising, etc, including setting their own Unified Giving transfers to Shambhala Global Services.

A process to hold transfer rates steady was attempted in recent years, but is not currently implemented. The Unified Giving transfer percentage target has historically been 25% of gross revenue, however the actual average transfer in 2017 was 15%. Any revenue beyond a center or group’s Unified Giving transfer is retained at the local level to fund local operations.

Whether donations are received at the local Shambhala Centre or to its respective Shambhala head office (during the annual Shambhala Day campaign, for example), they are included in that center or group’s Unified Giving transfer calculation.

Unified Giving also funds certain activities within the Sakyong Potrang (see below), and transfers from Shambhala Global Services to the Sakyong Potrang are the mechanism to cover these expenses. In the past, when these entities were treated as a single management unit, there was no need to clearly define which activities were funded by which revenue stream. All unrestricted revenue to both the Sakyong Potrang and Shambhala Global Services was treated as general revenue, and expenses were viewed by division (eg Practice and Education) rather than by legal entity (eg Shambhala Canada). This practice has now changed, and this report attempts to apply the clarity of the new reporting regime to recent activity, as well as to future activity. See below for details of inter-entity transfers.

Revenue Impacts of the Sakyong Stepping Back from Teaching

The Sakyong and his teaching activity have contributed substantially to the overall revenue of Shambhala. His annual summer teaching at Shambhala’s retreat centres are a cornerstone of their financial model, and his occasional programs at city centres contribute substantially to their revenue as well. Work is underway to examine the impacts of his current step back from teaching, particularly on the land centres, and to plan scenarios for the future.

The Sakyong Potrang Legal Entities

The Sakyong Potrang entities house all the charitable work of the Sakyong lineage in support of Shambhala, as well as other charitable lineage activities. These entities support the lineage succession of Sakyongs and hold lineage texts, sacred sites, ritual implements, trademarks, and copyrights. This is different from the activity of the Shambhala entities mentioned above, which manage the general operations and assets of the city and retreat centers. Also currently within the Sakyong Potrang are staff positions that support the Shambhala organizations. The Sakyong Potrang was originally incorporated in the United States in 2012 as the Sakyong Ladrang, and renamed in 2015.

● The Sakyong Potrang

The Sakyong Potrang is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation registered in the state of Colorado. This U.S. division of the Sakyong Potrang holds the copyright and trademarks for core Shambhala teachings, practices, religious texts, and iconography.

● The Sakyong Potrang Canada

The Sakyong Potrang Canada is a registered Canadian charity. It owns Kalapa Valley in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia ...

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-- Kalapa Valley


and the Kalapa Court residence in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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-- Kalapa Court residence


It also rents the Kalapa Centre office space in Halifax until the lease expires in March, 2020[/b].

The Sakyong Potrang entities held unrestricted net assets (total equity) of negative $130,000 USD at the end of 2017. In 2017, these entities ran at a deficit of just under $200,000 USD.

The Sakyong Potrang entities are partially funded through the Lady Sharon Hoagland Restricted Lineage Endowment. The structure of the endowment allows for the withdrawal of up to 3% per year, which can fund general Sakyong Potrang operations and/or specific Sakyong Potrang projects. This endowment has permanently restricted assets of approximately $1 million.

The Sakyong Potrang in Europe

There is no separate Sakyong Potrang legal entity in Europe. There is a separate Sakyong Potrang sub-account held within the Shambhala Europe GmbH accounts. Donations from tangra offerings at programs and financial patrons fund this account. Available funds are used to cover the teaching related costs and travel of the Sakyong to regions in Europe with insufficient financial means, ritual objects like thangkas, and legal costs to research the formation of a European Sakyong Potrang entity. This sub-account also holds funds that have been offered by donors who wish to build a future Kalapa Court in Europe. It is not funded by Shambhala member, center, or group contributions.

The Kalapa Court

The Kalapa Court is the term used for the residence, teaching facility, and office of the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo, wherever they happen to be in residence at the time.

Kalapa Court expenses are paid by the Sakyong Potrang entities in compliance with applicable laws governing charities and churches
. Independent legal and accounting advice is sought when necessary to confirm which expenses are permissible to be paid by these church entities. Personal expenses of the Sakyong and his family, education of the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo’s children, and any child care expenses are paid for personally by the Mukpo family.

Including salaries for the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo, health insurance, travel, car rentals, and a food stipend, in 2017 the Sakyong Potrang spent approximately $194,000 USD on lineage expenses. An additional $211,000 USD went to parsonage support of the two Kalapa Court properties in Boulder, Colorado and Halifax, Nova Scotia. This is in accordance with standard church practices, and is in compliance with tax regulations (as per Canada Revenue Agency & Internal Revenue Service).

In 2017, 100% of these allowable church expenses were paid for by patrons whose intention was to support the Kalapa Court and the lineage through unrestricted donations and tangra offerings at programs. These funds were received as direct donations to the Sakyong Potrang entities. No funds from Shambhala entities or Unified Giving transfers were allocated towards these lineage and parsonage expenses.

Funding the Sakyong’s Teaching Support

The Sakyong Potrang budget also includes staff expenses which support the teaching, writing, practice, travel, and administrative activities of the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo. Positions in this category have included a part time editor, a Kalapa Court Manager, four continuity staff, one Machen (cook), and associated living and travel expenses for these staff members. This staff support allowed the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo to maintain their active teaching schedule, which supported the community of practitioners who benefit from the teachings.

These expenses totalled approximately $240,000 in 2017. With the Sakyong currently stepping back from teaching and administrative duties, these expenses are currently planned to drop to approximately $60,000 annually, covering a part time editor, two continuity staff, and occasional kitchen help.

Transfers from Shambhala Global Services to the Sakyong Potrang

In 2017, Shambhala USA and Shambhala Canada transferred a little under $500,000 USD to Sakyong Potrang entities. These transfers funded leadership functions, teaching support, and business expenses related to leadership and management roles that provided services to both Shambhala and the Sakyong Potrang. None of these funds were used to pay for lineage or parsonage expenses (see Kalapa Court section above).

With significant expense cuts occurring in both the Sakyong Potrang and Shambhala Global Services, these transfers are being reduced, re-examined, and clarified. A short-term arrangement is being established that will fund a reduced level of operations in Shambhala Global Services and the Sakyong Potrang through the current leadership transition and into 2019. The details of this arrangement are being finalized and will be shared when more information is available.

Future transfers and the long term financial relationship between the entities will be decided in dialogue between the new boards of Shambhala and the boards of the Sakyong Potrang.

Kalapa Media

Kalapa Media is not a separate legal entity. Its operations and staff are distributed through the Sakyong Potrang, Shambhala Global Services, and Shambhala Europe. Kalapa Media manages the production and sale of religious texts by the Sakyong and others, provides marketing and communications services to Shambhala and the Sakyong Potrang, and oversees Shambhala’s IT processes. The various departments that Kalapa Media manages are outlined below:

● Kalapa Publications

Kalapa Publications is a division of Shambhala Canada Society, based in Halifax Nova Scotia that produces and sells practice texts, books, and other Shambhala materials. This division is self-funded through sales.

● Shambhala Online

Shambhala Online is a division of Shambhala USA that offers video courses with the Sakyong and other senior Shambhala teachers. It is funded through online program fee revenue. Until revenue dropped in 2018, this division transferred funds monthly to support Shambhala Global Services.

● The Video Project

The video project, capturing broadcast quality footage of the Sakyong’s talks, and curriculum videos of many teachers for online courses, resides in Kalapa Media within the Sakyong Potrang and is funded by restricted donations, with no bottom line impact on Shambhala or Sakyong Potrang budgets.

● Shambhala Archives

Operating as a division of both Shambhala Canada and Shambhala USA, the Archives holds sacred relics, texts, and recordings of the teachings of the Sakyong lineage. It is funded by direct restricted donations and general Unified Giving revenue.

Shambhala Department of Finance

The Shambhala Department of Finance is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and directly manages the books and bank accounts of the Shambhala Global Services divisions and the Sakyong Potrang entities. The Sakyong Potrang entities began to be brought under the umbrella of the Shambhala Department of Finance in 2016. Prior to this, the Sakyong Potrang entities were known as the Sakyong Ladrang and they were held and managed much more separately from the functioning of Shambhala Global Services.

Bringing the Sakyong Potrang under the Department of Finance, along with the Shambhala Canada and Shambhala USA entities, was a way to unify the work of these different entities
. While they have different foci, they are also inseparable with respect to their shared mission of propagating the Shambhala dharma and their dependence on one another to serve the community fully.

In recent years, these four entities have been managed as a single unit, with funds flowing between them as needed. It has always been a challenge to unambiguously define the different functions and activities of Shambhala Global Services and the Sakyong Potrang. While Shambhala Global Services is community-focused and the Sakyong Potrang is oriented around the activity of the lineage, the specific allocation of any individual expense between these two is not always cut and dried. As we go through the current transition, all remaining ambiguity is being clarified, and the results of this clarification are stated to the best of our ability in this report.

In addition to directly managing the finances of Shambhala Global Services and the Sakyong Potrang, the Department of Finance also does annual consolidation of North American financial statements for Shambhala USA and subsidiaries, Shambhala Canada, Nalanda Canada, and all required annual reporting for the Sakyong Potrang entities.

Reporting

Shambhala Canada submits an annual charity return to the Canada Revenue Agency, including complete financial statements consolidated from each centre and division and reviewed by an independent accounting firm.

As a U.S. based church, Shambhala USA has no annual reporting requirement. Consolidated statements are created, but these are usually not available until 12-18 months after the end of the fiscal year. The Department of Finance has still not received full 2017 year end packages from eight U.S. divisions, and currently does not have the staff capacity to manage the full U.S. consolidation.

The Sakyong Potrang Canada submits an annual charity return to the Canada Revenue Agency, including audited financial statements. This entity came under management of the Department of Finance on January 1, 2016.

As a U.S. based church, the Sakyong Potrang has no annual reporting requirement, and produces only internal statements. This entity came under management of the Department of Finance on January 1, 2017.

Tax Receipting

The Shambhala Department of Finance currently manages all tax receipting for Shambhala Canada, Sakyong Potrang Canada, Nalanda Canada, and Sakyong Potrang (USA), and has complete donor records for these entities. The Department of Finance also receipts Shambhala USA donations that are are received by the Shambhala USA division of Global Services. Other Shambhala USA divisions, such as local centers and groups, are responsible for their own tax receipting, and that donor information is not collected or consolidated.

Shambhala Day Fundraising

Starting in 2017, the decision was made to bring together the giving of financial patrons who donate directly to the Sakyong Potrang entities with individual donations made by members around the world for Shambhala Day. What previously were separate fundraising campaigns were brought together into one cohesive annual campaign. Results are shown in the table below that was sent to all members in May 2018:

-- / 2018 PLEDGES TO DATE / 2017 / 2016 / 2015

Kalapa Patron Lineage Support / 235,000 / 200,000 / 200,000 / 200,000
Jewel Patron Campaign New Revenue* / 153,035 / -- / -- / --
Major Gift to the 2018 Campaign / 90,000 / -- / -- / --
Shambhala Day Giving Europe** (in USD) / 46,943 / 50,419 / 37,436 / 46,179
Shambhala Day Giving Worldwide*** / 226,403 / 273,605 / 201,400 / 236,980
TOTAL / 751,381 / 520,704 / 401,400 / 436,980
* Does not reflect actual number of Jewel Patrons. This total includes all “new revenue” from this campaign that can be counted towards the 2018 Shambhala Day campaign.
** All donations in Europe fund projects in Europe.
*** Includes donations from North America, South America, Central America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.


The Shambhala and Sakyong Potrang combined Shambhala Day campaigns of 2017 and 2018 were incredibly successful, historic, record-breaking efforts of our whole community at all levels of giving and patronage. In 2017, the combined campaign raised 30% more than 2016. In 2018 our community again stepped up with a pledged 45% increase over the 2017 numbers, enhanced by a major gift to the 2018 campaign.

Yet these historic successes were not enough to offset other factors driving the current financial challenges in Shambhala Global Services and the Sakyong Potrang.

Kalapa Council

The Kalapa Council included the Boards of Directors of Shambhala Canada and Shambhala USA. The salaried members of the Kalapa Council were situated in the Sakyong Potrang, funded by Unified Giving transfers. These leaders supported both the activities and teaching of the Sakyong and Shambhala Global Services. Many of the nine members served on a volunteer basis. With the resignation of the Kalapa Council, 3.5 full time equivalent staff positions held by Kalapa Councillors are being terminated, and Unified Giving transfers will be adjusted accordingly.

Treasury Council

The Treasury Council was formed in 2015. It advises the Kalapa Council on financial matters and does risk assessment for financial transactions of $100,000 or more made by Shambhala Centers (such as real estate purchases). The Treasury Council currently comprises: Susan Engel, Ryan Watson, Landon Mallery, Robert Reichner, and incoming member Wendy Friedman. The existence, function, and composition of the Treasury Council will be evaluated by new leadership groups after the Kalapa Council steps down. Expenses associated with this advisory body are negligible.

Historic and Present Financial Situation

The overall financial trajectory of Shambhala has been one of gradual growth since the founding of its corporate entities in the mid and late 1980s, as demonstrated by a few net asset (total equity) numbers for the North American Shambhala corporations in USD:

2002: $18 million
2010: $20 million
2016: $22.5 million

While steady growth is the big picture reality of Shambhala as a whole, the history of Shambhala Global Services is far more variable, alternating between periods of expansion and contraction. We are now in the midst of the third contraction in the past 15 years. In the early 2000s, almost all Global Services staff were laid off. As the financial situation stabilized, hiring resumed and the staff was slowly rebuilt.

About ten years later, an across the board cut of 13% of salaries was implemented, and $400,000 USD of loans were offered from individual members and various other Shambhala divisions. These loans were fully repaid, on schedule (mostly 5-year terms) and with interest.

As of August 31, 2018, the total long and short term debt of Shambhala Global Services and the Sakyong Potrang is projected to be approximately $1.4 million USD. Most of this debt is cross guaranteed by both the Shambhala and Sakyong Potrang corporate entities.

● $858,000 USD mortgage (Sakyong Potrang Canada)
● $412,000 USD line of credit debt (Shambhala Canada).
● $150,000 USD miscellaneous loans (Shambhala USA)


Approximately $250,000 USD of this debt has been added in the past 12 months, and the remainder over prior years.

Slowly building financial challenges have reached a tipping point. Unrestricted cash balances in all four entities are critically low, and this cash flow emergency is the most urgent financial issue currently being faced by the Department of Finance and the Boards of Directors of Shambhala Global Services and the Sakyong Potrang.

Many factors combined to create this situation, including but not limited to:

● An investment in increased staff in 2016 and 2017 that did not generate the expected revenue to cover the increased costs of these positions.

● Increased revenue generation was an expectation of increased staffing in 2016, however it was not specifically assigned to any particular Department, Pillar, or group to manage.

● Starting in 2016, accounting complexity increased. The Department of Finance took on accounting for the Sakyong Potrang Canada in January 2016 and Sakyong Potrang in January 2017. Regular management reporting to combine the results of all four entities and to understand the full combined operations of the Sakyong Potrang and Shambhala entities was not developed in a timely manner.

Shambhala’s volunteer Treasurer retired in mid-2017 after 15 years of service.

● Shambhala’s Director of Finance was on leave or part time status for much of 2017 due to a family tragedy.

● Many local centers were facing financial challenges in 2017 and reduced their year end and Harvest of Peace Unified Giving transfers relative to previous years.

● The Lost Art of Good Conversation three-city North American book tour in late 2017 was projected to contribute net revenue to Shambhala Global Services, but instead a net loss had to be absorbed.

● In June 2018, Shambhala Mountain Center and Shambhala Online simultaneously ended transfers due to internal financial issues that had been slowly building in these divisions. Global Services revenue loss: $138,000 USD annually.

● Some Shambhala Centres reduced their Unified Giving transfers to Global Services in July and August 2018. Global Services revenue loss: $63,000 USD annually


● Some members ended their direct recurring monthly donations to Global Services and the Sakyong Potrang in July and August 2018. Global Services and Sakyong Potrang revenue loss: up to $7,000 USD annually.

Responding to the Financial Crisis

As cash flow projections became dire in January 2018, the outgoing Kalapa Council initiated a process to cut $100,000 from the 2018 budget. Another round of cuts of approximately $500,000 has been made in the past two months, to take effect between July 31 and October 31. The majority of these cuts have occurred within the Sakyong Potrang entities, including the positions of the Kalapa Councillors themselves, some of whom were paid, and the termination of much of the teaching, writing, and administrative support for the Sakyong.

Additional cuts are likely to be required in the coming months, depending on the health of local centers and groups’ own finances, and their ability and desire to continue Unified Giving transfers. The most important variables are whether old and new members of Shambhala continue to donate to their local centres and to Shambhala Global Services, and whether participation rates hold steady in local Shambhala Centre programming.

The Treasury Council and Kalapa Council have also been exploring the possibility of asset sales since January 2018 as the scope of the cash crunch has become more evident. We have used short term strategies such as borrowing from our own restricted funds in order to have more time to analyze which assets have the best combination of value, liquidity, and minimized impact to the community. With insolvency months, and then just weeks away, a mortgage process was initiated on the Nalanda Translation Committee building as bridge financing. This loan has not been finalized, and every effort is being made to find other options to hold off insolvency.

The outgoing Kalapa Council is making every effort to leave as stable a financial situation as possible to the incoming Interim Board, at the same time as striving to delay decisions about potential asset sales.

The Kalapa Council members who sit on the Boards of Shambhala USA and Shambhala Canada Society will continue to hold fiduciary responsibility for these corporations until the Interim Board is seated on September 22, and they must do what is necessary to avoid defaulting on any obligations of the Shambhala Global Services divisions.

Finances and the Future

From one perspective, the Shambhala financial model has basically worked. Over the past several decades, Shambhala Centers and Groups have opened all over the world, many real estate assets have been acquired, thousands of people have studied the dharma and taken longer retreats at land centers.

From another perspective, the model has always been tenuous. While the overall assets of the organization are growing, it seems that at every level — local centers, land centers, and the center of the mandala — there is constant pressure to find enough revenue to cover costs, let alone to grow. Despite the general upward trajectory, financial crises occur periodically throughout the system, and different entities have to compete for donors’ interest and money. For members who have been around for decades, it may feel like there is little new about the financial side of what the community is going through right now.

The immediate goal of the current leadership is to create a more stable footing at the centre of the mandala through budget cuts and potentially asset sales. This will give the community and new leadership some time to explore how we can go forward together and how the financial model will evolve. How the finances will look in the future will depend on many things, including:

● Do Shambhalians still want to gather at their local centers to study, practice, and create community together? If so, are the Centers able to generate enough revenue through donations, dues and program income to be able to thrive?

● Do Shambhalians still want to gather at land centers for deep retreat? If so, for what programs, and how will the Sakyong’s current step back from teaching impact the financial models for those? Will the large international assemblies (Enlightened Society Assembly, Warrior Assembly, Sacred World Assembly, Scorpion Seal Assemblies, etc.) continue to be filled at the same size and frequency? If not, what programs can help make up that revenue for the land centers?

● What services do Shambhala Centers want to fund through Unified Giving transfers?

● What is the proper financial relationship between the Sakyong Potrang and the Shambhala entities going forward?

● How do we create proper management reporting, or even reorganize our entities, so that a more efficient and effective approach to finances is possible?

We look forward to your questions, and to continued exploration of these issues as we go forward as a community.

Appendix

An appendix is available containing all financial statements from all Shambhala entities referenced in this report, including: Shambhala USA, Shambhala Canada Society, Sakyong Potrang USA, Sakyong Potrang Canada, Shambhala Mountain Center, Shambhala Europe, and Nalanda Foundation.

These files are available for Shambhala members to view. To access these files, please click here.

(Note: You will need to log in using your Shambhala Database credentials. If you encounter any issues, please contact info@shambhala.org).

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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sun May 12, 2019 12:32 am

Kalapa Valley: The Sacred Centre of Shambhala
by shambhala.org
Accessed: 5/11/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


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Kalapa Valley is a Shambhala pilgrimage site and sacred park.

In 1979 the Druk Sakyong, Trungpa Rinpoche, recognized the valley as Kalapa, Shambhala’s capital. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has proclaimed Kalapa Valley the Sacred Centre of Shambhala.

This sacred park is a forested river valley with waterfalls and meadows, adjacent to Cape Breton Highlands National Park, on Cape Breton island, Nova Scotia
. Pilgrimages to Kalapa Valley are most encouraged, nourishing both visitors and the Shambhala community worldwide.

Kalapa Valley is open the general public who wish to visit during daylight hours. Please only drive in as far as the barn and park there.

Rental of the house is restricted to current dues paying members of the Shambhala community who have completed Enlightened Society Assembly. Those who don’t meet these prerequisites must ask a senior member of the Shambhala community to accompany them on an overnight stay. Exceptions to the prerequisites may be directed to the Director of Kalapa Valley.

The house, camping sites, and hiking trails invite overnight, week-long and day pilgrims to enjoy the peaceful and powerful simplicity of this woodland valley.

To book a camping site contact the Director.

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Japanese Emperor Akihito Commits to Kalapa Valley
by Kristine McCutcheon
March 29, 2019

Yori ōkina sekai Kami project arrives in Cape Breton

“Kalapa Valley is the most important place of land/property in the Shambhala community. The archetypal energetic structure of Kalapa Valley is known as “the valley spirit”; it is inexhaustible source of energy behind all other Shambhala Centres and the Sangha. It is the very ground that the Shambhala Mandala stands on. With the proper development in use, Kalapa Valley would help energize all Shambhala Centres worldwide.”

-- Summary of the Feng Shui Report


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Explanation

On February the sixth the first Full day of the year of the earth bore I was invited to the Japanese consulate in Halifax to receive a letter and architectural model of a Kami Palace to be built in Kalapa Valley as a gift from the people of Japan under the auspices of the Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan.

After four years of keeping a very difficult secret I’m completely delighted and honoured to announce publicly the building of a full replica of the Japanese Edo Castle in Kalapa valley as commanded by his Imperial highness the Emperor of Japan. Four years ago I was contacted by the Japanese ambassador to Canada emissary with a letter from the Emperor Akihito senior secretary. The letter stated that there has been an ongoing project in Japan to recognize the sacred Kami spots around the globe called the より大きな世界 Yori ōkina sekai Kami project. Throughout Japan there are Shinto Kami localities of great religious significance where the natural spirit energy of the world exist and is venerated. The Kami spirit can be amplified within the land and in particular certain geographical relevant locations like Kalapa Valley. The Yori ōkina sekai kami project, roughly translated to “greater world Kami”, I was told was originally conceived at the end of the second world war as away for Japan to reconcile itself nationally by expanding spiritually into the world making the offering of Kami. Since that time under the auspices of the Emperor, the gifts of Kami spirit dwelling places have been quietly been set up around the globe. On July 1st 2016 I was contacted by a Japanese delegation and met with them at the Japanese consulate in Halifax, NS after they returned from their first visit of Cape Breton. It was then that I was informed of the the Yori ōkina sekai Kami Project.

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I asked the delegation why they chose Kalapa Valley is being a significant an important site for Kami. It was explained to us that the Kami spirit is living energy of the world and exists in very significant special places. These places are generally where the local energy and the Lei Meridian lines of the earth intersect and are cradle by the land formations, usually mountains with flowing rivers. By following and projecting land forms they explain that they kept being directed towards Cape Breton and in particular Kalapa Valley. After more questions and probing they also elaborated to me the there’re some very influential Japanese students of the 12th Trungpa Tulku who now resides in Surmang in the Tibetan autonomous region. The 12th Trungpa has expressed his future interest to live in Japan and had mentioned several times to his students that outside of Japan the most important Kami Spirit can be found in Cape Breton Nova Scotia. We were told that when the delegation traveled to Cape Breton they did not know about our connection to Kalapa Valley or its location, they simply stumbled upon us as they said in their words with “Rising Sun good fortune”.

Naturally I was delighted that there was interest in Kalapa Valley outside of the Shambhala community and with such a dignified and honoured imperial house. The Emissaries interest was all very vague and at the time I did not know how the significance of this interest would manifest. It was at this time that we presented the Feng Shui reports, created by Dr Eva Wong, which explains what we knew about the significance of Kalapa Valley. I had specifically invited them to carefully read the report and make any specific recommendations they would feel necessary to host the Kami spirit in Kalapa Valley. I suggested that in time we would be building the planned Tori gates, several small shrines, bridges, pathways and spirit enclosures as suggested in the report. The delegation was very excited and very politely told me they would be honoured to contribute fully and make their offerings to build a suitable Kami place in Kalapa valley for the benefit of Kami and the world. They asked us if we could humbly keep their interests in the valley a very strict secret until appropriate time when all the plans and details are complete. Of course we agreed. We did not know what this meant and for three and a half years we received only one email simply asking us for relevant survey drawings of the property, which I promptly sent them.


Qigong- Eva Wong, author and translator of 13 books on the Taoist arts of health, meditation, and qigong, is the 19th generation lineage carrier of Xiantianwujimen Taoism and 3rd generation student of Wang Xiangzhai, founder of the Yiquan martial arts and Zhangshuan (standing qigong).

Fengshui- Eva Wong is a practitioner of several systems of traditional Chinese Fengshui, including Kanyu (land form), Xuankong (Flying Stars), Sanyuan (Three Periods), and Sanhe (Three Combinations). She consults in the Fengshui of residences, commercial enterprises, and spiritual practice centers worldwide. She is also the author of over 13 books on Taoism. Her Fengshui books are: Fengshui: The Ancient Wisdom of Harmonious Living for Modern Times and A Master Course in Fengshui.

Divination- Eva Wong is a lineage carrier of Xiantianwujimen Taoism, a lineage that specializes in qigong as well as divination and the study of the I Ching.

-- Eva Wong, by Shambhala Mountain Center


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Not until the meeting on February sixth did I understand the level of commitment of the Japanese delegation to the Kalapa Valley Kami. I was overwhelmed. Immediately on behalf of the Japanese delegation I presented the plans to Victoria County building department to see if we would be permitted to build such a structure in the valley. Two days ago Victoria County building and Development department has approved the project in concept, further regulatory work and approvals has to be completed but conceptually I can present the project as a happening. Please follow this link to read the full Japanese presentation and view the full details and drawings of the project.

KiKi So So

Yours In the Vision Of the Great Eastern Sun

Kunchok Tashi, Gary J Brown

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Eipurirufūru (Translation: April Fools !!!)
by Kristine McCutcheon
March 29, 2019

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Not afraid to be an April Fool…..?

The Japanese Emperor is not interested in Kalapa Valley yet…

but seriously please read this true excerpt from the feng shui report.

Excerpt from the Feng Shui Report

“Kalapa Valley is the most important place of land/ property in the Shambhala community. The archetypal energetic structure of Kalapa Valley is known as “the valley spirit”; it is inexhaustible source of energy behind all other Shambhala Centres and the Sangha. It is the very ground that the Shambhala Mandala stands on. With the proper development in use, Kalapa Valley would help energize all Shambhala Centres worldwide.”


VISION

“Our vision to create ongoing predicable financial support using a micro funding model to invite 500 of our friends to donate every month a small amount of $5 or an even $9 (which equals $108 annually if you want to be really buddhist about it….”)

Kalapa Valley is the tender open heart of the Shambhala Community and it needs our our loving kindness and support. Read on.

Historically, Kalapa Valley has been chronically underfunded in the Shambhala mandala, for the past 16 years has never been on solid financial footings to fully support the proper maintenance and development of Kalapa Valley. The fields have overgrown, the waterways have clogged and the buildings are becoming derelict.

It is our goal to treat and heal the land, waterways and ultimately our community
by executing, like a stroke, the recommendations held within the Feng shui report. To do this we need ongoing stable and predictable funding.

This is how we all can participate directly in the healing process. Our goal is to invite caring people to make a small on going monthly donation of $5.

A 5$ regular donation is equivalent to buying a cup of coffee for Kalapa Valley once a month or think of it as dharma Netflix if you wish but with out the guilt of wasting your precious human existence.

In 2016 Shambhala Society passed ownership and the on going responsibility of Kalapa Valley to the Potrang. This fund raising campaign we are doing is for the Feng Shui Projects and is strictly for the feng shui stated goals on the land, the funds are not designated for the discretion of the Potrang. To maintain impartiality we partnered with a third party charitable organization called “Canada helps”. Your donations are processed by Canada Helps and will go directly into the land. For your donation you will receive a tax donation receipt from “Canada helps”.

We ask you to make a commitment for ongoing Financial support of Kalapa Valley feng shui project. To do so we suggest an ongoing monthly donation through Canada Helps of $5. We like you to spread the word and encourage your friends and businesses you may know to participate in this worth while charitable act. Feel free to to make your monthly donations as small or large as you wish. The goal is to create financial predictability by having regular monthly donations.

As an ongoing donor of Kalapa Valley you become a member of the Kalapa Valley Society. The society is a group of individuals who hold Kalapa Valley in their hearts and minds. As a member of the society one is kept informed of ongoing progress of the Feng Shui Projects, local news and will have direct a platform to express opinions or concerns to the Kalapa Valley leadership.

There’s so very much to discuss about Kalapa Valley and its importance to our community that it is not all represented here. I make myself available to have conversations at length with anyone who wants to probe deeper into any topic concerning Kalapa Valley. I do want to tell you this today; that the Kalapa Valley land is open for everyone to visit during day light hours, to gain peace, to contemplate, to gain inspiration, to laugh, to dream and to meditate.

Those who have had the good fortune to visit understand the unique quality of this land. There seems to be an unanimous consensus of all who visit, Buddhist of all sects and the general public, that this piece of land in this humble Valley is very special in a very ordinary way.

Present ongoing projects

Last year we received donations from individuals and a grant from The Shambhala Trust to build a bridge the cross Peddler’s Brook. This mountain stream separates the masculine and the feminine energies of Kalapa Valley. When storms come, this mountain stream flows hard and turbulent. It is impossible to cross. This bridge which is 50% complete is due for completion in the Fall of 2019 and is the initial Feng shui structure to be completed in the Valley. With your on going monthly $5 donation we can fulfill our obligation to create all the elements of a sacred park that will benefit and heal hearts and minds throughout the entire Shambhala mandala and greater world.

Stay tuned to specific projects and updates

Excerpt from the commentary of the Feng Shui Report

At present, Ms. Wong suggests that only 10% of the land’s energy is being revealed and, therefore, much work needs to be done to invoke full potential. Kalapa Valley is not only unique as a significant land formation, but also vital in the context of the greater Shambhala mandala.


The relationship between Kalapa Valley and some other centres is described as some of the following remarks that Ms. Wong made during her visit in September, 2000 :

“Each Place has to be complementary and hooked-up. This makes the whole mandala strong. Kalapa Valley is the well that all houses draw form. The Valley Spirit is the backbone of everything that happens in Shambhala Centres. It is the primordial energy behind other Centres. This part of the country is completion, powerful, deep and fruitional. We should treasure and work with this land.”


Follow this link to read the Feng Shui report in its entirety.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sun May 12, 2019 2:03 am

Enlightened Society Assembly
by Shastri Janet Solyntjes
Shambhala Mountain Center
July 1–11, 2019

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Tuition $535 + 10 nights

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Shastri Janet Solyntes

Enlightened Society Assembly is a group retreat for all who have completed Rigden: Unconditional Confidence. This deep training emphasizes the view of the intrinsic goodness of all beings and society, practices that rouse compassionate openness, and confident activity that engages fully in the world.

In particular, this Assembly focuses on how we can create enlightened society on the spot, at home, in our city and nation, and wherever we go. Participants train in a practice to expand the warmth and strength of our hearts called the Shambhala Sadhana. This program works to integrate study, practice and community with an aim to understanding the basic goodness of oneself, others, society and the phenomenal world. There is a chance to make a personal commitment to be of benefit by taking the Enlightened Society Vow.

Under the guidance of an Acharya and another senior teacher, Enlightened Society Assembly provides an opportunity to fully engage and integrate these teachings and practices while living in a Shambhala practice environment.

Prerequisites

Students applying to the Enlightened Society Assembly should have completed the following before the program (please note that these are new requirements) :

Shambhala Levels I through V
Everyday Life Series: Meditation, Contentment, Joy, Fearlessness and Wisdom
Rigden: Unconditional Confidence
One Weekthun
Membership in your local Shambhala meditation centre/group or membership in Shambhala for those not affiliated with a local centre.
Recommended: The Basic Goodness Series is highly recommended, as the material covered in these courses is directly relevant to Enlightened Society Assembly – but it is not required.

Fees

Tuition for this program does not include the required materials fees. The materials fee has not yet been set for 2019. The 2017 cost was approximately $130, not including shipping. (Materials are not optional.)

APPLYING & REGISTERING FOR ENLIGHTENED SOCIETY ASSEMBLY

Please read the following paragraphs as they contain updated and important information.

Attending Enlightened Society Assembly is a two-part process that includes applying to the program with the Shambhala International Office of Practice and Education based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and registering with Shambhala Mountain Center. This year, participants are welcome to apply first and then register, or to register first and then apply.

In order to attend Enlightened Society Assembly, you must submit an online application by June10, 2019 (link below) and be accepted by the Office of Practice and Education, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The application is reviewed by the Office of Practice and Education, in order to ensure that each participant is adequately prepared.

The application deadline is June 10, 2019.

Registering with Shambhala Mountain Center (link below) allows you to pay for the program and requested housing. Registering for lodge housing submits your housing preference, but does not guarantee it. Importantly, registration with Shambhala Mountain Center alone does not guarantee your attendance at Enlightened Society Assembly.

Please do not make airplane reservations until you have received your full acceptance from the Office of Practice and Education.

The application deadline for Enlightened Society Assembly is June 10, 2019.

To apply for Enlightened Society Assembly via the Office of Practice and Education, please click here.
For questions about registering, email registrar@shambhalamountain.org.

The registration deadline for Enlightened Society Assembly is June 20, 2019. After this deadline a late registration fee of $125 will be added.

To register for Enlightened Society Assembly and reserve accommodations with Shambhala Mountain Center, please click here.

Staffing

If you have already completed Enlightened Society Assembly and are interested in staffing this program, please fill out this Program Staff Application.

Shastri Janet Solyntjes

Shastri Janet Solyntjes joined the Shambhala community in 1986 and began teaching in 1994. She is a certified Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher and serves as a faculty member for the UMass Center for Mindfulness leading silent retreats for MBSR teachers-in-training.

Janet lives in Longmont, CO with her husband, Jeff Price. They co-founded The Center for Courageous Living which offers a variety of programs, retreats, and trainings throughout the Front Range and internationally.

Program Details

Arrival and registration is between 10am and 5pm on July 1, 2019. Departure will be after breakfast on July 11, 2019.

Registration takes place from 10am – 5pm on your program start date. All participants and volunteer staff must check in at our Guest Registration house. Please arrive before 5 pm to check in and settle into your accommodations. Your program begins with dinner, followed by an orientation. The Guest Registration house closes at 5:00 pm after which no one is available to provide information or orient you to your accommodations. There will be no program sessions on the departure day, July 11th. Further specifics regarding your program's schedule will be available upon arrival. If applicable, you will receive an email from the program coordinator in the week prior to your program with any additional information you may need.

Financial aid is available for this program. Please apply through the Shambhala International Application page when you apply for the program.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sun May 12, 2019 2:12 am

Warrior Assembly 2019
by Dorje Denma Ling
Accessed: 5/11/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


DATE & TIME DETAILS: Arrival is after 3 pm on August 7th. Departure is after breakfast on August 18th.

ADDRESS: 22 Balmoral Road, Tatamagouche, NS, B0K 1V0

CONTACT:
Peggy Eyre
programs@dorjedenmaling.com
(902) 957-3443

Program Listings: Warrior Assembly 2019, with Acharya Gaylon Ferguson and Shastri Mary Campbell

August 7 - 18, 2019

The Shambhala Office of Practice and Education and Dorje Denma Ling are pleased to offer Warrior Assembly for 2019.

Building on Enlightened Society Assembly and the Sacred Path programs, Warrior Assembly introduces powerful practices and teachings on the Ashe principle. This Assembly focuses on how to develop fearlessness in engaging as a warrior in the world. The preparation required for Warrior Assembly is listed below.

Warrior Assembly is a prerequisite for attending Sacred World Assembly.

APPLYING AND REGISTERING FOR WARRIOR ASSEMBLY

Registering for Warrior Assembly is a three-part process as follows:

(1) Apply to the Office of Practice and Education at Shambhala International based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. You can apply to Shambhala International after January 3, 2019 here. (Note: you will have to log into the Shambhala Database in order to complete your application.)

(2) If you are accepted to attend, you will receive an email including a special registration code. Return to this page, complete the registration and enter the code where asked.

(3) Pay your deposit. Your deposit reserves your spot in the program as well as puts you in the queue for housing.

The Office of Practice and Education endeavours to process applications as quickly as possible, but it can sometimes take up to 8 weeks.

PROGRAM COSTS

– Tuition is $1,400 and includes meals.
– An Early Bird Discount of $120 is offered if you register by May 7.
– Accommodations are extra.
– There is also be a materials fee of $225 for your brush, text and pin.


All prices quoted on this website are in Canadian currency.

ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE

Please plan on arriving between 3 – 6pm on August 7, 2019, for check-in and registration. Dinner is offered at 6:30pm. The program begins at 7:30pm. August 18 is departure day; you are free to leave at any time.

PREREQUISITES TO ATTENDING

Enlightened Society Assembly (and its prerequisites)
Sacred Path programs (including Golden Key)
Basic Goodness series
Completion of a weekthün (in addition to the one done before Enlightened Society Assembly)
One letter of reference from your meditation instructor, centre director, shastri, or acharya
Membership in your local Shambhala Meditation Centre/Group or a Shambhala International membership. For more information on membership, contact your local Shambhala Centre or visit http://www.shambhala.org/community/membership/ If you live in a remote area where centre membership is not possible, you can become a member of Shambhala by contacting Thomas Cory at tacory@gmail.com.

PLEASE NOTE

This program requires pre-authorization in order to register. An authorization code will be included in your acceptance letter.
Registration will open in the new year. Stay tuned for updates.

USEFUL LINKS

What to Bring & Expect at DDL
How to Get Here
Financial Aid Form

INTERESTED IN STAFFING WARRIOR ASSEMBLY?

If you are qualified and interested in staffing Warrior Assembly, you can apply here.
Leaders

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Acharya Gaylon Ferguson

Soon after reading Meditation in Action, Gaylon heard the Vidyadhara teach several summer seminars in Vermont. In 1973, after giving a “particularly panic-stricken and disorganized ” open house talk, Gaylon joined Tail of the Tiger Buddhist Community (now Karme Choling) where he worked in the garden, set the tractor on fire, and took people into retreat. After attending the 1975 Vajradhatu Seminary, Gaylon taught briefly at The Naropa Institute, led a dathun at the now deceased Padma Jong, and finally returned to Karme Choling, first as a staff member in the practice and study department, and then as Executive Co-director. In 1979, Gaylon journeyed west again to serve as teacher-in-residence for the Berkeley Dharmadhatu and in 1983, he joined the Office of Three Yana Studies in Boulder.

In 1987 Gaylon returned to Yale to finish his undergraduate degree in African Studies, and, as a Fulbright Fellow to Nigeria, subsequently went on to complete his doctorate in cultural anthropology at Stanford. Dr. Ferguson currently lives in Boulder, Colorado, and is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University. Now in the role of Acharya, he continues to practise and teach within the Shambhala community.

Dr. Ferguson is the author of two books: Natural Bravery: Fear and Fearlessness as a Direct Path of Awakening (2016), and Natural Wakefulness: Discovering the Wisdom We Were Born With. His essay “Buddhism and The Politics of Race” appeared in the collection Mindful Politics. His article “Making Friends with Ourselves,” from Dharma, Color, and Culture was selected for inclusion in the series The Best Buddhist Writing.

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Shastri Mary Campbell

Mary Campbell has been a student of Shambhala Buddhism since 1981 and began teaching in 1986. She served as Shambhala Training Resident Director in Boston and at Karme Choling. In 2010, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche appointed Mary as shastri for Halifax. Mary teaches widely, leading public programs, retreats, Way of Shambhala programs, and Enlightened Society and Warrior Assemblies.

Mary is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatry and Mental Health and for many years has taught meditation within health care settings — to patients, family members and health care providers. She has written on mindfulness for nursing publications and is a co-investigator in mindfulness research.

Mary lives in Halifax with her husband Chris Morel.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sun May 12, 2019 2:21 am

Sacred World Assembly
by Shambhala Mountain Center
Accessed: 5/11/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Sacred World Assembly
June 25–July 16, 2014
Tuition $1040 + 21 nights

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Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

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Acharya Christie Cashman

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Acharya Adam Lobel

Having been introduced to one’s own basic goodness, the basic goodness of all beings and society itself, and having been introduced to the great mahayana path, the warrior is now invited into the full magic of the sacred world.

This advanced program, Sacred World Assembly (formerly Vajrayana Seminary) is designed to deepen students’ practice and understanding of the Buddhist and Shambhala vajrayana teachings and to enter them into a sacred relationship with the viracharya guru, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche — helping him to create an enlightened society.

Sacred World Assembly is led by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and two of his acharyas – Acharyas Christie Cashman and Adam Lobel. This Assembly authorizes students to begin their Shambhala ngöndro, the preliminary practices for receiving the Rigden Abhisheka.

Enlightened Society Assembly and Warrior Assembly are prerequisites for this program, along with Refuge and Bodhisattva vows. Bodhisattva vows will be offered for those who are unable to receive the vow before hand. Once accepted to the Assembly, all participants must complete the 9-class Shambhala Online course, Entering the Vajra World, and class-related practice requirements, prior to the start of the Assembly. More information on this course will be provided in your acceptance letter from the Office of Practice and Education.


APPLYING & REGISTERING FOR SACRED WORLD ASSEMBLY

Please read the following paragraphs as they contain key information

Attending Sacred World Assembly is a two-part process that includes both applying to the program with the Shambhala International Office of Practice and Education, and registering with Shambhala Mountain Center. This year, participants are welcome to apply first and then register, or to register first and then apply.

Registering with Shambhala Mountain Center allows you to pay for the program and requested housing (see link below). Registering for lodge housing submits your preference, but does not guarantee it. Importantly, registration with Shambhala Mountain Center alone does not guarantee your attendance at Sacred World Assembly.

In order to attend Sacred World Assembly, you must submit an online application (link below) and be accepted by the Office of Practice and Education, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The application is reviewed by the Office of Practice and Education, in order to ensure that each participant is adequately prepared to receive the transmissions and practices and to enter into the vajrayana path.

Please do not make airplane reservations until you have received your full acceptance from the Office of Practice and Education.

To apply for Sacred World Assembly via the Office of Practice and Education, please click here
The application deadline for SWA is March 15, 2014.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have registered with Shambhala Mountain Center, but have not submitted an online application to the Office of Practice and Education, as of March 15, 2014 we will assume that you have decided not to attend Sacred World Assembly, and you will be removed from the Shambhala Mountain Center registration list.

To register for Sacred World Assembly and reserve accommodations with Shambhala Mountain Center, please click here

If you have already completed SWA and are interested in staffing this program, please click here to submit an application

Program Details

Registration takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on your program start date. All participants and volunteer staff must check in at our Guest Registration house. Please arrive before 4:00 p.m. to check in and settle into your accommodations. The Guest Registration house closes at 5:30 p.m. after which no one is available to provide information or orient you to your accommodations. Departure is after breakfast on your program end date.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sun May 12, 2019 2:25 am

Scorpion Seal Assemblies II, III, V, VI Garchen
by Shambhala
Accessed: 5/11/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Program Details

Scorpion Seal Assemblies II, III, V, VI Garchen

July 13 / 12:00 AM - July 24 / 6:00 AM

Click here to register

From July 13 – 24, 2019 there will be a gathering of Scorpion Seal Assemblies II, III, V, and VI. This will create a potent mandala of practice, study, and celebration of the Scorpion Seal path.

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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sun May 12, 2019 4:56 am

Letter to Leaders in the Shambhala Mandala
by Zachariah Finley
May 5, 2019

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Dear Leaders in the Shambhala Mandala,

I write to you to affirm my support for everyone who has experienced physical, emotional, financial, and sexual abuse in our community, and in appreciation for their courage in speaking their truth. I also write to let you know that I will no longer be affiliated with Shambhala as a vajra sangha member. Nor will I continue to be an office-holder, given that the Sakyong, some Acharyas and Shastris, high-ranking members of the Dorje Kasung, and in general those most responsible for these harms have failed to demonstrate accountability for what has transpired.

At a minimum, this accountability would involve those who have committed abuse in this community, and everyone who has covered up or facilitated that abuse, stating publicly and specifically what they have done, offering to relinquish their positions of leadership, and demonstrating their genuine intention to repair the situation. To my knowledge, with the possible exception of Ani Pema Chodron, not one Acharya, Shastri, DK official, nor other leader, has stepped up to do anything like this. There have been a few apologies, but these have not been followed up with the reparative efforts which the situation requires. I am not sure if any pressure is being exerted on those in leadership positions to assume genuine responsibility and demonstrate accountability for past misdeeds. I hope that it is, but I see no evidence of such.

Notwithstanding your failure to act, I do believe that the behaviour of some of you in positions of leadership constitutes a significant ethical breach. Were your abusive actions a manifestation of "crazy wisdom," the benefit to others, rather than the now obvious wreckage of suffering, would be evident. By this time I think you all have a fairly good idea of who among you is culpable for hurting others. Yet, manifestly, nothing is being done: the Interim Board and the Process Team are clearly working very hard, but many with real power in the organization -- the Sakyong, some Acharyas and Shastris, the leadership of DK -- have done nothing that would indicate that genuine change is on the horizon. Instead, we have platitudes and obfuscations about "this challenging time" and the Sakyong's "need to heal."

At this point, I believe that what should be put first is survivors’ need to heal. As regards the Sakyong’s need, I do not think that his healing would be possible without accountability.

Lately, there has been an effort in Shambhala to foreground social justice issues, and amplify the voices of women and racialized individuals as teachers. This is long overdue, and has come from the generous efforts of these groups, who have themselves been harmed by the entrenched white supremacy and misogyny so clearly evident in the sangha. But realizing the impact of longstanding systemic oppression and the profound pain it has caused, while necessary, does not eliminate the problem of silence and inaction related to abuse among the organization's leaders.

I am by no means blameless in my own life when it comes to misuse of power and privilege, hurting others through sexuality, or lying and covering up for my own or others’ misbehaviour. Certainly, recent events in Shambhala have given me ample opportunities for self-reflection and changing my behaviour. But I do think there is a need now to say this: what some of you have done, either through your own abusive behaviour or your complicity, has made it impossible for many of us to make this community our dharma home with any sense of congruence, integrity, or trust.

In one of his several letters, the Sakyong pointed out that he is a “human being on the path,” and I certainly do not begrudge him the opportunities and latitude that pertain to his status as a fellow human, any more than I would expect myself to be without fault. I do understand that he survived a great deal of trauma as a child, just as, according to others’ reports, he inflicted a great deal of it as an adult. I do not need for my teachers and leaders to be superhuman. But I do need for them to be decent. The Sakyong has not been, and neither have some of you.

Until now, for the past two years, I have been the Director of Practice and Education for the Vancouver Shambhala Centre, and, for the past three years, I have been a Scorpion Seal practitioner. I say this not particularly to establish my bona fides, so much as to acknowledge that I have been involved with supporting Shambhala, and that your inaction has had, and will continue to have, real world consequences. I am only a very small cog in this wheel, but I am leaving. Many others -- not just newcomers -- will as well, or already have.

What has, thus far, kept me from walking away entirely has been my sense of loyalty to my friends in the local sangha, some of whom will either need to leave themselves, or will have to pick up the work that I will leave when I go. But I will not continue to be a party to the avoidance and dismissiveness in which the senior leadership of our global community is so obviously mired.

To the Sakyong, to David Brown, to Adam Lobel, to Joshua Silberstein, to Wendy Friedman, to Richard John, to Mitchell Levy, to Jesse Grimes, and to others (you know who you are, I think): please, if you have done something wrong, confess it and make amends. Social media creates a difficult climate, but this problem is not insurmountable. There could be a zoom meeting series, or video recordings, among many other possibilities. And being harangued in the media or on Facebook is painful, but not as painful as what those harmed by your abusive actions or by your silence and cover ups have been through. After a genuine apology, there would need to be the long hard work of attending to the needs of those you hurt. Many of us are waiting.

If you have neither perpetrated nor enabled abuse, please put pressure on those who have. If you think that this is somehow “sowing dissension in the sangha,” please consider the impact of abuse and silence.

Many of us have no further recourse in this sad state of affairs other that non-participation. Some of you, by virtue of your position, may have other opportunities now to heal and protect this sangha.

Yours,
Zachariah Finley
Vancouver, BC
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Wed May 15, 2019 7:18 pm

Part 1 of 2

An Apology to Survivors of Shambhala Sexual Misconduct
by Fred Coulson
February 7, 2019

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


By now we are all aware of the letter that Mipham J. Mukpo (known to some as “Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche”) sent to the Shambhala community shortly before fleeing the country. In it he tried to respond to the findings of sexual misconduct that are documented in the third-party report that was commissioned by Shambhala’s legal counsel.

Mipham’s response is inadequate because it fails to address the survivors of his and his enablers’ abuse, and it falls short of the full apology he needs to make if he is ever to regain credibility in the eyes of his disappointed followers, and the world.

Attorney Carol Merchasin, who assisted with the Buddhist Project Sunshine project that started bringing Mipham’s misdeeds to light, wrote a brilliant analysis of Mipham’s letter, in which she suggested how a proper apology to the assault and sexual misconduct survivors might go:

We are beyond regret that your spiritual teacher and the organization you trusted and relied on abused you. All of us as leaders of this community have betrayed your trust; we have been complicit not only in seeing and allowing this aggressive behavior to continue, but we also inflicted more pain on you by not listening, by seeking to minimize the harm, by denying this happened, by demeaning you, by labeling you as ‘needy,’ ‘troubled,’ or ‘too ambitious.’ We understand that all of these actions were wrong – not only wrong but done in an attempt to protect ourselves and not you. For all of this we stand before you in breathtaking remorse for the harm we have allowed. In addition to making the changes that must be made to the organization, we intend immediately to begin a program of restitution and repair for each and every one of you who has experienced pain due to our action and lack of action.

If you feel that you may have been complicit in the abuse, whether directly or indirectly, whether you were a leader or not, then please join me in affixing your name to this apology. Feel free to use your refuge name, Shambhala name, or a pseudonym if you like. You can leave a brief comment expressing why you think this apology is important, if you feel comfortable doing that.

This is not a petition that will be submitted to any authority. This is merely a public statement of support for the survivors of Mipham’s and Shambhala’s abuse over the years, and a token of gratitude to the brave people who have come forward at great personal risk to expose the abuse.

Sincerely,
Fred Coulson
(Vajradhatu/Shambhala, 1989-2004)

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164 signatures
Fred Coulson says:
February 7, 2019 at 1:07 pm
I regret that my dues and effort over the years helped to enable Shambhala’s ongoing abuse of vulnerable people. And I apologize for the harm I did through my selfishness and lack of empathy.

Norbert Hasenoehrl says:
February 7, 2019 at 2:04 pm
I was part of this abusive system for 20 years. I gave money, time, energy to that organisation and tried to convince others to do the same. I am deeply sorry for that now. I ask foregiveness from anybody who was hurt in Vajradhatu/Shambhala.

Shannon van Staden says:
February 7, 2019 at 2:12 pm
I am deeply touched by your bravery to speak up. I am also very sorry for the harm you have endured and the shunning from your community. Just by being part of the sangha, I feel complicit.

Magnus Lidbom says:
February 7, 2019 at 2:30 pm
Thank you so much for speaking up. I’m terribly sorry for what you have gone through.

I’m a brand new member, but that does not absolve me from responsibility. Each and every one that is voluntarily part of an organization and supports that organization has a responsibility. A responsibility to find out what the organization is about and what the effects of supporting it is. Unless there is a complete replacement of the leadership structure I will be leaving.

Edmund Butler says:
February 7, 2019 at 2:56 pm
For those who were harmed by my carelessness and those I promoted – may you feel loved, at peace and cherish every moment free of this pain.

Brian Sullivan says:
February 7, 2019 at 3:47 pm
To quote further from Attorney Carol Merchasin’s important analysis,

“You cannot heal if you cannot honor the whistleblowers.”

I honor and thank you for shining a powerful light into a darkness that was spun for us to avoid.

Jez Taylor says:
February 7, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Your bravery is an example to us all, I thank you with all my heart and hope you find peace and freedom from the pain you have had to endure.

David Philbedge says:
February 7, 2019 at 4:34 pm
I appreciate your bravery, but I am so ashamed by the lack of bravery of so many that could have helped, in a variety of ways, which has meant that those at the sharp end, have had to bear the whole load themselves

Julia Howell says:
February 7, 2019 at 4:38 pm
I am sorry MM treated you with disrespect. I am sorry those who knew the danger and did not take action to prevent it from happening again. I am sorry that I knew and did not speak up sooner. I am sorry I kept company with enablers and fixers, those who don’t or didn’t believe you. I am sorry there was no place out in the open where you would be safe disclosing and responded to. I will not support Shambhala anymore–you are more valuable and worthy of respect. What do you need to move through the impact? Those affiliated owe it to you to find a way to fulfill that need, myself included.

Drukmo Daschon says:
February 7, 2019 at 4:40 pm
I’m sorry I ever met the universal monarch. I’m sorry I was ever involved. Sorry I said yes. Sorry people died due to the toxic cult of shambhala. Sorry for the pain I caused. Sorry it took me so long to realize how dangerous this is. Not sorry they are going down, though. Not sorry people with intelligence are leaving in droves!

Richard Allison says:
February 7, 2019 at 6:38 pm
By the sacrifice you’ve made you’ve acted as a true bodhisattva! I’m very grateful and at the same time extremely sorry for your personal pain, loss and sorrow. May all the world shower you with blessings…

Lise Hull says:
February 7, 2019 at 7:03 pm
I am sorry for your pain and wish you true freedom from your suffering.

Heymama Wolf says:
February 7, 2019 at 7:15 pm
Immense gratitude to all those who have broken the silence of abuse in Tibetan Buddhism!

Good Boundless Rainbow says:
February 7, 2019 at 7:31 pm
Thank you for speaking truth to power and hoping to change the toxic institutional culture. It’s very sad that Shambhala’s response has not lived up to the heart of the teachings themselves.

Carol Merchasin says:
February 7, 2019 at 7:37 pm
With hopes for healing in 2019.

Robert Merchasin says:
February 7, 2019 at 7:39 pm

Alyson Fyffe says:
February 7, 2019 at 7:58 pm
I am deeply grateful to all of the survivors for sharing your stories, even in the face of gaslighting, shaming and threats. I cannot imagine how difficult this has been for you, but in sharing as you have, you have saved many of us from harm. Thank you.

I am also sorry I supported this toxic organization, and that I did not take the time to understand what it was all about before giving it my time and money. I will do what I can to make amends for my part in supporting this culture of harm.

Justin Rezzonico says:
February 7, 2019 at 8:09 pm
I’m sorry people are choosing to protect themselves and the organization instead of the most vulnerable and the truth which is true dharma. I’m sorry Shambhala hasn’t reached out and said, “We hear you, what do you need?”

Kathleen E Moore says:
February 7, 2019 at 9:04 pm
I was part of this organization for several years and I totally jumped in even while witnessing problems from the very beginning. I apologize for the blindness that lead to my not noticing the extent of the harm being perpetrated. I apologize for the narrowness of my understanding resulting in ignoring the systemic nature of harm in this community. I apologize for believing, however briefly in the specialness of a leader, imbuing others -and myself – with less power and agency. I apologize for not asking more questions and for my lack of curiosity. I apologize to all those who were harmed by me. I really should have known better.
I have tremendous appreciation and gratitude for those who have had the courage to reveal their stories of suffering by leaders, teachers and students in this community. I know they have faced derision, dismissal, shunning, gossip, threats and discounting. They have been revictimized. I applaud you and I respect you. I am listening.

Margaret Ervin says:
February 7, 2019 at 10:53 pm
I am sorry that my support of Shambhala was support for a deeply misogynistic organization that consistently and systematically silenced, shunned, and disbelieved you. Though I didn’t know most of you, I did know one who was hurt and manipulated, and I am sorry. I now realize this is not a safe community. It is a community that helps women uncover their power, only to then objectify, mystify, and co-opt that power. It is a bait and switch. I am ashamed to have been part of that degradation. Shambhala is a sacrilege. It is a community that serves up the sacred feminine for the use of men, for the use of so-called teachers. I have stood by and watched the seduction, and I assisted in normalizing it. I congratulated you. I played along and tried to make myself seem part of the scene by doing so. I should have recognized it for what it was. I should have told you it felt creepy. Because it did. I should have been on your side, looking out for you like a sister should, not going along for the ride. I mean, fingers would have been pointing at me if I’d said, “Eek! What the fuck? Are you sure?” But I could have at least left. I’m leaving now. Even if you need to stay, and no matter what you need to do, I love you. I am on your side. May you have happiness and ease, and may you experience peace in the joy of your own perfection.

Kindness Warrior says:
February 8, 2019 at 1:43 am
I am so sorry that a community that was supposed to be a “culture of kindness”, has abused people so horrifically and that the head teacher didn’t even attempt to acknowledge the “rot” until he was caught. I am sorry for all the victims who were driven to suicide, psychiatric issues, PTSD, addiction, despair, and complete isolation. I am so sorry that sangha members continue to pour secondary wounding on top of that. I am sorry for the deep devastation Osel Mukpos conduct has caused to the actual lives of his victims. I am so sorry that many are still too terrified to speak out about being raped. I am not sorry to be leaving the cult of Shambhala. Ki Ki So So…. its time to go!!!!!

Linda Markowitz says:
February 8, 2019 at 5:18 am
I am so sorry that it took a deafening cry to wake us from great ignorance. And I’m sorry that there are still those who cannot hear the whole of that cry. May you dwell in great peace and equanimity and find joy, compassion and loving kindness in all that you meet.

Cheri Tiernan says:
February 8, 2019 at 6:25 am
I am deeply sorry for the abuse, shunning, shaming and personal attacks you’ve endured. I want to thank you for your courage and conviction in bringing these abuses to light. May you have peace and healing.

Jenny says:
February 8, 2019 at 6:45 am
I’m so sorry for everything you’ve been through, and sorry for any part of it I might have enabled. You deserved better. I send you love, support, and wishes for healing. Thank you for speaking out, if you could, and for surviving whether you chose to speak out or not. I see you.

Amanda Hester says:
February 8, 2019 at 7:32 am
I am so sorry for whatever role I have played, directly or indirectly, in causing anyone to feel and experience harm. I will continue to try, to learn, and to do better.

Kathy Southard says:
February 8, 2019 at 7:44 am
I am sorry for also gaslighting you when you first told me. I am sorry to have contributed to this culture of harm towards women and abuse of power. I am so sorry that I was so indoctrinated that it took time for me to listen to my basic intelligence and wisdom. I hope you always feel included and respected. I hope healing, peace, and kindness replace what you have experienced previously. My you feel vindicated and validated.

Daniel says:
February 8, 2019 at 8:42 am
Thank you for your courage in speaking out and for bringing to light abuse and those aspects which lead to a culture of complicity. As a former member of the kasung for little over a year, I am especially sorry that I didn’t do more to hold space for you, and that I didn’t recognize or dig into the toxic workings of the culture I was being asked to protect. I am sorry that I made a vow to an organization that used its structure to silence whistleblowers, such as yourselves, and that the inner circle of kasung, the kusung, were so derilect in their duty to protect you in your moment of need. There was a serious lapse of relying on innate wisdom, and rather an apparent turn toward fealty. As part of our practice we contemplate and attempt to manifest “Don’t be afraid to be a fool.” It is my opinion we were afraid to appear foolish in front of senior teachers by calling out abuses, and calling out aspects of the culture that we may have observed as toxic. You suffered because of fealty overruling the greater duty of care for the sangha. I am so sorry that my ego, and having it stroked by the opinions of others such as senior teachers, got in the way of your care. Though I never served Mipham Mukpo, I recognize within myself the qualities that could have lead toward fealty toward my trusted spiritual master over duty to the sangha. However those qualities impacted those around me, directly or indirectly, I am sorry to them, and I am sorry to you.

Kate Linsley says:
February 8, 2019 at 10:23 am
Crystal Gandrud says:
February 8, 2019 at 11:27 am
I am sorry that I have been complicit in a culture of abuse. I am sorry that it did not occur to me that it could change. I am sorry that I did not pursue more directly and vigorously the whispers and intimations I caught. I am sorry I could not keep foremost in my mind that those whispers meant people were being hurt. I am sorry that although I was aware that the Sakyong was one of the people we all knew to ‘stay away from’ (as well as many Acharyas and people in the inner circle) that I did not somehow connect that with being WRONG. I am sorry that I assumed the women involved in these exploits somehow ‘wanted’ to. What was I thinking? I am sorry I was basically blind to the reality of clergy sexual abuse. I am sorry that I looked the other way. I am sorry that when I did not look the other way or spoke up that I allowed the immediate negative feedback to hush me. I am sorry that I ‘dealt’ with the victims of power dynamics (even on the most mundane level) instead of going straight to the perpetrator-thereby reinforcing the idea that it was somehow not the problem of the perpetrator. I am sorry that when I was on the receiving end of misogyny that I did not more vigorously stand up to them and insist that they be held accountable. I am sorry for all the ways I cannot currently perceive or imagine in which I have contributed to the culture of abuse in Shambhala. I vow to do much better now and in perpetuity.

Sarah Wilson-Reissmann says:
February 8, 2019 at 12:23 pm
Tsering Rangjung says:
February 8, 2019 at 12:51 pm
I am sorry that I bought into the Shambhala story line, that I fell into the trap of wanting to be cool with outrageous behaviors so I would ‘get it,’ be part of the inner circle, and belong. I’m sorry I was so seduced by SMR and CTR that I didn’t prioritize people who were being harmed by the organization. I am seeing how my own conditioning and traumas led to me believing this was all ok, cool even, crazy wisdom. That the abuse I experienced myself was my karma. I offer my love to all who’ve been harmed, disregarded, discredited, shoved aside. What can I do to help you? What can Shambhala do to help you? I am grateful this is all coming out now so we can work together honestly.

Dr. Annie Price says:
February 8, 2019 at 1:52 pm
I am sorry I supported financially and emotionally a hypocritical predatory organization.
I am sorry I had no idea anything like this was happening around me.
I am sorry I lacked the confidence in my own innate wisdom but instead placed that confidence with someone as foul and disgusting as MM.
I am sorry I didn’t trust my gut feeling when I thought certain situations seemed strange and I didn’t speak up which may have resulted in someone being harmed.
I am sorry that practitioners/teachers perverted “vajrayana secret practices” as an excuse to justify horrible behavior.
I am sorry everyone used Trungpa’s “Crazy Wisdom” to justify mysogyny and sexual exploitation while we justified it as those crazy hippie years.

I am sorry I was so angry and disappointed that I did not attend an Atlanta community meeting that was suppose to open a discussion with John Rockwell regarding the allegations/investigations (and after spending most the time having everyone chant and mediate leaving only 20 minutes for discussion, saying that a simple accusation could damage a man and basically blowing it off )and I wasn’t there to stand up for victims by calling out how gross he was.
I am so so very sorry from the depths of my humanness that you either were not believed or told that MM shouldn’t be questioned. I ache knowing this happened to you.
I am sorry the leaders in every Shambhala setting have not lived up to their position and are not real leaders in any sense.
I am sorry Shambhalians are continuing to support him and find excuses for MM’s (or any other perpetrator’s) chronic aggressive criminal behavior.
I am devastatingly sorry your practice and your path to wisdom was clouded/confused or eroded by self serving people with no integrity.
I am sorry the investigation was obviously biased and in no way complete.
I am sorry that the investigator had the irresponsibility to publish hearsay/gossip by claiming one of you was trying to buy a way to the teacher. I am sorry there was ANY question that it could be a victim’s fault in any way.
I’m sorry that the findings were classified as sexual misconduct instead of what it really was- sexual predation and assault.
I am sorry and disappointed but not surprised that MM wrote an “apology” that was not real or heart felt and pointed the finger/blame to us to look at how we create harm.
I am sorry that all the community and victims are being asked to continue to follow this sick sociopath if we want to pursue these beautiful and dignified teachings.
I am so so very sorry. No one in our community should ever be put in a situation of harm. I am so very truly and with all my heart sorry you the victims have had to be the ones to shed light on this alone and have to relive and add new pain. We have all failed you. I love you and respect you and feel heart break and true sadness for what you have had to go through.

Adrienne Papermaster says:
February 8, 2019 at 2:21 pm
I’m sorry for my ignorance and my failure to question everything that felt off. I’m sorry that as a kasung I didn’t protect you. I’m sorry that I staffed and coordinated programs and took on leadership positions at my local center, helping to draw in many new people. I’m sorry that my time, treasure and love of the dharma supported a “mandala” that was rotten at the center. Thank you for your bravery. May you be happy, healthy and free.

Christopher Kilmer says:
February 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm
Boundless Lion says:
February 8, 2019 at 3:04 pm
I am sorry I didn’t see things earlier. I am sorry the gaslighting and shunning and narcissism is still going on. I am sorry for the recent hurts caused by the Sakyongs dumb letter and people’s blindness. I am sorry this organization does not have more courage and common sense. May all the survivors be safe and well.

Erik Blagsvedt says:
February 8, 2019 at 3:22 pm
JC Jaress says:
February 8, 2019 at 3:26 pm
My apologies for the unnecessary suffering caused at the hands of people in position of power. I offer my wish for healing of all parties affected. Also, my sincere regrets for the moments in my life when I have caused unnecessary suffering of others, regardless of scope, magnitude or intention. Much love.

All Pervasive Moon says:
February 8, 2019 at 3:50 pm
I am sorry for the harm done to a number of people through the Shambhala community and via Mipham Mukpo. I am sorry that I helped this organization to continue it’s cover up and silencing via my financial contributions and volunteer time. I am sorry the Sakyong will not make an actual public apology for the harm he has done and the confusion he has caused.
For all who have been in pain due to the way they were mistreated and for those who are now in mourning for the community they thought they had, my love and condolences to you. I hope there can be healing.

Mary Schroeder says:
February 8, 2019 at 3:50 pm
I am so glad that the perspective of “#metoo” has come to Shambhala, where it has been sorely needed. It is sickening to think of how women’s vulnerability and trust has been exploited by sexual predators within this organization. As with other organizations that have dealt with this issue, it is very important to look at those accountable, including SMR and others, to determine whether it is appropriate for them to continue in their current positions. Perhaps this is a time to reimagine Shambhala.

Tom Joyce says:
February 8, 2019 at 3:51 pm
Because I was mostly on the periphery of the Shambhala organization, I had no idea what was going on, other than an occasional “affair”—usually between a young woman and an older male teacher—which I assumed was consensual. I should never have assumed anything! When I first read the Sakyong’s initial admission of having had inappropriate “relationships,” I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I realize now that this was hurtful to those women who had been marginalized, victimized and used by the Sakyong and his power-elite for whatever reason. I am very sorry for any pain my misplaced trust may have caused. All I can say is that I did speak up when I saw things that disturbed me in Shambhala (i.e.: Chögyam Trungpa’s outrageous drunkenness in videos and the preening, sycophantic loyalty of the kasung—of which I was one—for “His Majesty.” I don’t know if Shambhala can—or should—survive as an organization, but I will continue to speak out against this destructive fiction of monarchy and systemic abuse as long as my voice is not silenced. Thanks to all who bravely came forward to speak their truth. Thanks to those who finally listened.

JOF says:
February 8, 2019 at 4:58 pm
Laying a big bouquet of roses at Julia’s feet. And Leslie Hays’.

Elisabeth Hazell says:
February 8, 2019 at 5:13 pm
I am so sorry that I didn’t know what to do when you told me. I am so sorry that this continues to be handled with such inteptitude. I am open to learning more about what I can do and I promise to bear my burden in changing this system, which should not have to fall to the survivors alone. Your bravery is to be commended and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Gerlinda Grimes says:
February 8, 2019 at 5:25 pm
I believe you. I’m sorry I contributed my money and time to an organization that prioritized its abusive leaders over you, over your truth. I’m especially sorry and ashamed that when I coordinated a level just as the news was breaking, I took a participant who had questions to the program director, a long time Vadryana practitioner, rather than offering my own perspective. I didn’t want to “overstep.” I lacked the courage of my own wisdom.

Elizabeth Batiuk says:
February 8, 2019 at 5:41 pm
Thank you for speaking up, sharing the difficult truth of your experience, and for shedding light on the harm that has been happening. I am beyond regret for the trauma that you have been through. I honor you for your fearlessness and for being your own true witness. I hope you find the solace, acceptance, connection, and appreciation that reflects the true compassion and wisdom that you are. I promise to believe and serve survivors in the process of healing from the harm of sexual misconduct and from the harm inflicted by those who are complicit in allowing it to continue. May you be happy and free.

Apriel JessupSearcy says:
February 8, 2019 at 6:20 pm
In deepest gratitude for your voices, your courage, your stength! Through your willingness to be the voices and the faces for those who have endured harm within our community. We are indebted to you for coming forward and being the stimulus for change. I am sorry for the pain, mistrust, and trauma you have endured. Know you have my love and support. May you find healing, peace, and sanity through the chaos.

heartbroken in halifax says:
February 8, 2019 at 6:35 pm
How can we help you? To the women who have been harmed: we believe you; we are sorry; we deeply regret any unwitting part we have played – ignorance is not an excuse.

Feeling complicit is another shock to us, along with many.

Many of us ‘still in’ feel betrayed by this teacher and the trust we had in him.

We wish you could have seen so many of us – women and men – speak out forcefully in many community meetings that we had no reason not to believe you.

We demanded to know what was being done to support you, and what changes were being made to make sure this never happened again.

We are deeply sorry for the pain that our teacher has caused you. That we have caused you.

Many of us who have wanted to reach out with our care and support but were reluctant to step into the FB fray, and are grateful for this forum.

We feel heartbroken.

You may strongly disagree with us for not walking away.

Yes, it seems that would be the right and only thing for any person with intelligence and integrity to do.

You may say that if we don’t leave then we are still complicit.

I hope you will hear that there are so many good people struggling at all levels in the community, questioning everything and every one. And working hard for real change.

Shocked, outraged, saddened – please know that there are many of us with our eyes now wide open, committed to assuring ‘never again’ and working to see if something worthwhile can be salvaged .

We need to hold the Sakyong accountable, and report to the authorities immediately anyone else who has harmed others.

We need to honour and respect each other. We need to get back to our Buddhist roots. We need to look deeply into the teachings and salvage what is true and good.

Deconstruction before reconstruction.

And for that cleansing fire, we thank the emotional bravery of all you women, heard and unheard.

Take care.

Please forgive me for not adding my name to this …

Nancy Ann Floy claimant #3 says:
February 8, 2019 at 6:40 pm
I am so terribly sorry for every woman girl man and boy who has been abused at the hand of MM and all of the other members of shambhala. You are not alone and it was not your fault and I believe you. I believe you. I am so terribly sorry for the ways that I have participated in this sick system and for not speaking up years ago. I am so sorry for running away instead of standing my ground and saying THIS IS NOT OK. I am so sorry for your pain for your shame for your self hated for your self injury. I am so sorry that you have lost your faith and your health. I am so sorry that you were ghosted by MM and that I did not reach out to you when you were gone. You survivors are goddess warriors. You are my Sheros and Heros and I bow down in the face of your courage your tenacity and your will to carry on. I love each one of you with all of my heart. Those who have come forward and those who are still in silence. I love you and you are never ever alone. You are a precious child of the Buddha and nothing can ever touch or tarnish your buddhanature. You are brilliant blazing pure crystal shimmering light. Never ever doubt this truth of who you are.

Larry Akey says:
February 8, 2019 at 6:55 pm
I’m sorry that all of the sexual predators in shambhala perverted the sacred trust that all of the students had in the dharma. I applaud those survivors who have already come forward and to those who don’t yet feel safe to come forward I wish you healing. I am so sad for all of this. I am so heart broken for all the survivors who had to go thru it

Jackie Blagsvedt says:
February 8, 2019 at 7:11 pm
To the survivors who have come forward. You are beyond brave. Thank you for being the whistleblowers. I’m sorry that you weren’t met with warmth and caring concern. May you be blessed and surrounded by skillful car providers who can accompany you on your path toward healing. I was sexually abused by my own step-father as a little girl. Don’t blame yourself for not understanding what was happening. It’s not your fault. The Sangha should have protected you. My community that knew my abuser’s history should have protected me and my sisters.

Sangye Choga Martin says:
February 8, 2019 at 7:19 pm
I am a survivor of long term sexual and emotional abuse outside and inside the Shambhala organization. I also held a leadership position during a period when the organization closed ranks around a victim. I was complicit in believing leadership narrative. That they had locally offered support. They characterized her as mentally ill and ensured me nothing had happened. I diverted further correspondence to an email address set up by Shambhala to record her activity for legal purposes. It was a community wide instruction I followed.
I’m embarrassed by my gullibility and ashamed of my ignorance.

Dori says:
February 8, 2019 at 7:31 pm
I regret any harm that was caused through my bystanding or silent witnessing of harms within Shambhala. While I believed that my decades of practice, study, teaching, and leadership were for the benefit of others, I ignored clear evidence that elements within the culture of Shambhala tolerated, perpetrated, and hid the acts of sexual violence that occurred. May survivors find peace and justice, may those complicit in harm tell their truth and be held accountable, and may the leaders who caused harm, including Mipham J. Mukpo, be removed from office and brought to justice.

Robin Ann says:
February 8, 2019 at 7:42 pm
I am so very sorry that on my very limited practice at Karme Chöling I did not call bullshit on the “teachings” about “ruling your world” and the perception of right and wrong, basic moral and ethical principles as somehow delusional. I should have done so, especially as an “outsider” even though, at the time, my gut was telling me that it wasn’t safe to do so. I might possibly have prevented done harm or at least named the crazy non-wisdom out loud.

Michael Stephens says:
February 8, 2019 at 7:45 pm
I greatly appreciate that a venue has been created that we all can express ourselves in this way. It’s very moving to read all these statements. As for me, I am so sorry to have participated for so many years and done so little to make sure Shambhala was a safe and genuinely inclusive environment. In my recent times, I naively thought things were at least OK, but I am very sorry that I did not do more to understand. I did not challenge the things that were going on in various parts of our society, especially in the environment around Mipham Mukpo. It breaks my heart to hear of all the physical and emotional abuse that was happening. Now that I do know, I cannot sit idly by any more. I wish for the survivors to know they are supported, and for real truth can finally come out.

Nelleke Strik says:
February 8, 2019 at 8:41 pm
I am deeply sorry for the harm that many people have suffered in Shambhala and I feel ashamed of the letter from the ‘Sakyong’ this week as well as his previous communications. I admire the courage of those who have spoken up. I support you all and send love and wishes for healing.

Frances Morris says:
February 8, 2019 at 9:08 pm
If I had known of the sickness and depravity of the community I was part of from 1978-2010, I know that I would have spoken up. I do not fear telling the truth. Unfortunately, I had no idea that people were being abused, sexually, emotionally and psychologically. I am now revolted by what has been revealed and wish I had never heard of Vajradhatu or Shambhala. I hope that all the survivors understand that we, the truth seekers, support them each and every one. I pray that there is justice coming to the perpetrators so that they never have a moment’s peace until there is reparation. As for the enablers, may they see how little compassion and bravery they have, and may they realize what hypocrites they really are!!

Damcho Palmo says:
February 8, 2019 at 9:14 pm
I am sorry that for so many years I made excuses to myself for things that I saw and heard about that didn’t seem right.
I am grateful to all of the survivors who have stepped up and spoken out.
And to everyone who didn’t for their own reasons .

Allya Francesca Canepa says:
February 8, 2019 at 9:32 pm
K. Chokyi says:
February 8, 2019 at 9:44 pm
I’m so sorry. I continue to be sorry. I have been open about my own trauma and worked with sexual trauma survivors since my first Courage to Heal workshop in 1988. And still I gave my money, my energy, and my recommendation to others to check out this misguided, abusive power structure. Worst of all, even when things triggered my survivor sense, I said nothing.
I got caught up in the meditation teacher social media moguls – best selling authors with large internet followings who claimed Shambhala heritage/credential and I kept their stars in my eyes while I said nothing.
I saw the way “advanced students” (Level III and up) demeaned new people (“Oh you level ones are so cute. I remember then…”) and then assert their power in sexual and emotional ways over them. It creeped me out. I protected myself. But, I said nothing.
I bought into the whole “Dharma Brat” syndrome – “he was raised as a Buddhist, he knows this stuff” – bought the books, paid for the seminars, and even though I saw the sexual immaturity and opportunistic overtures I called it “sweetly naïve” and “too spiritually focused to realize crude sexual allusions are not appropriate – he just thinks he’s being edgy.” I said nothing.
In fact, even now, I watch Lodro Rinzler, walk away from allegations of sexual misconduct without saying ONE. WORD. of accountability, and start selling his own meditation program – like his actions as a teacher didn’t matter -and still using his Shambhala credentialed “authority” to draw in more women – and I just shrug it off – and I say nothing. Sweeping this precious dharma son of Shambhala under the rug, no one is holding him accountable to his sexual misconduct, not even me. I am sorry I do not stand up. I am sorry I don’t really even know how.
I was world wise enough to steer clear of danger to myself sexually, then let my brothers and sisters walk through that flood without even bothering to yell “The bridge is out. It is not safe.” In my silence, in my ego, in my need to be accepted, I let you all down. I am sorry, and I sit nightly in the hope your healing will be powerful, swift, and soon.


Jessica Martin says:
February 8, 2019 at 9:45 pm
I am sorry to all those harmed, ignored, not believed, or hurt in any way. You did not deserve this. You came to this community with the best of intentions and trusted those around you. You were taken advantage of and we hear you, we see you, and we acknowledge your strength.

I’m sorry I invited people to this organization and encouraged others to participate even if they were feeling uncomfortable.

I’m sorry I didn’t trust myself, my heart, and my gut.

And I’m sorry we were not there when you needed us.

M Jane Ross says:
February 9, 2019 at 12:43 am
I am so deeply sorry for your pain, for all the hurt and loneliness, the sense of abandonment and loss of faith, the self-doubt and the distrust of others that you have endured. Having been through the hell of abuse of power, I stand beside you, thanking you for holding on for this moment, when bystanders and enablers step forward and accept their complicity and express their genuine remorse and heartfelt wish to make amends. When we who are allies speak up to honor you. May genuine amends be made by those who failed you, and may those amends reach you where you live, in healing and life-affirming ways.
I thank all who came forward with your truth, both the whistleblowers and the report writers, for your courage in speaking truth to corrupt power. You have done this for all of us in the wider Buddhist sangha. You have given us hope that abuse will be called out, that corrupt hierarchies and self-serving leaders will be unmasked, that remorse, care, and amends will flow to those who have been harmed and abandoned. That those who have harmed and those who have enabled harm will fully understand it is their duty to make things right, that they too may find healing from the knowledge that they have betrayed the Buddha’s cardinal Precept of non-harming.
May the heartfelt apologies and healing wishes expressed here be a stepping stone to profound healing. This is my wish for you who have been harmed, by the acts and failures to act of the Buddhist community as a whole, by us all.

Sergio garfagnoli says:
February 9, 2019 at 12:53 am
To confess wrong withaut losing rightness:
Charity I have had sometimes,
I connot make It flow thru.
A Little, likes a rushlight
To leader back to splendour.
(Ezra Paund)

Arnold Leiter says:
February 9, 2019 at 3:16 am
Sorry!

Tsultrim Pamo says:
February 9, 2019 at 5:15 am
Verse of Atonement:
All evil karma ever committed by me since of old
On account of my beginningless greed, anger and ignorance Born of my body, mouth and thought

Now I atone for it all (x 3)

Tommy says:
February 9, 2019 at 5:16 am
I am so sorry. I’m sorry for supporting a system that allowed abuse at the highest levels. I’m sorry for ignoring the risky elements of this spiritual model, telling myself that my local sangha was all that really mattered. (“There’s no corruption or misbehavior here in my sangha, so as long as I stay in my own backyard, I’m not too concerned about what goes on elsewhere…”). It’s a poisonous belief system that leads to allowing, either through ignorance or negligence, unchecked harm to be perpetrated on those who trust leaders that are, sadly, not worthy of such trust.

I am sorry for the victims of SMR and leadership’s behavior and all of the occasions that Basic Goodness and Inherent Dignity were marginalized for the sake of power and pleasure. I am sorry that I unwittingly supported that. I had no idea. And I’m sorry that, now that I do have an idea, that I sit in confusion and anguish myself, uncertain of whether to abandon a broken spiritual model or to try and stay to help rebuild it as one anchored in accountability. I’m sorry that I’m not farther along on my spiritual path so that the answers are not more evident.

I hope those who have been harmed can continue to find the truths of the Three Jewels in a community that values their courage, their dignity, and their right to protect their bodies and minds. I hope all of us can find the courage to speak up about what we feel about callous behavior, dangerous power dynamics, and situations that put the well being of others or ourselves at risk.

I am truly sorry for the survivors of this abusive power and callous behavior. I am sorry for our sangha at large, the Shambhala community, for being pulled into confusion and a divisive dialogue about our future, and I’m sorry this system created a power dynamic that doled out privilege at the cost of peace.

May the truth of our path forward, be it within or without Shambhala as we know it, be illuminated.

"Valkyrie" says:
February 9, 2019 at 5:42 am
Some are still blind. My meditation teacher who has been in Shambhala for 40 years both in the US and UK told me of a spiritual leader giving talks sitting up in bed naked while playing with the children. He was amused recounting it. I felt queasy listening to this. To him it’s just part of it. He laughs recalling drunkenness and womanising of Shambhala leaders yet insists that the Dharma that was transmitted was pure. I think he could contribute to the investigation but is keeping quiet. His loyalty runs deep.

བློ་གྲོས་བྱམས་པ་ says:
February 9, 2019 at 6:43 am
Changsem Gao says:
February 9, 2019 at 6:46 am
Christine Labich says:
February 9, 2019 at 7:19 am
I am most profoundly sorry for the ways that your natural openness, trust, and longing to be of service to the world were abused and taken advantage of. We as a community should have protected you, listened to you, and been clear-eyed and brave enough to call for accountability at all levels. I apologize personally for the ways I continued to support a harmful culture, despite the fact that the ways my own probing and questioning was deflected set off alarm bells.

Even at a distance from what has happened directly to you, this process of trying to distinguish what is happening is extremely painful. I can only imagine it must be a million-fold more painful to stand in the center of it all. I thank you for your courage, practice, and compassion, and may the deep knowledge that you are loved and full of wisdom abide in your heart always.

Sherap Seng ge says:
February 9, 2019 at 8:41 am
I am sorry for my complicity in supporting the organization that harmed you.
I always felt like something wasn’t right, and yet I stayed.

Stephanie DiLorio says:
February 9, 2019 at 9:54 am
You are brilliant and beautiful, worthy of love and protection. I wish Shambhala had been a safe place. It should have been. I am sorry it wasn’t. I wish that your community and teachers had believed you. I wish they had provided care to you. I believe you. I care about your healing. I am holding you in my heart and practice.

Renate says:
February 9, 2019 at 10:54 am
I’ve been so naïve. I’m so sorry that I prioritized “peace” and tried to come up with a reason, any reason, to explain any “misunderstanding” away. I’m so sorry that it took me so long to recognize what I was doing, that I was brushing away any feelings of unease and thereby brushing away any possibility for hearing you. I should have been there for you, should have been there with you, and instead I spent too much mental energy thinking “maybe he didn’t know what he was doing?”. I spent too long waiting for the moment where Crazy Wisdom behaviours would start to make sense. After all, it was promised to us. Stick around long enough, and you’ll gain the secret understanding of why things aren’t what they seem to those “outsiders”. It’s disgusting when I think back on it now. I’m ashamed that it took me this long to see the ways in which the organization habitually protects itself. I thought for a time I could work to fix it, but I was not strong enough. To all survivors, to all those who refused to be beguiled, I thank you for saving me.

Bob Kucera; Sherab Dorje says:
February 9, 2019 at 11:02 am
Katie Getchell says:
February 9, 2019 at 11:13 am
Thank you so much for your courage in breaking the silence, especially when faced with so much marginalization, minimization and ostracism.
I’m so sorry for your suffering. I’m sorry the very community that was your refuge negated your reality, and I’m sorry for any of the ways I was part of that.
I’m sorry that, for years, I suppressed my raw intuition and understanding of the world, and relied on a theocratic, disembodied, flawed path, and so became incurious & untrusting of the real inner lives and experiences of others.
I deeply regret censoring myself & withholding the genuine expressions of my heart when our “religion” came into conflict with my perceptions & innate knowing. I’m sorry for this obstacle to honest conversation, growth, and healing.
I deeply regret that I kept my mouth closed because I thought it was impolite to disparage anything about “the lineage.”
I deeply regret believing that a spiritual path is Off Limits for critique, and therefore that I added to the layers of obfuscation and confusion.
I deeply regret believing that members of the dharma hierarchy were beyond reproach.
I apologize for the walls this created between us and for the stupid reinforcement of power structure that I bought into.
I’m sorry that I believed that all the secrecy and ritual was inherently special and valuable, magical and beneficial, pure and safe. I’m sorry that I didn’t see that they actually create the ideal conditions for abuse & deception.
I’m sorry for any way that my participation, and my encouragement that others participate, perpetuated this damage that has hurt you. I’m sorry that for so long things didn’t feel right but that I didn’t articulate what I knew.
I apologize for judging my own life through the lens of (insufficient) devotion, surrender, discipline and broken samaya; and therefore projecting this cloud of misunderstanding onto others.

I believe you, and I promise to speak now and to support you.

Elizabeth Sawyer says:
February 9, 2019 at 11:30 am
Gratitude to all who have had the courage to apologize to those who have been harmed. For outing y/ourselves. To those who have been gaslighted, shunned, minimized, labeled as mentally ill, liars, and trouble makers. I have been on both sides. Both harmed and complicit. I am not from Shambala but I was aware that Chögyam Trungpa is literally the father of this abusive behavior. We must look in the mirror as Buddhist practitioners and ask ourselves what we are attracted to and why we will go along with abuse. Why we will stay and perpetuate the abuses in one form or another.

Michelle McPherson says:
February 9, 2019 at 11:30 am
I was horrified when I heard about the abuse you experienced from MM and other teachers and meditation instructors in Shambhala. You should have been safe, honoured, and valued by every member of the community. To know that you were ignored, belittled, shunned, and re-triggered by all the non-apologies and victim blaming in the sangha is heartbreaking. I am so sorry that I didn’t question the “nobody was ever hurt” historical storyline or trust my gut feeling that the concentration of power in the Court was dangerous. I’m sorry I accepted the “hippies will be hippies” excuses for the thread of sexual indecency and abusive behaviour that pervades the community. Please know that I am in awe of your courage and resilience, and that I was grateful to see clearly that it was time for me to leave Shambhala. But I wish that clarity had not come at your expense. Sending so much love and gratitude to you. I hope you are now surrounded by caring, loving people.

Andy Rose says:
February 9, 2019 at 11:47 am
Shulamit says:
February 9, 2019 at 11:48 am
I am deeply sorry that I gave my time, money, service and devotion to an organization and a man who are deeply deluded. I am so sorry for the heartache and pain of those who were exploited and harmed by Osel Mukpo, who I am convinced is a deeply damaged person and a true narcissist. I am sorry that none of the leadership in Shambhala has had the courage to step down and publicly denounce a culture of delusion, misogyny and abuse. It truly sickens me that good people are too invested in the brand of Shambhala to be able to think for themselves and see that what they’re invested in is led by a fraud, and not an enlightened leader who cares for them in any way. I am sorry for the many many more women who were exploited by Osel Mukpo and others who still feel too vulnerable to step forward.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Wed May 15, 2019 7:19 pm

Part 2 of 2

Tepa Dachon (riis) says:
February 9, 2019 at 1:45 pm
I’m deeply sorry for the harm, distress, and confusion you experienced. As a Shambhalian, I apologize for any role I may have played–directly, indirectly, or energetically– in perpetuating misuse and abuse of power within Shambhala. I am sorry that traumatized people often go on to traumatize and abuse others–as I believe has been the case with CTR and SMR. I wish you healing and am disappointed that collectively Shambhala isn’t offering you more at this time–restorative justice processes, compensation, and/or whatever you need to see your way forward with healing. Love and justice are not two…in Shambhala we still don’t seem to grasp that as a community or a force. Again, I am sorry.

Cate says:
February 9, 2019 at 2:34 pm
Finally, the veil is lifting from the Buddhists and uncovering their lying ways. The fact that the Dalai Lama is connected with the NXIVM cult is enough for me to stay far away from any Buddhist “group”.
My husband was in Gampo Abbey with Trungpa in the 70’s and was appalled at the partying and sex back then. He thought he was supposed to be in a spiritual community. After hearing a talk with Trungpa and his evil sidekick Thomas Rich (he doesn’t deserve a Buddhist name), where Thomas was drunk, we turned it off and never look back.
This whole Shambala thing doesn’t surprise me at all. It is a Buddhist cult.


Debra says:
February 9, 2019 at 2:44 pm
Giving some gratitude to you all, those who were harmed and those who testified as witnesses, for your willingness to stand in your truth, and that at least now you have been heard. Wishing you the peace and support you deserve.

Pseudonym Survivor says:
February 9, 2019 at 4:09 pm
I am sorry too, as a leader in Shambhala, I was not brave enough to speak up. I did not recognize the harm for what it was and I thought I could change things from the inside. We needed those of you who came forward to bring attention to the problems in Shambhala.

I feel voiceless and am using a pseudonym because I am also a survivor, but my needs are not the same of those who’ve come forward. I identify with all of those who’ve come forward and want to support you, so I write this apology as a leader

But I am also writing this apology to myself, as a survivor, knowing that there is not one solution to ease survivor’s pain. My needs as a survivor are not met by everyone saying they will walk away from Shambhala in solidarity. I don’t want to encourage people to leave, and I don’t want to encourage people to stay.

To those survivors who feel they need to leave and that Shambhala should be dismantled. I am so sorry for encouraging you to hang in there, for not trusting my doubt, and for holding up the patriarchy. I am sorry that I’m still not ready to take it all down, because I hear that you want me to join you in that call. I realize that having not come forward put me in, and came from, a position of privilege.

I want to change myself, change our community, and change the greater society as well. I want a real apology from SMR and I don’t want business as usual ever again. I will do my best to amplify your voices.

Naomi says:
February 9, 2019 at 6:39 pm
survivor in solidarity.

Deborah Marshall says:
February 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Dana Balukas says:
February 9, 2019 at 7:39 pm

Alex Metok says:
February 9, 2019 at 8:47 pm
I’m sorry I supported the court, and I’m hoping we can raise funds to support survivors. I want abused people to stop having to bear the brunt of this community’s work. The organization’s response has been shameful and harmful. I’m sorry.

David Suppan says:
February 9, 2019 at 11:58 pm
To all the whistleblowers of sexual, emotional and physical abuse of every spiritual stripe, please know that your redemption is at hand. The forces of forgiveness and understanding are taking root in the minds of gentle and tender compassion. The suffering of your unfortunate experiences are transforming into the fortunate experience of what is necessary to all human evolution – the advancement and outing of spiritual truth. Your stories of suffering have become our stories of forgiveness. We honor your courage in telling your story so that we can create the opportunities to become better human beings. I am committed to doing what I can to the healing of this or any other spiritual community. I send my prayers and spiritual counsel to all those who need healing. Love to you all.

Anonymous says:
February 10, 2019 at 12:36 am
I’m sorry that I lack the courage to call out my abuser by name, a long time student and MI in Shambhala, for fear for my personal safety and that of those I love. I value my safety first.
I’m sorry that even with #metoo I can’t share what happened, whenever I tried people turned their back on me. They did not want to see their friend as the physically violent, verbally abusive predator he was. I am sorry I could not protect his next victims. If you are one I am so sorry. I had to save myself
. I admire the courage and bravery of every person who has spoken up, you are beautiful, you give me hope.

Maria Julianna Bolda says:
February 10, 2019 at 3:27 am
I am very sorry for the way you were hurt in the shambhala community and for the my own actions or lack of actions: of pretending not to see, of not speaking up, of not listening to my heart and of not protecting you, that have contributed to the pain you have experienced. Especially as a kasung i should have protected you!! not the system or the teacher. My bodhisattva vow should have come first. You all have been very brave in speaking up and i bow to you and thank you for the chance this gives us – all of us, who are still in shambhala, including the sakyong – to wake up, to change, to regret and to repair the dammage we have caused.
With appreciation, Maria

Stefan Carmien says:
February 10, 2019 at 3:35 am
“We’re all doing what we can…”
J. Lennon

Byron Wild says:
February 10, 2019 at 5:56 am
Evan Silverman says:
February 10, 2019 at 7:02 am
I would like to apologize. I am so sorry!

Bernie Gay says:
February 10, 2019 at 8:37 am
Thank you all, including Tsultrim Pamo,

Verse of Atonement:
All evil karma ever committed by me since of old
On account of my beginningless greed, anger and ignorance Born of my body, mouth and thought

Now I atone for it all (x 3)

I ask the community’s forgiveness for the many times I have strayed from the path of kindness, compassion, and virtue –

Slim Shady (aka M&M) says:
February 10, 2019 at 9:46 am
Apologies for not ripping the cover off the Sham that is Shambhala. I’m sorry for not saying this louder, longer and more publicly! I’m urging others to go to tell the truth on yelp and social media for there local centers. If leadership won’t do the right thing (they haven’t and they have had the chance), then we must.

The notion of Shambhala is wonderful. So many of us would find great relief living in a genuinely enlightened society. What a wonderful tagline – “Enlightened Society”, its right up there with “Coke – its the real thing”. Its very hopeful. We know about hope and fear though.

We must ask ourselves, whats in the bottle? Sure its a lovely container, but what is really inside? What might one expect? Precepts that are followed perhaps? Is that too much to ask of a “Buddhist” organization? Too often the answer is, “Don’t be silly young Padawan, precepts aren’t needed here”. Keep studying (and paying). You will see how with skillful means any behavior can be justified. Abstention from Intoxicants, Dishonesty, Falsehood, Theft, Taking of Life – fail fail fail. They certainly aren’t practiced by many in leadership (booze is the key to a good fund raiser after all – especially after opening the mind through meditation). Cover up, dismiss as rumor, gaslight – wash rinse repeat (lies). Do as I say, not what I do. Protect the leader, besides its my side hustle, wink wink. Shambhala will happily take your life moment by moment and charge you for doing so (stealing of life). Its an organization that is not interested in openess, truth or reality (have you ever seen so much head in the sand behavior when it comes to finances?). Evidently Shambhala would rather believe in flying dragons than failing balance sheets and income statements.

On the outside it looks enticing. The ingredients are however secret. What are those secret ingredients you ask. Well you have to pay to find out, thousands and thousands of dollars (Or you can read a book and practice – its all there). Strange for something that is supposed to be free (of course you need direct transmission – just like measles). Reminds me of a ponzi scheme.
Will you actually learn the fundamentals of Buddhism as a Shambhala Buddhist? How could you when the “guru” doesn’t seem to understand them, at least if actions are a reasonable measure?

Is Shambhala even a church? I have my doubts. Its conduct is more like a school. Its leaders are more like laypeople. M&M isn’t a monk (obviously). A substantial portion of revenue is from charging for classes which are of a secular nature (levels 1-5). Doubt this? Look at how your center. Its an educational system at best, and should be classified as such. Potential students would be well advised to stay clear. Healthy options exist.

Are there any good Buddhists in Shambhala? Perhaps, but I have my doubts in this moment. If they exist, they would be pushed beyond the limits of silence and working within the system by the Sakyong’s latest attempt at apologizing. Any good Buddhist would be moved to significant decisive action. We’ve moved well past the first three karmas. Ask yourself this simple question, would you apologize sincerly and deeply to the entire Sangha for all your deep harm? Ask yourself this, if you had multiple houses and your “larger family was in need” wouldn’t you sell every extra one without hesitation? If you saw financial struggles wouldn’t you refuse $1000 meals and eat simple food? Would you continue to wear fancy robes while those around you donated money without having retirement savings? What kind of leader wouldn’t?? Reflect on those simple questions and then act. Stop donating to the centers. Stop the madness. Sanity must prevail.

A McCormack says:
February 10, 2019 at 9:55 am
I am so sorry that Shambhala, the teachers, and the leaders harmed you and continue to harm you. I am sorry that I chose to ignore and minimize past harms when I learned that the founder was an abuser. I am sorry that I supported Shambhala and its teachers directly through purchase of online classes and books. Thank you for your courage and your willingness to stand for the truth.

Robert J. Morales says:
February 10, 2019 at 9:57 am

Shadow of the Moon says:
February 10, 2019 at 12:00 pm
I am so sorry to have been a victim who thought she could prove herself worthy by spreading hope for what we could be, what was promised to us all, rather than what was. I thought there was something wrong with ME and that the forces of enlightened society were right. If only I could just go with the flow and make the flow bigger, maybe then I would have been okay. Maybe my pain, my shame, my crushed crumpled authentic struggle, my beautifully dark shadow secret, would meld into the holy peaceful light and disappear because of that.

That is how I am complicit. That is how I let others suffer, even as I floated high and disconnected, my own pain driving my profound wish for all this we were told to be true. Now, I hurt. I hurt so much, because my devotion may have stolen away pieces of my truth of being alive. Devotion may have altered the course of my life into a loneliness more profound than social isolation. It’s the loneliness of denying I was violated, treated badly, diagnosed, and sent away. Shambhala did that to me. I see that now, and I see how I used it as an example for what to do to myself. For what to do to others. I am sorry to the depths of my femininity, I am sorry from the depths of my womanhood.

I want to be brave. I am emboldened by your naming foes. The legal coverups, wrongs, damages, and advising to bring harm victims in the name of the greater good–throughout Shambhala–would never have happened, nor continue to happen, without the counsel of Alex Halpern. I am here shouting that his conduct needs to be investigated, at minimal by the community and perhaps among his professional peers.


Karen says:
February 10, 2019 at 6:07 pm
I applaud your courage for speaking up in an environment where very little support was likely to show up. If one person is spared the abuse you suffered you have done a great service, thank you.
I knew deep in my bones that the allegations were true as only someone that has endured sexual abuse can. I did my best to share the effects of abuse with my sangha, many were not ready to hear, maybe one day that seed will sprout.
This is an excerpt from an article in Time magazine that says it all for me.
No leader of an organization who fails to protect its most vulnerable members should be left in charge. (not to mention if they are the abuser) No person that looks the other way should be in a powerful position that others depend on.
I have left my leadership position and cancelled my membership with Shambhala.

Nyingje Dagme Pamo says:
February 10, 2019 at 8:22 pm
I believe you completely. I was a young woman in Shambhala and experienced grooming, procurement, and harassment, and someone I love has been hurt by MM. I’m sorry I have been a leader in a bystander sangha and this sangha has not come out and offered any empathy, which has confounded my attempts to be an ally. I will continue to use my influence in my community to raise awareness. I wish you healing.

Halifax survivor says:
February 10, 2019 at 10:36 pm
To everyone who has signed -including some I recognize – I cannot thank you enough. To finally be believed is more transformative than you may realize.

Christie Rainbeau says:
February 11, 2019 at 3:25 am
On our center FB page a few years ago, a woman posted something about how Shambhala promotes sexual abuse on our page. I was shocked. It was not someone from our group. It was explained to me that the case was occuring at some other center. It was being resolved through Care and Conduct and this woman was just causing trouble. We took her post down and blocked her and I was so angry at her for doing that. How dare she post something like that that isn’t true? Now here we are….

I believe you.

I was complicit and totally in la la land thinking the Sakyong was above human. Thank you for waking me up to my own ignorance.


I pray for your healing.

Tharpa Jigme says:
February 11, 2019 at 4:08 am
I could not have said it better but this time it is sincerely my apology to make,

I am beyond regret that my spiritual teacher and the organization I trusted and relied on for 20 years abused you. I have betrayed your trust; I have been complicit not only in seeing and allowing this aggressive behavior to continue, but I also inflicted more pain on you by not listening, by seeking to minimize the harm, by denying this happened, by demeaning you, by labeling you as ‘needy,’ ‘troubled,’ or ‘too ambitious.’ I understand that all of these actions were wrong – not only wrong but done in an attempt to protect myself and not you. For all of this I stand before you in breathtaking remorse for the harm I have allowed.

We are being taught that there is no ground, that everything changes and that clinging and not wanting to change causes suffering. PRACTICE what you PREACH!

Jinpa Samten says:
February 11, 2019 at 7:47 am
I want to see all people as equal regardless of their sex, religion, ethnicity, wealth or position in life. I aspire to put your suffering ahead of my own well-being. I vow to exchange my welfare for your suffering until samsara ends and space is destroyed .

Jigme Urbonas says:
February 11, 2019 at 8:34 am
Thank you all for your tremendous courage. I believe all of you. Grief and heartbreak surround thoughts of all of you, and of the trauma you have experienced. You certainly did nothing to deserve this type of treatment. You are absolutely blameless in all of this. Sending love and a wish for complete healing for all, including those who have not had the strength to come forward.

John Tischer says:
February 11, 2019 at 10:18 am
I’m so sorry for all the abuse anyone has experienced in the name of Shambhala.
Thank you to those who have come forward.

I want to point out the fact than many of VCTR’s older students left the sangha when we realized that Mipham Mukpo was not listening to any of us in terms of advice, criticism, or anything. He broke our hearts before he broke yours. The ones that stayed to keep the organization going, including all he appointed as teachers, Acharyas and the like, have gone along with this for many years. There is no excuse for this blindness, that many of us saw through. I don’t see how good intentions, at this point, can make up for this. It is a real tragedy. It does not in any way diminish the validity of the Buddhist/Shambhala teachings. What it does do is throw each of us back on our own responsibility for our spiritual path.

Susan Aposhyan says:
February 11, 2019 at 12:39 pm
I was at the Boulder Shambhala Center on Friday. I saw a framed quote by the Mipham Mukpo saying something to the effect that our primary duty is to cultivate a sane community. I cried seeing it.

When I was raising teenage girls, I wouldn’t let them go to any where in the sangha alone to keep them safe. I didn’t say anything to the other mothers. Some of their friends were molested and statutorily raped. I regret that and all my other complicities so much. I am so sorry that I have enabled this situation.

Laura Greer says:
February 11, 2019 at 3:27 pm
I’m so sorry for the terrible harm inflicted on people who had such faith and admiration for their teachers. I’m sorry no one listened. I’m sorry for the cover up. I’m sorry that Shambhala was allowed to become shrouded with secrecy, white mail privilege, gaslighting and more. I’m so sorry that so many students and leaders became so blinded by the teacher and the teachings. I’m sorry that the Sakyong and others have not owned up to the harm they’ve done or show any understanding of how their behavior has been harmful. I’m sorry the Sakyong can’t even give a proper apology.

I hope the people who have been harmed are as touched as I am by this outpouring of sincere sadness and regret. Like others, I would like to know what survivors of the harm need most from us right now.

. says:
February 11, 2019 at 7:10 pm
Dear One,

I love you.

I am so sorry.
I am sorry for the pain he inflicted.
I’m sorry he is such a arrogant piece of shit.
I am sorry you suffered for so long and held too much.
I am sorry for the excruciating amount of pain you are in now.

You are not broken. You are one of the strongest people I know. You are Brave. You are kind. You are loved.
I love you with all my heart.
I hope that someday you find the peace you so deserve.

Always Yours

Andrea Darby says:
February 11, 2019 at 7:31 pm
I am sorry. I am sorry that I was not able to rise out of the water that I was raised in and call out what I felt was off but had learned to ignore – the water in which girls and women were/are routinely subject to sexual assault, in my case beginning with “indecent exposure” on my front stoop at age 5, and then on and on and up. In Shambhala I leaned toward what was good and healing for me and those close to me, murmuring about and shrugging off most of the rest. I did not tune into the harm that shrugging causes others, as well as myself. I am sorry. I know now that it could have mattered, to speak up fully. I knew how deep these waters are and I knew that we had not yet illuminated that depth and should take care, if not for ourselves then for others. And I ignored that. I am sorry for that.

Roland Bryan Mendiola says:
February 12, 2019 at 9:52 am
I first learned about harm and abuse of power by the Sakyong in 2012 – but I did not know what to do or how to talk about it, and ultimately I did not want to look at it or ask questions. I believed it was something of the past and those who knew him told me that it had been addressed with him. But I closed myself off to looking into it more, to really seeing what was happening anytime that things in the community felt off or concerning. Even when harms were starting to get reported in the fall of 2017, I did not speak up when I could have – even to say “Why isn’t anyone talking about the Sakyong?” It has taken so long for me to not be silent, and I am deeply sorry. The other night, I wrote this public letter to further break my silence and let survivors know that I stand with you and am here for you any way I can be:

MY PUBLIC MESSAGE TO THE SAKYONG
(Please know that the following is a reflection of my personal experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and actions – it is not meant to represent anyone else’s experience or perspective. I respect anyone who feels and thinks differently about these complicated and complex challenges, and I welcome respectful dialogue. If you’re reading this and you know the Sakyong directly, feel free to pass it along – I’ll also be trying to email it to him).

Dear Sakyong Mipham,

It has been a week’s time since the community received your most recent letter as well as the report by Wickwire Holm confirming your acts of sexual harm and misconduct, as well as abuse of power, perpetrated on women of this community. I sit here writing now, having come home from a heartening and always empowering gathering for our local people of color meditation group at the Shambhala Meditation Center of Portland, Maine. I feel resolved in sending out this message despite not knowing exactly what I’m about to say. But what I want to express to you in essence is this:

NO.

Just NO. Full stop. ENOUGH. NO MORE. Please STOP.

Maybe you haven’t been told these kinds of words enough before. Maybe you have and simply did not hear them or heed them. But I believe that more than anything, I/we need you to take a good long stop, to fully pause everything that has been the norm about this community, and really see and hear what is happening at this moment in time – AND to do the work necessary to fully appreciate what it means, how harm and trauma work, and how to make amends and possibly repairs for it. I have been a student of Shambhala since 2009 and a Buddhist practitioner since 2007. I first saw you speak in 2011 at a gathering of about 1000 people in Halifax, and I sat there in both awe and some skepticism – awe that I could feel this practice changing my life but skepticism of how much I could give myself over to you and this community. I met you once at a book signing during a leadership retreat at Karme Choling, and even exchanged a few words with you. I looked you in the eyes and told myself that even with my various doubts, I’m got dedicate a significant part of my life to this path. I’ve traversed that Shambhala path steadily over the years, I have held a variety of roles and leadership and teaching positions, I have consciously intertwined Shambhala with much of my everyday life. By almost all accounts, though I am not your formal student, I would consider myself a believer, a devotee, a person of faith in this path. And at the same time, I have known personally several of the women that it turns out you have harmed and abused. Like countless others, I have put my heart and soul into these teachings, these practices, this community. I am by no means a student without his faults or skewed intentions at times. I have seen my hopes, expectations, desires, judgments, agendas, and ego strivings get the best of me time and time again. But despite all that, what I do know is that I am someone who is utterly committed to making amends for harm when I’ve committed it, investigating sometimes a lifetime’s worth of bigotry or misogyny or prejudice, and aspiring to be more awake and aware and humble and human – through whatever means I have available to me. And though I have never called you my teacher, I feel like I have organized my life in such a way to align myself with the vision of Shambhala and your teachings – to be a genuine, gentle, and fearless human being willing to confront the world honestly and lovingly in order to create a more just, sane, and compassionate society. All this I know to be true to about myself – it has taken a long time to get here. And despite the many faults and imperfections of this community, I have believed in it. I believed in you – at least in your commitment to do right by this community.

The other evening, I made a fire at home and placed all of your books and teachings into it. I said a prayer for you and for this world. I think I even said a prayer for myself and the lostness I feel in the wake of all these discoveries of abuse and harm in Shambhala as well as the spiritual path in general. And even though I continue to carry that uncertainty and confusion day-to-day, what I do know more than ever in the last two weeks is that I don’t need you anymore. This community does not need you anymore – at least the way it has needed you in the past. That time is over.

Shambhala is not yours, it never was and never will be. Shambhala is not something you can trademark or mass produce or franchise. We are Shambhala – whomever holds Shambhala in our hearts and commits to living in the spirit of collective goodness and wakefulness and justice. Whatever Shambhala you might claim as yours from this point forward, I want no part of it.
Perhaps the day will come when you may be able to address this community with true remorse, self-awareness, and responsibility for your actions and attitudes. Until that day comes and beyond it, those of us still dedicated to these Shambhala teachings and manifesting them in the world will figure out on our own the healthiest and wisest and most skillful path forward. May I suggest that during this time you have before you, you really take the opportunity to understand what harm and abuse mean – not through intensive retreat and self-reflection alone – but through honest dialogue, therapy, couples/family therapy, organizational consultation,workshops, trainings, testimonials, documentaries, stories, research, and everyday interactions with a range of diverse individuals on the impact of trauma, systemic harm, and abuse of power. For yous own healing, and for the healing of all of those whose lives you touch. I suggest all of these because I know them from experience. How much can you honestly say you have done this work?

Please don’t write us anymore messages or letters. Please don’t act like we all created this situation in some equal or parallel way. Yes we all have our faults and we all have our ways of harming one another. But we have not all engaged in abuse of power at this level and continue to pretend like things are otherwise. I have yet to hear in anything that you have said that would make me believe that you truly understand the harm you have created for this community. I simply don’t believe you have done enough work or developed enough knowledge or awareness to know. And not just for the pain and hurt and abuse you have inflicted on the many woman of our community, but also how your words and actions are a clear expression of how truly broken the system is when it comes to grievances, injustices, unchecked power, and reparations. And yes, with all of this I hold you to a higher standard. That feels only fair in my heart. Those of us who have ever taken our seat as teachers or leaders or caregivers should know full well that we are always the ones to be scrutinized and questioned and held to a greater sense of responsibility, not the people we serve. The burden is on us to be more fully aware and responsible when harm is committed. It is not your place any longer to dictate how this unfolds. I believe you have given up that privilege.

If I sound angry in all that I’m saying, it’s because I am. I have no reason to deny that and I believe I have every right to it. But this truly is not about lashing out. Though you might not believe it – I’m not even sure I do – this is coming from a place of hope and love ultimately. For you, but also for all of us. I cannot in good conscience allow you to simply carry on in the same spirit you have all these years, not when I have the voice and the means to act otherwise. I am going to continue to create Shambhala and to teach in Shambhala – but now in the ways that I see fit, no longer letting Shambhala culture dictate what I believe is right or just or true. I will hold true to what I believe is true in Shambhala, and I commit myself to holding spaces in Shambhala that take a stand against harm and abuse in all its varied forms – starting with what has been happening in our own community. This letter is not to single you out as the sole perpetrator of harm – it is for anyone who even with some level of awareness enacted harm and abuse in this community. And if one day, someone asks me to step away because this is no longer my Shambhala, so be it. They will know where I stand.

I pray you find your way. I know from experience that this kind of path is often tremendously painful and heartbreaking. But it’s the only way, and it’s worth it. Believe me, I have been through my share of grappling with trauma, with mental illness, with grief and confusion regarding gender, sexuality, culture, identity, privilege, status, and power. It is heartbreaking, backbreaking work. But it is the only way to authentically come to terms with who we are and how we relate to each other and this world. I hope that one day you might prove to society that a spiritual leader (or any leader of significance in this world) can fully acknowledge and atone for the harms they’ve inflicted with real honesty, respect, and awareness – and that day my confidence and trust in you as a person will be restored. I hope we may find our paths crossing again – with you not as a king or a ruler or an exalted Rinpoche or teacher or guru, but as a fellow traveller and human being trying to realize the nature of suffering, harm, and healing – and the genuine and transformative love that comes with awakening to truth.

In Goodness Always,
Roland Bryan Mendiola

PLEASE NOTE: I use “us” and “we” in this message loosely and for effect in this letter. I know full well and fully respect that many do not share these feelings and attitudes. My intention here is to voice a perspective for myself and for those who for whatever valid reason choose not to share it openly.

Grace Goodman says:
February 12, 2019 at 2:58 pm
Dear Survivors,

I am sorry. Like so many of us, maybe like you, I came to Shambhala as a survivor. And I came to Shambhala to continue to heal and to survive “better.”

What I found was a system that overwhelmed me. That is all I will say here because this is not about me.

Had I known what was happening to you, I am sure that my own dysfunction would have caused me to dissociate from it. And for that I am sorry, too. Because I understand the hurt you have had to endure, how you have been told your reality is not the “real” reality, or just blamed, told you are crazy, told you are a bit “off,” not believed altogether, or maybe even told you need to practice more. I know.

For each one of you, and for Andrea Winn who helped bring all of you to light, I am grateful. I am grateful that you have forced me to see my own brokenness, and how it paralyzes me and silences me. And more importantly, how necessary it is for me to go beyond that and to stand up for you and with you.

The voices in this document are all of us who see you, and all of us who are holding you, and all of us who refuse to ignore the harms done to you.

Please accept my love,
Grace

Eric Kalabacos says:
February 12, 2019 at 4:00 pm
I was heavily involved in the community from the mid 80s through the late 90s. I deeply regret having accepted the party-line justifications for what I now see as rampant sexually abusive behavior by Trungpa, ROT, and other community leaders. I want to personally say I’M SORRY for not listening to my gut about this for many years. I also want to say THANK YOU to those who’ve been bravely speaking up despite the extreme gaslighting and other forms of social pressure coming from the Shambhala organization. You have really opened my eyes to the perverted sickness and power dynamic that has festered within it for decades. I commit to doing my best to vocally and actively supporting you all during these difficult times.

Gordon Young says:
February 12, 2019 at 4:02 pm
I am so sorry to have supported a system that enabled abuse, and could not acknowledge it. I am so sorry that I looked the other way, and failed to understand, failed to acknowledge what was happening. Thank you for coming forward with your stories, your bravery has made the world a better place.

Lizzy Cline says:
February 12, 2019 at 8:29 pm
To all who were abused – I believed you all, the first moment I heard. I’m so sorry for your pain and suffering, and that you weren’t heard from the beginning. I have defended you whole heartedly, in our sangha discussions on the subject.
I was abused as a child, and know first hand, about your pain. I cannot thank you enough, for being so brave and coming forward as you have.
May you all heal your hearts, minds, and bodies, from your trauma….sending much love

chodronstrong says:
February 12, 2019 at 8:46 pm

Mia Bolte says:
February 12, 2019 at 9:17 pm

Jeffrey Shralow says:
February 12, 2019 at 10:28 pm
I am so sorry, and ashamed. I am so thankful to the BSP for giving me the opportunity to realize the shame of the shambhala organization, and to turn to the path of truth. I am so sorry for your pain and sorrow. I grieve for the harm done.

Anandi/Tsultrim Gatso says:
February 12, 2019 at 11:08 pm
I hear you. I see you. I recognize you. I embrace you. I believe you.

Regrets says:
February 13, 2019 at 1:22 am
I regret that when Shambhala leadership, with what were in my opinion inauthentic intentions, reached out to PoC it was not out of a sincere desire, but more about preserving the brand with a veneer of ‘wokeness’. I regret that those from minority communities were put into teachings positions from the get-go instead of being given a proper education in the Buddhist teachings, which would have empowered them as true community builders instead of having them beholden to Shambhala. I regret that I haven’t had the strength to question this facade publicly due to my own fears and shame.

Mark says:
February 13, 2019 at 3:54 am
m sorry you were abused, then traduced and cast out like rubbish. I knew you were telling the truth the moment I heard you. I’m ashamed of any organization which did this and doubly ashamed of one which, still, is unable to make a full apology and amends. One simple word: truth – and yet they can’t. I left Shambhala a while ago now in poor shape because of sustained emotional abuse from people who are still out there, still “teaching”. What a mockery. I did not know that far, far worse was in the shadows. It’s a ramp, all of, a Ponzi scheme concealed by silks and spirituality. Stay away.

Susan McCaffrey says:
February 13, 2019 at 4:40 am
To the warriors who spoke up in spite of the fear, humiliation, embarrassment: I bow to your courage. You are heard and believed.

To the warriors who can’t speak up yet: you will know when the time and circumstances are right for you to speak openly.

As in all things, interdependent causes and conditions precipitated this situation. We are each and all responsible in some way, if we look closely.

I am sorry for my part in it all. I tried to perpetuate a sense of self-worth, of belonging, by not speaking up about instances of corruption, when I witnessed them.

We don’t have to pretend anymore.

Ken S says:
February 13, 2019 at 3:25 pm
It hasn’t been a lot over ~12 years but I’m sorry for whatever money I’ve handed over that went toward keeping a drunken sexual predator in silks. I didn’t know what was going on at the top of the organization until a year or so ago, but I probably could have known sooner, if I’d gone looking. If I’d been more conscientious.

And I’m sorry if my continuing to sit and sometimes occupy the timer’s spot at our local center’s open house nights is read as support for MM or his sycophants— honestly, I dont think he or they should continue to have any power to abuse; I’m done propping them up financially; I’m not in any leadership position and don’t aspire to ‘climb’— but I do continue to sit in that place because I’m just trying, sincerely, to help make that space for two hours a week healthy and safe for those who still want a community to meditate with and don’t know where else to go. I’m all for the ‘commoners’ turning away the ‘king’ and seizing the means, and surpassing the teacher’s failings. And I’m making a modest effort to facilitate other opportunities to sit collectively. I just feel those at the ground level, who arguably deserve the least blame, would be too harshly punished if ‘penance’ for any involvement at all was to be scattered into exile. Community is still valuable, though ours has to reckon with its institutional rot; as far as I can tell, many who are trying to salvage this one want to re-make it into what we (perhaps naïvely) thought it was, without the harmful parts. We know it’s still problematic, we know success isn’t assured, but we want to reclaim our society and rededicate it to enlightenment, and oust the charlatans. Then maybe, hopefully, it will be worthy of those it drove away.

Elissa Thomas says:
February 13, 2019 at 3:43 pm
I am so sorry I gave so much time, energy, and money to this organization filled with abusers. I am sorry that I was such an idiot that I actually believed the Shambhala teachers wanted to make the world a better place even when I saw behavior that was not consistent with basic ethics. I should have participated with groups doing real healing work outside of this cult instead of putting my efforts into Shambhala.

I am so sorry people hurt you. I hope that you can find peace — whatever that means to you.

Natalie Smith says:
February 13, 2019 at 6:37 pm
I am so sad and disheartened by this betrayal. I am so encouraged by the brave people who broke the silence. We are listening and reaching out to support you through this tumultuous time with Metta and compassion. May you rise confidently and live with peace

Lorien House says:
February 16, 2019 at 5:23 pm
In solidarity with all the abuse victims of the Shambhala cult.

Doria Cross says:
February 16, 2019 at 8:48 pm

Linda Catling says:
February 17, 2019 at 8:52 am

Vallie Stearns-Anderson says:
February 17, 2019 at 2:44 pm
I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to tell you how much I support you, believe you, and wish to be there for you. I knew Shambhala was sexist in its teachings since Warriors Assembly in 2005, and further knew it since vajrayana seminary in 2011, there were so many warning flags, the “virgin” (teenage) girls that were placed in the ritual of the Sakyong Wangmo’s empowerment, how she had to “sdo stroke” at the foot of his throne, how she has to prostrate to the guru on entering the shrine room, etc, etc, and yet I continued to give my time, energy and money to the Shambhala lineage. I tried so hard to do my werma sessions, not listening to my inner voice screaming that it was wrong, trying to be a good practitioner, going all the way to SSA3 — for what? To see that my gut was right all along, and my justifications were hollow, to not honour my inner wisdom. Then when I heard your stories. I knew right away that my fledgling career as a teacher was over, that I couldn’t “hold the lineage” any longer, but I apologize that it took me 8 months to give up my line-of-command post in the kasung, thinking I could be of benefit. I wasn’t of course. My reactions have been so slow-mo! I was so duped!! I am still trying to unravel everything. I will do what I can to support those in my local sangha, that no survivor has to be isolated and marginalized ever again,to learn from your bravery and integrity, to learn from your stories and your example. I send my heart to you.

Anonymous says:
February 18, 2019 at 6:22 am

Kate Crisp says:
February 18, 2019 at 7:35 am

Heather Crone says:
February 19, 2019 at 12:49 am

Fierce Certain Bliss says:
February 19, 2019 at 7:28 am
I am sorry I did not immediately stop contributing financially to my local Shambhala center the moment I first learned of your experiences. I am sorry that it has taken so much evidence, particularly the accounts of men, to finally spur me to action. I am deeply sorry that I used my position as a teacher of yoga and mindfulness to young children to encourage new families to become involved with the Shambhala community. I am sorry I sat calmly at the table when my local Shastri questioned your motives, your veracity, and your mental fitness. I am very much on the periphery of Shambhala, yet look at all of this complicity. I am so sorry for your suffering, and yet so grateful to you for sharing it with us. I receive it as a gift, as there is much here for me to continue to explore with great humility for a long time to come.

Alexis LaBarge says:
February 19, 2019 at 5:56 pm

George Howell says:
February 19, 2019 at 6:09 pm
Tears Tears Tears

Good inquisitive lion says:
February 19, 2019 at 9:18 pm
I am sorry, I wanted to be out of suffering so bad that I ignored everything that happened before.
I am sorry I did not trust my intuition and close this chapter before.
I am sorry I wanted to listen to the Shambhala teachings above anything else.

Prajna Moon Lake says:
February 19, 2019 at 9:50 pm
So sad and so sorry that not one person who was in a position to put a stop to these abuses of power did not do so as soon as they knew.

Diana Howell says:
February 19, 2019 at 11:05 pm
Don’t rock the boat. Sometimes it’s easier to let things slide. I allowed Shambhala culture to shape my actions, or rather inaction. I’m sorry for not doing something. For not listening wholly. For not speaking up when something was amiss. For not being there for you. I’m sorry the organisation took precedence over what was most important: you.

Zopa Jampso says:
February 19, 2019 at 11:57 pm
shame that I did not know, did not want to believe when I did hear…
sadness for and remorseful of your suffering…
hopeful for your healing…

Esther Rochon says:
February 20, 2019 at 7:21 am
For decades, I have been a teacher and MI at Shambhala and I did not see anything. There was an opaque wall between the insiders and the rest of the community, and I was encouraged to think that, in the lofty world beyond that wall, everything was good. I honestly thought Shambhala was a safe place. Because of my presence and involvement with Shambhala, I encouraged people to be part of it. Quite possibly some of them were later abused – or, like myself, became part of the smoke screen. I offer my deepest apologies to all the victims for my having been involved in that deception, and I do wish them a good profound healing.

heartbroken in halifax says:
February 20, 2019 at 1:13 pm
We were shaken by the accounts of the women who were abused. There were still ways we could sidestep the truth – it was long ago. The Sakyong is different now. We were never part of his circle and never knew such abuse was taking place.

Then another bomb: We were shattered by the kusung’s recent accounts.

No, it is not that we believe them more because some were men.

It is because they were privy to his behavior unmasked – crazy, abusive behavior which we never saw and could hardly believe. BUt now we do. He didn’t behave like this around his Acharyas, I can attest to that.

Many years ago a few clse students of Trungpa Rinpoche’s went to him to complain about the Regent’s abusive behavior. In particular an incident when the Regent verbally attacked a kasung on duty who did not feel he could defend himself.

Trungpa Rinpoche told us that we should talk to the Regent about his unacceptable behvaiour, “Teachers need feedback. If you don’t talk to him about this, who will?” We replied that Rinpoche appointed him and that he should control him. As we know, that didn’t happen.

There is now no question of the Sakyong continuing to teach or lead Shambhala but there is much worth salvaging.

We need your strong voices.

We need to purge the patriarchal model altogether and never again any one to cause harm to another.

Now is the time for things to fall apart.

Now is the time for healing.

I hope you will be part of the solution in the future.

Undr what name? With the leadership of what teacher? No idea.

What we do know is the vast majority of our sangha are good people – women and men who are dedicated to offering Buddhist mindfulness practice for a world in need.

Let’s keep the goodness and support each other in waking up – fully – at this time.

Gisèle Laberge says:
February 20, 2019 at 4:06 pm
For me, what is happening as the action of the Rigdens.
I love our community. I love the Buddhist and Shambhalians teachings.
The victims who have spoken are the most courageous and strong persons.
They are the samaya keepers.
I think we should honor them. They deserve our respect.
Thank you also to the kusungs who have spoken up.

I am so sorry… for humanity.
But, life is always young… We should celebrate this opportunity for a deep cultural change.
And be part of it.
Love

Elizabeth says:
February 20, 2019 at 6:19 pm
I am so deeply sorry for the ways I was complicit with my money and time. Love to those who were violated. I am so very very sorry.

Laura Byrd says:
February 22, 2019 at 7:56 am
I apologize unreservedly. Through my participation in this organization, I have been complicit. Through my ability to see but my failure to take responsibility, I have been complicit. Through ignoring critical intelligence—mine, others’—I have been complicit. Through my complacency and selfishness and lack of bravery, I have been complicit. I breathe in this poison as medicine. I breathe out relief, safety, acknowledgment, care, commitment, courage, trust, clarity, light, comfort, space. Change. Love.

Theodor E. Kropf says:
February 23, 2019 at 7:35 pm
I apologize for being involved in petty local center politics that turned away so many good women and men. I am sorry for being naive enough to think it was okay for older men in positions of MI to manipulate younger women, and not say anything, even as they revel in telling me their exploits.

I am heartbroken for those who have given their lives to this organization in any way and have been discarded as mere lowly servants by the hierarchy. And many left financially destitute, with no assistance from the path they were so dedicated to.

“What god is he,
Who writes laws of peace,
And clothes them in a tempest?
What pitying angel,
Lusts for tears,
And fans himself with sighs?
What crawling villain,
Preaches abstinence,
And wraps himself
In the fat of lambs?
No more I follow
No more obedience pay.


-- W. Blake, Europe


Andrew Bowen says:
February 25, 2019 at 2:15 pm

Mark O'Donoghue says:
February 28, 2019 at 11:36 am

Frank Stelzel says:
March 5, 2019 at 4:01 pm
It felt like family. Attackers took advantage of that feeling. We all failed to protect you. This cannot be undone. We must take care that no one is allowed to trample on your wound any longer. This brutal family business must end. Now.

Danielle Loeb says:
March 11, 2019 at 10:55 pm
Thank you for your bravery. I am sorry I did not see… did not want to see… until I couldn’t not see. Thank you for helping us to see what the suffering we created.

Pat Shiwa Pema Parisi says:
March 12, 2019 at 9:58 am
I join with the other voices and express regret and I am deeply sorry for the harm that was perpetrated on you. I was part of this system for at least a decade and it’s likely that I turned a blind and naive eye to what was happening. I am sorry that we did not protect you. Thank you for your bravery in coming forward. I see and hear you. I honor you.

Judith Lechner says:
March 17, 2019 at 10:44 am
I’m sorry for being naive. For not questioning more. For going along with the dream of enlightened society. For being in a big cocoon created to not see reality. For the longing to believe this and let my gut intuition be silenced. How stupid of me!

Rod Fiorito says:
April 11, 2019 at 4:05 am
I am sad and heartbroken. I wish for healing for the survivors and clarity, humility and courage for the perpetrators to fully admit to and apologize for the harm they have done. Although I am unaware of any harm that I may have caused and have not already apologized for in the limited roles that I have had in Shambhala or even as a member of the community, I would like to know and make amends for any hurt or pain I may have caused in others.

Egolessness Earth Lake says:
April 11, 2019 at 5:16 am
I am so sorry I have been unseeing and cooperating with an abusive society. Your courage will not be forgotten.

Anna says:
April 11, 2019 at 10:21 am
I am sorry I supported Shambhala with my time and money. I am sorry I participated in a sick and abusive system. I am sorry I took vows and served as a representative of an unethical, dysfunctional, and deceptive institution. I am sorry for contributing, even unknowingly, to the personal and spiritual pain of others. To the survivors: I wish you safety, healing, and true community. May we all trust our own wisdom, and may our imaginations be boundless, as we envision a new path forward.

Anonymous LivingInFear says:
April 11, 2019 at 11:11 pm
I’m sorry for not being more perceptive as a Kasung and practitioner (1985 to 2002), as I did know about Mr. Mukpo sleeping with students, and never said a word. But worse (far worse) is the guilt I feel for letting my daughter (then 13 years old) take refuge with him. That was done in secret, with a group of other children (@ Sun Camp, RMDC). Years later, my daughter inexplicably committed suicide. Could this be related? We will never know, unless the Larimer County Sheriffs department makes a connection. But the burden of guilt is near unbearable, and this feeling humbles me to no end. This must be akin to what other survivors are going through, and to them, I offer my deepest sympathy and compassion – as well as a speedy recovery… and I am sorry I can’t find the courage to name myself, as so many other old friends here have. Bless you.

Ivan says:
April 12, 2019 at 8:31 am
I am sorry I initially dismissed shambhala’s past as well as your stories when I heard about them. I am sorry that I contributed to this organization with time and money, and that I encouraged other people to join it. I am sorry that I looked down at people’s resistances to shambhala’s hierarchy and some of its practices. And I am sorry I did not listen to those who worried about my involvement with such an organization.

Kent Martin says:
April 12, 2019 at 12:36 pm
I left Shambhala awhile back but I am sorry I was not more vocal about the problems I had at the time with hierarchy, elitism, and the idolization of MM. I never directly witnessed any sexual misconduct but I can’t imagine the pain and feeling of betrayal that those who were harmed must feel.

The whole experience has made me really wonder about my own capacity to be deluded, going along for the sake of going along and not trusting fully my gut feelings and moral compass. We have done so much of that as individual human beings when we join groups and put on blinders. In that way we are all responsible for the great crimes of history.

Alice Smiley says:
April 12, 2019 at 2:11 pm
.

Good Sparkling Intellect says:
April 13, 2019 at 7:57 am
I am sorry I didn’t speak loud enough about my hesitations. I’m sorry I accepted the “crazy wisdom” excuse for CTR’s behavior.

I’m sorry I was drawn in by Mitchell Levy’s charm and did not question at the time why he made me feel so special and above others.

I’m sorry I didn’t tell anyone about another teacher’s inappropriate behavior, usually linked to alcohol and drugs, the many midnight sexual texts and groping and kissing me. He was the son of a Shastri who grew up in Shambhala and I didn’t think anyone would believe me if I spoke up. By not speaking up, I might have left him to prey on another young woman,
and if that’s the case, I’m sorry. I didn’t have the courage. I thought I wouldn’t be welcome at my centre anymore. I was not brave enough. I’m still not brave enough to attach my name to this statement.

I’m sorry I gave my hard-earned money to Shambhala International. The organization doesn’t deserve it and it shocks me that the board is still asking us for money. Why aren’t they raising money to support survivors instead?

And most of all, I’m sorry that all of you went through the gaslighting, shunning and not believing by most of the people in your community by speaking up FOR YEARS. I’m sorry it took so long.

I love you all, brave survivors. I am with you.

Katie Yates says:
April 13, 2019 at 6:42 pm
I am deeply sorry for any harm I’ve caused as member of the kasung and as a member of Shambhala (1988-present). I stand with survivors of Shambhala abuse. I am grateful to my friends and my sangha family who are brave in the face of disgrace and of difficult reality. I value their lives and I trust their experiences. I will do my best to help in any way I can. With love.

Karma Ladron says:
April 13, 2019 at 8:16 pm
I apologize for not questioning out loud the over the top court display. It never made sense to me. Particularly since MM seemed hollow beneath the display, like nobody was home. Though privately I felt uncomfortable I never voiced my discomfort because I attributed it to my own shortcomings as a student. I apologize for not trusting my intuition, for not asking questions, and for going along.

Jessie says:
April 17, 2019 at 10:05 am
I’m sorry for not questioning more and therefore enabling a culture of dismissal and abuse. I didn’t know how bad it really was, and although I questioned some of the troubling issues with the hierarchy and patriarchy and racism, I never thought that both Mr. Mukpos were so abusive. While everyone is scrambling to salvage their dear communities, survivors are suffering the worst, and I have no idea really what current Mr. Mukpo is wanting to do to right this situation.

Zachariah Finley says:
April 24, 2019 at 9:32 pm
.

Dawn Boiani-Sandberg says:
April 28, 2019 at 7:19 am
After seeing such an outpouing of heart, authenticity and regret, in tears, I can really see why I came to this community. It was for all of *you*, my sangha who spoke here, such beauty and gentleness, incomparable. I’m sorry that people reduce all of us to a mere cult and complicit when there were a sad few who abused power and secrecy. I’m sorry to watch what we all built which was imperfect and beautiful, fall. I will be so sorry to never see you all again, or practice with you. You are Shambhala, my long term family, freinds, my refuge and it’s a travesty to see it all disperse to the wind, and let us be defined by one or a few persons mistaken views and actions.

Bob Sutherland says:
April 28, 2019 at 9:01 am
Many of these comments echo my feelings.

Tsultrim Chosang says:
May 3, 2019 at 12:13 pm
I wish to apologize to all those who have been harmed by Shambhala activities in any way, in particular those that have had the courage to come forward in this latest round of community scandal, which the various reports are both shocking and believable. This is at least the third generation of scandal for this lineage, each involving the leader, while the overall organizational structure is designed to financially benefit the guru household, rather than attending to those that come for religious training and community. This became clear to me awhile ago and I apologize that my religious ambitions led me to be complicit with the enabling organization for some time and for any further harm this led to. I have stopped and am looking for ways to manifest my intention to protect, by informing, those who are still within the confused organization with the dysfunctional operation (it’s dysfunctional), those who have been harmed in the past and are survivors of abuse (there are others), or those who may be arriving on the doorstep even now (beware, there are problems, a complex history). Thank you for your courage, all readers.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:13 am

Lady Konchok Has Apparently Just Died
at Reddit
6/15/19

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Posted byu/SamtenLhari
2 days ago
Lady Konchok Has Apparently Just Died
I heard of this in an email. I don’t know any details.

onion_in_soup
2 days ago
Shambhala Times announecment / article:
https://shambhalatimes.org/2019/06/13/l ... s-samadhi/

SamtenLhari posted on the thread " Update on Marpa House from the Interim Board"
2 hours ago
I have heard that the Interim Board has signed a contract for sale of Marpa House for $5MM to a real estate developer.
So much for listening to the community — and paying attention to Shambhala’s non-profit mission.
It’s all about the money.

knowyenowbulkington8
11 hours ago
A lot of people who live/lived in MH slavishly supported a monarchy where there has been little transparency or accountability about money. This is what happens under those types of dysfunctional systems.

TharpaLodro
1 day ago
not gonna lie I half expected someone in this thread to be suggesting she'd been bumped off to smooth over the sale

SamtenLhari
1 day ago
No. The sale was already a done deal.
Let me explain do that you understand the level of distrust of many on this subreddit.
Shambhala is a charitable organization. It has a charitable mission. The operation of Marpa House as a residential practice center in Boulder is part of that mission and allows low income practitioners to remain and practice together in a community in the high priced Boulder real estate market. It is also one of the few remaining unchanged institutions from the time of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche — Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s father.
The Boulder community through incredibly hard work of many individuals formed a non-profit corporation, obtained 501(c)(3) tax status, obtained debt and equity financing and made a $3 million offer under an incredibly short time period. This group also had and has prospects for additional financing, including a $500,000 cooperative proposal from a Boulder community non-profit group that has a mission of promoting low income cooperative housing. There was also and is the additional prospect of raising more financing through a broader appeal to the Shambhala community.
What was the Interim Board’s response to this proposal? They rejected it out of hand and within days signed a binding contract for a $5 million sale to a commercial developer. They did not even respond to the Boulder community’s proposal. They issued a statement — which was a lie given their obvious intention to sign a binding contract — saying that they were interested in continuing to have discussions to keep Marpa House open. Apparently, those discussions can only take place now if the commercial deal falls through.
And what was the pressure to take the commercial deal? The excuse that a loan from the Potrang, an affiliated non-profit corporation, was coming due. If there were other reasons for needing cash quickly, they haven’t been explained.
This is why many people on this subreddit are pissed off and distrustful of the Interim Board and the Shambhala hierarchy altogether.
It is motivated by our genuine concern for what has been lost — the vision of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche for the establishment of Buddhist practice lineages in the West in a community based on Shambhala principles of enlightened society. The loss of Marpa House is just one example that brings the general concern into sharp focus.
Many of us also knew Lady Konchok or knew of her and have great respect for her many years of practice — including many dark retreats — and her level of realization. So, please don’t assume that you know who you are talking to and dismiss everyone on this subreddit as some rude group of disgruntled anti-Shambhala people.

Dharmapala52
1 day ago
This is a perfect instance where transparency from the Interim Board would go a long way. There are a range of possible explanations for why/how this all went down, but it's hard not to draw unfavorable conclusions without real info. I'd be curious to know what sort of liens/loans the Potrang has on the property? It's possible they have mortgaged it to the gills and a stream of related liabilities from the whole current shitstorm has put them in this position. On the other hand, if the Potrang owns it free and clear why wouldn't they just roll the debt? I don't think there are any purely innocent explanations here, but the lack of clarity from the Board is disheartening.

SamtenLhari
1 day ago
Agreed. And I say this even though I have friends on the Interim Board. They screwed the pooch big time on this — certainly in terms of communication and very likely in terms of (i) callousness and insensitivity to Shambhala’s charitable mission in making the decision, and (ii) failing to take into account the fact that this decision will further alienate Shambhala members, limit future financial support, and increase Shambhala’s financial troubles.
The only reason I say “very likely” is that there may be factors of which I am not aware because the communication has been so poor.


Kilimahewa
20 hours ago
I thought I read in the latest financial report that the IB didn’t budget for the repayment of the loan by the Pötrang. The reasons for the need of cash is that other assets owned by Shambhala International are not free of mortgages. Still it would have been mandatory to work with the community initiative and issue a transparent and timely information.

Dharmapala52
11 hours ago
This is the gist of the nasty financial entanglement. The Potrang is very much separate when accruing assets. And yet somehow, when covenants are being tripped and liabilities are coming due, the Potrang and SI are entangled. I don't know of any explicit malfeasance and the maxim 'never ascribe to malice what can easily be explained by incompetence' probably applies. Yet, having watched decades of financial appeals and many people destroy their own personal financial lives in service of the kingdom it's sad not to have better communication in these matters.

cclawyer
1 minute ago
What we are witnessing is the Sakyong's corporate alter ego vacuuming up all the assets in sight to cushion his fall. Since his career as a spiritual fraud has come to an end, he has to think about his future, and how to keep himself and his Wangmo living in the style to which they have become accustomed. The financial documents released by the Interim Board disclose next to nothing about how funds gathered by Shambhala corporate cutouts have been funelled into the Sakyong's purse, and how funds obtained from the sale of Marpa House will be disbursed. This "non-transparency" will continue until there is nothing left to conceal, and it's quite possible that Shambhala Global Services (SGS), the central cutout that has become little more than a bag for liabilities, will be in bankruptcy within a year or two. Alexander Halpern, the keeper of secrets and orchestrator of lies who betrayed CTR's intentions by aiding in the theft of the Trungpa Lineage from Trungpa XII, the rightful heir, will send the bankruptcy case to one of his influential friends to handle in a friendly venue, and those holding SGS debt will be given pennies on the dollar. The Sakyong will be as comfortable as all of the third-world dictators who loot their national treasuries. That Shastri trying to make people guilty about depriving the Sakyong of revenue by holding Shambhala trainings and not sending him a cut is just one more appeal to sympathy and nostalgia intended to prevent serious inquiry into the fact that this man will likely die rich.

If anyone in this organization had a grain of legal sense, they would be filing complaints with the Attorneys General of New York, Vermont, and Colorado, requesting enforcement of the law that requires assets that are transferred out of a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit to be given to nonprofit purposes, and not to enrich the executives controlling the nonprofit. The members of the Interim Board should be notified that they may face personal tax consequences for orchestrating an "excess benefit transaction" for the benefit of the Sakyong.

From IRS.gov:

> The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.

Exemption Requirements, -- 501(c)(3) Organizations

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profi ... anizations

drala1008
2 days ago
Seems true . type: breeze of delight
on facebook
they confirm the new

onion_in_soup
1 day ago
From the Shambhala Times announcement:
" there is no need for any sukhavati, or burning of her photo "
(in other words, no funeral is planned)

breathing216
1 day ago
edited 12 hours ago
2nd paragraph of the announcement: "Further details on practices to be conducted in connection with her death and arrangements for her funeral will be posted on the Shambhala Times as soon as possible."

Kilimahewa
20 hours ago
I‘ve never heard about an incident that someone is so realized that no sukhavati is needed. And surely there’s no one on this planet so realized to assess if a sukhavati was needed or not.
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