Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexually as

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

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

Postby admin » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:41 am

"The Spiritual Hero Age is Over": Interview with Bernhard Porksen
by Ursula Richard
Buddhismus aktuell
January 2019

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How it happens that so many gurus are being disenchanted right now, whether there are patterns in the cover-up of abuse and whether there can still be role models in the future, the media scholar Bernhard Pörksen talks about these and further questions in an interview with Ursula Richard.

Image

A contribution by Ursula Richard published in the issue 2019/1 "grow" in the section Talks

Ursula Richard: In a contribution published in the ZEIT entitled "Disenchanted Gurus," you speak of the end of the religious and spiritual age of heroes. In recent years, quite a few Buddhist gurus have been disenchanted. Why is this happening so often in recent years?

Poerksen: I maintain that this is essentially a media effect, because in the age of digital networking, the power of the guru or master, which seems to be unquestionably open, is more vulnerable than ever. All of a sudden everyone can join in barrier-free, formulate petitions, report on blogs and pillory pages about what has happened to them and what has been done to them. What we are currently seeing in Tibetan and Japanese Buddhism, and at the same time in countless yoga schools and communities around the world, is an underlying implosion of spiritual authority.

That means we know too much ...

... to worship unquestionably. This is a dynamics that is not at all understood in its entirety, because in the shattered view of the individual case we do not recognize the general tendency, the direction of the medial evolution. It is important to realize that aura, charisma and spiritual or secular authority are always a result of successful information and communication control, but increasingly less possible. The lonely valley, the closed monastery, the only imperfect visible misconduct - all this hardly exists in the age of digital media everywhere. A few clicks and we see a yoga master beating a woman's head on a video, watching on YouTube as a supposedly enlightened one vomits a golden egg he's put in his mouth before. In a Netflix documentary (Wild, Wild Country), we see the swaying guru, fueled with nitrous oxide and valium, keenly interested in luxury watches and his steadily growing Rolls-Royce fleet. We read in blogs and forums the shocking reports of abused women, hear of young Tulkus being beaten in monasteries by monks. We learn about an open letter circulating on social media about the brutality a spiritual superstar like Sogyal Lakar has hurt, exploited, and humiliated. We read on dedicated web pages about alcohol addiction and the attacks on women by Sakyong Mipham in the Shambala community. We study the current revelations about the Nazi past of Karlfried Graf Dürckheim and can provide us with the details of the sex scandals of Zen masters Eido Shimano and Joshu Sasaki without any hassle or under the hashtag "#metooguru" on Twitter always new cases and Research allegations. In sum, this means that the saint becomes a broken figure, the guru a sad, miserable, in the extreme case simply criminal character. And inevitably, the image of the sublime rivals its own experiences and the immediately retrievable documents of disassembly and embarrassment for supremacy over the concrete moment.

Can the influence of the digital media world be demonstrated more precisely and with an example?

Just think of the case of Eido Shimano. In concrete terms: He came to the USA from Japan in the 1960s, taught at short notice in Hawaii and lived there with the Zen monk Robert Aitken, who later became famous himself. Both broke up because Shimano had sold out to two students who suffered a breakdown in a row. Aitken pursued from then on the traces of abuse that drew Shimano. He collected material, he put on his own archive, he warned about crossing the border, but he did not do it in front of a large audience. And there was no digital publicity; the world stage of the network did not exist yet. There should be a newspaper article about the attacks, but it was not printed for some reason. For nearly forty years, Aitken documented what Shimano did he wrote down the stories told by abused women; he was given material by others, which he kept. Then he handed over his estate to a university, including a sealed package that said, "Eido Shimano - do not open." Eventually he agreed to the publication ... and the materials were disseminated and digitized ...

... and today there is a separate net archive on the case: The Schimano Archive.

That's the way it is, yes. Since 2010 you can find thousands of pages in various languages, compiled by many volunteers and whistleblowers. Texts, videos, sound documents (http://www.shimanoarchive.com). It covers years and decades of abuse. In other words, in the age of the established mass media and the unpublished newspaper articles, Schimano seemed largely untouchable. However, under the conditions of digital networking his reputation was destroyed at record speed, he himself as a respectable person. One can see in this case, too, that the audience has become media-empowered today - and can even create publicity. This audience has become the new player.

Generally speaking, is all this good or bad?

In the last, this transparency and the new media power of the victims is absolutely welcome. The question, however, will be whether a radically sobered idealism is viable. Whether the many scandal-ridden communities, monasteries and centers simply crumble. And just a lot of depression and disillusionment lingers.

Here in Germany, the fall of the Odenwald School has aroused a lot of attention - a free school, which was considered a showcase for decades and now closed to abuse scandals. The interesting thing seems to me: Here, as far as I know, there was a post in the Frankfurter Rundschau, which reported from the scandalous incidents there, but remained completely ineffective. Only ten years later, the scandal then reached a wider public and did not let itself sink into the box of Pandora. Even with the scandals about Buddhist teachers, there were usually long prehistory, and one often wondered what else would happen or better known, so that what ever came to the public, would bring consequences. Do you think there are aspects

Yes, it always needs the interaction of five factors. On the one hand, it is important - in the sense of media logic - for victims to speak out with their names and faces; this creates the domino effects of reciprocal encouragement and liberating listening that wash away long-held and repressed things. On the other hand, persistently researching, courageous journalists are necessary to verify the allegations, make them known in the established media and are ready for the journalistic long-distance run, because such reporting takes time. Journalists have - as the first reports of massive Odenwald school abuse came up - come up with a mixture of comfort, disbelief, and the fear of corrupting the influential gurus and cheers of reform education with such a disgusting theme, simply did not look closely enough. In addition, courageous individuals from inside the attacked institution must follow their conscience - and continue to advance the Enlightenment without exaggerated consideration for the fate of the perpetrators and past allegiances. Such "inside-outsiders" are enormously significant, which is shown again and again. In the case of the Odenwald School, the rather new Headmistress, who was rather isolated in the reform education scene, played this role. She has decided to listen first, then to force the Enlightenment on with courage. Also, the supporter and sympathizer scene, which has perhaps lamented just about nasty journalists and the "abuse of abuse", has to rearrange and position themselves. After all, in order to prevent the topic from silting up again, an alert public, the increased sensitivity of the audience. This sensitivity, to return to Odenwald School again, was given in the second wave of revelations in 2010 by the dramatic abuse scandals of the Catholic Church in the US and Ireland, which were reported worldwide.

Can patterns be recognized in the Guru's disenchantment? Also with regard to the reactions of the institutions that the Guru chaired or was embedded in, of which he was usually protected for years.

The common reaction in the phase of institutional self-protection and institutional narcissism initially looks like this: one tries to save one's own image, to keep the scandal out of the public, plays it down internally, warns against the spreading of unproven gossip, pays optional hush-money or discredits the victims as untrustworthy and mentally unstable, tries to intimidate them, and responds to initially isolated media reports by imposing sensationalism and dirt campaigns on journalists. If one sees that this does not work, the phase of a fairly diffused revelation by the Master himself, the publicly celebrated purification ritual, follows. The Master then signals inner contemplation and a time of retreat, self-exploration. He says, that he was in despair, that he had possibly injured students without wanting to. Here is, which is mostly the unsatisfactory and obviously strategic such humility gestures, the existence of violations up to the crime of rape to the perceptual problem of the victim side. What has actually happened remains - as the lawyers have long been reading every punctuation mark - somewhat cloudy. But the master is sorry when someone feels hurt, because he loves his students more than himself! Whether it then comes to an objectifying reconstruction, for example, commissioned an independent law firm with the clarification of the allegations and the publication of the research results depends on the power relations within the institution.

Once again, are there any patterns that you believe support the cover-up of abuse in spiritual communities?

It exists, yes. The infallibility ideal is fatal, because for the spiritual seeker, when he recognizes Master's failings, everything is at stake, the entire sense cosmos seems threatened. If the guru turns out to be fallible, is it all possible that lies? Moreover, in some communities the connection to the Master is so much mystified as a kind of sacred bond that dissolution is not considered at all or is seen as a kind of karmic disaster that must be avoided. It also gives those powers who spend sexual submission as a privilege and a sign of surrender, somehow catapulting the student forward on the path to enlightenment. And finally, the actually meaningful recommendation common in many communities, Gossip and gossip and defamation should be the revelation blockade: then react to the disturbing warning with a taboo of somehow unappetizing communication, first sits down with a lowered look on the pillow, watching your own mind - and signaled in the direction of the bearers bad messages: "Leave me alone with this filth!" That is, even the inclination in some Buddhist schools to turn the external irritation initially into a cause for the reflected self-observation and a kind of mental training to premature judgment avoidance can be counterproductive. Because sometimes it is true that you have to look very carefully and examine the allegations exactly. And then forcefully intervene to end horrible suffering. The revelatory blockade will be: Responding to the disturbing warning with a taboo of somehow unappetizing communication, first sit down with a lowered look on the pillow, watching your own mind - and signal towards the bearer of bad messages: "Leave me alone That means, even the tendency in some Buddhist schools to turn the external irritation initially into a reason for the reflected self-observation and a kind of mental training to premature judgment avoidance, can be counterproductive. Because sometimes it is true that you have to look very carefully and examine the allegations exactly. And then forcefully intervene to end horrible suffering. The revelatory blockade will be: Responding to the disturbing warning with a taboo of somehow unappetizing communication, first sit down with a lowered look on the pillow, watching your own mind - and signal towards the bearer of bad messages: "Leave me alone That means, even the tendency in some Buddhist schools to turn the external irritation initially into a reason for the reflected self-observation and a kind of mental training to premature judgment avoidance, can be counterproductive. Because sometimes it is true that you have to look very carefully and examine the allegations exactly. And then forcefully intervene to end horrible suffering. Then you react to the disturbing warning with a taboo of somehow unappetizing communication, first sit down with a lowered look on the pillow, watching your own mind - and signaled in the direction of the bearer of bad messages: "Leave me alone with this dirt!" In other words, the inclination in some Buddhist schools to turn the external irritation initially into a cause for reflective self-observation and a kind of mental training for premature avoidance of judgment can be counterproductive. Because sometimes it is true that you have to look very carefully and examine the allegations exactly. And then forcefully intervene to end horrible suffering. Then you react to the disturbing warning with a taboo of somehow unappetizing communication, first sit down with a lowered look on the pillow, watching your own mind - and signaled in the direction of the bearer of bad messages: "Leave me alone with this dirt!" In other words, the inclination in some Buddhist schools to turn the external irritation initially into a cause for reflective self-observation and a kind of mental training for premature avoidance of judgment can be counterproductive. Because sometimes it is true that you have to look very carefully and examine the allegations exactly. And then forcefully intervene to end horrible suffering. observe your own mind - and signal towards the bearers of bad messages: "Leave me alone with this filth!" That means, the inclination in some Buddhist schools, the external irritation initially in a reason for reflective self-observation and a kind of mental training To turn into premature avoidance of judgment can be counterproductive. Because sometimes it is true that you have to look very carefully and examine the allegations exactly. And then forcefully intervene to end horrible suffering. observe your own mind - and signal towards the bearers of bad messages: "Leave me alone with this filth!" That means, the inclination in some Buddhist schools, the external irritation initially in a reason for reflective self-observation and a kind of mental training To turn into premature avoidance of judgment can be counterproductive. Because sometimes it is true that you have to look very carefully and examine the allegations exactly. And then forcefully intervene to end horrible suffering. Turning the external irritation into an occasion for reflective self-observation and a kind of mental training for premature avoidance of judgment can be counterproductive. Because sometimes it is true that you have to look very carefully and examine the allegations exactly. And then forcefully intervene to end horrible suffering. Turning the external irritation into an occasion for reflective self-observation and a kind of mental training for premature avoidance of judgment can be counterproductive. Because sometimes it is true that you have to look very carefully and examine the allegations exactly. And then forcefully intervene to end horrible suffering.

This year's Berlin Biennale had the motto: "We do not need another hero" - we do not need another hero. Nietzsche spoke of the death of God. If we no longer have a god and we now lose the gurus and heroes, what's left for us? In this context, you also speak of the "burning of role models". But what can we do with our need for role models that credibly embody what they teach, give us hope that what we are trying to achieve is actually achievable?

I think that this question can only be answered individually. Some will seek new masters in response to the disappointment, instant icons and heroes for the moment, if you will. Others will find ways to repress and rationalize disappointment, reinterpreting it as a learning opportunity, helping them to work on their own limitations and blockages. Or they will leave the spiritual path, turn away disillusioned. Still others will discover a post-mythical guru and "human master" whose authority is authenticity and closeness. All these are possible reaction pictures.

But is not this also a chance to grow up in the spiritual realm, in which we have often preserved salvation yearnings that can barely conceal their origin from our children's world? And what could this adult spirituality look like or what could it be?

I dont know. But of course you are right: The Guru 's disenchantment could - in theory - be followed by the adult spirituality that accepts the wounded, carved, but still given role model as normal, ultimately seeing in the Master, above all, the other person, the has many things in advance and can teach much, but which is by no means infallible and omniscient. But you see, I'm just a media and scandal analyst with no special spiritual skills. And as such, I would say: Right now, quite infantile salvation and worship desires are bouncing on the general lust for disenchantment and a garishly overexposed world in which every minor and major misconduct becomes known at lightning speed. And just this clash of perfection longings,

One of your books has the provocative title Truth is the invention of a liar. It contains discussions with Heinz von Foerster, a representative of radical constructivism. Now, in connection with the revelations about gurus, one often hears the argument that everything is just perception. The "victim" experiences actions as, say, sexually assaulting or perceiving certain touches as strokes and therefore experiencing certain things as hurtful or injurious. However, the Guru's intention was to help the person (in overcoming the ego, in enlightenment or whatever) and not to hurt her, so he had a completely different perception of his actions. And so there is regret (by institutional representatives of the guru) not about the act, but about the "victim" perceiving it as harmful.

Of course, there is the act. And the accusation of the victim and the attempts at deprivation of the perpetrator are not equally true. That would be a misunderstanding of constructivism, I mean. But I have to take a moment to explain this. - May I?

Of course, you may ...

My friend and mentor Heinz von Foerster, like many constructivists of the first generation, was inspired by the desire to vaccinate thought against dogmatism. He had survived the Nazi era as a so-called quarter-Jew in Berlin, he was shaken by the horror of ideologically fought truths inside and under no circumstances wanted to bite into the opponent, the ideologists are somehow similar by an anti-ideology. So he created a philosophy of cheerful departure, a guide to thinking differently, more head-on and corrective than a self-contained system of thought that should somehow stand in the semblance of the Absolute. - What do I mean by that? The Constructivism, which then became surprisingly fashionable in academic circles, was extremely suspicious. And I would add: Constructivism, which one uses to relativize the reality of abuse has itself become a dogma; it is a means of power, a propaganda trick with a supposedly epistemological touch. A consistent constructivism should, pathetically speaking, always remain a philosophy of the underdogs. That is, one corrects the big and small ideologies of everyday life, opposes totalitarian claims of truth, and at the same time practices a cheerful skepticism to see more than before. But that's about all. That is, one corrects the big and small ideologies of everyday life, opposes totalitarian claims of truth, and at the same time practices a cheerful skepticism to see more than before. But that's about all. That is, one corrects the big and small ideologies of everyday life, opposes totalitarian claims of truth, and at the same time practices a cheerful skepticism to see more than before. But that's about all.

And yet: The claim that there is no truth, only the individual perception, can be used to devalue the victims. This would mean that a Sogyal Lakar has always acted with good intentions, but unfortunately some people now feel hurt. Likewise, some of his followers argue. And what really happened remains open. It is only about the exchange of different images of reality and perceptions. And everyone is ultimately responsible for his worldview.

That's a danger - and a call for the exact distinction. Because, of course, there is the level of the facts, the reality of the first order. Whether someone was beaten, harassed for years and sexually abused - that can be clarified, if necessary with the help of police and investigators, then with the help of the prosecutor in court. The question of supposedly good intentions and pseudo-spiritual justifications, on the other hand, refers to the level of meanings, that is the reality of second order. There are countless different views here; here rules the dispute, the manifold interpretation that you then (but this is just a mistake or the strategically motivated trick) possibly used to doubt the events on the level of first order itself, according to the motto: Because there are different interpretations, the event itself must be controversial. And in the spirit of a personal-private construction of meaning, then someone can claim that he embodies the tradition of crazy wisdom, in which everything happens anyway only for the benefit of the students. But if you look closely, you see that such ideas - especially in response to a threatening scandal - usually represent a formally expressed form of bullshit, so even of those who represent them, not really believed. You want to make the possibly monstrous events somehow beautiful, that's what it's about. And every means is right - no matter whether one bends an epistemology or tells a "crazy wisdom" fairy tale,

One often disbelieves that leaders in leadership positions of spiritual institutions have not wanted to hear about the scandalous activity of their guru for years and similarly fall out of thin air like outsiders. But this is often claimed by them. There is certainly a great deal of self-protection here, but can it not be the case that the perception of such a responsible person changes so much that she really sees what corresponds to the view represented there and completely ignores it? Already Goethe knew: "You only see what you already know or know." Maybe also applies: "You only see what you have to see in order to belong."

They are actually blind then.

I do exactly this observation as I analyze the dynamics in spiritual or other communities shaken by sex, financial or manipulation scandals. There are those who could really only see and see what they wanted to see and believe anyway. They are actually blind then. And also blind to your own blindness. That happens. And in general, the more sectarian the group, the more pronounced the selective perception. However, more often, there are those who suspect something - and suppress the rumblings in their inner self and the doubt and protest of the inner voices, beautifully talk what they see and build the strangest explanatory bridges to the painful conclusion, the actual necessary knowledge and the to escape the action actually offered; You want to preserve community, affiliation and closeness to the Master, so you minimize the experience dissonance by all means and resources. And then the alleged non-seeing and non-knowledge starts to dazzle, sometimes seems to be simply a timid and then even more intensely practiced form of self-deception, which one day may even believe in.

We live in a time of indignation, of rapid excitement or irritability, of scandal, as a look into the (social) media shows and as you describe it very impressively in your latest book The Great Irritability. And we seem to be less and less observers of an event, but faster and faster, judges who absolutely set their moral point of view and make it the standard of all things. It seems to me to be important and necessary to draw away the mantle of silence about abuse in every form, but also about disparaging remarks concerning other religions and their followers, to clearly name this behavior and draw consequences from it. But how can we avoid hypocrisy and one-dimensionality ourselves? Do we need an ethic of the Enlightenment in the digital age? How could she look?

That seems to me a tremendously important question. In this book I develop - in the sense of a suggestion - an educational utopia, in order to not only get stuck in the inevitably gloomy crisis analysis. My question was: how can we dampen the unhealthy immediate excitement, preserve a communication climate of searching discussion, and re-establish the balancing act of the Enlightenment at a time when everyone, a smartphone in their hands, can quickly turn to the public? My own answer is succinct: we should become the digital society of the present for the editorial society of the future. What do you mean with that? In editorial society, the ideals and maxims of good journalism have become an element of general education. For example, they read: "Check first, publish later! Be skeptical, even with your own judgments! Analyze the sources! Always listen to the other side! Act transparent in dealing with your own mistakes! Pay attention to relevance and proportionality, so do not make an event bigger than it is! "In the maxims of good journalism, I maintain, there is an ethics for the general public that concerns everyone today. She should be taught in a separate subject at school. Because we have become media powerful, we must now also become media. Because what would be, seriously asked, the alternative? Paternalism? Increasingly sophisticated laws? The most effective communication control? For me, these are ultimately unworthy proposals shaped by education mistrust and educational pessimism. Since I wanted to counter - even optimist on principle -. Be skeptical, even with your own judgments! Analyze the sources! Always listen to the other side! Act transparent in dealing with your own mistakes! Pay attention to relevance and proportionality, so do not make an event bigger than it is! "In the maxims of good journalism, I maintain, there is an ethics for the general public that concerns everyone today. She should be taught in a separate subject at school. Because we have become media powerful, we must now also become media. Because what would be, seriously asked, the alternative? Paternalism? Increasingly sophisticated laws? The most effective communication control? For me, these are ultimately unworthy proposals shaped by education mistrust and educational pessimism. Since I wanted to counter - even optimist on principle -. Be skeptical, even with your own judgments! Analyze the sources! Always listen to the other side! Act transparent in dealing with your own mistakes! Pay attention to relevance and proportionality, so do not make an event bigger than it is! "In the maxims of good journalism, I maintain, there is an ethics for the general public that concerns everyone today. She should be taught in a separate subject at school. Because we have become media powerful, we must now also become media. Because what would be, seriously asked, the alternative? Paternalism? Increasingly sophisticated laws? The most effective communication control? For me, these are ultimately unworthy proposals shaped by education mistrust and educational pessimism. Since I wanted to counter - even optimist on principle -. also against your own judgments! Analyze the sources! Always listen to the other side! Act transparent in dealing with your own mistakes! Pay attention to relevance and proportionality, so do not make an event bigger than it is! "In the maxims of good journalism, I maintain, there is an ethics for the general public that concerns everyone today. She should be taught in a separate subject at school. Because we have become media powerful, we must now also become media. Because what would be, seriously asked, the alternative? Paternalism? Increasingly sophisticated laws? The most effective communication control? For me, these are ultimately unworthy proposals shaped by education mistrust and educational pessimism. Since I wanted to counter - even optimist on principle -. also against your own judgments! Analyze the sources! Always listen to the other side! Act transparent in dealing with your own mistakes! Pay attention to relevance and proportionality, so do not make an event bigger than it is! "In the maxims of good journalism, I maintain, there is an ethics for the general public that concerns everyone today. She should be taught in a separate subject at school. Because we have become media powerful, we must now also become media. Because what would be, seriously asked, the alternative? Paternalism? Increasingly sophisticated laws? The most effective communication control? For me, these are ultimately unworthy proposals shaped by education mistrust and educational pessimism. Since I wanted to counter - even optimist on principle -. Always listen to the other side! Act transparent in dealing with your own mistakes! Pay attention to relevance and proportionality, so do not make an event bigger than it is! "In the maxims of good journalism, I maintain, there is an ethics for the general public that concerns everyone today. She should be taught in a separate subject at school. Because we have become media powerful, we must now also become media. Because what would be, seriously asked, the alternative? Paternalism? Increasingly sophisticated laws? The most effective communication control? For me, these are ultimately unworthy proposals shaped by education mistrust and educational pessimism. Since I wanted to counter - even optimist on principle -. Always listen to the other side! Act transparent in dealing with your own mistakes! Pay attention to relevance and proportionality, so do not make an event bigger than it is! "In the maxims of good journalism, I maintain, there is an ethics for the general public that concerns everyone today. She should be taught in a separate subject at school. Because we have become media powerful, we must now also become media. Because what would be, seriously asked, the alternative? Paternalism? Increasingly sophisticated laws? The most effective communication control? For me, these are ultimately unworthy proposals shaped by education mistrust and educational pessimism. Since I wanted to counter - even optimist on principle -. Pay attention to relevance and proportionality, so do not make an event bigger than it is! "In the maxims of good journalism, I maintain, there is an ethics for the general public that concerns everyone today. She should be taught in a separate subject at school. Because we have become media powerful, we must now also become media. Because what would be, seriously asked, the alternative? Paternalism? Increasingly sophisticated laws? The most effective communication control? For me, these are ultimately unworthy proposals shaped by education mistrust and educational pessimism. Since I wanted to counter - even optimist on principle -. Pay attention to relevance and proportionality, so do not make an event bigger than it is! "In the maxims of good journalism, I maintain, there is an ethics for the general public that concerns everyone today. She should be taught in a separate subject at school. Because we have become media powerful, we must now also become media. Because what would be, seriously asked, the alternative? Paternalism? Increasingly sophisticated laws? The most effective communication control? For me, these are ultimately unworthy proposals shaped by education mistrust and educational pessimism. Since I wanted to counter - even optimist on principle -. She should be taught in a separate subject at school. Because we have become media powerful, we must now also become media. Because what would be, seriously asked, the alternative? Paternalism? Increasingly sophisticated laws? The most effective communication control? For me, these are ultimately unworthy proposals shaped by education mistrust and educational pessimism. Since I wanted to counter - even optimist on principle -. She should be taught in a separate subject at school. Because we have become media powerful, we must now also become media. Because what would be, seriously asked, the alternative? Paternalism? Increasingly sophisticated laws? The most effective communication control? For me, these are ultimately unworthy proposals shaped by education mistrust and educational pessimism. Since I wanted to counter - even optimist on principle -.

Finally, is there a maxim in matters of abuse?


Yes. One must, as hard and painful as it is, someday consider the unthinkable as conceivable - in spite of one's own experiences of beauty, silence and friendliness. "Recognize the other in its strangeness and its terror," is how one could formulate the categorical imperative of perception that applies here. "And then check carefully and without prejudice and act immediately to strengthen the victims and prevent future suffering."

This interview will be available in English at the beginning of January online with the US magazine Tricycle read. tricycle.org

Bernhard Pörksen is Professor of Media Studies at the University of Tübingen. He explores the power of public outrage and the future of reputation, and publishes essays and commentary in many newspapers, in addition to academic essays. His books with the philosopher Heinz von Foerster (truth is the invention of a liar) and the communication psychologist Friedemann Schulz von Thun (communication as a way of life) were bestsellers. In 2008 Bernhard Pörksen was elected "Professor of the Year".
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:35 am

Lineage Delusions: Eido Shimano Roshi, Dharma Transmission, and American Zen
by Erik Fraser Storlie
February 8, 2011

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In August 2010 The New York Times exposed the persistent failure of both the Zen Studies Society of New York and the larger American Zen Buddhist community to address Eido Shimano Roshi's forty year history of sexual abuse of women - and the desire, even now, to excuse or "explain" him. Equally distressing were Robert Aitken's posthumous letters, recently made available, revealing that Aitken, a deeply respected founder in American Zen, had lied for decades about Shimano's misconduct in order to protect, as Aitken explained it, "the American Dharma."

Were this an isolated case, it would not matter very much, except, of course, to the victims. But it's an old and discouraging story in American yoga and meditation communities. In forty-six years of Zen practice I've observed Asian (and now Western) swamis, tulkus, roshis, rishis, dharma heirs, lineage holders, and masters of various stripes, as well as their disciples, explain that the master's fiscal extravagance, alcoholism, cruelty, sex addiction, violence, and even rape is - of all things - "a teaching!"

We are told that the master "dwells in the absolute," or is a lineage holder in "crazy wisdom," or can raise the kundalini energy, or read our chakras and past lives, or help "burn up" our karma, or is offering to share our wife, husband, girlfriend, or boyfriend so as to assist us in breaking our unfortunate attachments - all of this, of course, to stretch us beyond our parochial notions of right and wrong and bring us to the ultimate attainment enjoyed by the master himself (the master almost invariably being male).

We have seen some dwellers in the absolute require absolutely better automobiles and accommodations, while their disciples labor at low wages in community businesses; we have seen some destroy their health with alcohol, while another infected students with AIDS, deluded that his spiritual "power" would block viral transmission. Shockingly, governing members of his organization knew his secret, yet did nothing to warn potential victims.

This is a Mad Hatter's tea party, where hierarchical robes and titles, sadomasochistic austerities, and subterranean libertinism mix together in incestuous "spiritual communities" filled with distrust and rivalries - all this in a scramble for the summit of some distant "spiritual" mountain. This would be comic if it weren't tragic.

And it is tragic.

It is tragic because countless Americans hunger for genuine meaning - meaning unavailable in the toxic mimics offered by game shows, professional sports, "reality" TV, ugly politics, "free-market" competition, and unimaginably wasteful wealth accumulation at the top.

Yet meaning is available - above all in the penetrating explorations into the mysteries of consciousness we undertake in meditation and yoga. And the most important thing we can bring to these inquiries - and to those we hope to further in these inquiries - is our sincerity and selflessness.

The Shimano scandal reminds me of why, some years ago, I refused the opportunity to become a Zen "dharma heir." I refused, knowing that, without this title, despite forty years of training and practice, I would never be a recognized Zen meditation teacher. The offer was generous. But to have accepted would have been tacitly to endorse a credential that conferred great authority - yet was given at the pleasure of a single person and based on a fantasy.

The doctrine of dharma transmission hangs on four overlapping assumptions, all of which must be true to establish its credibility. The first two are beyond proof, and the third and the fourth obviously false.

The first, that the historical Buddha attained a mind of absolute perfection, is pure poetry - fascinating, mysterious - and if accepted, accepted simply as an article of faith. Did the Buddha have such a mind? A wonderful question! Maybe he did. Or maybe, somewhere in the cosmos, he's still exploring, expanding, and perfecting his infinite wide-awake seeing. Or maybe all of us are, exactly at this moment, his eyes opening again and again - and wider and wider as our practice deepens.

The second, that the Buddha's disciple Mahakasyapa also attained this perfect mind and that the Buddha recognized it, depends upon the first. Perhaps, indeed, a perfect being could recognize and attest to the perfection in another perfect being.

The third, that an unbroken chain of such "mind to mind" transmissions has descended, generation after generation, in a known lineage, down to today's living dharma heirs, is simply false on historical grounds. As Edward Conze, the great scholar of Indian Buddhism noted, "much of the traditions about the early history of Ch'an are the inventions of a later age" - inventions befitting a Chinese culture that deeply honored family lineages traced through renowned ancestors.

The fourth, that every such transmission from master to disciple over the last 2500 years was genuine, is contradicted by the behavior of Shimano himself -- and, sadly, of any number of Asian and American teachers.

Stated simply, the doctrine of dharma transmission is just one more among the many attractive delusions held by human beings. Unfortunately, adherence to it gives the dharma heir a very powerful - and potentially dangerous - authority within the community of Zen practitioners, much as does the doctrine of the Apostolic Succession in the Roman Catholic Church, where the recent child abuse scandals illustrate the dangers of priesthoods that claim an authority beyond the ordinary and human. Those in such positions are sorely tempted to protect each other, ignoring or covering up the harm done by their colleagues.

So long as American Zen relies on dharma transmission as a credential, there will be one Shimano after another - and dharma heirs who will go to great lengths to protect the master that conferred authority upon them. For if the master who has declared me awakened has erred, if he does not, indeed, "dwell in the Absolute," then my own credential is called into question - along with my prestige and authority in the community and my ability to confer this power upon others.

Even if the magical claims of dharma transmission are discarded and it is recognized as an ordinary human institution, it still should not be retained as a method of training Zen meditation teachers. No truly meaningful credential can be conferred simply at the pleasure of one person. Indeed, as a method, it creates toxic interpersonal dynamics in communities, for the future recognition or preferment of a student is entirely dependent upon pleasing a dharma heir, or a presumptive dharma heir. If I wish to rise in this hierarchical system, I must pay court to the dharma heir and his or her favorites, and as a courtier in such a system, I can never openly acknowledge my self-interested pursuit of attention, for my goal is always, theoretically, "spiritual" development. Yet, of course, my ability to please a dharma heir and receive, in my turn, recognition and/or authorization will give me status and even employment opportunities. The dynamics of court, courtier, and courtship create endless distortions of human behavior even in ordinary institutions - a business, political party, or college. These run wild when the king, queen, pope, or dharma heir has imputed "special" powers. Anyone connected for a length of time to a Zen Center can cite examples.

Of course, many Zen teachers will refuse to discard this false credential. Those with the courage to act can take comfort from the Buddha's words in The Mahaparinibbana Suttanta, words that E.A. Burtt suggests bring out "one major and authentic note" among the various presumed "final" teachings attributed to the Buddha.

As the Buddha prepares for death, Ananda begs him to leave "instructions as touching the order." The Buddha responds that he has nothing more to offer. He has taught freely to everyone, his teaching is complete, and the community must now find its own way forward.

"What, then, Ananda, does the order expect that of me? I have preached the truth without making any distinction between exoteric and esoteric doctrine; for in respect of the truth, Ananda, the Tathagata has no such thing as the closed fist of a teacher, who keeps some things back."

Then the Buddha hints at the possibility of a coming power struggle, suggesting wryly that if any person now thinks he should run things, he should just go ahead and try. "Surely, Ananda, should there be anyone who harbors the thought, 'It is I who will lead the brotherhood,' or, 'The order is dependent on me,' he should lay down instructions in any matter concerning the order."

To illustrate the absurdity of such thinking, the Buddha even goes so far as to insist that he, himself, does not "lead" the order. "Now the Tathagata, Ananda, thinks not that it is he who should lead the brotherhood, or that the order is dependent upon him. Why, then, should the Tathagata leave instructions in any matter concerning the order?"

The Buddha is said to have said many things. But these words ring true. Monks seeking to establish governing hierarchies modeled upon patterns of royal or imperial lineages must have lamented their inclusion in the canon. These words were, to the hearers, most probably unforgettable - told and retold in the community too many times to be expunged. If they are indeed authoritative, the Buddha himself never had any notion of the creation of a lineage of dharma heirs.

We must move beyond dharma transmission and construct approaches by which teachers of American Zen Buddhist meditation can be prepared effectively - and transparently. There are many models in a myriad of professions, both religious and secular. I would suggest that for Zen in America to speak to people, to become more than an odd, idiosyncratic subculture, it must draw sustenance from America's deep roots in the democratic and egalitarian. English Dissenters brought the first churches to these shores. Their polity was congregational, where the minister served at the pleasure of the congregants. The minister was understood to be as susceptible to error as any in his flock.

Having moved beyond the fairy tale of dharma transmission, Zen communities can begin work on truly thorny questions. Why did so many of t he Asian "masters" who came to America, especially during the Sixties, behave in ways that to the objective beholder seem narcissistic, even sociopathic? What was their experience coming to maturity in monasteries and ashrams? Were they damaged in some way as children? And how, today, can the traditional Hindu and Buddhist emphasis on "non-attachment" be meaningfully taught in an America where many suffer "attachment disorders" - an inability to receive or return love?

To matter much in America, Zen must undergo its own painful Protestant Reformation - the deconstruction of lineage. This will free practitioners to learn from trained and accountable teachers in the spirit of the Buddha's final admonition: "Therefore, 0 Ananda, be ye lamps unto yourselves. Rely on yourselves, and do not rely on external help. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Seek salvation alone in the truth. Look not to assistance to anyone besides yourselves."

Front page photo by Mark Zastrow

Fraser Storlie (Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1976, M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1965, B.A. University of Minnesota, 1958) began a practice of sitting meditation in 1964 with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. He studied with Dainin Katagiri Roshi, helping to found the Minnesota Zen Meditation Center. His publications include Nothing on my Mind (Shambhala 1996)), "Zen On Ice" (Quest Winter 1998), "Earth's Original Face" (Shambhala Sun March 2001 ), "Sawtooth Sesshin" (Shambhala Sun March 2002), and "Notes on a Friendship with James Wright," (Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art vol. II, no. 3, 2007). He currently leads retreats and teaches meditation and mindfulness for the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:30 am

Why Cocaine Turns People into Jerks, a Simple Explanation
by David Hillier
Aug 11 2016, 9:50am

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We asked a scientist about the physical process that turns nice, normal people into assholes after they've done a couple lines.

Image
Leo getting ready to blow some cocaine into someone's ass in 'The Wolf of Wall Street'

Cocaine's a funny drug, isn't it? I can't think of any other substance—bar maybe alcohol—with the power to turn a relatively nice, normal human being into an absolute fucking nightmare. "Yeah, yeah, haha—have a bitta that," your friend Grant is screaming, trying to ram the neck of a Polish brandy bottle physically inside your throat. "Haha," he's going, completely out of character, four lines deep now. "Probably going to kill him dead, that! Haha. Good fucking banter. Shall we do another bump? Let's do another bump!! Have I told you about my idea for a board game?"

Of course, not everyone turns into a big sentient clenched jaw after half a gram—lots of us can do cocaine without becoming self-obsessed or arrogant or devoid of all self-awareness. But some of us can't, which is where the "cocaine dickhead" archetype comes from: the girl who won't stop banging on about her screenplay; the guy who wouldn't be able to gauge the vibe of the room (extremely anti-him) if it was written out in spray paint on the wall.

So why, exactly, does this happen? And how come it only affects some people and not others?

"Cocaine tends to make people go into themselves, so they can either become introverted or be very sociable but a bit dominant or self-involved," says Katy Mcleod, director of Chill Welfare, a social enterprise that runs welfare tents at festivals across the country. "One big issue with coke is how it makes you feel in yourself and how you come across to others when under the influence. The two don't always match up. You might think you're being really witty and outgoing, when other people just think you're a twat."

To get to the root of the asshole chemistry, I spoke to David Belin from the Department of Pharmacology at Cambridge University. "Drugs target three psychological mechanisms in your brain," he said. With cocaine, you're effectively buzzing off the chemical dopamine flooding your brain every time you take a bump. "Dopamine is not pleasure itself, but a mechanism in the brain that allows for learning," Belin explained.

Imagine how a new guitarist might get a kick out of nailing "Smells Like Teen Spirt" for the first time but then immediately crave that feeling again so move straight on to "Heart-Shaped Box." There's a buzz there. You're focused. The world's a bit more thrilling. Cocaine replicates that feeling far more vividly. "It targets your brain so that dopamine is released all the time that you take it, and it feels great," says Belin. "You start building a very strong motivation for the drugs."

From here to the second psychological dust storm, cocaine kicks up between your ears. "Cocaine influences your pre-frontal cortex [the part of your brain that regulates behaviors and, essentially, your ability to make sound judgements]. It actually messes up your executive functions, your inhibitory control, and your decision making. So now you've got this very strong motivation [from the dopamine] and, because of the effects of the drug, you end up with an inability to inhibit your impulses and make good decisions."

Remember the time you repeatedly offered the girl at that party five bucks for a line, and she said yes, but only after making you promise you'd leave her alone forever? That. A study at Maastricht University in the Netherlands found that a single dose of coke—so a bump, or a little line—can impair your ability to recognize negative emotions in other people, which is why you're under the impression everyone is eternally interested in what you have to say, when, really, they are not.

"Third: Drugs facilitate habits, so at this point your impulses are full of motivation for the drug, and they reach your habit system and you just do it without thinking about it, necessarily," said Belin, referring to how moreish cocaine can be. "Also, with cocaine, there's no real physical withdrawal, but there's a strong psychological withdrawal. You feel anxious, you feel bad, so that adds to the motivation to continue taking the drug."

So that would explain why people might tease out the dregs of a bag toward the end of the night, or put the call in to Albanian Rocky at the same time you'd usually be waking up?

"Absolutely," says Belin, adding that all these urges are going to be further enhanced or inhibited by the likely addition of alcohol to the mix. The combination effectively creates a new potent drug—cocaethylene—when the two meet in the liver, which drastically increases your chance of a heart attack, even up to 12 hours after you've been mixing.

"It will lower your general inhibitory tone so you give into impulses you wouldn't normally," says Belin. Oh, and also, that thing where you're a few drinks ahead of everyone else and start muttering about getting some gear to "sober yourself up"? It's a myth. The cocaine is just providing more dopamine to battle between the other neurotransmitters competing for dominance in your brain. It might momentarily sharpen your focus, but in effect, you're only more stimulated.

The final thing I'm interested to hear about is why so many people tend to get turned on when they're on coke, even if, in the case of some guys, there might be structural problems to contend with.

"It may have have to do with general arousal," he said. "Unlike heroin, which focuses on pleasure by itself, cocaine makes the world shinier. So something that is beautiful—a partner or a potential partner—will become more beautiful, and you will want them more. Perhaps you don't have a choice."

The issue of choice, or lack thereof, has been something that Belin's alluded to throughout. If you've never taken drugs, you might be reading this and thinking, If it's such a problem, just don't do any coke. Which is fair. But is there a point where a so-called recreational user should maybe give his or her intake some proper consideration?

"Say you did it once at a party with friends and enjoyed it," says Belin. "Then, two months later, it's there again, but instead of being every two months, it might gradually become every Saturday, and you think, I'm fine, because it's only Saturdays. Do you really want it, or do you end up in this mood with friends and take it without really wanting it? If it's the latter, it suggests you are losing control. It's a reflex. It's the moment, the mindset. And the triggers—meeting with certain friends, drinking alcohol—for the drug mean you are always finding justifications. I suggest you meet up with these friends on a Saturday and agree that none of you will take cocaine. If you can't make it through the evening, you may be be on the wrong side of the story."
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:03 am

Breaking the Silence on Sexual Misconduct
by Lama Willa B. Miller
May 19, 2018

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In the Summer 2018 issue of Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly, Lama Willa Miller offers both her painful firsthand account of sexual misconduct by a guru and insight for fellow survivors and communities. Photo-performances by Cecilia Paredes.

Victim. Survivor. Consort. Partner. One of “those women.” I stare at these identities on the page, and one by one I try them on. The words feel like button-down shirts that are too small. Yet sometimes they seem to fit, depending on the shifting fragments of memory that make up that time in my life.

A young woman called me on the phone in October of 2016. We shared the same dharma teacher. We also shared a history, without our knowledge. When she first called, she said it was about graduate school—she was thinking of going and wanted to know what my experience was like. Did I remember her, she asked? In the past, she said, people at the monastery have compared us. Like you, I was completely devoted to the teacher, she said.

All in. Yes, I know what it is like to be all in. An image of a young woman in maroon robes at the monastery surfaces; I met her once, in passing, in the interview room upstairs.

We were on the phone for just five minutes before she broke down in tears. She did not tell me why she was crying, not in that first conversation. We talked around it. But I knew why she was crying. I knew why she was speaking in shadow language.

A few days later, I sit in front of my laptop, trying to come up with words to describe the experience of my twenties. I am writing them, as best I can, to communicate what it was like to have one’s heart held hostage—what it was like to be a dharma teacher’s secret sexual partner.

I was 22 years old, and my dharma teacher was the center of my world. I had given up everything.


The memories are dammed up in my body: the smell of sewage and cumin in the hot Indian air, the texture of newly ironed cotton on my skin, the whirr of sleepy ceiling fans above, the feeling of being unable to wake from a bad dream. These sense experiences are as accessible to me now as they were that day.

That day was in late January 1988. I was 22 years old, and my dharma teacher was the center of my world. I had given up everything—my old friends, my job prospects, my family, my possessions—“for the sake of the dharma.” I had thrown caution to the wind in order to follow this teacher’s vision for my life. All in.

That was the day he first approached me. We were alone in a hotel room in Delhi, for a dharma check-in he had arranged. The check-in lasted just minutes, though, before he grabbed my body and pressed his face toward mine.

My body was wrapped in burgundy robes, my head freshly shaved. It was sandaled and draped with a mala, a gao (Tibetan prayer amulet), blessing strings. That body had not been touched by a man for some time. I had been encouraged for many months to be celibate, a lifestyle culminating in monastic ordination. Just sixteen days before, at the insistence of this very same teacher, I had taken vows of celibacy for life.

When I was 22, I had no idea how to make sense of all of this. There was no modern literature, at least none I had seen, on teacher-student sexual relationships in Buddhism. Shoes Outside the Door, Sex and the Spiritual Teacher, and Eyes Wide Open weren’t yet written. Medieval narratives of Buddhist life in awkward translation were my sole reference point. In these tales, women were consorts, dakinis, muses—desirable reflections of the male gaze.

Words that Bind, Words that Liberate

Clergy sexual misconduct. Abuse of power. Exploitation. We don’t want to believe these words apply to us or our sanghas. We turn away from them for understandable reasons. We may be afraid of the shame they would bring to our Buddhist communities. We might worry they will threaten our practice or the values we hold dear. We may be afraid to look at the truth that the very teacher we believed to be the embodiment of perfection is, in fact, a complicated human being. Inquiring into these words means questioning everything, including some of our deepest beliefs. The courage and emotional energy required to do this is significant.

As “one of those women,” when I was in my twenties, I probably would not have connected these terms to my life even if I had come across them. While I knew by year three of the relationship that what was happening to me was painful and disempowering, I believed I alone was at fault. Even when I did finally come across these terms, long after the relationship had ended, they at first seemed foreign to me.

Yet as I inquired into the meaning of these words, they gave me a fresh frame within which to consider and explore my history. Could it be that what had happened to me had also happened to other people, both within my tradition and outside of it? Was it possible that I alone was not at fault—that my teacher’s actions were also responsible for the suffering we both endured? Was it possible that there are some boundaries that simply should not be crossed?

Boundaries and Power in Spiritual Communities

Over the years, women practitioners have shared with me stories of teacher sexual misconduct. It is more common than you might imagine:

“He came into my room during retreat unannounced. He asked me to undress. He also undressed. He sat on my zabuton and asked me to get in his lap.”

“I had a dharma interview with him. During the interview, he took my hand while I was talking about my aunt’s cancer. I was crying. I thought he was going to comfort me, but he took my face in his hands and kissed me.”

It was after the teaching. People were hanging around drinking tea. He came up to me and whispered in my ear, “You look delicious.”

“He said that if I performed better in bed, it would not last as long. I started to cry and tried to get up. He pushed me down on the bed and tried to insert his limp penis inside me.”


These are words of women in the Vipassana, Zen, and Tibetan traditions. Sexual misconduct is found in all schools of Buddhism, and it comes in many varieties. It can be verbal, such as an inappropriate comment or a proposition. Or it can be physical: kissing, fondling, and touching, all the way up to sexual intercourse. The offending teacher might frame the sex as casual or as spiritual. Secrecy is usually involved, and when it is, the harm is ultimately more egregious.

In a recent study by Baylor University, clergy sexual misconduct was defined as sexual advances or propositions made by religious leaders to a person in the congregations they serve who is not their spouse or significant other. This describes a type of conduct that has been demonstrated in research studies to expose individuals and communities to a significant risk of trauma and harm. As a result, a growing number of states (nine to date) have made clergy sexual misconduct a punishable offense.

This kind of sexual misconduct is different from other types. What makes something clergy sexual misconduct is not the specifics of the sexuality but rather that sexual activity of any kind is happening between two people who have—by virtue of their respective roles—entered into an implicit agreement. The student has implicitly agreed to trust the teacher with the course and health of their spiritual life. The teacher has implicitly agreed to refrain from exploiting their position of power and to respect the student’s trust and honor their vulnerability.

This agreement establishes a safety zone in the relationship. The safety zone is a liminal space in which a student can safely be vulnerable and open, and in which a teacher bears witness, embodies compassion, and imparts guidance. Trust in the safety zone is essential to deep spiritual work. The erosion of physical boundaries is one of several ways this safe space can be violated.

To understand why violating a safety zone is problematic, we have to understand something about power. Like psychotherapists, high school teachers, and professors, clergy (this includes dharma teachers, lamas, roshis, ajahns, spiritual friends, etc.) hold sway over their students simply by virtue of their rank and position in the community. They are powerful, but that power is often invisible; you can’t hold it in your hand or show someone its dimensions with a measuring tape. Nevertheless, it’s a highly influential force in our lives and the signs of it are there, if you know how to look for them. You can determine a person’s status, for example, by where they are seated in a room.

Survivors of clergy sexual misconduct start out with a deep sense of trust in their abuser that decays into feelings of confusion and betrayal.


Conventional professional ethics posit that the person who holds the greater power in a relationship holds more responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the boundary. This means that Buddhist teachers are the ones primarily responsible for maintaining clear boundaries with their students.

If the boundary erodes and the safety zone is compromised, the spiritual health and well-being of both parties is jeopardized. But the less powerful individual in the relationship is much more vulnerable, psychologically and spiritually. Like incest survivors, survivors of clergy sexual misconduct start out with a deep sense of trust in their abuser that decays into feelings of confusion and betrayal. And survivors of clergy misconduct face many of the same risks: depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, feelings of guilt and shame, and difficulty establishing trust in future relationships. These symptoms can descend gradually or suddenly and may go on for years.

Victims, Survivors, Thrivers

Soon after being approached by this young woman, I reached out to three other women in my community whom I either suspected or knew had been in a sexual relationship with my teacher. Eventually, we all came forward together in a formal public disclosure process facilitated by a professional mediator. The monastery hired the mediator to help them address the revelations with which they were confronted. In preparing for the disclosure, it gradually became clear that in order to protect the anonymity of the women who did not wish to be named, a category was needed to refer to them.

What are we? I wondered, scrolling through the literature on sexual misconduct. Victims? The word conjured up bruised upper arms, restraining orders, and children. Survivors? Destiny’s Child lyrics lapped at the edges of my consciousness. Eventually, I happened on a schema describing stages of recovery from sexual assault that sounded hauntingly familiar. The stages were called victim, survivor, and thriver.

The phase of victim comes early in the recovery process. Initially, many victims are unaware they are caught in an abusive relationship. Lack of awareness may go on for a long time, accompanied by growing feelings of aversion, extreme anxiety, and self-recrimination. In the victim phase, these feelings gradually take hold of the body and mind, resulting in a sense of powerlessness, loss of agency, invisibility, and shame. If the relationship collapses, the victim feels a paralyzing sense of loss and grief but may be reticent to talk about what has happened.

The survivor phase comes midway through the recovery process. In this phase, the person begins to recognize the complexity of what happened and the possibility that the teacher bears some responsibility. In time, there is a return of a sense of autonomy and agency. In this phase, the survivor begins to want to process their experience verbally and may seek support from a therapist or close friends. The individual may feel anger at the perpetrator for the first time and may also harbor profound regrets.

The third, or thriver, phase comes toward the end of the recovery process. In this phase, the person is able to look back on their history without intense emotional activation. It becomes possible to move beyond grief and regret to a sense of appreciation for the difficult experience as a formative process. In the phase of thriver, the person has essentially healed and moved on. While survivors may not feel strong enough to help others through a process of recovery, thrivers are often motivated to do so.

The web I was caught in was a subtle form of violence that was bigger than me.


In reality, these phases are not strictly sequential but rather mirror a human fluctuation between victimization and resilience. We might move into the phase of thriver and then backslide into the phase of victim.

We finally settled on referring to ourselves as survivors. The term kept all of us squarely in the middle of the recovery process, a place that seemed to be sufficiently empowering.

As the date of the formal disclosure meeting approached, I witnessed the reactions to this language of professional ethics in that sangha. Some felt the dyad of survivor and perpetrator was impersonal, dehumanizing, or polarizing. Some were concerned that it might perpetuate a disempowering narrative for the victims. Language has its limitations, and it can feel reductive.

But the language of professional ethics also has the power to liberate by making the invisible visible. In my own case, I had a hard time being objective about my situation for many years. It was entirely too personal. I had woven a narrative about my culpability and why I could not extract myself from an ultimately disempowering situation, a story fed by isolation, fear of losing connection, my self-beliefs, and even by Buddhist doctrine.

When I encountered this fresh terminology, it allowed me to step back and see myself as part of a larger matrix of power dynamics present in many religions. It helped me feel connected to a global community of women and men who have been through the same experience. The language allowed me to claim a truth I already knew deep down—that the web I was caught in was a subtle form of violence that was bigger than me, and ultimately unstable. Sometimes we need to see a pattern in order to become free of it.

Secrecy Is Toxic

My dharma teacher, at first implicitly and later explicitly, told me to keep our relationship a secret. This troubled me a great deal from the beginning. One evening I challenged him, asking, “Why can’t we be open about this?”

His demeanor changed immediately, and he replied, “Nothing saying very good. So much shame coming. You shame. Me shame. Monastery shame.”

I backed off. At the time, I believed there was nothing more karmically risky than making my teacher angry, and challenging his moral reasoning seemed even more heretical. Yet I remained deeply uncomfortable with the secrecy, and felt—despite my devotion to the teacher—that it was toxic.

Keeping a secret from one’s own community is lying by omission and eventually yields to uttering direct untruths. That small bag you are traveling with contains ritual implements, not your birth control. You are standing outside your teacher’s door to get his laundry, not because he has asked you to come by for sex.

In my own case, these small lies, and the much larger lie they represented, began to corrode my personal sense of integrity, and with it my sense of connection to those around me. Survivors find themselves in a double bind. To preserve their relationship with the teacher, they must hide things and lie. But lying means breaking a fundamental Buddhist precept. In my own case, telling myself it was “skillful means” was not enough to wipe out my feelings of uneasiness. This ongoing situation forced a wedge between me and my dharma siblings, people I very much cared for.

In most sanghas where misconduct is occurring, there is a circle of people in the know, but incredibly they may not be aware of each other. In other words, there is not just a secret; there is a culture of secrecy. Acts of deception, enabling, and dissimulation sometimes become so habitual that they seem perfectly normal, like brushing your teeth. If a community is going to heal from misconduct, it is important not just to address the misconduct but also to unveil the underlying culture that enabled it.

When secrecy is used as a method to keep a student from speaking up about an intimate relationship with a teacher, it becomes a powerful means of control. The secrecy can be used as leverage; if the woman (or man) reveals the relationship, retaliation of some kind will ensue. When it involves a spiritual community, that retaliation can be devastating. A powerful teacher’s words can sway the minds of an entire community not only to practice dharma, but also to marginalize human beings.

If a student decides to leave without speaking up—her other option—she is rarely rewarded for her discretion. Instead, the community, especially if it is insular, may see her departure as a kind of betrayal. This may be reinforced by the teacher himself, who privately experiences her departure as a loss of power and property.

I realized fairly early on in the relationship with my teacher that this code of secrecy divided me from myself. But I only realized later that by keeping this secret, I was complicit in an act of darkness that risked undermining the very community I loved. Even after the passage of time and with the help of therapy, I still harbor regrets about this. It is one of the many reasons survivors fail to speak up: we feel ashamed.

The Myth of One-Way Samaya

In the tradition of Vajrayana, there is something called samaya. While the word literally means “commitment,” it refers to sacred or clean relationship. If you have samaya with someone, it means that you have a commitment to uphold and view them in their fundamental goodness and dignity. Some textual sources state that a dharma student’s most important samaya is the commitment to their primary teacher. Taken out of the larger context of Buddhist ethics, this dimension of samaya would seem to imply that students should not question their teacher’s actions, no matter how unskillful. A one-way samaya sanctions students to become apologists for their teacher’s transgressions.

This is a distortion of the concept of samaya.

Any thorough evaluation of the larger context of Buddhist ethics reveals samaya is not unidirectional. Most teachers in the Mahayana tradition hold two fundamental sets of ethical precepts: the bodhisattva vow and the pratimoksha vows. The essence of these vows is a commitment to compassion and non-harm, respectively. The teacher’s most basic ethical compass should revolve around vows to enact compassion and vows to practice nonviolence. These are so fundamental as to be definitive of Buddhist ethics. If the teacher acts in a way that perpetrates violence or harm, he has contravened those fundamental commitments, even if the falling away is unconscious.

In some traditions, the highest and most hidden layer of samaya unfolds only in the sphere of nondual awareness. Within that sphere, all relationships are spontaneously pure. A practice of nonduality requires dismantling the illusion of separateness and embracing all inner and outer conditions, including one’s own shadow. To suppress the conditions that allow the shadow to be witnessed and processed contravenes the spirit of openness implicit in this samaya.

The essence of samaya is not blind faith. Samaya is a promise to uphold one another in mutual goodness, while recognizing our very human potential to go astray. We owe it to one another, as teachers, students, spiritual friends and sangha, to hold each other accountable, not out of malice but out of a fundamental belief in our capacity to navigate away from brokenness and toward greater integrity and compassion.

The Devil Is in the Details

Boundary crossings can vary from careless to egregious. They can be experienced as welcome or unwelcome, extend from mildly awkward to very traumatic. Without hearing first-person reports from all those who knew something, a community cannot get a complete picture of who was hurt and how. If that community does not know exactly what happened, and to how many people, it’s very difficult to know how to proceed.

Getting a full picture begins with deep listening to all sides. Many teachers who offend will either lie about their conduct or try to deflect responsibility onto others. It is important, therefore, to hear the accounts of survivors and witnesses in detail, if possible. The details often hold key information about the severity of the abuse, the patterns of abuse, and the depth of the harm.


Some time ago, I was part of a community in which women began to report sexual advances by the teacher. One of these women described how her relationship with this teacher began. In a dharma interview, she had confided to her teacher a history of prolonged early childhood sexual abuse by a close relative. Soon after, he invited her onto his lap and began kissing her. This behavior continued during dharma interviews at public retreats over the course of years, until it eventually was consummated in sexual intercourse.

Survivors are afraid of not being believed, of being shamed, of being rejected.

Details such as these provide critical information. In this case, the teacher sought cues of emotional vulnerability, such as a history of sexual abuse, and chose the location in a private room in a retreat space controlled by the teacher and his supporters before initiating sexual contact. This was followed by a gradual habituation and escalation of the behavior over time in the same context (known as grooming). The details point toward a teacher’s habits of perpetration.

Unfortunately, the more disturbing the details, the harder it is for a survivor to talk about them. Just saying it aloud takes great courage. Survivors are afraid of not being believed, of being shamed, of being rejected, of their confidence being breached. They are caught in the typical dilemma of incest victims; they may feel some affection for and protectiveness toward the perpetrator while simultaneously feeling disgust, anger, and distrust. Voicing these conflicting feelings is hard.

Most survivors will be hesitant to share what happened with the wider community, for all the same reasons (and more) that they are afraid to confide in any one person. But there is a cost to silence. The cost is disconnection, isolation, and darkness in areas that need more exploration and discussion, not less. The release of personal accounts—at least within the inner circle—is critical in order for the community to understand the depth of the harm and to prevent future abuses. Navigating this dilemma requires respect for confidentiality, compassion, delicacy, and tact. Ideally, a safe container can be created for survivors to tell their story in an appropriate setting, either in person or through a statement that is read by someone they trust.

What to Do

With the recent wave of revelations concerning sexual misconduct in the international Buddhist community, we may wonder, when will things ever change? My answer is never—unless education initiatives and concrete protections are put in place, and unless the veil of silence surrounding discussing teacher-student sexual relationships is lifted. Until then, every Buddhist community remains a temple of cards.

First, communities need to become educated about power dynamics, what constitutes healthy boundaries, and what happens when those boundaries are crossed. Boundary awareness trainings can actually be fun and empowering.

Second, concrete preventative measures must be put in place. Those measures include a teacher’s code of ethics, a formal grievance procedure, and training in liability for the board of directors.

Third, the loud, clear, and honest voices of women and men who have been in sexual relationships with their teachers must be heard. Without knowing the impact of misconduct on real human beings, we will never understand why we must take measures now to protect them. These issues will not be worked out by individuals or communities until we begin to talk about it freely.

Finally, dharma teachers who offend must be held accountable. When a community decides a teacher’s actions are above scrutiny, ethical violations will remain hidden. It is not enough for communities to promise change after a violation. They must do everything in their power to facilitate healing and restore trust. This is a long process that involves compassion, equanimity, and inquiring into the sangha culture in which harm was perpetrated and perhaps enabled.

The Dharma Is Still a Refuge

When my former dharma community’s secret history came to broader light, I found myself on the phone with a sangha member who asked, “What about my dharma practices, the ones I received from him. Are they still valid?”

I was moved deeply by this question. For communities who have been through a crisis of faith, this question is one of the first to surface.

My response to him was that while the teacher might have faults, the dharma is pure. Whatever teachings, transmissions, and authorizations you have received from the teacher are still sacred and valid, I said.

When I hung up the phone, I wondered whether disillusionment is not in fact the plague of the spiritual path but rather its catalyst. Don’t get me wrong—I would not wish this experience on anyone or any community. But perhaps true refuge can’t be found without a falling away of our false sense of security. It may be that the deepest teachings are not the ones transmitted in the dharma hall but rather the life experiences that challenge everything we believed to be true.

When everything falls apart, we are impelled to find a deeper dharma. Not a dharma of words and paper but an inner dharma of the heart’s own truth. And perhaps this is the essence of what our human teachers, fallible as they may be, have been trying to tell us all along.

Several strong, courageous women stand silently in the background of this article, women who have shared with me their stories of trauma and resilience and who have read and commented on this article. I extend my deepest gratitude to all of them.

Resources

“Advice for Women in a Secret Sexual Relationship with Their Buddhist Teacher,” by Lama Willa B. Miller
“How You Can Support a Victim of Clergy Sexual Misconduct,” by Lama Willa B. Miler
“When a Buddhist Teacher Crosses the Line,” an explanation of ethics in Vajrayana Buddhism by Mingyur Rinpoche
“Dalai Lama denounces ethical misconduct by Buddhist teachers,” a video of the Dalai Lama addressing sexual misconduct in Tibetan Buddhism
“Our Teachers Are Not Gods,” a commentary on the role of the teacher in Buddhist practice, by psychotherapist and meditation teacher Rob Preece
A series of videos by lawyer and women’s trauma counsellor Pam Rubin on abuse in Buddhist communities
“Confronting Abuse: Be Proactive,” an action plan for addressing misconduct in Buddhist organizations, from An Olive Branch
“Confronting Abuse of Power,” a forum discussion on abuse in Buddhist communities
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:33 pm

Way of Shambhala: Making Enlightened Society Possible
by shambhala.org
https://shambhala.org/about-shambhala/t ... shambhala/
Accessed: 6/29/19

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Way of Shambhala is an extensive path of training in authentic meditation practices and wisdom teachings. This program of courses and weekend retreats offers an experiential overview of practices, teachings, contemplative arts, and physical disciplines rooted in the ancient traditions of Shambhala and Vajrayana Buddhism. The program is open to people of all religious backgrounds or no religious background. It is recommended for new and experienced meditators as well as those looking to enrich their personal spiritual path and social action. It consists of three introductory components:

1. The Everyday Life series—five courses, with five weekly classes in each

2. The Shambhala Training series—five weekend retreats

3. The Basic Goodness series—three courses, with six weekly classes in each

Everyday Life Series

A complete overview of the path of meditation and spiritual teachings.

Meditation In Everyday Life: An introduction to basic meditation and how to develop a personal practice.

Contentment in Everyday Life: Mindful appreciation and gentleness to oneself. Foundational Buddhist teachings.

Joy in Everyday Life: Compassion, joyous discipline, and healthy energy. Buddhist teachings on aspiring and loving action.

Fearlessness in Everyday Life: Transforming fear. Buddhist teachings exploring ultimate reality.

Wisdom in Everyday Life: Playfulness, ordinary magic, and innate wisdom. An introduction to the vajrayana Buddhist teachings.

Shambhala Training

Weekend Retreats Levels I-V:

Shambhala Training is a series of secular meditation workshops, suited for both beginning and experienced meditators. Levels I-V provide a strong foundation in mindfulness-awareness meditation practice. These five workshops include meditation training and practice, talks by senior instructors, personal interviews, and group discussions.

Level I: The Art of Being Human
Discovering basic goodness in the world and in ourselves.

Level II: Birth of the Warrior
Cultivating the willingness to observe our cocoons of fear and our defense mechanisms.

Level III: Warrior in the World
Developing the bravery to step outside our cocoons.

Level IV: Awakened Heart
Opening to increased awareness and inquisitiveness about the world, as it is.

Level V: Open Sky
Sharpening one’s awareness, one finds the open clear sky of mind—a delightful source of wisdom and uplifted energy. Trusting our nature enough to let go into the present moment.

The Basic Goodness Series

Everyone has the right to feel his or her own goodness.

-- SMR


The Basic Goodness series of weekly classes introduces the view of Shambhala in an experiential way. The primary practice is Shambhala Meditation. The key difference between the Everyday Life courses and the Basic Goodness courses is that the Everyday Life courses emphasize personal transformation in daily life, whereas the Basic Goodness courses emphasize the experiential study of view and meaning.

Course 1: Who Am I? The Basic Goodness of Being Human

This course asks the question, “Who am I?” and explores the sense of self. It includes teachings on selflessness, the arising of ego, and enlightened-nature. We practice contemplative investigations of the self, based on the foundations of mindfulness.

Course 2: How Can I Help? The Basic Goodness of Society

This course asks the question, “How can I help?” and explores our relationships with others and an aspiration to help our world. We ask what enlightened society may be. The course focuses on transforming four aspects of society: family life (household), professional life, entertainment, and economy. We learn the traditional compassion practice of “sending and taking” (tonglen).

Course 3: What Is Real? The Basic Goodness of Reality

This course asks the question, “What is real?” and focuses on a study of the phenomenal world. It emphasizes core Buddhist teachings, such as impermanence, the process of perception, the “mind,” and emptiness. It is oriented toward the experience of sacred world, the magic of the natural elements. The course also has an ecological emphasis.

Rigden: Unconditional Confidence

The Rigden weekend retreat is the culmination of the Everyday Life, Shambhala Training Levels I-V, and Basic Goodness series. The Rigden is a representation of our enlightened nature and embodies the principle of unconditional confidence. Historically, Rigdens were enlightened rulers— those who could “rule their world” based on their unwavering experience of basic goodness. This retreat is led by a Shambhala master teacher (acharya) and includes a transmission of “windhorse” practice and an opportunity to proclaim a commitment to basic goodness by formally taking the Shambhala Vow.

Prerequisite: Wisdom in Everyday Life, Shambhala Training Level V, and, if possible, The Basic Goodness Series.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:44 pm

Shambhala Training: Windhorse
with Acharya Jeremy Hayward
September 18 - 20, 2016
by https://www.karmecholing.org/program?id=5708

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The Sacred Path program continues to deal with bringing the principles of warriorship and the practice of mindfulness-awareness into daily life. In particular, it is designed to nurture the student's natural ability to experience the world as sacred and his or her aspiration to create an enlightened society.

Windhorse

Participants study the Vidyadhara's terma text, The Letter of the Black Ashe, which gives the instruction for "raising windhorse." The practice of windhorse opens the heart and refreshes one's confidence. It is a way to bring about skillful and heartfelt social engagement, enabling the warrior to go forward in the midst of whatever challenges occur.

The program begins at 7:30pm on September 18th and ends around 5pm on September 20th.

Special Funding Available

If you identify as a person of color, you may be eligible for special financial support to attend our retreats.

Prerequisites: Completion of Levels I-V, the Everyday Life Series and Great Eastern Sun are required. Completion of Rigden Weekend and the Basic Goodness Series are strongly encouraged.

Pricing

Karmê Chöling values its commitment to making programs affordable and available to all who wish to study with us. To support this commitment we provide two program price options.

FULL PRICE: $400
This is the actual price of the program.

DISCOUNT PRICE: $340
We offer this discounted price to those who cannot afford the full price of the program. This price is made possible through the generosity of Karmê Chöling and our donors

Payment Policies:

Karmê Chöling has updated its payment policies. The new policies apply to all programs that start after January 1, 2019. Please read the payment policies before proceeding with registration.

Financial Aid:

Karmê Chöling offers full-time student discounts, scholarships and other financial aid.

Program Credit:

If using existing program credit to pay for a program, you must pre-register for this program at least two weeks prior to the program start date by calling the front desk (802-633-2384 x-101 or x-103). Program credit may not be used to pay for housing or practice materials and may not be used on or after arrival day.

Please Note:

Price includes meals but not accommodations.

Online registration is not currently open.

Teachers

About Acharya Jeremy Hayward

JEREMY HAYWARD received a PhD in physics from Cambridge University in 1965, and became a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1970. After living and practicing for three years at Karme Choling (then known as Tail Of The Tiger), Jeremy helped to found the Naropa University in 1974, under the guidance of Chögyam Trungpa. He was vice-president of the University for the first 10 years, and a Trustee for the next 12. In 1977 he helped to create the Shambhala Training program and has been a central figure in the development of the Shambhala teachings.

Jeremy has been a senior teacher in Shambhala since the seventies and has taught Buddhist and Shambhala programs and retreats across North America and Europe for forty years. He was appointed acharya in 1996, and was acharya-in-residence at Dechen Chöling from 1999 to 2005, and at Dorje Denma Ling from 2005 to 2012.

In 1995, Jeremy published a book on the Shambhala teachings: Sacred World, the Shambhala Path to Gentleness, Bravery and Power. He has also published three books on science and spirituality, the most recent being Letters to Vanessa, on Love Science and Awareness in an Enchanted World. And, in 2008, his memoirs of life with Trungpa Rinpoche were published by Wisdom Publications entitled, Warrior-King of Shambhala: Remembering Chögyam Trungpa.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:49 pm

The Letter of the Black Ashe
by Kalapa Publications
Accessed: 6/29/19

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Image
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Our Price: $50.00
USD/CAD
Product Code: BVN176

Description

Available only to those authorized to receive it.

The Letter of the Black Ashe is a beautiful hardbound edition of a Shambhala root text by Dorje Dradül of Mukpo. It features cloth binding with gold-lettered spine, a gold scorpion seal on the front cover, and blue endpapers.

This second edition of the text has been re-edited, using gender-inclusive language wherever possible. In addition, other amendments have been made based on a re-examination of the original Tibetan manuscript and the initial translation by Dorje Dradül of Mukpo. Here the Tibetan appears alongside the English.

Translated from the Tibetan by the Vajravairochana Translation Committee under the direction of Dorje Dradül of Mukpo.

Vajradhatu Publications
Hardcover, 6" x 9"
22 pp.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:59 pm

The Letter of the Black Ashe: Sacred Community - Outrageous & Inscrutable
by retreat.guru
Accessed: 6/29/19

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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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Boulder Shambhala Center Boulder Shambhala Center
Boulder, CO, USA
Apr 19 - May 3, 2018 (15 days)
$165 Full Price, $200 Sponsor, $130 BSC Member, $85 Subsidized

About This Event

Sacred Path Pilot – A Community Study of Shambhala Terma

The Letter of the Black Ashe: Sacred Community

OUTRAGEOUS and INSCRUTABLE


"The warrior of outrageous has no intention of measuring the space. You have no anxiety about how far you can go or how much you should contain yourself. You have completely abandoned those reference points for measuring your progress. So you experience tremendous relaxation."

-- Chogyam Trungpa


The Sacred Path continues with the last two Dignities. These fruitional dignities refer to the extraordinary skill of a practiced warrior.

No longer afraid of making mistakes, the unconventional and visionary perspective of the outrageous warrior combines with the skill of spontaneous inscrutability to create benefit for others on a large scale.

OVERVIEW OF THE SERIES

This is the fourth of a four part series: The Letter of the Black Ashe: Sacred Community.

The Sacred Community pilot offers a new and fresh way to experience the Sacred Path teachings —Great Eastern Sun, Windhorse, Drala, Meek, Perky, Outrageous and Inscrutable. We are delighted to bring this innovative and societal format to Boulder.

We warmly invite all Sacred Path students and warriors to engage this community study of The Letter of the Black Ashe. It is open to all those who have already received this terma text.

The prerequisite for this program is Meek & Perky, or those who have already received 'The Letter of the Black Ashe'.

Please register with the amount appropriate to your situation.
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Path of the Spiritual Warrior, Four Dignities - The Tiger
by Roshi Robert Althouse
Zen Life & Meditation Center, Chicago
January 2, 2017

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In the Buddhist tradition, the path of the spiritual warrior is well laid out. It is usually referred to as the path of the Bodhisattva. There are many such teachings in Asian cultures. What are now known as the Shambhala teachings developed by Chogyam Trungpa, were first taught by the great teacher, Tibetan king Gesar of Ling. These teachings are known as the four dignities.

In a time of uncertainty and confusion, we need these teachings more than ever. These are advanced spiritual teachings. They require that you see through the illusion of ego, that you have the courage to live your life without creating any territory whatsoever. If you are inspired to let go in this way, then these teachings can help deepen and actualize your realization. It goes without saying that appreciating unconditional basic goodness and a steady diet of meditation is foundational.

We are speaking here of four metaphors for the qualities of the spiritual warrior. I will take one each week and write about them for the next four weeks. These four dignities are the tiger of meekness, the snow lion of discipline, the garuda of outrageousness and the dragon of inscrutability.

Tiger of Meekness

Meekness is not a word we often associate with strength, but in fact, the spiritual warrior's strength arises from gentleness, not arrogance. It's about being simple, grounded and embodied. Trungpa lays out three stages in the development of meekness. The first stage is modesty. Modesty here has to do with being simple, without pretense in a way that is completely genuine. The second stage is that of unconditional confidence. The mature tiger moves through the forest easily, with a natural rhythm. He is in no rush. He plants his paws slowly and surely. He is relaxed, yet aware of his surroundings. This ease and embodiment of the tiger is an expression of unconditional confidence. The third stage overcomes any hesitation because one's mind is vast and boundless. Having given up both ambition and any sense of a poverty mentality, the warrior's mind is stable and uplifted.

Discernment

The tiger's relaxed awareness allows him to see clearly what to keep and what to avoid. This quality of discernment is critical in developing wisdom. Without discernment, it's not possible to develop virtuous behavior. The tiger is not at the mercy of our mass cultural manipulations. He can see what leads to awakening and what does not, and he has the intention and the courage to follow what leads to awakening and let go of negative emotions which embroil one in further turmoil and chaos. The tiger understands that his actions matter. Everything you do is consequential. So he cultivates virtuous actions that lead to awakening and avoids those that lead to suffering.

Exertion

Nothing is accomplished on the path of warriorship without great exertion. Exertion creates both stability and joy. While many might exert themselves for the wrong reason, the tiger always exerts himself for the sake of awakening, so he is able to overcome doubt and create a powerful presence. This quality of tenacity allows the tiger to bear witness, remain grounded in working with difficult situations and conflicts.

Overcoming aggression, desire, and ignorance requires great determination and effort. The tiger is willing to put in the hard work on the meditation cushion to work with himself. The spiritual warrior is brave, not because he conquers and controls others, but because he is willing to face himself. And in this way, the tiger expresses open, genuine presence and tender-heartedness.

Regret

The tiger does not linger in regret. He makes full use of his time in service to helping others. Regret is a sign that you have lost your discipline and focus. It leads to confusion and hesitation. One of the most painful things people often express on their death bed is their sense of regret that they didn't do what they could have done while alive. The tiger does not die with this kind of regret. He doesn't worry about his own happiness. By serving others and putting them first, he lives with a more sustainable joy and wholeness.
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