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 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:00 am

Part 1 of 2

A Conversation With David Rome
by The Chronicles
June 7, 2016



L' affaire Merwin quickly became a hot gossip item on the coast-to-coast literary scene.

Its first effect was to create a wave of poetry-politics backlash against the Kerouac School. Robert Bly, who'd already been quietly criticizing Ginsberg for inviting only his friends to teach poetry at Naropa, now opened fire, discussing the "Merwin episode" (whose facts he had a very fuzzy idea of) in public at every opportunity.

Ginsberg, fearing the loss of a $4000 grant to the Kerouac School from the National Endowment for the Arts, responded by initiating the "Merwin cover-up" (later known as "Buddha-gate"). He contacted both Bly and Merwin and asked them to inform the NEA that there was no connection between Trungpa's alleged misbehavior and Naropa or the Kerouac School.

David Rome, Trungpa's private secretary, now wrote a letter to the Karma Dzong community of Boulder from the Rocky Mountain Dharma Center, where Trungpa was on retreat. According to one source, the letter warned the community against "enemies of the dharma" -- like, by inference, Robert Bly.

Bly returned to Boulder in May, 1977, and in the guise of a poetry reading presented his audience with a long harangue about the Merwin matter.

"I told Allen Ginsberg he is sacrificing the community of poets for his teacher," Bly is reported to have said on this occasion. "This Kerouac School is doomed."

At the intermission of Bly's "reading," a woman student of Trungpa rose and called the poet "not a warrior -- a coward."

Bly left town mumbling about "Buddhist fascism" -- the term, he claimed, which W.S. Merwin was now using to apply to the activities of Chogyam Trungpa.

-- The Great Naropa Poetry Wars, With a Copious Collection of German Documents Assembled by the Author, by Tom Clark

This is a three-part conversation with David Rome. Part one focuses on his years working directly with Trungpa Rinpoche as his personal secretary and later as the Kasung Kyi Khyap, or head of the Kasung. Part two is a discussion about the principles of commmand and protection. In part three, David talks about his many activities since leaving Boulder in 1983, including Schocken Books, Greystone Foundation, Garrison Institute, and his recent book: Your Body Knows the Answer.

David Rome, Part 1

Today I am in Brookline Massachusetts in the beautiful nearly manorial home of Sam and Hazel Bercholz who have been kind enough to lend us their living room as our studio, and I have with me a very dear friend, David Rome, who was the Kasung Kyi Khyap and he was the secretary to Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. He was also a member of the board of directors and a member of the cabinet as such, and a member of the privy council of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. And besides his illustrious career as a member of the Vajradhatu community and Shambhala community, he is also a very accomplished practitioner of social enterprise in the world. And also bringing the traditions of mindfulness into social action. David was also the senior fellow at the Garrison Institute in New York. He was senior vice president of planning and development at Greyston Foundation in New York also. And before that he was president of Schocken Press. And he is the author of a forthcoming book called “Your Body Knows the Answer,” which will be published by Shambhala Publications in the near future.

Asking David to talk a little bit about his life is like going to Paris and having two days. It’s a very difficult organizing challenge….

David, how did you meet Trungpa Rinpoche?

A. I had been hitchhiking in Europe in the summer of 1971 with an old high school friend. This was after I graduated from college, I spent two years in the U.S. Peace Corp [1968-1970?] working as a teacher in East Africa.

Between 1964 and 1972, he served as deputy Peace Corps director in India, country director in Tunisia and Nigeria and finally as director of all Peace Corps programs in Africa.[3]

-- Francis Underhill Macy, by Wikipedia

Some addressed what we call “Transformational and Contemplative Ecology,” growing and convening our network of climate, sustainability, spiritual and community leaders to re-conceive our relationship with the natural world and help make environmental advocacy more effective. For example, in 2016 Joanna Macy led a retreat on “Rainer Maria Rilke and the Force of the Storm.” Macy’s “Work that Reconnects” trainings have empowered environmental activists and scientists worldwide, drawing on Buddhist teachings, systems theory and the deep ecological visions of poets like Rilke, whom Macy and Anita Barrows translated, and who foresaw the disruptions of our time over a century ago. You can watch Macy introducing the retreat here.

-- Garrison Institute Biannual Report, by Marc Weiss / Executive Director

And it was shortly after I returned from that that my friend Alex called me up and said, “Hey, do you want to bum around Europe together for a couple of months?” And he had spent a year in India, and was very interested in Gandhi and Eastern spirituality which I really had no almost no experience of at that point, and we started in England, and he really wanted to go to this Tibetan monastery in Scotland called Samye Ling. And I wasn’t that keen on it, and I imagined it as kind of like a zoo with a fence and you look over the fence and you see these Tibetan monks doing whatever they do in a Tibetan monastery. But he prevailed, and we drove north to Scotland, and that was where I experienced meditation for the first time.

And then, at the end of the summer I went back on my own and stayed there for a week. And I knew that there was something there that was right, or that I was touching something that was more real. And before that I was somewhat of a lost soul. My years in the Peace Corps were good, but then coming back to the States, that was one of the several times that I worked in my family’s business, Schocken Books Book Publishing, but I was lost and not happy. And so the meditation really clicked.

And they had a little bookstore there.... There were two books that I bought. One was Mahasi Sayadaw, a Burmese Vispassana teacher, and the other was a little book called "Meditation in Action" by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.... He had left under a cloud, so he wasn't really mentioned that much....

Q. Where did you go to school? What did you study?

A. I was at Harvard, studying the classics: Greek and Latin....

And then I attended the Mudra Theatre Conference in early 1973, which was quite an extraordinary, outrageous event that brought together really leading people in avant garde theatre in Boulder, and that was organized with the help of Jean Claude van Itallie and Ruth Astor did a lot of work on it, and Maurice McClellan. And Robert Wilson was there before he became well known.

John Baldessari and Meg Cranston seemed pleased to be seated ringside, where half-naked and very buff pallbearers periodically mounted the catwalk-like stage carrying a shrouded body on a bier. At trustee Wallis Annenberg’s front-and-center table, Governor Brown was smiling but seemed uncomfortable at the nude before him. “That’s a fake vagina, isn’t it?” asked collector Michael Ostin, refusing to believe that the woman on display did not have “some kind of enhancement.”

He was not the only doubter. During Serbian folk singer Svetlana Spajic’s performance of a haunting tune from Robert Wilson’s The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, someone at the table beside mine loudly expressed his displeasure to Broad Foundation curator Joanne Hyler, dealer Sara Watson, Creative Time director Anne Pasternak, and Schimmel. “This is offensive!” he shouted. “This is shit, not art. Who is she kidding? Jeffrey! Yo, Jeffrey! Stop this!”

-- Let Them Eat Cake, by Linda Yablonsky at the LA MoCA gala

His whole troupe was there and performed, and many others....

And then in terms of seminary, I think I was kind of a last minute recruit ...

Q. For Color?

A. Well, more for money, because they knew I had some money, and I was at that time in a relationship with Domitra Doukas, who became my first wife, in fact. And they knew that not only could I pay for myself, but I could pay for her, too. It was something like $350 for a three-month stay in a resort hotel in Jackson Hole with Trungpa Rinpoche. Maybe it was $450. But it wasn't more than that.....

I was first asked by Jonathan Eric, who was his secretary at the time, if I would simply assist with his schedule. And again, it was because I wasn't working, and I had a car, I had a Chevrolet Impala convertible, which was pretty fancy for a bunch of hippies.


And almost immediately I was going up to his home in Four Mile Canyon at that time, getting him up in the morning, getting him dressed, getting him his tea and ramen noodle breakfast, driving him down to the office at 1111 Pearl Street ... and seeing him through his whole day which more often than not ended either with a talk, or at that time he used to go visit with students in their homes, or he liked to go to Tico's, the Mexican restaurant. And some nights we went over there, and he sat in the car while I went in and got a double order of Mexican rice, I think, and then drove him back to Four Mile Canyon, and helped him with his dinner, and undressing, and putting him to bed.

So I started in January, and that routine continued through that first summer of Naropa.

So I was secretary, kusung, kasung. I like to say that when I left, they had to replace me with dozens and dozens and dozens of kasung, kusung, and various other secretaries, and aide-de-camps.

And then somebody drove into the driver's side door of my Chevrolet, and it wouldn't open anymore. And so there was a period when I would have to get into the car from the passenger side, then Rinpoche would get in, and then, like if we went to Tico's to pick up a double order of Mexican rice, he would stay there in the front seat, and it was a two-door car, and I would have to climb into the back seat and then squeeze out beside him through his door.

So he then got a Mercedes and started having kasung drivers. And I attribute the whole development of the kingdom of Shambhala to my damaged Chevrolet....

First was that famous initial summer of Naropa, the summer of 1974. And then immediately following that, in the Fall, the first visit of the Karmapa. And for that, of course, we had to organize drivers and security and service, and that was either the stimulus or the opportunity for Rinpoche to begin formalizing things in terms of how we dressed and how we behaved, and much else. And then out of that came the kasung and kusung and so forth....

Q. Can you address what it was like to become the Kasung Kyi Khyap at that time?

A. Kyi Khyap means General Command Protector, and it was the overseer of the kasung. So I was the head of the military, but I didn't really do that much in terms of what the military do, what the kusung do. I wasn't doing guard shifts. I was no longer driving him. And so in a sense it was more like the Secretary of Defense role. It was more like a civilian role, overseeing, and being the policy [advisor] and go-between. It was more than policy. I was coordinating and would lead meetings of the leadership group, the command group. Later it became the Council of the Makkyi Rabjam.

Q. Who was in the command group?

A. Well, initially John Perks was the Kusung Dapon, and Gerry Haase was the Kasung Dapon. And he was replaced in 1977 I believe, when Rinpoche was on retreat, by Jim Gimian. And then there was the next level of officers: Rupons. And perhaps Kado as well, who participated in the group as well.

And my sense of it at that time was not so much that it was about the Regent, or the balancing of powers, although that may indeed have been an important part of Rinpoche's motivation, but my sense of it was more that he wanted to have a military, and at the same time he recognized the potential dangers in that, and he wanted me, as his private secretary, and somebody who he trusted, to keep an eye on them.

So whereas the military officers, the kasung officers, were pretty masculine, commanding, and sometimes aggressive, macho types, I was not at all. I was a timid, intellectual poet-secretary.

But it's also important to say that he did it as a way of working with me. I had happened at the seminary of 1976 seminary in Land O'Lakes, Wisconsin, and I got quite depressed during that seminary. And I was teaching a course, and I missed one class, and I was trying to avoid Rinpoche as much as I could, but on one particular occasion I wasn't able to avoid him. He called me over, and he said, "David, I'd like to ask your permission to undermine you." And I didn't know what he meant, but I also figured that I didn't have much to lose at that point, and I said, "Okay." And then nothing happened. But then it was perhaps 10 days later, without making any connection to that, and it was only much later that I realized that this was what he was referring to. He asked me to become the Kasung Kyi Khyap, to become the overseer of the kasung. The kasung had already existed for a couple of years, and I was not a part of it until that appointment, or command.

And that's also where the dynamic with the Regent does come in, because that -- I don't know if it was the same night, or shortly thereafter -- it was also the time at which he received the Stroke of Ashe. And then the text, The Golden Sun of the Great East and commentary and so forth. It was a very, very rich and intense time. And one night he had an office in the unused wing of the hotel. It was a very large hotel. And so he had an office and a bedroom that he sometimes used. He also had an offsite place where he stayed. And he said, "Okay, now I want you to call the Vajra Regent, and tell him that if it became necessary for some reason in the future, due to his misbehavior or corruption or -- I forgot exactly what the words were but that was the import of it -- that it would be my job to remove him from his position. And it was late at night. It was very cold, because I think that wing wasn't heated, and there was only one telephone, a booth which was downstairs from where his office was. He took me down and he sat with me there in the booth while I called the Regent. And I was very cold, and somewhat scared, and hoping that the call wouldn't go through. But of course it did. The Regent picked up, and I told him what I was instructed to tell him, and I think he may have sensed that Rinpoche was right there, but he certainly knew it was coming from Rinpoche, and he said, "Okay." And he heard it.

David Rome, Part 2

Q. What is “command” and what is “protection”? What was your role? How do you understand your title – the specific words that were chosen – and how it became your path, and our collective path -- because “protecting” implies others -- and what are the implications for what we have to “protect” in order to go into the future?

A. Well, “command” … is the sacred command of the teachings. So it is protection of the teachings, protection of the dharma and the lineage by which the dharma is transmitted. And the “protection” part relates a lot with the role of protectors who are usually deities, or semi-deities of some kind in the Vajrayana. But the idea that the mandala is a protected space and Trungpa Rinpoche likened it to a vajra, which has prongs, and if someone aggressive or unsuitable, but primarily aggressive tries to get in and the prongs repel them, but if people approach with the right attitude and genuine interest, then there’s space between the prongs that lets them through, and lets them go toward the center. So that’s the metaphor of it.

So there was partly an actual security role there, and at that time there were lots of crazies. I wouldn’t use that word now, people with mental health challenges who were drawn to such a charismatic figure. And Trungpa Rinpoche, as is well known, could be very uncompromising, very vajra. And he wasn’t afraid of antagonizing people. So in a sense he was really the points of the vajra, and many people were repelled, and others were fascinated and magnetized.

"People would volunteer ... There would always be a ... a guard is kind of a loaded name ... loaded word. People would volunteer to keep watch over Rinpoche's house, so nobody would break in: so he wouldn't be disturbed by any crazy people around, which there were a few .... Someone ... a snowman at Aspen ... been known to harass in the past ... 1975”….

Trungpa arrived around 10:30, looking baleful. Butch haircut. Flanked by guards -- fortunately, because he was very drunk, and they caught him twice, when he fell. He whispered with the guards. Something was said to be brewing: one of the secrets he'd been preparing. A few minutes later a woman student in her sixties was borne in, naked, held high by guards. She let them carry her around the room, then struggled to be let down. Finally she was released. and ran out. Trungpa giggled, did a strip tease, was carried around, in turn. Dressed again….

Regarding the actual stripping, Persis McMillen recalled, "It happened so fast." She remembers the guards surrounding her, and it took them two minutes to take off her clothes. She was shocked: she didn't resist. The guards hoisted her while nude, aloft. Being a dancer, at first she took a poised dance pose, but after a few seconds felt differently: felt, in her words, "really trashed out." She ran upstairs. In her own words, she "felt sick," and "literally stripped," and " ... very, very upsetting."….

"All of a sudden Rinpoche walks in: and he walks in like Vajra Cop -- he walks in with four guards .... He looked at me, and said, 'You're not wearing a costume.'

''I'm sitting there (in the lobby) and all of a sudden I see this woman (Persis McMillen) come running out of the dining room stark naked .... She was giggling like mad ... Then a few other people came out and said, 'hey, somebody else is naked in there....'

"Then Rinpoche comes down the hallway again, and he said, 'Jack, you're not wearing a costume.' And I said. 'I told you Rinpoche, I had this great costume, and you missed it. It got too hot and I took it off.' ... He said. 'As long as you 're not going to wear a costume, you 're really not going to wear a costume. I have this great costume for you.' He said, 'Boys, do it,' and these four boys came over and grabbed me, and started to unbutton my clothes. I said, 'Wait a minute, what's going on?' …

McKeaver came back to say he had orders to take us down. We had locked the door, then, and I locked the big glass door onto the balcony. A crowd could be heard in the hall. Then threats began: they were going to break down the door if we didn't open it, and come in and get us, etc. Attempts at the lock, and at persuasion at the same time. 'Why didn't we want to come down?' We said we could see no reason to come down when neither of us wanted to. Laughs; jeers. The hall evidently pretty crowded. More threats. Who did I think I was, setting myself up to protect Dana? Sound of pass-keys being inserted. I held the button locked. Kicks and battering at the door. We moved a long chest of drawers against it -- the only piece of furniture that was much to the purpose. The telephones, by the way, had been disconnected in the rooms.

Figures appeared on the balcony, tried the glass door. We turned off the lights. Then a long session of alternate and mixed threats and coaxing us to open up, come down, "get it over with" -- the overall tone menacing, angry, contemptuous. I said that we didn't mean to open the door to them: that there were only two of us, and heaven knew how many of them, and that if they did break the door down to come in and get us, I would hurt the first ones in, if I could. …

"This one guard in particular [Ron Barnstone] ... people were worried about breaking the door because it had been bad enough trashing out the hotel with the fire hoses (the night of the snowball fight) ... people started really freaking out. What is Rinpoche trying to do? ... endless discussion ... if you guys want to stay here and study vajrayana you have to attend, or split immediately. Rinpoche saying, 'I want that door broken down.'" …

"They went down and told Rinpoche, 'Merwin's barricaded himself and there is no way to break down the door, can't we drop it?' Rinpoche says, 'Break through the plate glass window' ... So the guards ... decided to simultaneously break through the door and enter the plate glass window." …

"So apparently they just grabbed him and the word got back that Rinpoche had sent out the word ... that Merwin was not to be harmed at all, because by then people were getting pissed. And the word was out that no matter what Merwin does to anyone, he is not to be harmed, except for physically subduing him. So, by then the guys charged in -- the story we were getting back was that Merwin, ya know, they got the beer bottle out of his hand, and a bunch of guys grabbed him and did a hammerlock on him. He started ranting and raving that he basically was trying to protect his girl friend, and that became his central theme ..."

Then someone announced, with satisfaction, that Rinpoche had sent an order to bring us down "at any cost". Evidently it was just what some had been waiting for. They started to smash at the door in unison with something heavy; I never saw what it was, but I'd heard something earlier about getting a beam from somewhere. We pushed as hard as we could, but finally the lock (a brass knob) was forced through the wood, and that door gave way. As the first hand came through I hit it with a bottle, and as the opening widened I reached around and struck down, hitting something I couldn't see. The bottle broke. I passed the broken top of it to my left hand, took another, reached through and struck downward again, not seeing who or what I was hitting at, and again the bottle broke. At that point Dana shrieked, and there was a loud crashing as the big glass balcony door was smashed, by McKeaver, among others, with another heavy object -- a large rock, I think. It was taken away afterwards before I had a chance to look closely. I crossed the room and started to beat the remnants of the glass door outward onto the balcony, pushing with the broken bottles, but meanwhile the crowd forced its way into the room behind us, from the hall. Dana was shouting, "Police! why doesn't somebody call the police?" but they laughed at her, women too, and Trungpa later mocked her for that, in one of his lectures.

They surrounded us. Dana was backed into a corner. They kept away from the broken bottles I was holding out. It was then that McKeaver asked if I wanted to kill him. As I remember, my answer was to tell him to keep his distance. If I'd "gone berserk", or hit him, as he claims, he'd probably have scars. The way he'd just made his way into the room, for one thing, would seem inconsistent with his statement that "all physical damage" was my doing. If he told me at that moment that he was my friend, as he says he did, I may not have taken the statement very seriously. Another disciple of Trungpa's, Richard Assally (?), was trying to edge along the wall toward Dana, meanwhile coaxing us both, sentimentally, to come and "dance with the energies" -- a phrase that was getting a lot of use.

It was at this point that they led my (in fact) friend Loring up in front of me, and I saw that his face had been cut by a bottle at the door, and was streaming blood. At the sight, I suddenly fell helpless, put my arms out, and let them take the bottles. They bent my arms back and piled onto me, and as they did, Dana started to fight. It was she who dealt out the black eye -- or eyes. (We thought there was only one: a tall man named Hirsch. Neither of us remembers that McKeever got one. Oh well.) …

"William characterized his use of guards and physical force as fascistic; 'What about the people who instigate wars?' I asked. His response was the Chinese communists had ripped off his country, and he wanted to rip off theirs....

Dana asked him, "And what about the people who start violence and wars in the first place?" He said, "What's the matter with wars?" And in the pause that followed that, he changed the subject, said he wanted us to join in the dance and celebration and take our clothes off." At that point; then and there, we both refused, saying that it was one more non-invitation. He asked, "Why not? What was our secret? Why didn't we want to undress?" To Dana he said, "Are you afraid to show your pubic hair?" We said there was no secret: we didn't dig his party, weren't there at our own choice, and didn't feel like undressing. He said that if we wouldn't undress, we'd be stripped, and he ordered his guards to do the job. They dragged us apart, and it was then that Dana started screaming. Several of them on each of us, holding us down. Only two men, Dennis White and Bill King, both of whom were married, with small children there at the seminary, said a word to try to stop it, on Dana's behalf. Trungpa stood up and punched Bill King in the face, called him a son-of-a-bitch, and told him not to interfere. The guards grabbed Bill King and got him out of there. One of the guards who'd stayed out of it, went out and vomited, as we heard later. When I was let go I got up and lunged at Trungpa. But there were three guards in between, and all I could swing at him, through the crowd, was a left, which was wrapped in the towel, and scarcely reached his mouth. It didn't amount to much, and I was dragged off, of course….

Rinpoche was saying, 'I mean you no harm, I really like you.' ... He was in a position to be very gracious at that point.

"Merwin wasn't buying any of it. He was screaming: 'Hitler, bastard, Nazi, cop!' …

She was hysterical and she was looking around the room. 'What's the matter with you? Won't anybody help me? Won't someone help me? Won't someone call the police? Please, please call the police, somebody stop, stop this.'

"And she'd say, 'Joseph! what's the matter with you? Help me!' And she'd look at somebody else. 'Help me! Who are you? What kind of a friend are you? How can you let them do this to us; you're all cowards! You're all cowards! ... ' Well, that was very powerful. It was very heavy -- I just -- my feminine button was pushed. I just really wanted to go out there and help her and I swear to God, I mean, I was just -- just on the verge of like, you know, doing something ... and the next thing, man, her clothes were off, and Merwin's clothes were off and she's screaming and ... kicking, and flailing around, and there's like sort of an instant circle of guards around them….

"Trungpa said we were invited to take our clothes off, or have them taken off for us. Neither of us felt it was an invitation, and the guards were ordered to do the job. I tried to hang on to William but we were pulled apart, and I lunged at Trungpa and twisted my fingers in his belt. Guards dragged me off and pinned me to the floor. I could see William struggling a few feet away from me. I fought, and called to friends, men and women, whose faces I saw in the crowd -- to call the police. No one did. Only one man, Bill King, broke through to where I was lying at Trungpa's feet, shouting. "Leave her alone" and "Stop it." Trungpa rose above me, from his chair, and knocked Bill King down with a punch, swearing at him, and ordering that no one interfere. He was dragged away. (Dennis White was the only other person in the crowd who tried to protest: he appealed to Trungpa -- during the argument William and I were having with him -- to leave me out of it, but Trungpa told him to shut up.) Richard Assally was stripping me, while others held me down. Trungpa began punching Assally in the head, and urging him to do it faster. The rest of my clothes were torn off."

-- Behind the Veil of Boulder Buddhism: Ed Sanders, The Party, by Ed Sanders

Q. He invited the crazies to get close, which makes me think about what you’re talking about what protection is, what you actually protect is the space, the boundary. Not necessarily what’s happening. That kind of protects itself.

A. Well, yes and no. Yes, it is a boundary role, primarily, but he also in his teachings to the Dorje Kasung, he talked about, he used the metaphor of a lamp. And so he as the teacher was like the candle and the flame. But that needed some reflection from the holder, the lamp. And he said that without that sense of reflection the he couldn’t really be effective as a teacher.

Q. But that’s more in terms of “proclamation,” rather than “protection.”

A. No, I think for him it was “protection.” Yes.

Q. Part of what I’m getting at is that as time goes on, we have many different strands of Trungpa Rinpoche legacy. And there is a lot of discussion on “protecting” this and “protecting” that. And probably not enough discussion about the form we protect. And that’s what I’m geting at. Hearing you I get a sense that if you protect the sacredness of the space by holding your mind, which is what kasung practice is, it creates a space of co-emergence that cuts itself. Meaning that instead of being fixated on what is going on in the space, many of us who are trying to protect the legacy of Trungpa Rinpoche should think a little bit about how we’re going about it by creating a sane space. That creating a sane space is probably more important than any opinion about what happens in that space.

Only one man, Bill King, broke through to where I was lying at Trungpa's feet, shouting. "Leave her alone" and "Stop it." Trungpa rose above me, from his chair, and knocked Bill King down with a punch, swearing at him, and ordering that no one interfere. He was dragged away. (Dennis White was the only other person in the crowd who tried to protest: he appealed to Trungpa -- during the argument William and I were having with him -- to leave me out of it, but Trungpa told him to shut up.)

-- Behind the Veil of Boulder Buddhism: Ed Sanders, The Party, by Ed Sanders

A. Yes, that’s nice. It is certainly about making the genuine teachings available to people with genuine interest. But I don’t know if I fully understand it myself. I think it does come out of the Vajrayana traditions, and I’m sure there are historical reasons for it, and there was a protector role within the Tibetan system in the monasteries. But then a lot of it was at more of the deity level. In fact, the term “kasung,” “Protector of the sacred command,” as I understand it in Tibetan refers not to human protectors but to deity level protectors. So that was one of the unorthodox things that Trungpa Rinpoche did was to use that term to describe us human beings who were in a protection role.

Q. I haven’t done an active kasung duty in a long time, but in that situation, whether you’re doing a shift at the desk in front of the Shambhala center, or taking care of a Principal, or a shrine audience in a meditation hall, being able to protect non-aggressively has been institutionalized. And I wonder if the contemplation for us is to try and understand what non-aggressive protection is. Period. In an undefined context. It’s very similar to the way you were expressing what is non-aggressive theatre. What is non-aggressive protection of the teachings? Really, truly, I don’t think that we’ve quite understood that, but I think it would be an interesting meditation for all of us to take.

A. Yeah, I mean I related to my role as private secretary, which was his term, “private secretary,” in which there were many, many people demanding, desiring or yearning or pushing and shoving to spend time with Trungpa Rinpoche, many more than he could accommodate. And so my role was as a gatekeeper, and to listen to why people wanted to see him, but also keep track of who had seen him recently and who hadn’t seen him for a long time, and then kind of filter that and then present it to Rinpoche, and generally he would follow my recommendations and sometimes I could just convey what the issue was, or the question was, and in a few sentences he would give a response, and then I would convey that back to the person without them having to take up his time. And I tried to do that without coloring the communication. Some of these people I found personally to be very annoying, but I really tried to not let that color how I presented it to Rinpoche. And he appreciate that. And so it was like the vajras, who to let in, and who, to not reject, but hold off…..

Protection of the family of the lineage holder certainly was part of the responsibility of the kasung. Service and protection.

Q. Why did you retire from the Kasung Kyi Khyap? Because I don’t think you have, have you?

A. Now I definitely have, because I’ve been replaced by Jesse Grimes.

Q. But until such time, you were, right?

A. Well, nominally I continued to be. I, we left Boulder in 1983. And after that I was in New York City. I was still in touch with kasung affairs, but I really was not active. It pretty much went on without me. And then after we moved up to Halifax in 1987, I was somewhat more involved. I actually don’t remember that clearly. But for the most part I was no longer really actively in that particular role, although I was still a point of reference. And when the Sawang did become the Sakyong, actually before the official empowerment but after Rinpoche had died, the Sawang-Sakyong asked for the whole board of directors, the cabinet, to resign at that time. So that ended my role in that capacity. But he didn’t say anything about my role as Kasung Kyi Khyap, and I wrote him a letter offering my resignation, and it was never responded to. So I was in a limbo for many years. But I was not active in the role. And then eventually, quite a few years later, Jesse Grimes was appointed to that role.

Q. Going back to the formation of the board of directors, what was that like?...

A. In terms of what he was doing, it was one of the many, many ways in which he was engaging the existing forms of the culture, in this case a corporate model, and it was required by law and then kind of bending it to his own purposes. … As far as the American legal system was concerned, it was a board of directors of a religious non-profit. Well, there were two. There was Vajradhatu, which was the religious non-profit, and Nalanda, which was the cultural, out of which came Naropa and Shambhala training and much else. Although the two boards were identical, but technically separate. But for him it was the creation of a cabinet. And he started calling it that fairly early on. And a majority of the directors were also full-time employees which again is unusual and frowned upon. Because you’re overseeing yourself. Right. Although there were several who were not, like Sam Bercholz. He was running his own business. He was not working for Vajradhatu and Nalanda.

Q. What was the cabinet like? What was he trying to do? ….

A. The meetings involved a huge amount of smoking and then at some point in the meeting sake would be served. But they were not drunken meetings. I don’t want to give the wrong impression. And we would meet generally at the Kalapa court, at Rinpoche’s home, and there was a preparatory meeting of the board without Rinpoche, and in the beginning it was without Rinpoche or the Regent. And then the Regent decided he needed to be there at the “study sessions.” But generally there was a meeting the week before the actual board meeting in which we developed the agenda and came up with at least preliminary recommendations…. We were meeting at least once a month. No, I think we were meeting every two weeks. I think there was either a study session or board meeting every week… Yes, we were the senior management team of Vajradhatu and Nalanda.

Q. And senior management team being pushed into the edge of this thing which you didn’t understand whatever it was that he wanted in terms of cabinet. I always found that he would do something, but there was always this edge of unknown that he would push you towards collectively.

A. Yeah, although I think that sometimes happened in the meetings, but generally he was quiet in the meetings. I think the pushing happened more one-to-one generally speaking.

Q. What was the privy council?

A. So then at some point, probably it was in ’77 or ’78 when he was really focusing on creating the Shambhala infrastructure. He wanted to have a smaller group of personal advisors. So that consisted of myself, and the Dorje Loppon [Eric Holm], and Jeremy Hayward – Sir Jeremy. I think initially it was just the three of us. Then, later, the senior kasung commanders, Jim Gimian and Marty Janowitz and Mitchell Levy, joined the Privy Council. And the Regent.
Site Admin
Posts: 33510
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

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

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:03 am

Part 2 of 2

David Rome, Part 3

December, 2013

Q. David, you mentioned that in 1983 you left Boulder. I believe you went to New York to take over your family business.

A. To work there, and eventually I became the president, yes.

Q. What was the business?

A. Book publishing. Schocken books had been started by my grandfather, my mother’s father, originally in Germany before the war. And then in New York City starting in about 1946.

Q. What was his name?

A. Salman Schocken.

Q. And what was the nature?

A. It started as publishing books of Jewish interest, both some classics and some contemporary writing about Judaism. He was very close with Martin Buber, and published some of Buber’s writings, and other important Jewish thought leaders of the 30s, 40s, 50s.

For his 70th birthday, in 1952, Walter Robert Corti wrote an article in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung of February 15th for the birthday of Elisabeth Rotten, describing this meeting which brings together the faithful of the "educational province" ... ie: John Dewey, Maria Montessori, Martin Buber, Adolphe Ferriere and Bernard Drzewieski.

-- Elisabeth Rotten (1882-1964): A frantic activist of the humanitarian and educational cause and citizen of the world, by Martine Ruchat

And then after he died, my father, Herzl Rome, took it over and expanded the list so that it continued to publish Judaica, but it broadened to become a general publisher of trade books. Not so much fiction, but a lot in different academic disciplines, and my mother introduced one of the first important series on women’s studies, and also a series on education. She was the person who brought back the writings of Maria Montessori, who had been virtually forgotten at that time.

it is essential to realize that while the outer forms of irrationalism had penetrated political Establishments, the interior content of Underground systems of thought had begun to penetrate academies. The widest breach in the rationalist front was inevitably in the terrain of psychology and psychiatry, because of the nature of the subjects studied and the historical circumstances in which that study took place. Theories deriving from psychoanalysis, or developing parallel with it, have absorbed some of the same influences. Of these the most significant has been the New Education.

The builders of the brave new worlds of the Progressive Underground were most naturally concerned with the education of the children who would one day inhabit their Paradise. Doctrines of "spiritual revolution" found their natural outcome in attempts at reeducation; of "spiritual evolution," a good analogy in the educational progress of the child.

The pioneer of the altered attitude to education was Maria Montessori (1869-1952) whose vision of a race of Superchildren bordered on the apocalyptic. "The outcome ... is the New Child, a superior being, giving promise of a New Humanity, with powers of mind and spirit hitherto unsuspected." Many of the developments already discussed were part of the movement toward the New Child. In Germany, Langbehn's Rembrandt als Erzieher was followed by Carl Gotze's Child as Artist and Gotze's educational work based on the principle that the child was a natural creative artist who must have his powers liberated through education. The youth movements, and the groups with which Rolf Gardiner and the Springhead Ring were in contact, also formed parts of the movement for "liberated" education -- that is, designed to evoke the powers of the child rather than imposing adult standards upon him. In America the "Junior Republics" in which children governed themselves were set up. The idea was also tried in England with a "little Commonwealth" in Dorset. The Order of Woodcraft Chivalry and the Kibbo Kift were very much part of the educational movement and embodied a commitment to reestablishing "natural man." [141

The theories of the psychologists provided added impetus.
Freud's conclusion that neuroses were produced by repressions fitted excellently with the ideas of those who wanted to recreate natural man; while Jung was a central figure in the minds of educational reformers after the First World War, as his psychology was particularly favorable to ideas of "spiritual evolution." Jung accepted the Biogenetic Law and may have been more influenced by his contact with G. Stanley Hall than he cared to admit. He lectured at conferences of the New Educators in 1923 and 1924, and his views on educational development very closely coincide, for example, with those of Ernest Westlake of the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry.

Occultists and religious reformers also concerned themselves with the children of the future -- for they, after all, were the custodians of the idea of "spiritual progress." Johannes Muller and Heinrich Lhotzky both put forward educational theories. The leading exponent of occult ideas of education has been Rudolf Steiner; and in 1962 there were almost seventy schools run on Anthroposophical principles in various parts of the world. Steiner himself also lectured to the New Educators, and (according to the Manchester Guardian) a conference attended by Steiner at Oxford in 1922 found in him "its central point." Steiner's principles were based on his occult theories, and it is easy to see how these could coincide with less esoteric ideas of evolution. "We must know on what part of the human being we have especially to work at a certain age, and how we can work upon it in the proper way," he wrote. "We can awaken what is in the child, but we cannot implant a content into him." [142] Such a coincidence of ideas makes it comprehensible that the organization that carried the flag of the New Education throughout Europe sprang from the Theosophical Society.

In 1914 a committee of Theosophists under Bishop George Arundale of the Liberal Catholic Church -- a former tutor of Krishnamurti -- decided to start a Theosophical School. The site chosen was -- where else? -- Letchworth Garden City. To the Theosophical tenets of karma and reincarnation were added the more generally "progressive" ideas of Arts and Crafts, Montessori theory, and Dalcroze Eurythmics. A general vegetarian diet was the rule and the pupils governed themselves through a "moot." The Theosophist Beatrice Ensor, an inspector of schools, was inspired by the Letchworth experiment and founded the Theosophical Fraternity of Education in 1915. She established a magazine to propagate enlightened ideas; and in 1921 she held a meeting of her fraternity in Letchworth, when it was decided that next year they should organize a general conference of educators at Calais which the Theosophists would run, although themselves keeping in the background. In 1921 the Calais conference was held, the name of the Theosophical paper changed to The New Era, and the New Educational Fellowship established.
Its first object was "to prepare the child to seek and to realize in his own life the supremacy of the spirit." [143]

The New Era secured contributions from both occultists and educators. Beatrice Ensor shared the editorship with the celebrated A. S. Neill, and the entire spectrum of the Progressive Underground contributed to its pages. There was Isabelle Pagan of Racial Cleavage and Cloudesley Brereton, who wrote for G. R. S. Mead's Theosophical magazine Quest. There were articles by the Jungian therapist Esther Harding and the ubiquitous Patrick Geddes. The president of the Arts and Crafts Association joined the leader of a new French youth movement and Wilhelm Stekel -- a friend of Neill -- in a remarkable synthesis of "advanced opinion." Beatrice Ensor and the Theosophists were never quite submerged by the more practical educators. In April 1923, Mrs. Ensor contributed an editorial that noted approvingly the efforts of A. Conan Doyle and E. L. Gardner to capture the fairies.

We have recently come across other children who see fairies, and we are trying to obtain more photos. It is a very beautiful idea that Nature's laws are operated through the cooperation of beings who, while not belonging to our human order of evolution, are nevertheless working side by side with humanity in the building up of our world ... it would seem as though we were now beginning to reawaken at a higher level the sense organs which enabled the folk of yore to see clairvoyantly "the little people." [144]

Mrs. Ensor followed her beautiful thoughts by some tips for teachers on the education of the psychic child. Despite caustic comments from A. S. Neill on such vagaries, the New Educational Fellowship continued to interest people attracted to the occult and the transcendental. Adolphe Ferriere (1879-1960), who had been eminent in European New Education since just after the turn of the century, was a leading light in the Continental NEF. Ferriere was an advocate of an antirationalist approach to life, who considered that "realist politics are a mistake. They are an encroachment of reason on the healthy intuition." His educational interests led him to a concern with psychological types long before Jung published his book of that title in 1920. Ferriere agreed with Jung but thought the psychologist's theories incomplete. He devised a more extensive theory for himself, which he proposed to use in the service of the New Education. In its completed form this was based on what Ferriere considered "the essential element in religion." This was "the longing for union with creator." In such a union each person would find "the complete fulfilment of his own being."'45 This illuminated educator was responsible for introducing an expert on astrology to the adepts of the New Education.

The astrologer was Karl Ernst Krafft (1900-45), whose strange career has been exhaustively charted by Ellic Howe. [146] Ferriere had been interested in astrology since the days of the First World War, and by 1924 he had discovered a pamphlet written by Krafft, with whom he began a correspondence. Krafft's vast statistical researches into the relationship between the planets and humanity might, thought Ferriere, help his enquiries into the methods of determining character. This interest is exactly in line with the interest of illuminated intellectuals like those attending the Darmstadt School of Wisdom or the Eranos Conferences at Ascona. One of Krafft's specialties was called "Cosmobiology." When two issues of a Yearbook for Cosmobiological Research appeared in 1928 and 1929, Krafft's fellow-contributors included Richard Wilhelm, Edgar Dacque, and Sigrid Strauss-Kloebe, who lectured on astrology at Eranos. At the Conference of the New Educational Fellowship at Elsinore in August 1929, Krafft was introduced as a "psychologist of Zurich," and in the same program as talks by Montessori, Piaget, and Decroly, he gave two lectures on "The Relation between Astronomical, Meteorological and Biological Phenomena" and "The Possibility of Connecting Characterology with Cosmobiology." Krafft was followed by Ferriere, who suggested an explanation of "cosmobionomic phenomena" in terms of radiation and predicted the possibility of a neutral theory of types based on "the fundamental radio-active characteristics of the human being."

Krafft wrote to Ferriere that "many members" of the NEF were concerned with astrology and welcomed its renaissance. As an outcome of the conference, Ferriere tried to set up an international committee for research into typology with Krafft as its president. Some members of standing were secured, but a protracted campaign to attract the interest of Jung was unsuccessful. A single result of the committee was a joint publication by Krafft and Ferriere under the auspices of Ferriere's Swiss educational organization, which contains in embryo almost all Ferriere's formulations on the idea of types. [147]

The efforts of illuminated educationalists combined with successful attempts by psychologists to secularize certain occult concepts. Together they have produced remarkable effects. These results cannot be appreciated without the knowledge that those responsible have almost invariably been influenced by the Occult Revival. The illuminated attitude produces interesting variations on the theme common to all periods of history, that "the times are out of joint." While illuminated politicians attempted to alter the social structure of reality, illuminated psychologists and educators tried to restructure souls and minds.

-- The Occult Establishment, by James Webb

Q. What was her name?

A. Eva. Eva Schocken Rome, and later Glaser. After my father died, she remarried.

The last couple of years, although I had made clear from the beginning that I didn’t see my long-term future being there – I went there, as I said, after my mother died – and my stepfather was president, and then he retired and informed me one day that I was now the president, which had not been the plan.

And anyhow, a long story short, the family decided to sell the company in 1987. And it was bought by Random House, and specifically by Andre Schiffrin, the publisher of Pantheon Books, who just died within the last week. And for a while I was continuing to consult there.

But the imprint still exists. Now it has gone back to concentrating on books of Jewish interest, plus the writings of Franz Kafka, which my grandfather had acquired already in Germany early on. So Schocken holds all of the original rights to the work of Franz Kafka…. In fact, the first time I came up to Halifax on my own was an invitation from Dalhousie University to give a talk about Kafka….

Q. What were you doing in Halifax?

A. The first couple of years I was doing consulting to the publishing house. And most of that time I didn’t have a steady job. I did do some work for a local PR company that Joshua Zimmerman had worked for. I was writing speeches for politicians and things like that. But then I did become re-involved with the Board, and especially when the very difficult situation around the Regent and his having AIDS, and the many difficult issues that that raised in terms of the community and the governance of the community. So that became fairly consuming for a period of time there in the late 80s. 1990 was the year the Regent died. And then we left Halifax in 1993.

Q. And went to Greyston.

A. Yes. I, along with Chuck Lief, were both living on Bland Street in Halifax. We were both members of the Naropa Board of Trustees as was at that time Bernie Glassman, the founder of Greyston. And he invited both of us to come and work with him. And so it was partly for that reason, and also both for my daughter’s education and my wife’s education, because that’s when she got her Masters in Public Health, that we moved to New York City. Not to New York City, to Westchester. Hastings on Hudson, Westchester.

Q. Describe Greyston and what it was like? ….

A. Bernie Glassman, who was originally an aeronautical engineer, working for McDonell Douglas on a manned mission to Mars, which still hasn’t happened. So he was a forward-looking visionary, and the primary student of Mazumi Roshi, a Zen teacher who was also a friend of Trungpa Rinpoche’s, and he founded the Zen community of New York in the late 70s, and then they developed a bakery business, first as a livelihood for the Zen students, many of whom were living together with Bernie and his family in an old, kind of gothic Victorian mansion in the Riverdale section of the Bronx called “Greyston.”

-- William Dodge House (Greyston Conference Center), Riverdale

That’s where the name derives from.

But by the time Chuck and I joined, they had sold Greyston and Bernie himself had moved right in to the inner city of Yonkers, which is where the actual bakery was located. And at that point he was still functioning as a Zen teacher, but his real passion was around social action. And his teaching, too, was very much around social action.

And so it started with the bakery, which was and is still a for-profit business, and then the development of housing for homeless and for people with HIV AIDS, a day health center for people living with HIV AIDS, a child care center so that the mostly single mothers who were moving into the housing would have the support of childcare so they could continue either with their own education or job training or jobs and community. So it was a combination of community development and human services. There was an after school program; there was a job training program….

It really comes completely out of the passion and principles and vision of Bernie Glassman. That was his creation. No question about it. And many of his Zen students did not follow him into that commitment, though some did. But his way of doing it came out of his Buddhist training as a Zen priest and teacher, but he was very much influenced also by Trungpa Rinpoche and the idea of mandala and mandala principle. And he referred to Greyston as a mandala. And it’s still referred to as a mandala even though the Buddhist influence is very slight at this point….

Q. Were you also involved in the witnessing that Bernie Glassman did, considering your life with Kafka, and the contemplation of Judaic …

A. I never actually participated in any of the street retreats, nor did I ever got to the Auschwitz retreat. But when I started there I was pretty much serving as his secretary. And so I was involved with the communications and organizing of some of those events. But it wasn’t my kind of cup of tea. I was a colleague working with Bernie, not a student of his, although I certainly learned from him, and have been influenced by him, especially around his social enterprise peace.

Q. Eventually you moved up river, and were involved in the Garrison Institute doing different but somewhat same work.

A. The continuity was Buddhism, and although it was like Naropa, and it was Buddhist influenced, Buddhist inspired, but non-sectarian. And the mission at Garrison is to explore the application of contemplative methods in social change. And so I was hired to be the managing director of what they call “Program Initiatives,” of which we had three. One in education, one in working with trauma, and one in the environment. So although I did not have specific expertise in those areas, I was the overseer in those areas for the first several years that I was there. And then I was sort of kicked upstairs, and relieved of most of the direct managerial role and served as a Senior fellow for the last two or three years that I was there. And that was an exciting time. That was the creation of the Roses, Jonathan and Diana Rose, and Jonathan had served as the Chair of the Board of Greyston. So that was the connection. And it allowed me to continue to combine my Buddhist dharmic contemplative vocation with work in the world, and work as an executive manager in small to medium-sized non-profits.

Q. What is it that Buddha dharma can contribute to social action?...

A. That’s a good question. In many ways, Buddhism has not had a strong tradition of direct social action. There are exceptions of course. Historically, when compared with Catholicism that for centuries – education, hospitals, missionary work and social justice work. I think it comes out of the Mahayana commitment to be of service, to benefit others. And more specifically, as it was manifested at Greyston, in particular, the mandala principle. So the idea that you can’t just deal with one problem or issue in isolation from others. You have to have a comprehensive view, understanding that everything is interconnected. Systems thinking. And then the other basic principle is path, in that we view every individual as on a path and capable of growing, evolving, healing when given the appropriate supports to do that. So those are the kind of fundamental principles that Greyston has been built on, which are still there, even though the explicit Buddhist influence is almost a thing of the past. I think that’s the essence of it for Greyston.

And then for Garrison, it was the understanding that the meditative disciplines can really make a difference in a culture where there’s a huge amount of confusion, aggression, suffering, ignorance. And interestingly, the creation of Garrison coincided with the new cognitive neuroscience that is starting to really lend scientific credence to what the Buddhists have known for 2-1/2 millennia, that these practices actually affect the brain and affect how we are, our behavior.

Neuro-imaging and in-depth studies during the course and attainment of meditational state have revealed alteration in neuro-chemistry and neuro-physiology of brain environment that could favor epileptogenesis. The rise in brain glutamate and serotonin along with development of ‘hypersynchrony’ of EEG activity (which occur during the course and attainment of meditational state) are well documented to form the underlying basis of epilepsy. Each of the above-mentioned factors is individually capable of inducing susceptibility and decreasing threshold to epilepsy. Based on these changes in brain, this paper raises a grave possibility and risk of meditation in developing epilepsy or increasing the severity and frequency of attacks in an already epileptic state, contrary to the popular belief of its remedial role in alleviating epilepsy….

Needless to say, the concurrent presence of two or more of these effects can contribute tremendously to epileptogenesis, even to the extent of rendering a normal person epilepsy-prone.

-- Meditation may predispose to epilepsy: an insight into the alteration in brain environment induced by meditation, by Harinder Jaseja

Q. And that’s what you work in your coming book, “Your body knows the answer”?

A. Well, that’s a part of it. But the primary source of that book is the practice called “focusing,” which is something that I got involved with in the 90s, after I had moved from Halifax back to New York, which is a western contemplative practice – it comes out of western philosophy and psychology. It was developed by Eugene Gendlin from the University of Chicago. And he in turn was a student of Carl Rogers, the major American psychologist.

So that’s a practice that I found for myself that really helped me get more in touch with my feelings. It’s a contemplative practice that allows you to work with specific problems, challenges, issues, decisions, in a contemplative way by accessing the body knowing, the non-conceptual knowing, what is called “the felt sense.” So that was very helpful to me.

And then I started presenting that back to the Shambhala sangha in a program called “Deep Listening.” And then after I’d been doing that for two or three years, later I linked up with Hope Martin, who is a wonderful Alexander technique teacher.

Hope Martin and David Rome Explain Embodied Listening
[David Rome] Focusing: You have a problem. Think about it a little bit, then drop the story line. Then mindfully, patiently, deliberately, invite in the felt sense that is preverbal and preconceptual. Create a gap so that felt senses can arise. Felt senses will give you information about your life, which will help you deal with your problems and lack of creativity. Felt senses are subtle, vague, and unconscious. When we welcome these felt senses into our awareness, they come into focus. Then we can talk to them, and receive their energy and insights that the mind doesn’t know. Then we can put these energies and insights into words and actions, and have a richer life. Our mind settles down and becomes clear. Then we will receive spiritual understanding and self-awareness. And learn to be friends with ourselves.
[Hope Martin] We override the body’s knowing by trying too hard, working too hard, focusing too hard. This blocks our aliveness. Become intimately aware of unconscious, habitual patterns of tension, avoidance, bad posture, and free them up. Don't try to correct them, but rather encourage the body to become upright, expansive, and at ease all on its own, because the body knows. This is not just a mind practice, but a being practice, that involves your whole self. Let the nervous system deeply rest. When sense impulses arise, let them go. Then you will be healthy, expansive, buoyantly upright, responsive, easeful, joyful, balanced, highly present in the world, grounded on the earth, able to deal with impermanence, and have access to your life energy.

And so we have been teaching together now for 10 years or more, a program now called “Embodied Listening.” So my book, “Your Body Knows the Answer,” and that has a long subtitle that is something like “Using Your Felt Sense to Solve Problems, Effect Change, and Liberate Creativity.” It’s a very practical book. Each chapter has one or more exercises that the reader can do, and then with some commentary, to cultivate this contemplative skill of finding the bodily felt sense, and using that as a way to – I mean, it’s very much a continuation of mindfulness-awareness practice, and the whole theme of “making friends with yourself.” You know, there are parts of oneself that don’t necessarily show up when you’re just doing a strict mindfulness practice. But if you invite them through this body awareness, then more can come. And you have to have a very mindful, friendly, empathic attitude toward it. But then it turns out that the body actually knows a lot more than the mind does. The whole thing – it’s all body…. In Buddhism you’d say “it’s all mind,” but in focusing, the philosophy it comes out of, which is really a philosophy of life process and the origins and evolution of life – in some sense, mind is there from the beginning, of course, but the body is the whole of the life process.

Q. Well, actually, if you think that form is emptiness and emptiness is form …

A. You could say that. But the difference is that Buddhism developed in a very different cultural context. And it isn’t always so effective in helping people deal with their own particular individual history, their stuff, their emotional – I mean, it is helpful, of course, in terms of mindfulness-awareness and getting some distance, and not being triggered or hooked. But there is another level of self-awareness and self-knowledge that one doesn’t necessarily get from following traditional Buddhist practices which are more generic in nature.

Now, to some extent, in some traditions, like in the Vajrayana where your guru assigns you to a personal yidam, that’s beginning to go in that direction of what this particular person … but the focusing also comes out of western psychology, is about spending more time in a friendly way with your stuff, including some of your unpleasanter, ugly stuff.

Q. In the mahasiddha tradition, you actually get enlightened by working with your greatest defilement. That is your awareness. The defilement is your awareness. And you begin to look at your defilement as the way your mind sees. And you begin to see the emptiness, and you become self-liberated…. schmuck as path.

A. Yeah, but again, the focusing approach is different in that one of the things you’re trying to overcome is what is called “the inner critic,” which is the tendency to be self-critical, or to believe that you’re a bad person.

And so the approach is very gentle, and it’s being willing to be present with anything that arises in your experience without becoming identified with it, or overwhelmed by it, or collapsing into it.

it is alone that Bandler must remember -- must remember that he threatened to blow Christensen's brains out hours before she died, must remember that, at the very least, he left her alone to die, then drowned his sorrows in gin and cocaine.

He may already have forgotten. Just as Bandler has often reimagined his past, he might have found it useful to re-create the events of November 3, 1986 -- for the truth has disturbing implications, whether he is innocent or guilty. Here too NLP offers solace: it is the "right and duty" of your unconscious mind, he and John Grinder once wrote," to keep from your conscious mind anything that is unpleasant."

-- The Bandler Method, by Frank Clancy and Heidi Yorkshire

So making it workable. It’s very much touching, touching at this bodily, felt level….

Q. So we will be waiting to read it, and hopefully to participate in some of your programs. And you are providing this wisdom also through the Shambhala mandala?

A. Yes. I was invited to work with the meditation instructors. And so, in fact, I’ve just finished the sixth and last three-day training. I was the co-teacher, mostly with Acharya Dale Asrael, but I’ve been presenting some of this work in connection with the presentation of the Shambhala meditation practice. And there’s a real convergence there, because the Shambhala meditation emphasizes feeling, the quality of feeling, and really being with recognizing one’s feelings and appreciating whatever the feelings are. The Sakyong refers to them as “the tentacles of basic goodness.” And so there’s a nice convergence between at and “the felt sense,” work that I have completely independently been exploring. So that’s been very satisfying to do that.
Site Admin
Posts: 33510
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

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

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:13 am

David I. Rome
Accessed: 8/14/19



David I. Rome is a teacher, writer, and consultant on applications of contemplative methods in personal, organizational, and social change. He is co-editor of Mindfulness-Oriented Interventions for Trauma: Integrating Contemplative Practices (Guilford Press, 2015). As managing director and senior fellow at the Garrison Institute from 2004 to 2011 he guided the development of programs on contemplative applications in K12 education, trauma treatment, and climate change work. He was senior vice president for planning and development at Greyston Foundation, the pioneering Buddhist-inspired inner-city community development group, and president of Schocken Books in New York City.

David began practicing Buddhism in 1971 and served as private secretary to Tibetan contemplative master Chögyam Trungpa. He was closely involved in the early development of Naropa University and Shambhala International, and a senior teacher of Shambhala Training. He studied focusing with Eugene Gendlin, Ann Weiser Cornell, Robert Lee and others. He is a Certifying Coordinator (senior trainer) with the Focusing Institute and conducts advanced training in meditation instruction for Shambhala International. His website is
Site Admin
Posts: 33510
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

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

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:25 am

Salman Schocken
Accessed: 8/14/19



Salman Schocken
Hebrew: שלמה זלמן שוקן
Birthdate: October 30, 1877
Birthplace: Margonin, Chodzież County, (then - German Empire), Poland
Death: August 06, 1959 (81)
Pontresina, Maloja District, Grisons, Switzerland
Place of Burial: Jerusalem, Israel
Immediate Family: Son of Isaac Schocken and Eva Schocken
Husband of Private
Father of Theodore Ernst Schocken; Chava Rome, Glazer; Gershom Gustav Schocken, (Journalist politician editor of Haaretz member of Knesset); Gideon Schocken גדעון שוקן and Micha Joseph Schocken
Brother of Emma Hirsch; Hermann Schocken; Lea Helene Spiro; Julius Joseph* Schocken; Simon Schocken and 4 others
Occupation: Department Store chain Owner, Publishman and businessman
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated: November 22, 2018


Chava Rome, Glazer [Eva Schocken]
Accessed: 8/14/19


Chava Therese (Schocken) Rome, Glazer (Schocken)
Birthdate: September 28, 1918
Birthplace: Zwickau, Sachsen, Germany
Death: January 12, 1982 (63)
White Plains, Westchester, New York, United States
Place of Burial: White Plains, New York, United States
Immediate Family:
Daughter of Salman Schocken and Private
Wife of Theodore [Theodor] Herzl Rome and Julius S. Glaser
Mother of Private User; Private User; Abigail Rome and Nathan Rome
Sister of Theodore Ernst Schocken; Gershom Gustav Schocken, (Journalist politician editor of Haaretz member of Knesset); Gideon Schocken גדעון שוקן and Micha Joseph Schocken
Occupation: Publisher
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated: January 3, 2019


Theodore Herzl Rome
Accessed: 8/14/19

Theodore Herzl Rome
Also Known As: "Herzl"
Birthdate: December 29, 1914
Birthplace: Worcester, Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
Death: 1965 (50)
Place of Burial: White Plains, NY, United States
Immediate Family:
Son of Private [Abraham (Abe) Bernstein] and Miriam Bernstein Bernstein
Husband of Chava Rome, Glazer
Father of Private User; Private User; Abigail Rome
and Nathan Rome
Occupation: Artist, publisher
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated: May 23, 2018


Miriam Bernstein (born Lewis), 1891 - 1968
Accessed: 8/14/19

Miriam Bernstein (born Lewis), 1891 - 1968
Miriam married Abraham (Abe) Bernstein on month day 1917, at age 26 at marriage place.
Abraham was born on January 3 1893, in London (St. Georges), England.
They had 3 children: David Elias Fordham Bernstein and 2 other children.

Miriam passed away on month day 1968, at age 76 at death place.
She was buried at burial place.

Documents of Miriam Bernstein (born Lewis)
Miriam Lewis in England & Wales, Marriage Index, 1837-2005
Miriam Lewis married Abraham Bernstein in month 1917, at marriage place.
Miriam Lewis in 1911 England & Wales Census
Miriam Lewis was born circa 1892, at birth place, to Samuel Myer Lewis and Esther Marilda Lewis.
Miriam had 8 siblings: Paulina Lewis, Elias Lewis and 6 other siblings.
Miriam lived on month day 1911, at address.
Miriam Lewis in 1901 England & Wales Census
Miriam Lewis was born circa 1892, at birth place, to Samuel Lewis and Esther Lewis.
Miriam had 9 siblings: Coleman Lewis, Maurice Lewis and 7 other siblings.
Miriam lived in 1901, at address.


Abraham Bernstein
Accessed: 8/14/19

Abraham Bernstein
Also Known As: "Abe Bernstein"
Birthdate: January 03, 1893
Birthplace: London (St. Georges), England, United Kingdom
Death: January 15, 1980 (87)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Immediate Family:
Son of Reuben Joseph Bernstein and Reube Bernstein
Husband of Miriam Bernstein
Father of David Elias Fordham Bernstein and Norman Joseph Bernstein

Brother of Fanny Samson; Annie Rebeca Gruber; Elias Mordechai Bernstein; Soloman Bernstein; Pearl Bernstein and 2 others
Managed by: Dan Sapphire
Last Updated: March 13, 2015


Julius S. Glaser
Accessed: 8/15/19

Julius S. Glaser
Birthdate: 1916
Death: September 09, 1986 (70)
White Plains, Westchester County, New York, United States
Place of Burial: United States
Immediate Family:
Husband of Jane Glaser and Chava Rome, Glazer
Father of Private; Private User and Private User
Brother of Private


Micha [Michael] Joseph Schocken
Accessed: 8/14/19

Micha Joseph Schocken
Birthdate: January 15, 1923
Birthplace: Zwickau, Germany
Death: January 10, 1982 (58)
Tel Aviv, Israel
Place of Burial: Tel Aviv, Israel
Immediate Family:
Son of Salman Schocken and Private
Husband of Private User
Father of Private User and Private User
Brother of Theodore Ernst Schocken; Chava Rome, Glazer; Gershom Gustav Schocken, (Journalist politician editor of Haaretz member of Knesset) and Gideon Schocken גדעון שוקן
Occupation: Mechanical Engineer
Managed by: Racheli Edelman
Last Updated: October 30, 2014
Site Admin
Posts: 33510
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

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

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:35 am

Theodor Herzl Rome, President of Schocken Books, Dies at Age of 50
by Jewish Telegraphic Agency
August 24, 1965



Funeral services will be held in suburban White Plains tomorrow for Theodor Herzl Rome, president of Stockmen Books, a book publishing house specializing in books of Jewish interest. He died this weekend at his summer home in Ellsworth, Me., at the age of 50.

Under the leadership of Mr. Rome, who was considered by scholars as an authority on Jewish learning, literature and culture, Schocken published works of Franz Kafka, Martin Buber, and S. Y. Agnon. Mr. Rome was also known as an artist and book illustrator, and painted in Persia and pre-Israel Palestine before entering the publishing business in 1959.
Site Admin
Posts: 33510
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

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

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:41 am

Theodor Herzl Rome: American, 1914-1965
by MutualArt
Accessed: 8/14/19



Theodor Herzl Rome was an American artist who was born in 1914. Theodor Herzl Rome's first artwork to be offered at auction was Isfahan, Iran at Rago Arts and Auction Center in 2011; the work was sold for $992 USD. The artist died in 1965.

Theodor Herzl Rome
Isfahan, Iran, 1934
Oil on canvasboard
18 1/2" x 21"
Realized Price
+10% above estimate
Auction Venue/Sale
Sale Date
Nov. 12, 2011
Site Admin
Posts: 33510
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

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

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:17 am

by Encyclopaedia Judaica
© 2007 Thomson Gale



SCHOCKEN, family active in book publishing, Jewish culture, and newspaper publishing in Israel. The family dynasty was headed by Salman *Schocken (1877–1959), Zionist, art and book collector, and publisher. Born at Margonin, province of Posen (now in Poland), in 1901 Schocken, together with his brother Simon, founded the I. Schocken Soehne at Zwickau, which developed into a prosperous chain of 19 department stores. Passionately interested in Judaism, he used his fortune to collect rare books and manuscripts, and Jewish works of art. In 1929 he founded the Research Institute for Medieval Hebrew Poetry in Berlin, which edited hitherto unknown medieval Hebrew manuscripts that Schocken had acquired.

The Schocken Press

In 1931 Schocken Verlag was established, becoming an important avenue for the publication of Jewish literature in Germany, with the express aim of educating an assimilating community about its Jewish heritage. One of its first authors was S.Y. *Agnon, who was patronized by Salman Schocken from the first stages of his literary career. In 1934 Schocken himself moved from Berlin to Jerusalem, transferring both the Institute for Medieval Jewish Poetry and his library and art collections there. In addition to the works of S.Y. Agnon and Franz *Kafka, to which Schocken possessed the world rights, the press published more than 200 books in Germany, including the works of Martin *Buber, Franz *Rosenzweig, Baruch *Kurtzweill, Leo *Baeck, Hermann *Cohen, and Gershom *Scholem. Schocken was active in Zionist affairs first in Germany and later in Palestine, in the Jewish National Fund, and on The Hebrew University's Executive Council. In 1940 he moved to the United States, and years later moved to Switzerland, where he died. After his death, the Institute for Hebrew Poetry and his library and collections in Jerusalem became the *Schocken Institute for Jewish Research of the *Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

Following its closure by the Nazis in 1938, the Schocken Press was re-established in Tel Aviv. After Salman Schocken's departure for the United States with most of his children, the Schocken Press in Tel Aviv was managed by his son Gershon "Gustav" (1912–1990) until 1970. Gershon, who had studied economics at Heidelberg University and the London School of Economics, continued the press's orientation toward high-quality Jewish and Hebrew literature, including the works of Nathan *Alterman, Saul *Tchernichowsky, and Uri Zevi *Greenberg. In 1962 Dan *Miron, a professor of literature (who was married to Yael, the daughter of Gershon's brother Gideon Schocken, himself an Israeli Defense Forces army general), was appointed editor of the Schocken Press, and brought Yehuda *Amichai's works to the publishing house. But Gershon's involvement in the Schocken Press took second place to his main work as editor in chief of the *Haaretz newspaper, and his seat in the Knesset in 1955–59 for the Progressive Party. In 1972 Gershon's daughter, Raheli Edelman (1942– ), a graduate in literature and economics, took over the press. The middle-sized publishing house became eclectic and financially sounder. Edelman branched out to include translations of foreign literature, selective non-fiction (including Shabbetai Teveth's biography of David Ben-Gurion), educational texts, and children's books. Contemporary Israeli literature was shunted aside. She was chairperson of the Book Publishers' Association of Israel in 1983–94.

In 1945, five years after his arrival in New York, Salman Schocken opened the Schocken Press in New York. It became a focus for German Jewish émigrés like Hannah *Arendt and Nahum *Glazer, who became the press's editor in chief. After Salman Schocken's death, his son Rheodore and son-in-law Herzl Rome took over the press with varying degrees of financial success. Among its Jewish authors were Nahum *Sarna, Cecil *Roth, Simon *Wiesenthal, Harold *Kushner, Lucy *Dawidowicz, and Aharon *Appelfeld. The press, which became structurally independent of the Tel Aviv-based Schocken Press, expanded from its focus on Jewish books into such fields as educational publishing, women's studies, history, literary criticism, and the Montessori books as well as cook books, particularly as mainstream U.S. publishers began to discover the Jewish book market. In 1987 the press was bought by Random House, but it remained as a separate imprint, structurally tied to Pantheon Books.


Gershon Schocken was most remembered as the publisher and editor for 51 years of the Haaretz newspaper which grew to become an independent quality daily. The financially ailing newspaper had been purchased by his father in 1935. Gershon continued the intellectual tradition which had characterized the paper under Moshe Gluecksohn's editorship. He succeeded in stabilizing the paper financially, ending Gluecksohn's practice of accepting financial support from Zionist institutions.

Notwithstanding the need for socio-economic justice in the young state, Haaretz under Schocken's editorship favored free enterprise, criticizing the excesses of collective socialism which characterized the first 30 years of statehood. After the 1967 war, concerned at the demographic threat which the annexation of the West Bank and Gaza posed to the Jewish character of the state, Haaretz advocated giving up most of the territories. In supporting the creation of the Jewish state, Gershon Schocken had sought to imbue it with the humanistic values that had influenced him in his youth in Germany. In the 1950s Haaretz questioned unlimited Jewish aliyah from North Africa, favoring a more selective policy. While cherishing Jewish culture, he opposed theocratic excesses, favoring a separation of state and religion, and Jewish pluralism.

Influenced by the European tradition of quality journalism, Gershon Schocken assiduously adhered to the separation of fact and comment, with the newspaper comprising two independent sections, news and opinion. However, this distinction was blurred somewhat later in the 1980s and 1990s, as Haaretz, like other newspapers, sought to carve out a place for itself in an age when television and radio had become the chief providers of breaking news, leaving the newspaper to concentrate on analysis and background. While the newspaper's editorial board reflected a spectrum of liberal and left-wing secular views, Schocken would use his veto as editor-in-chief to determine the line when there were differences of opinion. Socially reclusive, he also distanced himself from political leaders, with the noted exception of Chaim *Weizmann. In the 1940 and 1950s his relations with Ben-Gurion were tense. Haaretz, regarded by many as a maverick publication, championed the rule of law and human rights and the exposure of official corruption. Yet the paper was a member of the Editor's Committee – in effect a mechanism enabling Israeli officialdom to win the cooperation of the media on sensitive defense and diplomatic matters – and at times Schocken even served as its chairman. In 1991 Ariel *Sharon unsuccessfully sued the paper and its reporter Uzi Benziman after it accused him of deceiving Prime Minister Menachem *Begin during the 1982 Lebanon war when he was defense minister.

The arts and literature had a respected place in the newspaper, with a weekly Friday literature supplement from 1963, as well as another, more popular mid-week version introduced in 1995. Schocken himself wrote some poetic works under the pseudonym of Robert Pozen. He had attempted unsuccessfully between 1938 and 1942 and in 1948–49 to found evening newspapers – Ha-Sha'ah and Yom-Yom. Haaretz branched out to the local newspaper market with the creation of local newspapers in Jerusalem (Kol ha-Ir) and Tel Aviv (Ha-Ir) in 1979 and 1980, respectively, successfully tapping local advertising potential. Untypical of local journalism, which was inclined towards sensationalism, editorial content in the Schocken chain of 14 local newspapers was quality upmarket.

From the late 1980s, the newspaper's heavy style was spruced up with the arrival, as deputy editor (and after Gershon Schocken's death, editor), of Hanoch *Marmori, a graphic artist who introduced modern design and oversaw the expansion of the newspaper's size.

Gershon's son, Amos Schocken (1944– ), a graduate in economics from The Hebrew University and business management from Harvard University, had been appointed by his father as the Haaretz chain's managing director. He began a daily newspaper, Ḥadashot, in 1983, in an attempt to compete with the two major dailies, Yedioth Aharonoth and Maariv. Featuring many photos and headlines, the newspaper was decidedly anti-establishment. In 1984 the paper was closed briefly by the military censor, after it broke censorship regulations and printed a photo of an apprehended terrorist in the so-called No. 300 bus affair, who was later killed. Hadashot failed to carve out an audience for itself and, facing heavy losses, folded in 1992. With Gershon's death, Amos became Haaretz publisher. At the turn of the century, Haaretz's editorial board was split over the Palestinian intifada, with Amos Schocken taking a decidedly left-wing position that justified the refusal of Israeli soldiers to serve in the territories for reasons of conscience. By contrast, Marmori as editor took a centrist position. With the demise of the party political press, Haaretz had become the country's only quality daily newspaper, with an important role in influencing the national agenda.

In 1997 Schocken established an English-language edition of Haaretz, including a translation of the Hebrew edition, and the local printing of the International Herald Tribune. He also began English-language and Hebrew-language internet newspaper websites drawing on Haaretz's newsgathering resources. Both developments strengthened Haaretz's standing, abroad and at home, beyond its narrow, elitist Hebrew audience. But he failed in his bid in the 1990s to branch out into the electronic media.


H. Amior, "Haaretz Production: The Ideological Dispute Between the Owner and the Editor," in: Ayin Shevi'it, 47 (Nov. 2003) (Heb.); I. Elazar, "It's All About Money: Haaretz Changes Face," in: Ayin Shevi'it, 55 (March 2005) (Heb.); Katherine McNamara, "A Conversation About Schocken Books with Altie Karper," in: Archipelago, 5; H. Negid, "The Schocken Tribe," in: Maariv (March 29, 1991) (Heb.); A. Rubenstein, "A Man of the Twentieth Century," in: Haaretz (Jan. 18, 1991) (Heb.).

[Yoel Cohen (2nd ed.)]
Site Admin
Posts: 33510
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

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

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:07 am

Theodore Schocken Dead at 60; President of Publishing House
by New York Times
March 21, 1975



Theodore Schocken, president of Schocken Books, Inc., died yesterday in White Plains Hospital. He was 60 years old and lived in Scarsdale, N.Y.

Mr. Schocken published Franz Kafka in the original German and English translations of Kafka and S. Y. Agnon, Israeli Nobel laureate, as well as a wide variety of nonfiction works on Judaic and general subjects. The New York publishing house was established just after World War II as a continuation of the German Jewish firm Schocken Verlag, founded by Mr. Schocken's father, Salman. That publishing house operated in Berlin from 1931 until its end at the hands of the Nazis in 1938.

Born on Oct. 8, 1914, in Zwickau, Germany, Mr. Schocken at an early age joined a chain of department stores operated by his family. When in 1934 the rest of the family went to Palestine, he remained behind to become at the age of 19 the acting head of the firm.

In 1938 he came to the United States and later became a citizen. He received a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University in 1940.

Mr. Schocken enlisted in the Army in 1941 and served on the North African front, taking part in the invasion of Italy. Later, as a lieutenant, he worked in intelligence in Germany.

He took part in the establishment of Schocken Books, Inc., in 1946 and served as president until 1949, when he was succeeded by T. Herzl Rome, who played a key role in broadening the Schocken list. After Mr. Rome's death in 1965, Mr. Schocken resumed charge of the company.

He was on the board of overseers of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and he was a director of the Leo Baeck Institute here and of the Schocken Institute for Jewish Research in Jerusalem.

Surviving are his widow, the former Dora Landauer; three daughters, Miriam Michael, Naomi Landau and Eva; three brothers, Gershom, Gidon [Gideon] and Micha; a sister, Mrs. Chawa Glaser [Mrs. Eva Chava Chawa Glazer Glaser], and four grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held today at the Ballard Durand Funeral Parlor, Maple Avenue and South Broadway, White Plains.
Site Admin
Posts: 33510
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

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

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:14 am

Julius S. Glaser
by New York Times
September 16, 1986



Julius S. Glaser, chairman of the board of Schocken Books, died Sept. 10 at White Plains Hospital of heart failure caused by hepatitis complicated by peritonitis. Mr. Glaser was 70 years old and lived in Scarsdale.

He was valedictorian of his 1937 graduating class from Williams College and attended the Littauer School of Public Administration of Harvard University.

He was a labor organizer and management consultant, and he was active for many years in the Labor Zionist movement.

Mr. Glaser became chairman of Schocken in 1975 and served as president of the New York publishing house from 1981 until his retirement at the end of 1984. His first wife, the former Jane Schmidt, died in 1966. His second wife, the former Eve Schocken Rome, died in 1982. Mr. Glaser is survived by his son, Daniel of Resor, Norway, and two daughters, Sue Ann Alson of Concord, Mass., and Debora Lesnick of Birmingham, Ala.

A version of this article appears in print on Sept. 15, 1986, Section B, Page 6 of the National edition with the headline: JULIUS S. GLASER.
Site Admin
Posts: 33510
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

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

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:55 am

Money and Soul
by Hillel Halkin
The New Republic
January 11, 2004



The Patron
A Life of Salman Schocken, 1877-1959
by Anthony David
(Metropolitan Books, 451 pp., $ 30)

For a year in the early 1960s, not long after finishing college, I had a job working for Schocken Books, a small publishing house in New York. Actually, "small" is something of an overstatement. Schocken consisted at the time of four people working in a two-room apartment on 38th Street and Park Avenue: the editor-in-chief Herzl Rome, two secretaries, and the editorial staff, which was me. Rome was a shy man who spent much of his time behind a desk in the apartment's former bedroom busy with his favorite occupation of drawing. He was married to Eve Schocken, whose father, the erstwhile German-Jewish department-store magnate Salman Schocken, had founded the Schocken Verlag in Berlin in 1930.

My job was not onerous. Besides copy-editing, writing blurbs, reading and rejecting unsolicited manuscripts (one or two, with content to match, addressed to "Shocking Books"), and running occasional errands, I frequented the nearby 42nd Street Library to look for out-of-print titles that could be salvaged from the public domain and re-issued in paperback. (Among the volumes I remember doing that year were Acton's Renaissance to Revolution and Schurer's A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus.) This, along with the English rights to the works of Franz Kafka, was the mainstay of the house, which had run out of the initiative and the budget to publish much in the way of new books.

Salman Schocken, who had died a few years earlier, had not planned it that way. When he established Schocken Books in 1946 after having first moved his publishing business to Palestine, to which he fled from Nazi Germany in 1938, he had typically grandiose ambitions for it. He aspired, as he wrote in a letter cited by Anthony David, to make it "the greatest force within [American] Jewish life" by producing "a series of books that will give the young American Jew the opportunity to become acquainted with the treasures of thousands of years of our Jewish culture." He was convinced that "if we succeed, it will most likely be the greatest accomplishment among the many things that have been connected with the name Schocken over the past forty years."

These accomplishments were indeed impressive, starting with the department stores themselves. They were state-of-the-art establishments, the first of which opened in the Saxon town of Oelsnitz, in eastern Germany, in 1904. Department stores were not a novelty when the young Schocken, the son of a traditionally religious Jewish shop owner from the district of Posen near the German-Polish border, scraped up the capital to start one; they had existed in European cities since the mid-nineteenth century, and were pioneered in America by German Jews such as Bernard Gimbel and Lazarus Straus, the owner of Macy's. What distinguished Schocken's stores was his adoption of the American model of aggressive marketing, industrial-style efficiency, in-house design, and the democratizing copying and mass-producing of new ideas, and of fashionable and luxury items, to make them available to ordinary buyers at reasonable prices.

The Oelsnitz store's success led to more and more branches, and two of them, in Nuremberg and Stuttgart, were housed in buildings designed by Erich Mendelsohn, one of Germany's leading modernist architects. By the time of the Nazi takeover, the Schocken chain, David writes, was one of Europe's largest. In big cities and small towns alike, the stores sold Bauhaus-inspired furniture and cologne to the New Man; the New Woman could now bare her thighs in public after the company introduced form-fitting, short cotton dresses. The phonograph department carried the American hit "Yes, We Have No Bananas." The book department shied away from "pulp fiction"... These lightly amorous and melodramatic novelettes sold in millions at the time--but Salman was undeterred. His stores offered readers not only serious fiction but also ... progressive texts on the female body [and] female sexuality, as well as works on repressed feelings and compensated drives... Advertisements, informative brochures, and the clever use of sales displays educated mothers to catch up to the modern world.

Serious books--reading them, collecting them, and supporting their authors--were Salman Schocken's real passion. He was one of those businessmen who, had he been his own son, would have chosen a more intellectual vocation. A voracious reader as a boy to whom not commerce but "scholarship [seemed] an ideal mode of life," he was denied a higher education because his father could not pay the tuition. He liked to tell a story, whether or not embellished by memory, that could have been an outline of his life. Frustrated by his inability to continue his studies, David relates, "he vented his fury to a sympathetic rabbi he happened to meet on a train. 'I have already begun to read the writings of [German-Jewish philosopher] Moses Mendelssohn,' he explained. 'You should first become a merchant,' the rabbi replied. 'And once you are on your feet economically you can better devote yourself to more spiritual interests than you could as a hungry academic.'"

This tale was double-edged, for if the merchant without "spiritual interests" was someone whom the department store owner looked down on, he felt a more subtle and ambivalent condescension toward the "hungry academic," the impractical intellectual who could not survive without the merchant's help. He himself took pride in being equally a man of the world and a man of the mind, although it was only on a trip to Italy in 1907 that he glimpsed a way of productively combining the two things. There, while reading Burckhardt's History of The Italian Renaissance, he was struck by its account of "the merchant princes who put their stamp on the era by pouring money into culture... It was an eye-opening discovery for the thirty-year-old [Schocken ] to see how culture could go hand in hand with buying, selling, dealing, and trading. Thoughts of backing a Jewish renaissance germinated."

'Jewish renaissance," I imagine, was a phrase that Schocken picked up from reading Martin Buber, who had used it in several essays published in the first decade of the twentieth century. Like Schocken, Buber had grown up in a traditional Jewish environment and moved beyond it, and now, under the influence of Zionism, he was working his way back to his Jewish roots. He was a harbinger of what was to become a small movement of educated German Jews, many from partially or wholly assimilated homes, who sought to re-connect with Judaism on a more sophisticated level than that of the German-Jewish discourse of the day.

Up to the beginning of the century, masses of Jews, lured by the opening up to them of German society, had left the Jewish fold and not returned to it; as a sociological generalization it was safe to say, as Gershom Scholem did in his memoir From Berlin to Jerusalem, that "any young Jew who was not part of the strictly Orthodox minority" in those years "faced the progressive deterioration of his Jewish identity." Now a counter-trend, modest in size but qualitatively remarkable, set in. Besides Buber and Scholem, one can point to such figures as Kafka, Franz Rosenzweig, Walter Benjamin, Gustav Landauer, Erich Gutkind, Robert Eisler, Jiri Langer, Ernst Simon, Kurt Blumenfeld, Max Brod, and Elsa Lasker-Schueler, to name but a few. Children of the 1870s and '80s, they were in revolt against the generation of their parents, whose bourgeois existence had deprived them, they felt, of all that was vital in life, including the wellsprings of their Jewishness. A "Jewish renaissance" was vaguely in the air because it was concretely hungered for.

Schocken met Buber in 1911. That same year also saw the beginning of his involvement with the German Zionist movement, whose congress he addressed. He did not have to pound on doors for a hearing; men seeking to spend their money never do, even if he considered himself not a philanthropist but a cultural entrepreneur prepared to invest in the Jewish future. It took a while to weigh his options, but in 1915, during World War I, he made his first investment: the financing of Buber's Der Jude, a periodical that was to be, until its demise in 1924, the most interesting Jewish review in the world. By the war's end he was also sponsoring the research of Scholem, then launching a career as a scholar of Jewish mysticism, and the fiction of Shmuel Yosef Czaczkes, a young Galician-born Hebrew writer living in Germany.

He had also established an advisory committee named "The Cultural Board of Management," headed by Buber, to recommend more ambitious projects. Schocken conceived of this board as the engine of his "Jewish renaissance," a body of experts that would plan and commission large numbers of great Jewish works by the simple expedient of finding the right authors to write on the right subjects, just as a good retailer might find the right designer for a line of women's lingerie. He did not get very far. Although the postwar years in Weimar Germany did witness a flowering of Jewish talent, this had little to do with Schocken's efforts. The right authors for the dozens of books he wanted written either did not exist, or were at work on something else, or were interested in writing different books, or never delivered the ones that they promised. Except for the monumental Buber-Rosenzweig translation of the Bible into German, the board of management, much to his frustration, failed to come up with suggestions that he liked (he vetoed several that he didn't, such as Buber's idea of commissioning Arnold Zweig to write a Jewish "spiritual novel"), and it was eventually disbanded.

Schocken seemed to think that literatures and peoples could be managed like department-store chains. Stymied on the cultural front, he turned to the Zionist one, proposing at the Zionist Congress in Vienna in 1925 to convert the Jewish community of Palestine into a giant corporation that would be profitably run from his German headquarters. Although Anthony David defends the "Schocken Plan" as "not entirely far-fetched," since "the total size of the Jewish economy [of Palestine] was considerably smaller than a major industrial conglomerate," this is one of several cases in which one suspects he has over-identified as a biographer with his subject's megalomaniacal tendencies.

Nor did Schocken's "authoritarian style," as David calls it, leave much of a mark during several years as chairman of the executive council of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a stint that ended when he immigrated to America in 1941. Opinionated and sure of himself like many a self-made man, he was happiest when he was undisputedly in charge, as he was of Schocken Verlag, a truly first-rate publishing house; of the Tel Aviv newspaper Ha'aretz, bought in 1936 and turned into the intellectually serious and independently liberal daily that it still is today; and of the Schocken Library, whose superb collection of Judaica and rare books, while remaining housed in his Jerusalem residence, was donated to the Jewish Theological Seminary after his death.

And that, after his death, is what, if at all, Salman Schocken would have been remembered as--a noted businessman, publisher, bibliophile, and German Zionist leader with some inflated notions of himself--were it not for his lifelong association with Shmuel Yosef Czaczkes, who went on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature under the pen-name of S.Y. Agnon. Agnon had immigrated to Palestine from a Galician shtetl in 1908 and traveled to Germany in 1912 to broaden his horizons, and was stranded there by Word War I. Struggling to survive as a part-time Hebrew tutor and editor, he passed the first half of the war years in Berlin in difficult circumstances, moving from flat to flat and hoping to avoid the draft, for which he was eligible as an Austrian citizen. In the end he received his call-up, flunked his physical by swallowing volumes of black coffee that made him ill, and landed in the hospital with a kidney ailment.

By then, however, he had met Salman Schocken and been taken under his wing. Indeed, he was already under Schocken's wing before meeting him and without knowing it, since Schocken, having heard of the gifted young writer from Palestine, had arranged behind Agnon's back for his pay to continue being remitted when the Hebrew publisher he was working for shut down. (It is a pity that David omits this detail, which says something about Schocken's occasional capacity for delicacy.) The two men were finally introduced in 1916, and soon afterward Schocken offered Agnon a commission for an anthology of Jewish literature that came with a monthly stipend for five years--an anthology that Agnon never prepared and perhaps was never meant to prepare as long as he concentrated on his own writing. It was the end of his financial worries. From then on Schocken saw to his livelihood, first as his patron and later as his Hebrew publisher.

Their relationship, though cordial, was always formal. In the correspondence between them, partly in Hebrew and partly in German, Schocken wrote to "Dear Agnon" or "Dear Mr. Agnon," and Agnon wrote back to "My Dear and Most Esteemed Mr. Schocken," "Dear Sir and Dear Friend," and other combinations. Eventually these letters, those of two men prominent in their fields, came to be largely about publishing matters. But before Agnon became well known they were more the exchange of a stepfatherly benefactor with his adopted beneficiary. Agnon described his work and his needs, flattering his patron with compliments and the Jewish stories that he chose to share with him; Schocken sent back money, books, and advice. In a letter from Munich, to which he had gone in 1919 to work on a Schocken-commissioned Hebrew children's book illustrated by a niece of Freud's, Agnon asked for a department-store shipment of "6 size 39 shirt collars, 6 pairs of socks, and 3 pairs of underwear," adding, "Please send it all by express mail-- and don't deduct it from my pay." Several weeks later Schocken replied that he hoped the clothing had arrived; he counseled Agnon to quit the city, a turbulent place following the crushing of Bavaria's short-lived Communist regime, and concluded, with a quiet generosity that any young writer today would give his right arm to have from his publisher, "If you need to have your monthly payments increased, please let me know."

Schocken had grown up geographically close to Eastern Europe and was attracted, as were other German Jewish intellectuals of his day, to what he considered the greater richness and authenticity of Eastern European Jewish life--and those were the qualities that he admired, and was charmed by, in Agnon. And yet much to his credit, he also had the literary acumen to realize, on the basis of Agnon's early stories alone, that he was dealing with a writer of genius who needed neither prodding nor criticism, nor even encouragement, but simply the leisure to write without having to fret about money. It is impossible to face a bookshelf of Agnon's large output without reflecting on how much of it might be missing were it not for Schocken's support.

This support was irreplaceable. Foundation grants did not exist in Agnon's day, certainly not in Hebrew literature; the Hebrew-reading public was too small to enable an author to live from the sale of his work; and there was only one other serious patron of Hebrew writing, the Russian-Jewish publisher Avraham Yosef Shtiebl, who put out some of Agnon's early work but lost most of his money after World War I. Agnon would have become what he became without Schocken's support, of course; but the awful torment of having to drudge at some classroom or office job when all he wanted was to write his fiction was spared him. There is a saying in the Talmud that some men win and some men lose an entire world in a moment. Salman Schocken won his in the moment he rescued Agnon.

Anthony David has written an engaging and well-paced biography. Its main fault is his often uncritical acceptance of Schocken's own appraisal of himself and his surroundings. Sometimes a biographer can feel too close to his subject. This is especially true when David writes about Schocken's relationship to Hebrew literature and Jewish culture. Schocken was an autodidact, and he had the autodidact's enthusiasm for his own discoveries; what he did not know did not exist for him, and what was revealed to him he thought unknown before him. At a time when the entire cultural enterprise of Zionism was engaged in constructing a "usable past" for a secular Jewish nationalism, there was a preposterous naivete in Schocken's belief that he would be the man to make this past available--that "he [would] set out," as David writes with a straight face, "to show how Jews had lived through all the great epochs of human history; [how] they too had left records, even if no one had bothered to excavate them." A whole industry of such excavation was already underway at the time Schocken began to dream of it, and if David's lack of Hebrew (or so I take it to be from the absence of references to Hebrew sources in his notes) helps to explain his ignorance of the achievements of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Jewish scholarship, it still does not quite excuse it.

David could also use more perspective on Schocken's attitude toward Zionist and Israeli politics, whose dominant figures in his day were Eastern European Jews. Although Schocken did not share the prejudice against Ostjuden that was widespread among German Jews, his brand of Zionism, with its cultural and spiritual idealism that had little patience for the details of nation- and state-building, was of a distinctly German variety. The Zionists to whom he was closest during his years in Palestine, a country that he never felt much at home in, were German Jews with similar views, men such as Buber, Scholem, the philosopher Hugo Bergmann, and the journalist Robert Weltsch. Many of these men, traumatized by their experience of Nazism, were active in the Jewish pacifist organization B'rit Shalom--and Schocken, while never joining it, participated in their condemnation of Zionist leaders like Ben-Gurion and Jabotinsky as nationalist vulgarians interested only in Jewish power. David, writing with contemporary events in mind, approvingly seems to consider this group a forerunner of today's Israeli "peace camp." Perhaps it was; but David might also have asked whether, in the age of the Holocaust and the unrelenting Arab determination to first prevent and then wipe out a Jewish state, the contempt for power was not a greater sin than the pursuit of it.

Schocken continued to surround himself with German Jews during his years in New York. To edit Schocken Books he hired the scholar Nahum Glatzer, later a professor at Brandeis, and Hannah Arendt. Arendt did not last long in the job. She quarreled with Schocken over publishing authors such as T.S. Eliot and Walter Benjamin, affordable properties for a small house in those years but too abstruse for Schocken to appreciate; she called him "dictatorial" and "unbearably inept," and quit in 1948.

Schocken himself lost interest in his publishing house at about the same time, as he had years before in his Board of Cultural Management. He turned it over to his son Theodor, who appointed his brother-in-law Herzl Rome to run it. It was a sleepy place the year I worked there. Kafka was not yet a household name in America and the office phone didn't ring often. I wrote my blurbs and rejection slips in the mornings, had a sandwich and a beer at my desk, and went off to the 42nd Street Library.

One day we had a visit from a tall, mournfully middle-aged man. His name was Robert Klopstock, and he said he was in New York for the day and had stopped by to say hello. I knew who he was: I had recently read Max Brod's biography of Kafka--I had a complete set of Kafka in my apartment, purloined from the office--and Klopstock was described there with warmth as a young medical student who, with Kafka's last love Dora Diamant, ministered to him as he lay dying, a poor man living on a tiny pension, in a sanatorium near Vienna in 1924. Greatly excited, I asked to hear more. "Franz died in my arms," Klopstock confirmed with a helpless gesture, as if it were a death that he should have prevented. But even now, nearly forty years later, he seemed too broken up by it to go on. One of the secretaries made him tea, and he drank it and went his way.

To the best of my knowledge Salman Schocken never met Kafka, the rights to whose work he bought for a modest sum from Kafka's mother long after her son's death. Kafka himself earned nothing to speak of from the little he published in his lifetime, and worked in an accident insurance office in Prague, napping in the afternoon when he came home and staying up nights to write. It was a killing routine. "Dearest," he wrote in a midnight letter to his fiancee Felice Bauer in December 1912 after reluctantly putting away a story he was working on, "I really should have gone on writing all night. Nevertheless, I am stopping, I dare not risk it." He had to go to bed because he had been falling asleep at work and had become "a nightmare" to his boss. "Sometimes," he wrote, "I think I can almost hear myself being ground down, by my writing on the one hand, by the office on the other." And there at the time was Schocken, who already knew Buber who knew Kafka, eager to be a patron! Imagine if... But even in the Talmud you only get to win one world. We should be grateful enough for that one.
Site Admin
Posts: 33510
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am


Return to Religion and Cults

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests