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 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:47 pm

The Kalapa Council of Shambhala Steps Down
by The Kalapa Council of Shambhala
July 6, 2018

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


THE KALAPA COUNCIL OF SHAMBHALA

Dear Shambhalians,

In the interest of beginning a healing process for our community, the Kalapa Councillors will step down from our posts.

In this time of groundlessness, there is a wish for more clarity and answers, but the truth is that much is unknown. We recognize that parts of our system are broken, and need to dissolve in order to make room for real change.

It is our desire to exit responsibly. There will be a phased departure so that there is a board in place to uphold the legal and financial responsibilities of the organization. Advisors in transitioning leadership groups are assisting Shambhala in planning how to structure and communicate this progression. We are also reading and listening to all of the feedback that you are sharing. We will share more details soon as we integrate advice and learn more.

Additionally, we want to formally announce several developments that have been confirmed in the last few days.

• The agreement with An Olive Branch has been signed. They will bring their expertise to serve as a neutral party for receiving stories of harm, survivor advocacy and consulting on our policies going forward. An Olive Branch will also personally introduce themselves to you, the Shambhala community, shortly.

• We have engaged Wickwire Holm, a law firm based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to act as the third-party investigator to look into stories of abuse or misconduct involving any teacher or leader in the Shambhala community.

We will offer more details on both of these processes very soon. We are committed to communicating regularly and transparently with the community as new information or updates develop.

Despite this groundless situation, we believe that this community has a path forward from which Shambhala can emerge as a healthier, more supportive, and more inclusive sangha.

Sending heartfelt appreciation to the noble sangha,

The Kalapa Council

Josh Silberstein, Chair
Jane Arthur
David Brown
Wendy Friedman
Jesse Grimes
Mitchell Levy
Adam Lobel
Robert Reichner
Christoph Schönherr
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:03 pm

Brahmajala Sutra (Mahayana)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/22/19

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For the Theravada text of the same name, see Brahmajala Sutta (Theravada).

The Brahmajāla Sūtra (traditional Chinese: 梵網經; ; pinyin: Fànwǎng jīng; Japanese pronunciation: Bonmōkyō), also called the Brahma's Net Sutra, is a Mahayana Buddhist Vinaya Sutra. The Chinese translation can be found in the Taishō Tripiṭaka.[1] The Tibetan translation can be found in Peking (Beijing) Kangyur 256.[2] From the Tibetan it was also translated into Mongolian and the Manchu languages. It is known alternatively as the Brahmajāla Bodhisattva Śīla Sūtra (traditional Chinese: 梵網菩薩戒經; ; pinyin: Fàn Wǎng Púsà Jiè Jīng).

The Brahmajāla Sūtra is related to the important Huayan metaphor of Indra's net.

It is not related to the Brahmajala Sutta of the Pāli Canon of Theravada Buddhism.

History

The sutra is traditionally regarded as having been recorded in Sanskrit and then translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva in 406. Several scholars assume that it was composed in East Asia by unknown authors in the mid-5th century, and is apocryphal.[3][4][5][6] The sutra itself claims that it is part of a much longer Sanskrit text, but such a text has never been found.[3] [7] Qu Dacheng (pinyin transliteration) or Wut Tai Shing (Cantonese transliteration)[8] suggests that because the contents of the longer Brahmajala Sutra very much resembled the Avataṃsaka Sutra that was already translated, the translators of the Brahmajala Sutra only translated the key differences.[9] Many scholars and most Mahayana monastics believe the sutra is not apocryphal.[10] Amoghavajra, one of the patriarchs of Shingon Buddhism who was fluent in both Sanskrit and Chinese, stated that the Brahmajala Sutra is a part of the Vajrasekhara Sutra that was not translated into Chinese.[11] Ven. Taixu on his study of the Brahmajala Sutra and the Mahayana Yoga of the Adamantine Sea Mañjuśrī Thousand Arms Thousand Bowls Great King of Tantra noted many similarities between the two and therefore the Brahmajala Sutra must have been translated from Sanskrit.[12] Qu Dacheng states that the Brahmajala Sutra whilst not translated by Kumārajīva is unlikely to be apocryphal. Of special interest, Qu notes some of the Brahmajala Sutra's Ten Bodhisattva Bhūmi matches the Mahāvastu, an early Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Mahayana text never translated into Chinese.[13]

Content

This sutra introduces Vairocana and his relationship to Gautama Buddha. It also states ten major precepts for Bodhisattvas (Chinese: 十重戒) and the 48 minor precepts to follow to advance along the bodhisattva path.

The bodhisattva precepts of the Brahmajala Sutra came to be treated in China as a higher ethic a monastic would adopt after ordination in addition to the prātimokṣa vows. In Japan, the ten precepts came to displace monastic rules almost completely starting with Saichō and the rise of the Tendai.[14]

The name of the sutra derives from the vast net that the god Brahma hangs in his palace and how each jewel in the net reflects the light of every other jewel:

At that time, he [Shakyamuni Buddha] contemplated the wonderful Jewel Net hung in Lord Brahma's palace and preached the Brahmajala Sutta for the Great Assembly. He said: "The innumerable worlds in the cosmos are like the eyes of the net. Each and every world is different, its variety infinite. So too are the Dharma Doors (methods of cultivation) taught by the Buddhas.[15]

The sutra is also noteworthy for describing who Vairocana is as personification of the dharma or Dharmakāya:[15]

Now, I, Vairocana Buddha, am sitting atop a lotus pedestal; on a thousand flowers surrounding me are a thousand Sakyamuni Buddhas. Each flower supports a hundred million worlds; in each world a Sakyamuni Buddha appears. All are seated beneath a Bodhi-tree, all simultaneously attain Buddhahood. All these innumerable Buddhas have Vairocana as their original body.[15]

Bodhisattva Precepts

The Brahmajala Sutra has a list of ten major and forty-eight minor rules known as the Bodhisattva Precepts.[16] The Bodhisattva Precepts may be often called the "Brahma Net Precepts" (Chinese: 梵網戒; pinyin: Fànwǎng Jiè), particularly in Buddhist scholarship, although other sets of bodhisattva precepts may be found in other texts as well. Typically, in East Asian Mahayana traditions, only the 10 Major Precepts are considered the Bodhisattva Precepts. According to the sutra, the 10 Major Bodhisattva Precepts are in summary:[17]

1. Not to kill or encourage others to kill.
2. Not to steal or encourage others to steal.
3. Not to engage in licentious acts or encourage others to do so. A monk is expected to abstain from sexual conduct entirely.
4. Not to use false words and speech, or encourage others to do so.
5. Not to trade or sell alcoholic beverages or encourage others to do so.
6. Not to broadcast the misdeeds or faults of the Buddhist assembly, nor encourage others to do so.
7. Not to praise oneself and speak ill of others, or encourage others to do so.
8. Not to be stingy, or encourage others to do so.
9. Not to harbor anger or encourage others to be angry.
10. Not to speak ill of the Buddha, the Dharma or the Sangha (lit. the Triple Jewel) or encourage others to do so.
Breaking any of these precepts is described as a prarajika (Skt. Unforgivable) offence.[18]

References

1. Taisho 1484 is found in Volume 24 of the Taisho Tripitaka."Taishō Shinshū Daizōkyō" 大正新脩大藏經 [Taishō Shinshū Tripitaka]. CBETA 漢文大藏經 (in Chinese). This is an index to the Taisho Tripitaka - nb Volume 24 is listed as the last volume in the 律部 or Vinaya Section. Taisho 1484 or the Brahmajala Sutra is located here.
2. 東京帝國大學法文學部編財團法人齋藤報恩會補助. 西藏大藏經總目錄索引-A Catalogue-Index of The Tibetan Buddhist Canons (Bkah-hgyur and Bstan-bgyur). p. 10,102. on page 10: Chos-kyi rgya-mo, sans-rgyas rnam-par-snan-mdsad-kyis byan-chub-sems-dpahi sems-kyi gnas bsad-pa lehu bcu-pa [Peking (Beijing) Kangyur No.] 256; on page 102: [Peking (Beijing) Kangyur No.] 256 [Taisho] 1484
3. Cho, Eunsu. Fanwang jing in Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, Volume One
4. Buswell, Robert Jr. (1990). Chinese Buddhist Apocrypha. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-1253-9., page 8
5. Muller, Charles, Digital Dictionary of Buddhism: 梵網經
6. Swanson, Paul (1998). Apocryphal Texts in Chinese Buddhism. T'ien-t'ai Chih-i's Use of Apocryphal Scriptures" in: Debeek, Arie van; Toorn, Karel van der (1998). Canonization and Decanonization. BRILL. ISBN 90-04-11246-4., page 248
7. Bhikṣuṇī Vinītā (Tseng Vinita) (2010). A Unique Collection of Twenty Sutras in a Sanskrit Manuscript from the Potala Volume I,I. China Tibetology Publishing House and Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. p. xix. "It preserves twelve codices unici, the only extant Sanskrit texts so far; these are sutras no. 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 20. Two sutras among them, no. 4 and 10, have neither Tibetan nor Chinese translations, nor, to the best of my knowledge, any reliable historical record." Although Bhikṣuṇī Vinītā is not talking directly about the Brahmajala Sutra, she makes clear that the surviving extant Buddhist Sanskrit textual record (including surviving extant commentarial references existing in Sanskrit and translated languages) are hardly complete.
8. "List of Academic Staff". 副教授 is translated as Associate Professor
9. Wut Tai Shing or Qu Dacheng(屈大成) (May 2007). 從古文本論《梵網經》之真偽 [Using Ancient Texts to Determine the Authenticity or Apocryphalness of the Brahmajala Sutra] (PDF). 普門學報 (trans. to English: Universal Gate Buddhist Journal) (in Chinese) (39): 18. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 此外,大本《梵網經》的內容架構,跟《華嚴經》十分接近。或是《華嚴經》既已譯出,無必要再大花力氣傳譯一相類似的長篇經典... (trans. to Eng:Moreover, the structure (arrangement) of contents of the unabriged Brahmajala Sutra and the Avataṃsaka Sūtra are very alike. In other words, since the Avataṃsaka Sūtra was already translated, (the translator(s)) felt there was no need to commit huge efforts to translate a long sutra with similar contents.)
10. Shi Yinguang. 印光法師文鈔 [Ven. Shi Yinguang's Works] (PDF) (in Chinese). p. 69. translated summary The Brahmajala Sutra is Buddhavacana
11. Wut Tai Shing or Qu Dacheng(屈大成) (May 2007). 從古文本論《梵網經》之真偽 [Using Ancient Texts to Determine the Authenticity or Apocryphalness of the Brahmajala Sutra] (PDF). 普門學報 (trans. to English: Universal Gate Buddhist Journal) (in Chinese) (39): 18. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 還值得一提的,是不空(七○五-七七四)《金剛頂經大瑜伽祕密心地法門義訣》提到廣本《金剛頂經》沒有傳入中土時,指中土《梵網經》乃撮取廣本中較淺易的修行內容,如是不空認為《梵網經》乃密典《金剛頂經》的一部分...(trans. to English : It is also worth noting that Amoghavajra (705-774) in “Instructions on the Gate to the Teaching of the Secret Heart of Great Yoga of the Adamantine Pinnacle Sutra“ stated at the time when the unabridged version of the Vajrasekhara Sutra was not transmitted to China, the Chinese [translation] of the Brahmajala Sutra absorbed the comparatively simpler [Buddhist] cultivation practices found in the unabridged version [of the Vajrasekhara Sutra] and therefore Amoghavajra supposed the Brahmajala Sutra is one part of the tantric text of the Vajrasekhara Sutra…)
12. Shi Taixu (太虛大師) (2014-11-10). 梵网经与千钵经抉隐 [Revealing [the Connection Between] the Brahmajala Sutra and the Mahayana Yoga of the Adamantine Sea Mañjuśrī Thousand Arms Thousand Bowls Great King of Tantra] (in Chinese). Retrieved 2018-01-02.
13. Wut Tai Shing or Qu Dacheng(屈大成) (May 2007). 從古文本論《梵網經》之真偽 [Using Ancient Texts to Determine the Authenticity or Apocryphalness of the Brahmajala Sutra] (PDF). 普門學報 (trans. to English: Universal Gate Buddhist Journal) (in Chinese) (39): 5,18. Retrieved 2018-01-02. p 5:此外,《梵網經》的十地說有取於《大事》,而《大事》從無漢譯本,也反證《梵網經》非漢人偽作。(trans. to English: Moreover, some of the Ten Bodhisattva Bhūmi found in the Brahmajala Sutra came from the Mahāvastu and the Mahāvastu never had a Chinese translation and proves the Brahmajala Sutra was not an apocryphal sutra composed by a Chinese person.) and p 18:《梵網經》多次用到佛性一詞...這詞的出現,已足證明《梵網經》非羅什所譯,但這不代表《梵網經》是偽經。...又經文所提到的新的說法、法數、譯語等,不見於早期譯典,無從抄襲。因此,《梵網經》乃偽作的可能性甚低。 (trans. to English: The Brahmajala Sutra uses the phrase “Buddha-nature” on multiple occasions…this [usage] is enough to certify that it was not translated by Kumārajīva, but this certainly does not mean The Brahmajala Sutra is apocrypha…Also the contents of the sutra mentions new explications, new numerical discourses, new translation usages, etc., these can't be found in earlier translations and as such there is nowhere to compile from. Therefore the possibility for the Brahmajala Sutra to be an apocryphal sutra is very low.)
14. Keown, Damien (2008). "Fang wang ching", in A Dictionary of Buddhism, Oxford University Press, 3rd ed. ISBN 0192800620, p. 93
15. Sutra Translation Committee of the US and Canada (2000). The Brahma Net Sutra, New York
16. Buswell, Robert Jr; Lopez, Donald S. Jr., eds. (2013). Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (bodhisattvaśīla). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 137. ISBN 9780691157863.
17. Thanh, Minh (2000). "The Brahma Net Sutra". New York: Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
18. "Brahma Net Sutra:Moral Code of the Bodhisattva". Young Men Buddhist Association of America. Translated by Thanh, Minh; Leigh, P.D. Retrieved 2018-07-15.

Further reading

• de Groot, Jan Jakob Maria (1893). Le code du Mahâyâna en Chine; son influence sur la vie monacale et sur le monde laique, Amsterdam: Müller
• Muller, Charles (2012). Exposition of the Sutra of Brahma´s Net, Sŏul-si (Seul): Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. ISBN 9788994117171
• Muller, Charles; Tanaka, Kenneth K., trans. (2017). The Brahma’s Net Sutra, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai Amerika
• Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada (2000). [1]
• Wut Tai Shing (Cantonese transliteration) or Qu Dacheng (Pinyin transliteration) or 屈大成 (Chinese) (May 2007). [2] 從古文本論《梵網經》之真偽 (in Chinese) (Eng. Trans. of title:Using Ancient Texts to Determine the Authenticity or Apocryphalness of the Brahmajala Sutra), Kaohsiung.
• Wut Tai Shing (Cantonese transliteration) or Qu Dacheng (Pinyin transliteration) or 屈大成 (Chinese) (March 2007). [3] 從古文獻記載論《梵網經》之真偽 (in Chinese) (Eng. Trans. of title:Using Ancient Accounts to Determine the Authenticity or Aprocryphalness of the Brahmajala Sutra), Kaohsiung.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:05 am

The Life and Death of Chogyam Trungpa's Child Sex Slave: Ciel Turzanski [Drukmo Nyima]
by Leslie Hays [Drukmo Dashen]

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Chogyam Trungpa often worked with large groups of participants. Quite early on he realized that it would not always be possible to provide everyone with the tools and the education to do ikebana in all of the dharma art seminars he presented. Moreover, he was trying to work with principles that could apply to many artistic enterprises, not just flower arrangement. So Chogyam Trungpa, together with Ludwig Turzanski, an art professor from the University of Colorado who was instrumental in the development of dharma art, came up with the idea of object arrangements: arranging various ordinary objects as an exercise for students attending his seminars on art and dharma. In this practice, someone chooses an object and places it on a tapletop or piece of paper. This is the heaven element, which represents the vastness of the primary manifestation and gives the arrangement its tone.

-- Chogyam Trungpa: His Life and Vision, by Fabrice Midal


Over the years, Rinpoche was invited to do a number of ikebana or flower-arranging exhibitions. Later, the exhibits evolved into Dharma Art "installations" in which Rinpoche placed extraordinary flower arrangements in rooms that he and his students designed and created. At the end of 1980, he and a group of students had done a major Dharma Art installation at the LAICA (Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art) Gallery. In September, 1981, Rinpoche went to San Francisco for several weeks to give a Dharma Art seminar and to do an installation there.

As with so many other areas, his artistic endeavors drew a large group of students to him, some of them professional artists but many not. A group called the Explorers of the Phenomenal World was formed to explore the principles of Dharma Art and to work on the exhibits and installations. One of the directors of this work, Ludwig Turzanski, was a professor of art at the University of Colorado when we arrived in Boulder. Ludwig and his wife Basia were our close friends from the earliest days in Boulder.

-- Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, by Diana J. Mukpo with Carolyn Rose Gimian


I first met Ciel when she was 16-years old. I didn’t know her well and I viewed her as a bit of a rival. Ciel was the sort of girl who would steal your boyfriend. I didn’t really get to know her well until the summer of 1985, when she was 17 and I was 24, at what was then called rocky mountain dharma center.

In 1984, after his retreat in Mill Village, which John Perks wrote about in his book, Chogyam Trungpa (CT) decided to marry some more women. To his devotees, this decision came directly from the Rigdens, who were these supposed ‘heavenly beings’ who sat around in the clouds above outer Mongolia and directed the actions of the self-proclaimed universal monarch. Apparently they had nothing better to do than watch the sangha and tell his majesty what strategic moves he should make in his efforts to take over the world. At first, the Rigdens said he should take three more wives, so in order of weddings that would have been Karen Lavin, Cynde Greives [Grieve], and Wendy Friedman.

But as time passed they upped the number to five. That’s when I met him. I was number five and I was groomed to be attractive to him by the father of the children I nannied for. During the summer of 1985, after our wedding, CT apparently fell in love with Ciel, and she became number 6. Agnes Au followed about four or five months later, I think, bringing the total number of wives to 7. But just to be on the safe side, they had 250 copies of the marriage licenses made.

I need to say here that Ciel first slept with CT when she was very young, 13 or 14 years old. Of course people will deny this but it is the truth. She told me herself. I doubt anyone out there has the guts to back me up on this, however. Most still want to believe he was omniscient and powerful and not some pervy, rapey asshole who preyed on children. If your daughter was sleeping with the king of the universe at that age, would that be OK? The universal monarch who is in touch with heavenly beings daily decided that he loved Ciel, and it did appear that he loved her very much. He and the rest of them loved her to death.

In fact he made her the “Sangyum Wangmo” meaning the head of the Sangyum. Then she became the Sakyong Wangmo 2. This meant she sat in front of all of us. Previously, we sat in order of weddings, with Karen closest to CT. We occupied the front row of the court section at talks. And CT’s special attention further isolated Ciel from the rest of us. While she might have been able to share with her sister wives certain things, the pressure to be number one in all actions must have been intense. The secrets she held were way too much, in my opinion, for an 18 year old who was handed over to the king of the universe and groomed since birth to marry him. CT was not the only powerful man to reach out to Ciel -- her love affair with Mitchell Levy began when she was 16. WE ALL KNEW -- JESUS CHRIST WE ALL KNEW. Mitchell’s still in charge of a large part of the cult and he’s actively advocating for teaching positions in Europe and beyond, where perhaps he hopes no one knows the truth about his character. All narcissists hate to be ignored.

Ciel married CT on her 18th birthday. I was at the wedding, as were the other wives, and I remember her parents brought Polish caviar and vodka, or maybe it was champagne. Her father made a toast, saying he gave his daughter to CT completely, that he trusted him with all of his heart and soul, and that he was honoured to become part of the family, or something similar. CT toasted him back as his father in law and thanked him for his kindness or generosity or something. (Folks can you imagine?) The wedding was a very big deal that summer. Of course, only people who had attended Assembly were invited to this event. Seating was as always, highly regulated. The Sangyum sat in the front row of the court section, ladies on one side and men on the other. Assembly was the program where he talked about taking over the city of Halifax and the province of Nova Scotia by force, but there would be only limited bloodshed. So it was about the “Kingdom of Shambhala” taking over the world. And don’t forget it was all backed up by the Rigdens.

I think this was a lot of pressure for Ciel, who was the youngest sangyum. She took her seat bravely. Everyone talked about how beautiful she was, and how much CT loved her. Oh, she was elegant and sophisticated and breathtakingly beautiful. Always, when Ciel was mentioned, her beauty was touted, as if she had very little value outside of that.

After Seminary, Ciel and I were sent to Karme Choling to finish our ngondro. CT gave a talk that year, on Shambhala Day, about jumping the gun. His “talk” consisted of very few words, something to the effect of: “You know what you have to do, so do it! Jump the gun.” this was in February or march of 1986. This was a very celebratory day at KCL and of course plenty of sake was served. There were a number of us young people there -- Liz, Kier, Ciel, myself and others -- and after we got properly inebriated, we put on our skates and headed to the small pond in front of KCL for some skating. We enjoyed doing crack the whip, where we all held hands in a line and spun the person on the end out by spinning in a tight circle. But when Ciel was on the end, we whipped her too fast, and she badly broke her leg. This was the year and the very day CT told us we knew what we had to do, so just do it, jump the gun. Ciel suffered with the impacts of that badly broken leg for the rest of her life. Apparently, the doctors in St. Johnsbury Vermont didn’t set it properly, and years later she had to have it rebroken, which didn’t really fix the problem at all and made it worse. Both of these surgeries required strong narcotics, for an extended amount of time.

As you read this, please try to remember that all of this happened over 30 years ago, and my memory isn’t perfect, especially with the exact time line and order of these events. My brain seems to capture and remember events more than timelines. But I think that after Ciel broke her leg she went back to Boulder to be with her parents to heal. When CT died on April 4th, 1987, all the sangyum flew to Halifax. I flew in from Vermont two days before he expired. I remember seeing CT curled up in a fetal position in his hospital bed at the Infirmary in Halifax. I remember crying a lot with the other sangyum. I remember seeing Diana at his bedside. I had written her a letter saying I felt like I fucked up on a cosmic level, because CT had not really wanted to see me towards the end of his life. Diana took me aside and told me she didn’t think I should be so hard on myself. He’d married me, after all. I cried tears of gratitude. CT died around the time Ciel’s plane touched down at the Halifax airport.

Then the funeral was planned. The body was broken and cut and forced into a seated position and put on display in the front sitting room of the court in Halifax. People were scheduled to do mediation shifts with the body, and it was always packed with worshippers. I will never forget the stench of strong Tibetan incense and decay. It was chokingly overwhelming. Mitchell said his heart center stayed warm for three days, but I wasn’t allowed to get close enough to see if this was true.

The funeral would take place at Karme Choling, St. Johnsbury (KCL) and it would be a grand display, with visits from many senior Tibetan teachers arranged by Karl Springer. We chartered a plane and CT’s body occupied first class. Seats were removed to bring him in.
The plane ride is a blur. Some people bought seats who lived in Halifax, but the Sangyum flew for free.

Everyone who was anyone was there at KCL when the body was brought back from the airport. The seven of us sangyum stayed in a rented bed and breakfast fairly close to KCL with a very nice gay couple who hosted us. Tom Rich and his followers rented a large house and named it Shangri-la. Shibata Sensei and Marcia and crew stayed in a smaller rented house. The hotel which later became known as Ashoka Bhavan (or some such) in Vermont was rented and filled to capacity with monks. Diana and her crew stayed at Bhumi Pali Bahvana which was a farm house with a barn that was purchased for her. After CT died, Tagi lived there for a short while. I don’t remember where the current sock yarn stayed, which means I probably wasn’t invited to any parties there. And its possible they bought the hotel for the visit. Eventually it became part of KCL. Dilgo Khentse took over the top floor of Karme Choling, which had previously been the shambhala shrine room. Many of the other rooms on the second floor of KCL were double or triple occupied by his monks. Lot’s of people stayed in tents on the way up to where the body would be burned in the purkhong the second field. Flags were put up, a round the clock sewing crew was established and set up in the KCL barn as all of the banners and flags and skirts that covered the shrines needed to be created. Reams of fabric were purchased. A purkong in which to cremate the remains was built. Every square inch was filled to capacity and beyond. The body was closely guarded in the main shrine room -- salts were changed once or twice daily but they couldn’t mask the stench of decay.

After the funeral, Ciel moved in with the Mukpos in the court in Halifax, under the same roof as Mitchell and Diana. Ciel and Mitchell carried on with their sexual affair there and Ciel and I lost touch for a while. Mitchell was also having sex with a number of other women and girls at the same time. Basically, sex was everywhere, and Ciel was a much prized commodity. But she wasn’t really valued for who she really was, in my opinion.
She used to be a runner, and she would regularly run up Flagstaff mountain. She once met a famous runner there, but I can’t remember which one. She was pretty healthy, I thought. But after she broke her leg, running was too painful -- another loss suffered from being part of the cult.

So Ciel moved with Mitchell and Diana to Hawaii, after they embezzled a couple hundred thousand dollars from the sangha to buy a new court in Halifax. In fact they took the money, didn’t buy a new court in Halifax, sold the old one, and moved to Hawaii in the middle of the night. (Maybe the old one was too stinky for them.) Mitchell, Diana, Ashoka and David moved with Ciel and her BFF at the time to Hawaii. They left Gesar homeless in Halifax. Some claim Diana knew about the affair with Mitchell all along, and some claim when she learned of their long “love affair,” which was really molestation as it began when Ciel was 16, she was shocked and appalled and kicked Ciel out of the court.

Eventually, after Mitchell and Di and the rest moved to providence, RI, Ciel fell in love with a normal man about her same age and social status named Craig. She got a job at Victoria Secret. Like Wendy and other girls in the community, college didn’t hold their interest as much as creating enlightened society. She got a brief breath of the air outside of Shambhala. They married and lived in Maine together, eventually moving to Halifax to live in the basement of her parent’s house. And for a brief moment in time she was happy. Then Craig died of a brain tumor, and she began to unravel. Her doctor prescribed many drugs for her (probably too many) to help with her grief. She began self medicating, drinking too much, and she crept into herself deeper and deeper.


Ciel eventually moved back to Boulder (her parents as well) and we attempted to restart our friendship. She began seeing Fleet Maull. She liked to take her top off and dance in her bra at parties. Fleet and her broke up, and she began seeing Leonard Hortick who had three small girls and was divorced from his first wife due to her substance abuse issues. Eventually, they broke up as well after Ciel went into a neighbor's house and began raging at them, claiming it was her house, or something like that. Whatever happened, it was clear she was losing her grip on reality. The neighbors called the police.

In the final sad chapter, she ended up dating Don Milani, one of Tom Rich’s straight boys. Something happened between them that was related to domestic violence, but I am not sure exactly what. Ciel claimed Don pushed her down the stairs and pulled a knife on her. Don claimed she got to his house and downed an entire bottle of sake and he called 911 on her. Ciel claimed she called 911.

She continued to get lost in her addictions, and called the detective on the case extremely wasted at 2 am one morning. I think at that point the detectives gave up working on the case. And Ciel was outraged. She began calling Don at all hours of the night and day and threatening suicide. Once Don called me, sincerely worried that she was going to follow through with the act. He asked me to phone her parents and have them check on her. So about six weeks or so before Ciel died I phoned Ludwig and told him about the call from Don.

Ludwig was at first pretty pissed off at me for speaking to Don at all, but a few days later he phoned me to tell me I had done the right thing in phoning him. I stressed that it might be important to hospitalize Ciel and help her with her addictions. I got the impression that Ciel was too sacred for this path to possible treatment. And six weeks later she was dead due to an overdose of pills and alcohol.


I was shocked, we all were, and it was a deeply sad time for so many of us. Word quickly spread that Ciel had left a note and that I was in it, along with Denise (Don’s ex wife) Don, and a few others. My understanding was she somehow blamed me for her death. I got a call from Mark Thorpe who told me the family didn’t want me to attend the funeral. I took it in stride and said, “whatever they need to get through this horrible time is ok with me. If it’s too painful for them to see me, of course I won’t attend.”

When her parents discovered her body, she was dressed in the silk pajamas CT gave her. They then phoned Jesse Grimes, who was a paramedic working for Boulder Valley. Jesse responded to the call. Jesse saw the note, Jesse saw the pills, Jesse saw the empty bottle of vodka, Jesse saw the grieving family. And as usual, Jesse kept his mouth shut about it all in favor of whitewashing the real history of this cult for public consumption.

Jesse saw Osel Mukpo treat Ciel like a piece of meat. There was brief talk Osel and Ciel would marry, this was why CT had put her on that huge unattainable pedestal, this was why he had made her Sakyong Wangmo II. Many, including Ciel, believed strongly they would marry, as he wrote poems to her and and acted loving and caring towards her. Then he dumped her like a hot potato. He had his staff refuse her calls (Mark Thorpe and others, you KNOW this, where’s your spine?). Osel refused to see her, he refused to talk with her, and he callously and unceremoniously broke her already repeatedly broken heart.


So look around in this sham of a community. There are people who worship Osel regardless, in spite of, or perhaps BECAUSE OF the way he treats women. But I truly believe it’s not just women he mistreats. If you are a man and you think you’re important to him, fuck off, because like everyone else you are completely disposable and really not worthy of a second thought. This is what happens when you make malignant narcissists cult leaders and give them absolute control and ownership over vulnerable people through brainwashing techniques. This is what happens when you believe some made up (or pilfered from other traditions) visualizations or practices with a sociopath at the center.

I miss Ciel, Kier, and Bill [*] I truly believe if they had gotten help outside of this toxic soup, Bill and Ciel might still be alive today. Hopefully they would find that the air out here is fresher. The stench of decay isn’t so strong, and the people are much, much kinder. They know better than to ask survivors to heal a community or forgive their abusers for the sake of the organization which victimized them in the first place. They aren’t impressed with titles and pomp and circumstance. They’re just real people who don’t believe in fairy tales, generally.

I write this with love, to anyone who is struggling with these issues, seek therapy outside of sham.

_______________

Notes:

*Bill Sheffel, who recently took his own life in Boulder
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:10 am

Requiem For a Cover-Up
by Carol Merchasin
February 5, 2019

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This seems like a good day to share my gratitude, regrets, clarifications, and disappointments with the Wickwire Holms Report.

Gratitude

• I am grateful that the Wickwire Holms report is out and that it has in large part confirmed what seemed all too apparent, that Claimant #1 was sexually assaulted by the Sakyong and also that Claimant #3 was a victim of clergy sexual misconduct and an abuse of power.
• I am grateful that Ms. Bath was able to talk to enough people to see the patterns of misconduct, including alcohol abuse, abuse of power, financial mismanagement, shunning, silencing and shaming. I am also grateful that she identified the possibilities of collusion among those whose loyalty to the Sakyong might sway them to be untruthful.
• I am grateful to Ms. Bath. This is not easy work, this was not an easy project. I have had no doubt about her neutrality from the beginning to the end.
• I am grateful for the opportunity to work with BPS. I came in with a lot of experience in doing investigations but little understanding of working with survivors of sexual trauma. I am grateful for all of those people who taught me what I needed to learn. I have tried to help them validate their claims.

Regrets

• I regret that more of the women who were harmed did not come forward. But Shambhala’s long history of betrayal, silencing and shunning made it very difficult for survivors to want to devote any time and energy to this. I have learned in this past year that these survivors owe us nothing and they will participate when they feel safe enough to do so.
• I regret that the leadership of Shambhala and their lawyers did not understand that to be effective, an investigation has to be neutral and independent in perception as well as reality. I called for an independent monitor for this reason; instead 1) the Sakyong’s lawyer announced that the Sakyong had never assaulted anybody, 2) Shambhala revealed that the WH report would go to Alex Halpern, a longtime supporter and the Sakyong’s lawyer, and 3) the Kalapa Council’s lawyer advised survivors to ‘just believe’ that despite years of abuse all could be trusted because he said so. In the end, the community suffers – it does not get the benefit of hearing from all of the people who had allegations and from whom we could learn, and as a result, the investigation is incomplete.

Clarifications

• The report finds that the Sakyong engaged in “sexual misconduct” with Claimant #1. What does that mean? Sexual misconduct is a broad term that includes “sexual assault” as well as a number of other types of misconduct that are sexual in nature. The conduct that Ms. Bath validated is in general sexual misconduct but in specific terms, it is a sexual assault. So, let’s call it what it is – a sexual assault, which is a criminal offense with no statute of limitations in Nova Scotia where it took place.
• The IB has stated in their prologue to the WH Report (Reports Related to Sexual Misconduct and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche) that there were ten individuals (including Claims No. 1 and No. 3) who conveyed issues of misconduct but that “[n]o one reported criminal behavior.” That is not accurate. Claimant #1’s allegations of sexual assault were substantiated, and sexual assault is most definitely criminal conduct.

Disappointments

• I am disappointed that the scope of the investigation did not include an investigation into who, among Shambhala officers, administrators, teachers and the Sakyong’s personal staff, knew about and were complicit in covering up the Sakyong’s misconduct. Making change is hard and I understand that the IB is working diligently to do that. But you cannot change the organization without a full understanding of what went wrong. Part of what went wrong lies with the Sakyong; but another large part is with a leadership that enabled and covered up his behavior. Without knowing the full extent of that, a lot of activity, committees, and group discussion will feel like movement, but perhaps not in the direction of lasting change. Without a full diagnosis of all the dysfunction, it is unreasonable to expect a cure and healing.
• I am beyond disappointed that the Chilean woman’s claim from the July BPS Memorandum was not considered. In fact, as late as December 2018, I believed that her claim was being investigated. It is true that the Chilean woman did not wish to come forward because she did not perceive the investigation as independent or neutral. Ms. Bath had all the information to reach out to corroborating witnesses. In addition, she investigated Claimant #1’s allegation without talking with her (Claimant #1 did come forward later in January). It is a “best practice” that all complaints, even anonymous ones, must be investigated to the fullest extent of the information available, particularly a claim as serious and with as much corroboration as this one.

I believe that the IB should authorize Ms. Bath to do just that – to investigate and make a finding.I can tell you what the finding will be – that it is more likely than not that the Sakyong locked the Chilean woman in a bathroom and tried to assault her. There are reliable witnesses and plenty of evidence of what happened immediately before and after and in the ensuing days, not to mention a flurry of activity when the Chilean woman moved to NYC. There is also independent corroborating evidence that a cover-up was begun immediately.

• I am disappointed in the Sakyong’s letter/apology. Here is a checklist of what should be in an apology:

• Expression of regret
• Explanation of what went wrong
• Acknowledgment of responsibility
• Declaration of repentance
• Offer of repair
• Request for forgiveness

Here is another rule: Don’t let someone else, especially your criminal lawyer, write it for you. His job is to keep you out of jail. His job is not to help you understand that if you had actually done the six steps above, you probably wouldn’t be in this situation.

• I am disappointed that no one in a position of authority in Shambhala, certainly not the Sakyong, has ever made an official public apology to the people who were harmed and who had the courage to raise these issues to the community. Remaking the organization can’t happen unless there is a complete reckoning with the past. Apologies are hard work, but it is work that must be done. It cannot be outsourced.

So, in the absence of anyone else doing the hard work of an apology, here is what should be said to every single one of the men and women that have been harmed. I especially include Andrea Winn along with the many others who have been working for years to shine a light on this dark part of Shambhala. You cannot heal if you cannot honor the whistleblowers.

Here is my dream Shambhala apology which (in my dreams) would be signed by every single leader of Shambhala, past and present:

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

I am not holding my breath on this, but still, what would be the harm in sending this aspiration to survivors on this Shambhala Day?

I wish all of you a good new year with much healing ahead.

Regards,

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

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:17 am

Buddhist teacher quit Shambhala in ‘protest’ before his own sexual misconduct allegation went public. He's promoting a book called Love Hurts.
by Joshua Eaton
JUL 23, 2018, 8:00 AM
UPDATED: JUL 23, 2018, 6:24 PM

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Image

Meditation teacher and author Lodro P. Rinzler announced that he was leaving the Buddhist group Shambhala International on July 1 after several women came forward to accuse its leader, Sakyong Mipham, of sexual assault. He failed to mention that he had been accused of sexual misconduct himself.

“I am feeling a lot of pain around what is happening in the Shambhala community,” Rinzler wrote on his private Facebook page at the time. “I personally have clarity that it is time for me to officially leave Shambhala as an organization and no longer teach there.”

It was one of the most high-profile departures in an organization that’s been in tailspin since the sexual assault allegations against its leader.

But Rinzler was already facing fallout from Shambhala over an allegation against him. A woman told the organization he had pressured her into sex in 2013 even after she said multiple times that she did not want to sleep with him. After Shambhala opened an internal investigation into that allegation last month, it asked local meditation centers not to host Rinzler’s upcoming book tour. Within two days, he announced he was leaving the group, according to interviews and documents obtained by ThinkProgress.

ThinkProgress is not aware of any other allegations of sexual misconduct by Rinzler. In a statement, Rinzler denied any sexual misconduct and said his decision to leave Shambhala had nothing to do with the allegation against him.

“I was deeply troubled by the allegations against the leadership of Shambhala and after learning of them stepped away from any involvement with Shambhala’s programs entirely of my own accord,” Rinzler said. “There is no truth to the allegation that Shambhala fired me. Nor have I ever been involved in any inappropriate sexual behavior or interactions with any individual.”

A source close to the Shambhala community confirmed that it’s investigating Rinzler for alleged sexual misconduct and defended how senior Shambhala officials Judith Simmer-Brown and Adam Lobel have handled the allegation since the woman first raised it in 2013.

“Lobel, Simmer-Brown and supporters within the Shambhala community feel confident that they took all appropriate measures, offering ongoing support and follow ups for over 5 years,” the source said by email.

“Let’s just relax and see what happens”

Rinzler, 35, ran Shambhala’s local center in Boston, Mass., before co-founding MNDFL, a for-profit meditation studio with three locations in New York City where he’s currently chief spiritual officer. He’s the author of six books on Buddhism and mediation, and his work has been featured in The New York Times. (Disclosure: This reporter pet- and apartment-sat for Rinzler for a week in 2015, when they were acquainted through Buddhist writer circles on social media.)

The woman, “Amy,” who requested we withhold her real name for privacy reasons, described her interactions with Rinzler in an interview with ThinkProgress. They first met when she coordinated his visit to Portland, Ore., to promote his book Walk like a Buddha in October 2013. Amy had been active in Shambhala most of her adult life and was interested in teaching meditation, so she was looking forward to working with a young teacher she looked up to.

After they talked at Powell’s bookstore, Amy said Rinzler invited her out for a drink and later up to the apartment where he was staying for a nightcap. She found the invitation flattering at first. But when he moved in for a kiss, she said she clearly told him that she wasn’t interested.

“I remember literally putting my hand out and pushing him away,” Amy said. “Like, ‘No, I don’t want to kiss you.’ He said, ‘Well no, I’m just curious. Let’s just relax and see what happens.'”

By that point in the evening, she was too buzzed to drive herself home. Rinzler suggested she stay there and promised not to touch her, even offering to build a pillow “wall” between them.

But once they were in the bed, Amy said, Rinzler continued his unwanted advances and began trying to kiss and touch her yet again.

“I think some part of me was flattered,” she said. “But I was also just really not into it. [I was] just going along with it.”

In a last-ditch effort to get through to Rinzler, she told him again that she didn’t want to have sex, and when he asked why, she revealed that she’d been sexually abused in the past. Instead of offering understanding and empathy, Amy said, Rinzler suggested that sleeping with him could help her break through the trust issues from her past trauma.

Then he began to touch her again, and she froze. She felt paralyzed, she said in an interview — as if she wasn’t in control of her own body. Tired, drunk, and dissociated, she said that she performed oral sex on Rinzler in the hope it would make him stop.

“I thought, ‘OK, I’m doing this to get him off of me without having to have sex with him and just survive,'” she said.


“[J]ust survive”

Amy told two people about what happened over the next two weeks — a local Shambhala teacher and a teacher at another Shambhala center. Both corroborated her account to ThinkProgress.

The next day, after an unsatisfying apology from Rinzler, Amy told the first official, based at the local center, about what happened the night before. That official sent an email, obtained by ThinkProgress, to senior Shambhala officials Simmer-Brown and Lobel with a brief description of what allegedly happened and an offer to put them in touch with Amy for more details.

Simmer-Brown responded to the local official five days later to say she’d read the email to Rinzler — without asking Amy first or obtaining her permission.

Rinzler was “heartbroken” over the “real mistakes” he made with Amy, Simmer-Brown wrote. But her email portrayed those mistakes primarily as a violation of the student-teacher relationship — not as an issue of consent.

“[Rinzler] is only now realizing the ramifications of pressing his affections while in the role of a teacher of Shambhala,” she wrote. “He was not defensive, and was very honest with me about what happened. He is also deeply sorry for any harm he has caused.”

Other things that Lobel and Simmer-Brown said gave Amy pause, she said. In one conversation, for example, Simmer-Brown talked about how she’d known Rinzler since he was a kid, making Amy wonder whether she would be impartial. And after Amy told Lobel what happened, she said he responded with, “Wow, that sounds really confusing.”

“It made it clear he had doubts about what I was saying,” Amy told ThinkProgress.

Lobel and Simmer-Brown offered two options for moving forward — mediation between Amy and Rinzler, or Shambhala’s internal investigation process, called “Care and Conduct.” But after a back-and-forth with both teachers, Amy decided to let it drop.

“At that point, I honestly just wanted to forget about it and not keep getting thrown around these different people,” she said.


Lobel checked in with Amy in 2015, according to a source close to the Shambhala community. She didn’t pursue more support from Shambhala then. But Lobel reached out again this year, after a report in February by the advocacy group Buddhist Project Sunshine detailed anonymous accounts of sexual abuse within the Shambhala community.

“I’ve been thinking of you in the midst of the painful and massive learning about gender and power that we are going through in Shambhala,” Lobel wrote in an email obtained by ThinkProgress. “I am wondering how you are and how this is all feeling to you? If you would like to check in, I would appreciate it.”

After a second report by Buddhist Project Sunshine publicized several allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct against Shambhala’s head, Sakyong Mipham, Amy decided to finally move forward with a Care and Conduct investigation. On June 29, she sent Lobel a written account that detailed the incident and her subsequent conversations with Shambhala officials. It matches her account to ThinkProgress.

In separate statements to ThinkProgress, Lobel and Simmer-Brown said they’re glad Amy decided to pursue Shambhala’ formal complaint process.

“After what has now been a few years of offering support, suggesting opportunities for further assistance, and access to resources through Shambhala’s Care and Conduct process, I am pleased that the complainant has decided to take the formal steps she feels are necessary,” Lobel said in his statement. “I stand behind her decision and remain completely supportive of her journey through this process.”

“I have been concerned for [Amy’s] welfare, and hope she will find the healing she seeks,” Simmer-Brown’s statement said.

On July 1, two days after Amy sent Lobel her written account, he wrote back to say a center director had heard about the allegation of sexual misconduct and confronted Rinzler about it. That triggered questions from other centers about whether they should host Rinzler as he toured to promote his new book of Buddhist relationship advice, Love Hurts.

Shambhala asked the centers not to invite Rinzler for book talks while the investigation was pending, Lobel wrote. But Lobel speculated that the question from the center director may have tipped Rinzler off. Rinzler announced he was leaving Shambhala that same day in a post on his private Facebook page, screenshots of which were obtained by ThinkProgress.

In that post, Rinzler also offered his support for anyone who wanted to talk about their experience with sexual misconduct in Shambhala.

“I will hold space and listen and share my heart if you would like me to,” he wrote. “I am truly available to you.”

Do you have information about sexual misconduct in Shambhala or elsewhere? Contact reporter Joshua Eaton by email at jeaton@thinkprogress.org or by Signal at 202–684–1030.

CORRECTION: This article previously stated that Judith Simmer-Brown spoke with Lodro Rinzler before speaking with “Amy.” Simmer-Brown and Amy did speak before she spoke with Rinzler, but she did not ask Amy’s permission first.

UPDATE (7/24/2018, 9:37 a.m. ET): The statement from Adam Lobel has been updated.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:35 am

Part 1 of 10

Inside the Tiny Pathetic World of Sakyong Mipham
by allthewholeworld
January, 2019

Posted byu/allthewholeworld
27 days ago
I know more than anyone I see here in Reddit about SMR and the Court. If you would like, AMA
I know Mipham Mukpo very well. I know his wife too, I know his intimate daily life . I know his teachings as well or better than anyone currently involved with shambhala. I was one of his most intimate friends during the development of his current teaching career, the Scorpion Seal. Yes I know that sounds arrogant, but it is true. I know everyone on the Kalapa Council (the one that ended last year). I know most of the people who run his world, including his servants and secretaries. I know his patrons. I know that he is a terribly sick man who is a terribly dangerous man. There are seriously misinformed people in this reddit sub, and it is clear that people do not have access to the hard to hear facts about this man and his world. The Court is hardly a place where people iron napkins. Very few get behind the gates in Mukpo's life to witness first hand his mental illness and confusion, desperation, and very real sociopathy. I most certainly did, and I am definitely trying to help others get out of shambhala. That is my only intention here. I wish you the best, and will check in now and then to see if anyone has asked a question. If your questions seem sincere, I will respond.

level 1
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
Hello

I got home from work a couple hours ago and opened up reddit and well, this will take me time to work through. As I said, I will respond to questions one by one, and if someone seems to be asking for a private conversation, I will reach out through private message. Otherwise I will post publicly.

I will go through them carefully, and prioritize the messages that seem most urgent. And really, this is an honor for me to offer friendship to those who request it.

I know that some people are trying to out me. Don't worry, I will out myself soon enough, but that is on my timeline. The point is not who I am, the point is who you are, who you want to be, and is your life right now delivering you in that direction. Or in some other direction. We all are directing our lives to one end or another. Which direction are you driving? Whoops, there I went, addressing the acharyas again.

Because you have asked this again and again, I will repeat. Yes, I am still a dharma practitioner. I love the dharma more today than I even did when I first learned to meditate. Getting away from Shambhala helped this, but I still practiced even when I was "in". I think there are many, not just a few, excellent reliable guides in the various traditions of dharma practice, and although I choose to pursue mahamudra and dzogchen (it is what I learned first), I think that Theravada and Zen approaches have a lot to offer us.

In many ways I left Shambhala because I wanted a rich practice life, sort of like I had in the Vajradhatu days. Mipham killed that, it was dharmacide.

I am full of emotion at reading your replies, and I also laugh out loud with your hilarious wisecracks. Like I have said to some of you in PMs, I am interested in making sure the dharma takes root in the modern age, in a manner relevant to our capacity, and that we understand that dharma was taught so that we could attain enlightenment, and any form of enlightenment, be it from a Nikaya, Mahayana, Tantric, Sahajayana, or even modern mindfulness approach is worth pursuing and celebrating. And any stage of enlightenment in those traditions is one more stage than I have attained, so I gotta keep on practicing. But that is the joy of my life, and I have many, many companions who seem to feel the same. There is life after Shambhala, after Rigpa.

By the way, dharma practice is not particularly the practice of listening to a lama teach from a throne. Dharma practice is almost entirely about sitting quietly and entering meditative equipoise. Get the teachings, and then fold your mind into samadhi. That is where the real dharma will be found. Sorry, I am mostly a practitioner rather than a teacher, but it sounds like some of us have lost our connection to the simple transmission that Buddha gave to us.

level 2
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
Thank you so much OP, you've helped me find my lungta again. It makes me so happy that you intend to go public eventually with this. I was beginning to become depressed that the truth wouldn't come out and that people would continue to be deluded and tricked into joining this cult.

You are helping restore my confidence in the Dharma.

For what it's worth I know one acharya who indicated to me that he wasn't very close to the court and the center of that part of the mandala... But nonetheless he hasn't stepped down or spoken out against Mukpo which is very disappointing.

level 3
cedaro0o
25 days ago
Not surprising as Acharyas were specifically selected for loyalty, not merit, as is corroborated here and in Ethan Nichtern's stepping down statement, "We have our titles primarily because of the perception that we are loyal to Sakyong Mipham," https://www.ethannichtern.com/stepping- ... community/

level 4
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
I am Grateful that Ethan Nichtern talked openly about this. Disappointed that he seems to be the only major teacher to not sugar coat it.

level 5
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
Yeah, Ethan wrote well. He lost a lot of income in stepping down, and that probably slowed him in his response, having to have a plan b, and there is nothing wrong with that. People gotta live, and I think he has a baby now. I am glad for him, even though I don't know much about the NYC situation. Ethan is young and intelligent, and who knows how his ideas will transform as he explores the issues from a new perspective.

level 6
10drel
24 days ago
I hope that he will explore issues from a new perspective and not just seek to continue what he's gotten through Shambhala. He just started teaching a yearlong online course in Buddhism, broken into five modules, of which the last one is Warrior in the World. I fear he and others will find a way to freshen up the Shambhala brand without addressing the core problems.

level 7
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
Ethan Will wrestle with this, but I am going to predict that he will do something good. Might not please every single person, but none among us can accomplish such general popular opinion. If he seems to go astray post helpful remarks on his blog. He is not deaf, really. Help him.

level 7
fucking_giraffes
24 days ago
I share the same concerns. I’m in this course and have already requested Ethan hold a separate discussion around Shambhala. From the little that he has said so far in reference to Shambhala, he is not sugar-coating anything. Are you participating in it?

level 8
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
no, i gotta lot on my plate. glad it is good though.

level 8
Arupajhana7
23 days ago
I am not.

level 4
Jinpasertso
23 days ago
First, Ethan has NOT separated himself from Shambhala. He will be teaching with Rupa Acharya Suzann Duquette at KCL in March as part of their annual Shambhala retreat. He has stepped down as a Shastri for what that's worth. He was a big part of the NYC Shambhala Center along with Acharya Eric Spiegel and I imagine that he doesn't want to burn any bridges and dharma is his livelihood. And therein lies the rub.

level 5
cedaro0o
23 days ago
What rub? That one selected for loyalty stays loyal? Rather underlines the point.

level 5
Arupajhana7
23 days ago
Interesting combo... She is fiercely devoted to SMR. Her first reaction after the news broke was to minimize what happened and compared him to Milarepa (whose murders took place Before he started dharma) and tried to frame it as a teaching.

I hope he doesn't hold back in her presence.

level 6
Jinpasertso
8 days ago
I don't think he would ever change anything he says in her presence, and I don't think that she would expect him to. They have a pretty great dynamic. Acharya Duquette was fiercely devoted to VCTR and I am sure she will stand by the Sakyong as VCTR's dharma heir. Ethan is the next generation and they are all finding their way...so it is interesting times for the lineage. Dzigar Kongtrul is going to teach at the Boulder Shambhala Center so maybe things will open up...

level 7
Arupajhana7
7 days ago
I hope you are right that he won't censor himself while next to her. I agree she is fiercely devoted to SMR.

I hope she will make a public statement explaining this letter she wrote to KCL staff over the summer:

http://matthewremski.com/wordpress/shri ... annotated/

level 5
ketomike218
13 days ago
I find Ethan troubling. Not only because he is always pushing politics, but if you scroll back far enough on his Instagram, he used to gush about his guru and even repeatedly hashtagged those posts with #handsomeguru. Why a grown and supposedly wise man would point out handsomeness and attach it to guruhood seems very ridiculous to me.

Furthermore just because he admits shastris were chosen only for loyalty and not for merit doesn’t excuse the fact that he took the title willingly and knowingly. A person with more integrity and wisdom would have turned it down.

It reminds me of the scene in Quiz Show when Charlie is admitting he was given all the answers in advance and all the senators start applauding him for his honesty. Then one senator basically calls him out to say as a grown man he should have acted better. “You shouldn’t be congratulated for simply and at long last telling the truth.”

I’ve had some dealings with Ethan on Instagram and he seems to get very angry when people disagree with him. He strikes me as a very privileged and entitled person (go see how much tuition cost at his grade school and high school) who passive aggressively says “all the best” to people who dare to challenge his wisdom.

level 2
thebasketofeggs
19 days ago
If it isn’t too late to ask... You weren’t a spy all those years, so this perspective is new. How long did it take for you to see things this way? And what was the process? I’ve picked up bits of the answer from what you’ve posted, but if you could describe the process of breaking away, that could be helpful to many. It might also help people see you are not being vindictive. I don’t think you are. To me, it sounds like you are in a stage of separating. Maybe eventually it won’t feel so stark. Though of course, who knows. It may always... Anyway, I am grateful.

level 3
allthewholeworld
19 days ago
edited 19 days ago
not too late at all. I am preparing my "story" just as many of my friends are, so I will certainly tell this stuff to assist others with putting their lives together.

I am not vindictive, I am acting from moral outrage at both the abuses of mipham but also the utter failure of the acharyas and other leaders to do a damn thing in line with their obligation to protect the sangha and to uphold a noble human tradition that has taken the efforts of 2600 years to get to us. They treat it like it is just a meal ticket to protect. Buddhist Moral Outrage. I have friends who are spending their time and money seeking therapy to help repair years of abuse at the hands of Mipham, and I can't stand the weakness and cowardice of the Acharyas and others who just exhibit all the signs of cowardice and denial. These are people who describe themselves as warriors. They are nothing of the sort, and as you can see in my first post, I know them well. Cowards, which is why they are acharyas. Put a group of complicit cowards in charge, dirty them with misconduct so that they are complicit, and they cannot leave you.

I was kept out of anything that MjM didn't want me to see. He put on a good show for me, inviting me to civilized dinners and stuff. I was not an administrator, I was a practitioner and later an advisor to his vajrayana teaching activities
(which I was given, but which I did not practice much past a certain point). He handled me so that I would see him in the best light. Probably a lot of people like me throughout the years. So I was fooled, thinking "he's not a bad guy at all. maybe not a buddha, but a reasonable teacher."

I went through stages of grief as all will, and now am probably toward the end of the stage of depression and into acceptance.

I spent years in denial. years. I just couldn't fathom that the whole thing was a fraud. As you may have seen from my other posts, I didn't enter shambhala for either Mipham or Trungpa, I entered it at a time when all the great Kagyu Nyingma lamas were the main teachers, because Trungpa had been dead for almost 10 years, and Mipham was getting "trained". So my primary teachers were Khenpo Tsultrim and Thrangu Rinpoche and others. To me, Mipham was just the person who was holding the amazing venue together. Shambhala was a container for authentic buddhist teachings: that was the only reality I knew. It all changed in 2004.

My denial began to dissolve when I realized how compromised the acharyas were, and how compromised the dorje kasung were. I began to believe that Mipham was a good guy surrounded by incompetence, and so when I was invited by him to "help" I mostly looked around to see where the problem was. I didn't look at him. I was so blind, and I know that is how many still are. It can, of course, be repaired. Even the most cowardly of the acharyas (who I call out again and again as traitors to human welfare) can find their hearts and be courageous, but it won't be easy.

Denial began to dissolve and I had a long period that mixed anger and bargaining. that continued for a decade perhaps.

this is when my process of bargaining was in full swing. When you look at the posts and threads of all the people here and on FB, usually you see people in bargaining mode. this is where people want to say "well I really like the teachings, I don't think I need to get caught up in all the drama." or as Remski puts it, "I got mine-ism". That probably isn't bargaining, but it is also not exactly denial because there is a sense that things are rotten and a person uses a logical maneuver on themselves to avoid action. For me, bargaining lasted years, and my manifestation of it was "well at least we have the buddhadharma." I was holding on to the perceived purity of buddhadharma despite the fact that even it had been used by Mipham and others to terrify people into superstitious silence. Buddhadharma has nothing to do with what happened in shambhala, in my opinion. So, denial went on a long time.

But then, I saw what I saw, up close and personal, and it was so overwhelming to me that I left, after warning the Kalapa Council and a few others, and rebuilt my life. This was a three year period of depression,
but it was more like a thawing into spring. This has been an emergence out from depression to acceptance, if we are going to follow the traditional model (which I have found helpful).

So denial began around 2004 with the appointment of Adam Lobel who was as unfit for his role as mipham was unfit for his. I tuned out and just increased my solitary retreat in both number and length. Bargaining began around 2007 when I was able to meet Mingyur Rinpoche at the Boulder center and began to feel that "maybe there is still a chance if teachers like Mingyur are still welcome". I informed adam lobel that I was now studying with Mingyur, and he replied, as far as SMR was concerned I was free to study with anyone I wanted. so I stayed. But that message of openness seems to have been given to a mere few, and to many a very different message was given. At this time of bargaining, anger came in alongside, at seeing the defilement of the acharya system, which should have been the shining light of shambhala but was every bit as bad as Trump's administration.

my life is very good now. I am out, I have many other things going on, and every painful step of the way out of the mukpo maze was rewarded by the life I now have. For others, especially those deep in, with 20-40 years of activity, I think it can be quick and slow at the same time. People can emerge quickly, like having a moment of clarity that impels them to leave, but the lost years will need even more years of processing. Time spent in a cult can be like time spent as an alcoholic. You miss your life and don't grow. Thanks for your question.

level 4
thebasketofeggs
17 days ago
Thank you so much. May I share this away from Reddit. I can’t imagine you’d say no but thought it would be good to ask. Again, so many thanks.

level 5
allthewholeworld
17 days ago
all these posts are public in my mind, thank you thebasketofeggs

level 2
wabashcannonball108
24 days ago
I apologize for trying to “out” you. I respect your desire for anonymity but am so tired of all the sneaking around. I don’t agree with some of your opinions, but I think you have to be heard. Whether someone is adamantly defending SMR on one side, or seeking to utterly destroy on the other, is not the main thing. I am in the middle (I never got hooked and I just tolerated the zealots I encountered). The main thing is that neither side is really interacting. The keeners dismiss social media and therefore can’t listen, and the critics think the keeners are evil. I’m not a keener and each time in the last 23 years I’ve felt the impulse to be zealous it felt like a betrayal of my better sense, so I didn’t go there. I have written scathing letters to the KC and SMR in the past 8 months. I have openly derided the money and admin function for years. I do have the notion that this situation can somehow be healed through deep contrition on SMR’s part AND people not just bugging out. There is value in sticking together and working through it. When you left, I was sad and wondered what it would have looked like if people like you stuck around and simply spoke your mind- FROM WITHIN. I do it all the time and have never been marginalized or treated any worse than a curmudgeon. I think anonymity weaponizes the discussion. Maybe this process is part of your process to eventually write an open letter articulating all your experiences and opinions.

level 3
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
I should also say, with respect, that trying to out someone from anonymity while doing so from an anonymous handle is not the best you can do.

level 3
cedaro0o
24 days ago
Speaking out from within does nothing to warn away newcomers. I was sold on shambhala being a safe place for secular mindfulness meditation practice. I was sold a myth of mipham being a stand up straight arrow family guy. Only via project sunshine, survivors, and allies sharing stories OUTSIDE was I made aware of what lay in wait deeper in.

Look at most center websites and social media groups. None of this dark reality is warned. The propaganda remains the same. The myth building persists and what little is shared is either denied or minimized. Superficial changes are begrudgingly being glacially examined.

Monarch retreats are offered to spend a $1000 week under the gaze of the image of mipham. Opportunities to become $1000 a year Jewel Patrons are pushed. All this before the independent (not really) report is due back on him.

People have been struggling to work FROM WITHIN for decades with no success. Whistle blowing is the only ethical option at this point.

level 4
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
I must agree with cedar0o.

cults do not change into non cults. do they?

no evidence of that. where has an organization that ticks so many boxes of cult behavior ever cleaned up its act?

L Ron Hubbard has been dead for years, but his cult is as strong as ever.

Not saying it hasn't happened, but I study this stuff and have no such evidence.

level 3
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
hi wabash. i didn't know you tried to out me. i understand that, so no worries. I also appreciate your respect for the attempt to let the anonymity remain even though it rubs you wrong. it serves a purpose, at least for a while. anonymity creates the frenzy that cleans out people ears. causes people to read and reread, and in the process, they have to read information that doesn't accord with their view and sometimes it gets in. i am getting a lot of positive feedback about that particular thing: how important it is to do this anonymously, at least at first.

i wanted to change things from within, and in fact that is what I did for several years. but toward the end I was brutally silenced by a few acharyas who removed any part of the path forward for me. rather than stay inside and be silenced, I stepped away, caught my breath, and now its sort of a hello world situation.

do you like country music?

level 4
wabashcannonball108
24 days ago
I keep deleting my comments because I suck at computers. I do enjoy the odd ditty now that you mention. I still do not enjoy Karate Suits though. I’m an anonymity hypocrite no doubt. I just don’t want to see Shambhala less self critical, because it has suffered from being provincial for too long. How can an Acharya “silence” someone? I don’t listen to all the stuff they say. And I know you didn’t care about the title. A lot of people do programs with other teachers and nobody kicks them out of feasts. I still don’t get the “leaving” strategy.

level 5
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
how can an acharya silence someone? through intimidation: removal of access, public humiliation, threatening position, reforming consensus among powerholders to shame you. and of course, accusing one of disloyalty and working against the dharma.

I think you should spend about 20 hours genuinely reading moderns studies on cult behavior and organizational coercion. You have said a number of things which reveal that some things are just new ideas to you. I was there once, which is how I didn't see what was happening.

level 6
wabashcannonball108
24 days ago
If it’s a cult it’s a lame one because nobody tells me what to say or think, nobody guilts or manipulated me into giving money. Nobody has humiliated me or shunned me. You need to write up the instances of the kind of treatment you received and the individuals involved so they don’t do that anymore. Send me the write up and I would actually like to call them up and hear what the hell they were thinking. But “leaving” and making nonspecific allegations is not helping stop it. Maybe I need to get a Karate suit and wear it to understand. And? Does 20 hours of cult podcasts count?

level 7
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
I need to do what makes me feel like I am doing the best to encourage the conversation I set out to support. Your ideas aren't as persuasive to me as you want them to be. But i hope you keep posting and I will keep reading.

level 8
wabashcannonball108
23 days ago
Totally support you and hope we can just be regular friends. No need to agree on this. I was sitting down with someone who is a very longtime Shambhala person yesterday. I asked “howyadoing”. He said “well, considering it’s Don season pretty good, you?” I said “frankly how I’m doing has nothing to do with Don season cuz I don’t believe in that.” His eyes lit and he said, “you know neither do I”. We laughed. Take care.

level 9
allthewholeworld
21 days ago
i like friendship, it is actually one of the best things I have experienced. suggestion accepted. we'll just find time later to work out the details and have ourselves a beverage, a daytime one if you don't mind.

level 10
wabashcannonball108
20 days ago
Yeah daytime. If you get to the People's Republic let me know, or I will reach out if I'm in your neck.

CheredeDarievea
23 days ago
If it’s a cult it’s a lame one because nobody tells me what to say or think, nobody guilts or manipulated me into giving money.

I wish there were a better word than "cult" because that word conjures up images of Heaven's Gate or Scientology. In fact the term "cult dynamics" encompasses a whole range of often very subtle behavior manipulation techniques that aren't limited to religious groups, but can involve something as small as a family unit or as mundane as a workplace.

I totally hear what you mean by "If it's a cult then it's a lame one". That's something I myself could have said up until very recently. I had my Shambhala experience compartmentalized into "Well, I was a big boy and I knew what I was doing, and I could have left any time I wanted, but I didn't, and sure the whole thing was fucked up, but oh well." I won't try to explain why Shambhala qualifies as a bona fide cult here; that would be a big undertaking. I'd just like to re-iterate ATWW's advice that the matter deserves a second look.

Also, consider this: you might be Toydarian! i.e. you are immune from mind tricks. Seriously, you might have the kind of mind that cult dynamics don't work on. But that doesn't mean other vulnerable people around you were not experiencing them.

level 8
cedaro0o
22 days ago
Matthew Remski proposes the term, "high demand group" here instead of cult.

http://matthewremski.com/wordpress/talk ... #more-7823

level 9
CheredeDarievea
22 days ago
Matthew Remski's work is excellent.

level 8
wabashcannonball108
22 days ago
Toydarian! I need to look that one up. I think if an individual believes they have been "indoctrinated", then that view is completely valid and that person should receive support to heal. But when it gets weird for me is when that same person does THE EXACT SAME THING that is the worst part of Shambhala: telling people whose experience is different that there is something wrong with them or they are uninformed. Please! This is a root issue here, this craving for monolithic truth and total consensus. THAT feels more cultish to me than some Acharya bloviating about how perfect and precious the whole thing is. I watched the Reggie SMR thing explode first hand-- both sides were just CERTAIN the other was the enemy. That part was pathetic and insulting to me, but I stuck around because I like learning about Buddhism.

level 9
CheredeDarievea
22 days ago
telling people whose experience is different that there is something wrong with them or they are uninformed.

This is key. Tone policing and gaslighting are important techniques cults use to enforce conformity (maybe "high demand group" is better but I'm still getting used to saying that). And it's subtle. There are no conformity police walking around with sticks to beat you if you don't think the right way, but it's done verbally and socially exactly as you describe: your point of view is diminished or discarded, you are chided or patronized, told you don't have the whole teachings yet, you haven't attained the right levels, haven't been around Rinpoche enough, etc. Eventually you give up: you turn into Cool Hand Luke and get your mind right. Or, if you really think you are in the right and you persist and persist, then you turn into Reggie and you find yourself in the ejection seat.

I can remember being told we were all lineage holders. That we were all Mukpos. That we were all vajracharyas. Heck, every month at feast we exhorted ourselves to go out and gather disciples and teach. Who can blame Reggie [Reginald A. Ray], who reportedly had great talent as a teacher (never met him myself), for thinking he could function as a vajracharya in his own right but within the shadow of his own teacher's umbrella? It certainly has lots of precedent in the Tibetan system, and Reggie knew all about that system. Reggie Ray, for all his skill and wisdom, probably didn't know he was in a cult either, until too late. Surprise!

As for Toydarian, here you go. No, I'm not really that nerdy.

https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Toydarian

level 10
wabashcannonball108
20 days ago
Toydarian update: I'll accept the label but would prefer a more glamorous look. I know Reggie fairly well and studied Hin/Maha with him for several years when he was a newly minted Acharya. I really liked him and learned some things. He idealized CTR (whom I never met) to an extent that made me uncomfortable, but hey each to his own. Reggie had a messiah complex a little and knew how to push people's buttons. I have not spoken to him in years but I sense that he's a much happier person than he was back then. He tried to warn me that the Sakyong had problems with alcohol but I just thought he was throwing rocks. He used to drive a black jeep around SMC and some smartass I knew started calling him "Dr Death" because he liked to scare us about what happens if you don't practice. The Jeep would pull up and someone would say "look busy, here comes Dr. Death." He's a good guy.

level 5
wabashcannonball108
24 days ago
Also, worldguy, I watched another wall go up between Reggie and SMR and to you it seemed like an excellent at the time. Can we do it without that part?

level 4
wabashcannonball108
10 days ago
Sorry thefullnameof I can't be of help on that at this point.


level 1
Jinpasertso
23 days ago
edited 23 days ago
What I remember from my own seminary is how one particular kusung would act like a pimp and scout out potential partners for the SMR. It was like he'd sit up on his throne with his chapstick looking over the crowd and then later a kusung would approach a young, beautiful woman and ask her some questions, and the next thing said young woman would be invited to the Court where they would often wait around for hours before being called into to service him. So many of these young women thought that they were engaging in some kind of special tantric relationship with him that it blew my mind. And many of them were hurt when he discarded them like kleenex but chalked it up to it being a "teaching." What I am truly and sincerely confused by is how the Kasung are continuing to line up in their khaki to serve the Makkyi. For my own part I came to Shambhala in the mid-90's with heart full of longing and a life defined by trauma. I threw myself into the situation with every ounce of my soul and was ridiculously naive in my beliefs. That said I am grateful for having met and studied with some amazing teachers in the Kagyu/Nyingma lineages and I hold Khenpo Tsultrime Gyamtso on the top of my head. I was also told that I would never be a "senior teacher" because I was considered to be "disloyal" to the Sakyong when I questioned what I considered to be exploitative behaviors at the upper level of the organization.

level 2
allthewholeworld
22 days ago
that is not an inspiring memory to have, is it. you and I have had similar paths, and no doubt had a meal or two together. KTGR was my main person for years.

Like you, I cannot explain the continued loyalty to a community experience that so very many find unrewarding. People have been fleeing the court, a person in contact with the current court told me today. now they don't know what to do with raising their kids. what do you do if you don't have servants. I am going to ask my butler, maybe he knows.

level 1
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
and this just in: "have I heard about a sangyum who is posting about this?" I have and I think that person is the bravest person since Andrea Winn. maybe more, I don't know. I don't want her to feel dragged into this, but I do know of her and think she is a GIANT of courage. Courage in human form. If she wants to show up, you will see me respect her.

level 2
CheredeDarievea
25 days ago
Word on the street is, she'd like to talk to you too.

level 3
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
and I thought I was street smart. I'll pop my head out the window and look for the golden glow of courage that accompanies her everywhere!

level 2
Chaktsen
25 days ago
Actually,what you say is 100 percent true, the former sangyum you mention is extremely brave and sincere because she tells the truth about her own story and does so with complete honesty. She steps out and is willing to be genuine again and again. She has amazing courage and integrity. Andrea Winn cannot say the same, she uses other's stories to puff her ego and appear genuinely to be on the side of survivors, but has a huge way of taking credit for oh so much that she considers her accomplishments and exposures, which actually demeans the survivor's stories. No one should take credit for the pain and suffering survivors have endured. Beware of a wolf in sheep's clothing. The fact is she has a lot of the same qualities as the Sakyong, including that she uses people up, has serious issues with the truth, and even indulges in sexual harassment. If you check, it is easy to see. Check in with former volunteers of her organization, her financial reports, and survivors that have shared their stories with her only to hear versions of their stories slandered to others. It's sad that she has not yet been publicly exposed and that innocents continue to give money (that she pockets) to BPS.

level 3
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
a little information you could consider: i have a friend who experienced serious suicidal ideation recently, because of abuse by Mipham. An intervention followed, and she may be out of it. Without Andrea Winn's work, she wouldn't have been able to get out, I think. AW accomplished a lot, but may have done her own harm in the process— I didn't know any of that stuff. For people who have been helped, they don't need to know about AW's history. I am so glad my friend is alive, she means a lot to me and another suicide would have done me in.

level 4
Chaktsen
24 days ago
Equally, Andrea has caused tremendous harm to individuals that went to her as a resource. Your friend perhaps had a strength others didn't. Andrea's activity is not just in the past. She continues to slander survivors if they don't conform to her views and methods. She doesn't do so publicly but has no problem doing so in the backroom of BPS discussion groups. Did you know she has 2 backrooms to the BPS discussion groups where she discussed the personal stories of survivors, how volunteers were to respond to people and lots of slander, not to mention encouraging her volunteers to do the same? Most people don't know that and continue to take her at face value. In all honesty, your friends story was probably discussed there. It's sad. Because it means more cover up and dishonesty. Survivors usually have no idea they are being discussed in backroom.

level 5
hazulu
24 days ago
Nevertheless, Andrea Winn is the one who got the ball rolling, she almost single-handedly started a process that may well lead to the meltdown (long overdue) of this Shambhala charade. So give her some credit for that, please. And yes, she is a survivor too.

level 6
Chaktsen
24 days ago
No one does anything "Single handedly"...... Survivor stories shouldn't be her bread and butter. what she does with her own stories is up to her. What she does with other people's stories who trusted her, shouldn't be up to her. There are many factors regarding the Shambhala meltdown, never just one person's credit.

level 5
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
is this a PM? I can't tell. I knew none of what you just shared.

level 6
Chaktsen
24 days ago
It was but I'll leave it up. Sorry for any inconvenience.

level 3
EdmundButler
24 days ago
Perhaps you could cut her some slack given her own experience with sexual abuse in Shambhala? Clearly she, like all of us, is healing. Nobody should expect perfection in anybody else, but when a frightened voice finds its courage those of us who have the liberty to listen can afford to be generous. She has almost single handedly broken open the lid on abuse in Shambhala and inspired others more than can be known, or even admitted in some cases.

You say, "If you check, it's easy to see". Well I don't see it the way you do and I'm not a moron, so where does leave your assertion? Flat, I submit. Don't shoot the messenger because the message implies an immense amount of trauma for thousands of people here, as yet still unfolding as this post reveals in my view. There are people having suicide ideation about all of this so before you shoot down Andrea human shortcomings in bravely flagging a serial sex offender posing as a Wizard, put them in your heart maybe? At the very least present evidence to back up your salacious inuendos.

Short History of Buddhist Project Sunshine

February 27, 2017 [Launch date Buddhist Project Sunshine]

Project Sunshine is a one-year project that was launched on Shambhala Day 2017 [February 27, 2017

February 15, 2018 [Phase 1 Report]

I took this 1-year project on as one lone person who cares about the health of the Shambhala community. It was more work than I ever could have imagined! This has been done with my full heart, and I am grateful that I gave myself this gift, and that it will hopefully be received as a gift to the community.

My volunteer position radically scales down today. I will continue giving 5 hours of time a week to follow ups from the project, including fielding questions and contributing to the discussion in the Facebook forum that will be offered soon. If the community gathers energy to take further action needing a project manager, we will need to raise funds for that. But for now, let's just talk!

March 24, 2018 [Go Fund Me Page created]

Buddhist Project Sunshine Go Fund Me page created March 24, 2018
https://www.gofundme.com/project-sunshine-phase-2

June 28, 2018 [Phase 2 Report]

Next steps for Buddhist Project Sunshine

I began working on Project Sunshine in January 2017. It has been over a year and a half of gruelling work. I put my heart out in this way in the hope that genuine healing can happen for the Shambhala community. I am grateful for the healing that has already begun. At the same time I have gone into personal financial debt of $37,500. Therefore, as Buddhist Project Sunshine is coming to the end of the funds raised, I am going on a semi-sabbatical as of Friday June 29th as I begin a small paid job to make money to support myself. I will continue to host the Buddhist Project Sunshine Discussion Forum through July 31st, as promised.

In light of financial uncertainty, and in the hopes that Buddhist Project Sunshine can continue, I am initiating a dialog with a number of people who contributed to Phase 2. We will explore possibilities for group leadership of the project. All decisions about the future or possible closing of the project will be announced on the Buddhist Project Sunshine community email list....

Buddhist Project Sunshine is hosting a thriving moderated discussion group, including healthy discussion threads about Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s abuses and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s abuses. I (Andrea Winn) have specialized in the research and development of distance healing programs for the past 7 years. I have brought the best of what I know to designing a leading edge moderated discussion forum for anyone with a heart connection to Shambhala, so you can receive support for digesting this information and envisioning a bright future for yourself personally, and for the community. Learn more and register at: http://andreamwinn.com/offerings/projec ... ion_group/

July 31, 2018 [Buddhist Project Sunshine Discussion Forum shut down]

I will continue to host the Buddhist Project Sunshine Discussion Forum through July 31st, as promised.
http://andreamwinn.com/offerings/projec ... ion_group/

August 23, 2018 [Phase 3 Report]

Appendix 1: BPS 3-month organizational start up budget

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You can donate to Buddhist Project Sunshine at our on-going GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/project-sunshine-phase-2

***

Buddhist Project Sunshine needs your support

At the end of Phase 2 [Phase 2 Report was dated June 28, 2018], I announced I was retiring because I have been over working to achieve what we've achieved with this project, and I have gone into significant personal financial debt. However, there has been a continued need for the key role I have been playing. As well, there has been an outpouring of donations to Buddhist Project Sunshine. Two hundred and twenty three people have donated $16,564 since early April [Go Fund Me Page was created March 24, 2018], which is astounding! I am so grateful! So I have surrendered to the flow of goodness and continued my work.

I have formed and run this organization through heroic exertion and passionate focus. At this point a shift must happen, however, both for my own health and the health of BPS. We are not able to work at a scale appropriate to the needs of Shambhala's healing process without paid staff.

A member of our core leadership group did research and determined an appropriate 3-person staff structure for BPS running as a non-profit organization, with an Executive Director (myself), an Associate Director, and a Development Officer. We need an Associate Director to interview, support and manage our growing number of volunteers and a Development Officer to focus on getting charitable status and ensure our financial health through continued donations.

Over the past eight months, Shambhala International has chosen not to support Buddhist Project Sunshine in our efforts to support community healing or our investigation. Instead they have chosen to retain a separate, non-transparent investigation through Wickwire Holm and to hire An Olive Branch. It is clear that BPS will require community support outside of SI leadership to keep our work going.

I have prepared a 3-month budget with the intention of it giving us time to establish nonprofit status. The budget includes mid-range salary amounts for the three needed staff positions. I am including this 3-month budget in Appendix 1 with the hope that this work is proving meaningful enough to be supported in a more secure way. Since we must raise $47,000 in additional funds, this plan calls for seed money from major donors. We will gratefully receive emails to explore major donor relationships. I would like to speak with potential major donors personally. Please email: buddhistprojectsunshine@gmail.com .

Everyone can donate to Buddhist Project Sunshine at our on-going GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/project-sunshine-phase-2

I also feel it is important to share that by some cosmic karmic fluke, my core leadership group is unavailable for service as of this week (one is on family medical leave, another is on vacation, and another has taken a full time job). I will not have anyone answering Buddhist Project Sunshine email for the foreseeable future, so my ability to respond will undoubtedly be slow. Please be patient with our slow response for the next little while. I can assure you we will get to everyone's request as soon as possible.

February 4, 2019 [Buddhist Project Sunshine completed; Go Fund Me page shut down]

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$24,722 of $45,487 goal

With Buddhist Project Sunshine's mission complete, Andrea is closing her BPS social justice campaign February 4th, 2019

Without doubt, it can be said that the mission of Buddhist Project Sunshine has been accomplished at this point, and far more. The original mission was to bring healing light to the sexualized violence in Shambhala. That has happened beyond what I could ever have imagined two years ago, as in the last week the first Shambhala leader was arrested for sexually assaulting a minor and police investigations are now in progress with respect to Osel Mukpo and John Weber.

I am leaving the GofundMe campaign open until February 4th for anyone who would like to contribute to help me pay the debt I accumulated as I devoted my time and energy to BPS. My debt is $20,200. I made decisions along the way to continue to focus on BPS rather than shift my focus back to my coaching service because I personally needed the sexualized violence to be brought out into the light. I do not regret this. And now I am turning my attention to my own healing, paying my debt, and moving forward with a good life. I welcome financial help from those who feel they benefitted from my efforts. If you feel moved, you can contribute here.

I am sincerely grateful to every single person who contributed to the life changing positive work of this project.


level 4
Chaktsen
24 days ago
If only that same slack could be given to other survivors that don't ask for money, fame or a name from others suffering. It's not about perfection it is about transparency. Andrea DID NOT single handedly do anything! There were a lot of people that contributed to BPS and to making truths come out and sharing their stories. Do you know about the 2 backrooms of BPS? Ask around..... this is important. How would you feel if you were a survivor and knew that Andrea and her volunteers were discussing you behind your back and trying to decide how to best handle you? I was one of her victims, I don't need to prove anything. The pain I have endured from her negative activity is enough proof. I am not alone, ask other people that were involved in her organization and left. Chew this too: https://www.reddit.com/r/ShambhalaBuddh ... oughts_on/

Posted byu/Tsondru_Nordsin
Ex Mod/Ex Member5 months ago
Shastri Debbie McCubbin Provides Her Thoughts On Andrea Winn & Announces Intention To Step Down
Debbie McCubbin writes on Facebook

To start, I want to say clearly that I am not minimizing or challenging the important testimonies that have been publicized through Project Sunshine, and will most likely continue to surface for a while through various channels.

To the contrary -- as a result of these reports, I've chosen to step down as a Shastri for Mississauga and will be leaving the Shambhala community late this fall. (You see my previous post about stepping down by searching my name -- it's a comment under a post by Kathryn Rile for Julia Sagebien. If someone knows how to provide a link feel free to put that in the comments. ). I am incredibly appreciative and supportive of the brave people who have come forward, and hope that the Shambhala community can transform and heal through this crisis.

As I leave Shambhala, I want to offer some information that I hope will be helpful. Given that Andrea Winn and others have held Andrea up as a potential future leader or facilitator, I want to share a bit about my own experience. I was the Centre Director when Andrea left Toronto in 2002, and she also lived with me part-time for several months (currently I am not involved with Toronto, but another centre in the region, Mississauga). While the work she has done to bring these issues to light has been critical, I do feel that that shouldn't be confused with putting her into a leadership role, formal or informal.

Andrea has repeatedly mischaracterized what happened in Toronto at that time, though it's been hard to see a skillful way to raise that. Our Toronto Shambhala Centre council unanimously removed Andrea from leadership roles in 2002. There is a confidential report that was filed with the international Desung group at the time, about the reasons and the process our council went through. Andrea reporting sexual abuse was not part of that at all.

At the time Andrea did frequently share with others that she was involved in a Care and Conduct process with Shambhala International about sexual abuse when she was 16 (it was alleged to have occurred in Halifax, not Toronto); our issue was not that she shared that, but that she did it as a staff member at a Level V at great length, taking up time that was for participants. When she shared it as a participant or a colleague, there was no issue. She may believe what she is saying, as memory can be tricky; however, my memory about what happened in Toronto is supported by documents and emails from the time, as well as the recollections of other council members from that time.

From the report from that time, it is clear that the reasons for taking her out of leadership roles were her inability to work well with others; though she started out well, eventually most found her divisive, dishonest and manipulative. Some of her co-leaders in the LGBTQ group had appealed to the council to intervene, after many issues arose. In addition, her participation in the centre council as the rep for the LGBTQ group resulted in serious acrimony, after she took actions that were not agreed to by council, and then responded very aggressively when gently questioned about it. For some of these conflicts there is still an email trail preserved.

This situation caused about six months of intense suffering in our centre and many, many special council meetings as we worked through the countless issues that having her in a leadership role had created.

We did not 'kick her out of the centre' -- we took her out of two leadership roles. We eventually had to do it by email as she would not meet with the council to hear our concerns about her leadership style, despite repeated verbal and email invitations to do so. Again, this is well-documented in the report and by email trails.

As a result she chose to leave the Toronto centre. After she did leave, council members were approached by two community members who alleged additional serious and harmful misconduct on her part, that we hadn't previously known about. Neither wanted to file Care and Conduct complaints, as it seemed clear she had chosen to leave the centre; they just wanted us to know and to reinforce our decision to remove her from leadership.

So, while it is very important to support this work of transparency and change, I feel it is also important that members have this background information so that Andrea is not drawn into future Shambhala roles that would lead to more disharmony. I hope you can distinguish between my two intentions -- supporting the reporting of misconduct, while not supporting Andrea as a future leader in Shambhala.


Many of you know me and can guess how hard it is for me to post this. It's not my nature to be negative. I realize I am opening myself to criticism and part of me just wants to leave quietly! However, in my heart it doesn't feel right not to share this information about Andrea, and I feel that I am in a unique position to speak openly about this and help in a small way to create a better Shambhala for the future, even if I'm not part of it.


level 5
EdmundButler
23 days ago
So what is *your* direct experience here?

level 6
Chaktsen
3 points
23 days ago
I was a survivor that shared my story. I became a volunteer for BPS with the hope of helping fellow survivors. As a volunteer I found out about the BPS backrooms and saw that stories of survivors and what they were writing in the front room of BPS were being discussed behind the scenes. Volunteers discussed how they felt about the person, their stories and how to "handle" them this was done in a forum, private messages and in meetings. I also experienced Andrea telling volunteers how to manage people in the frontrooms. Finally, as a volunteer, I was abused directly by Andrea with her demeaning comments and aggressive requests, she even embarrassed me in front of other volunteers by making me sound low because I questioned what was happening. I began to question having a platform (backrooms as she called them) that the people in the "BPS front room" didn't know about. If survivors knew at the time that their stories were being shared on 2 other platforms behind their backs, I don't think as many people would have felt safe to share their experiences. I know I ended up feeling that way and it has caused me a lot of confusion, heartache and triggered me in many ways. There are other people that volunteered for BPS who know exactly what I am talking about. There are a lot of people that left the group because they did not feel that Andrea's method was kind.

level 7
EdmundButler
23 days ago
WOW. I'm so sorry your experience was so traumatic, in a situation where it appears you were seeking to be met with kindness, at the very least. I can only hope that you find the courage to speak your truth as a survivor, somehow, somewhere and in your own time. This last bit is paramount. You may feel, as I do, that others who don't know should be warned. It's so critical however to not attempt to warn before you feel you're ready to voice your heart.

It seems Andrea has not facilitated your voice, although it appears this was her intention. I sincerely hope you find a way to do this this, with or without the direct help of someone else.

level 8
Chaktsen
23 days ago
Thank you. I'm trying, I reached out to BPS because I thought it was a safe place. It's going to be awhile before I can do that again. I had kept my story quiet for a long time and thought finally there were others that communicated what they went through and it was similar to my experience. I am working with a therapist now one on one after the BPS fiasco, and hope that I will be able to communicate openly at some point about the abuses that I experienced while in the community. When I see Leslie Hayes speaking out, telling her truths and again and again standing up for the survivors instead of making them feel like they are something less than human I feel that there is hope for me. Leslie has never asked anyone for any money, she hasn't tried to become famous and she never uses survivor stories as a way to try and legitimize her own experiences. She's there for people. It is not the case with Andrea. I won't keep going on about it but I know that I am not the only survivor that was damaged by her.

level 9
EdmundButler
23 days ago
I think she's a very damaged person who has done a lot of healing, and feels more is required. That's purely my perception. That said, I was glad to meet Carol Merchasin via Andrea and felt they did a good thing together. It seems Carol corroborated the abuse Andrea suspected or knew was happening. That was so valuable in my view, and inspired me to publish my own story, which in turn inspired a friend to publish hers - a tale of abuse at Gampo Abbey.

I think there's so much trauma here that at times we lose sight of the benefit of being open with it - that of warning against. I don't mean to be simplistic - am I being? - and please know that I see you are in therapy and see that in itself, a;one, apart from all else and above all else as the most important thing. This was some crazy shit that went down. Don't doubt it!!

level 9
cedaro0o
23 days ago
As someone who was woken up from survivor stories, you have my deep sincere thanks. My sense was that most people who read the reports focused on Carol Merchasin's presentation of survivor stories and skipped Andrea's fluff.

I participated in the "Slack online chat forum" (Slack is the name of other online discussion tool) and witnessed on the front end the tensions you are speaking about with volunteers mentioning heated talk behind in the scenes. I wanted to share what I witnessed to corroborate your experience for others.

It is the survivor stories that are important. It is tragic that there was more pain through Andrea's process.


I wish you well in your healing. Please feel no obligation to do more than you've already done. I wish you health and happiness for your future!

level 10
Chaktsen
22 days ago
Just to say it somewhere: after my posts I received quite a number of really mean words in PMs about my speaking up about Andrea. It's kind of ironic. It's easy to make heroes and enemies, what's not easy is to be kind. I'm not lying. The BPS slack group 1-3 had a lot of poison and caused harm for people. Especially when people put their trust in the team, including in Andrea and then found out they were writing about them and their stories in closed forums without their knowledge, in the BPS backrooms. And that their private stories were shared with people they may not have wanted them shared with. If you want to make Andrea your heroine that's your choice and it has nothing to do with me. But equally, if I feel sadness and pain because of her actions, that should be ok too. We are all healing in some way and at some point, the survivors stories should become the priority and put in the forefront, not some concept of who started a communication about survivors or one single person's triumphs. Please check, there are other people out there that know exactly what I described about BPS and Andrea. There was a reason for the attrition rate of BPS support. If you want to keep supporting that organization that is your choice, but people have a right to know it is not pure in its activity and then they can decide on their own what they want to do. An organization that is suppose to be for survivors, that lies and manipulates them is probably not the best route for healing. But again, as long as people know how it functions in a transparent way, they can make their choice. I mean isn't that one of the big criticisms of Shambhala? Lack of transparency, using people and abuses? Why is it different in this scenario?

level 10
Chaktsen
23 days ago
Thank you so much. Heart rub.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:38 am

Part 2 of 10

level 1
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
edited 24 days ago
How did I get out? I left. That is all you can do. You have to realize that you will lose all your friends, all the people in Shambhala are going to ghost you forever. If Shambhala were not a cult, your friends would still be there. A company I worked for once but then left still employs many people who were once my friends. They still are! I am welcome to come visit, and I love to see them. Shambhala is not like that. As soon as you are perceived to have become disloyal, you are moved out. With me it was difficult because I had more access to Mipham than 94.3% of the people in Shambhala, and I generally had carte blanche. It was hard to move me out. But I left on my own. I spoke directly to the powers that be and told them I was done, I told them why, I told them what I felt their obligations were given what we all knew about Mipham and the Kalapa Council. And then I left. Mipham was avoiding me at that time. He freezes people out of his life inexplicably. He might spend every day with you for weeks or months, and then six months go by without communication. He did this to Josh and to Jesse and probably to Adam too. And to me here and there. But I was not all in like they were. I still had a life, and most important to this point of how I got out: I had other teachers, or should I say, actual teachers. I had been studying Kagyu-Nyingma dharma for a very long time, and had samaya with some heavyweights who never disgraced themselves or the dharma. I did not need Shambhala, unlike so many people within who know nothing of the larger buddhist world. They do not have anything to measure it by. They are not educated, they are homeschooled by a Mukpo-style system, which is to say a system the glorifies itself, denigrates everyone else, and provides little nourishment.

Also, I knew that Mipham is a poser, not a vajrayana master, and he is simply not capable of binding samaya with anyone. No one has samaya with him, because he is incapable of binding samaya. He doesn't have the qualifications of a vajra master, and that renders his abhishekas inoperative. What qualifications? Well, in particular ​he very very clearly doesn't have even the slightest hint of bodhichitta. Also, he is not realized (edit-I don't know if he is realized. I shouldn't say this. But c'mon, there is nothing to suggest that he is, imo). Samaya is not merely a verbal agreement between two parties. It requires two factors, 1) a qualified master, and 2) a qualified student. There is no qualified master in Shambhala, and very, very few qualified students. Thus, people can relax about their "samayas" because they just went through the motions with a fake. They can leave. No karmic retribution for leaving Mipham Mukpo. He is a performer, an actor, a con man. He is not a lama. He received only the most rudimentary training by lamas who took pity on the situation. He is a turd wrapped in brocade. Really. he has been my friend for twenty something years, but I have to admit, he is the worst person I know. When I left him, it was the first time I felt truly clean in decades. He used samaya to scare people. What a punk he is.

this has been a lot to write, and it is a lot for someone to read. I'll check back later to see if there is more. Hopefully you are getting that I am not a troll or that I am pretending to be something I am not.

level 2
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
What other teachers did you have?

When you left Shambhala, what was that like? How did you cope/manage?

level 3
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
edited 24 days ago
I have studied under many of the Kagyu and Nyingma lamas that other Vajradhatu people studied with, some deceased.

It was really painful to leave, most of all because nobody could fathom why I would leave. Now I know that they were gaslighting me. Gaslighting is a new concept to me, but I have done my research on it, and wow, that is what shambhala is. The acharyas are employed to gaslight. Otherwise they would help people move on, not encourage them to "practice more".

Gaslighting is a malicious and hidden form of mental and emotional abuse, designed to plant seeds of self-doubt and alter your perception of reality. Like all abuse, it's based on the need for power, control, or concealment. Some people occasionally lie or use denial to avoid taking responsibility. They may forget or remember conversations and events differently than you do, or they may have no recollection — say, due to a blackout if they were drinking. These situations are sometimes called gaslighting, but the term actually refers to a deliberate pattern of manipulation calculated to make the victim trust the perpetrator while doubting his or her own perceptions or sanity, similar to brainwashing. (See “How to Spot Manipulation.”)

The term derives from the play of the same title, and later, the film with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer in which Bergman plays a sensitive, trusting wife struggling to preserve her identity in an abusive marriage to Boyer, who tries to convince her that she’s ill in order to keep her from learning the truth.

Gaslighting Behavior

As in the movie, the perpetrator often acts concerned and kind to dispel suspicions. Someone capable of persistent lying and manipulation is also quite capable of being charming and seductive. Often the relationship begins that way. When the gaslighting starts, you might even feel guilty for doubting a person you’ve come to trust. To further play with your mind, an abuser might offer evidence to show that you’re wrong or question your memory or senses. More justification and explanation, including expressions of love and flattery, are concocted to confuse you and reason away any discrepancies in the liar’s story. You get temporary reassurance, but you increasingly doubt your own senses, ignore your gut, and become more confused.

The person gaslighting you might act hurt and indignant or play the victim when challenged or questioned. Covert manipulation can easily turn into overt abuse, with accusations that you’re distrustful, ungrateful, unkind, overly sensitive, dishonest, stupid, insecure, crazy, or abusive. Abuse might escalate to anger and intimidation with punishment, threats, or bullying if you don’t accept the false version of reality.


Gaslighting can take place in the workplace or in any relationship. Generally, it concerns control, infidelity, or money. A typical scenario is when an intimate partner lies to conceal a relationship with someone else. In other cases, it may be to conceal gambling debts or stock or investment losses. The manipulator is often a narcissist, addict, or a sociopath, particularly if gaslighting is premeditated or used to cover up a crime. In one case, a sociopath was stealing from his girlfriend whose apartment he shared. She gave him money each month to pay the landlord, but he kept it. He hacked into her credit cards and bank accounts, but was so devious that to induce her trust he bought her gifts with her money and pretended to help her find the hacker. It was only when the landlord eventually informed her that she was way behind in the rent that she discovered her boyfriend’s treachery.

When the motive is purely control, a spouse might use shame to undermine his or her partner’s confidence, loyalty, or intelligence. A wife might attack her husband’s manhood and manipulate him by calling him weak or spineless. A husband might undermine his wife’s self-esteem by criticizing her looks or competence professionally or as a mother. To further isolate the victim and gain greater control, a typical tactic is either to claim that friends or relatives agree with the manipulator, or to disparage them so that that they cannot be trusted. A similar strategy is employed to undermine the partner’s relationships with friends and relatives by accusing him or her of disloyalty.

Effects of Gaslighting

Gaslighting can be very insidious the longer it occurs. Initially, you may not realize you’re being affected by it, but gradually you lose trust in your own instincts and perceptions. It can be very damaging, particularly in a relationship built on trust and love. Love and attachment are strong incentives to believe the lies and manipulation. We use denial, because we would rather believe the lie than the truth, which might precipitate a painful breakup.

Gaslighting can damage our self-confidence and self-esteem, our trust in ourselves and reality, and our openness to love again. If it involves verbal abuse, we may believe the truth of the abuser’s criticisms and continue to blame and judge ourselves, even after the relationship is over. Many abusers put down and intimidate their partners to make them dependent, so that they won’t leave. Examples are: “You’ll never find anyone as good as me,” “The grass isn’t greener,” or “No one else would put up with you.”

Recovering from a breakup or divorce can be more difficult when we’ve been in denial about problems in the relationship. Denial often continues even after the truth comes out. In the story described above, the woman got engaged to her boyfriend — even after she found out what he’d done. It takes time for us to reinterpret our experience in light of all the facts, once they become known. It can be quite confusing, because we may love the charmer, but hate the abuser. This is especially true if all the bad behavior was out of sight, and memories of the relationship were mostly positive. We lose not only the relationship and the person we loved and/or shared a life with, but also our trust in ourselves and future relationships. Even if we don’t leave, the relationship is forever changed. In some cases, when both partners are motivated to stay and work together in conjoint therapy, the relationship can be strengthened and the past forgiven.

Recovery From Gaslighting

Learn to identify the perpetrator’s behavior patterns, and realize that they’re due to his or her insecurity and shame, not yours. Then get help: It’s critical that you have a strong support system to validate your reality in order to combat gaslighting. Isolation makes the problem worse and relinquishes your power to the abuser. You could join Codependents Anonymous, along with seeking counseling.

After you acknowledge what’s going on, you’ll be better able to detach and stop believing or reacting to falsehoods, even though you may want to. You’ll also realize that the gaslighting is occurring due to your partner’s serious character problems. It does not reflect on you, nor can you change someone else. For an abuser to change, it takes willingness and effort by both partners. Sometimes when one person changes, the other also does so in response. However, if he or she is an addict or has a personality disorder, change is difficult. (To assess your relationship and effectively confront unwanted behavior, see the book Dealing with a Narcissist: 8 Steps to Raise Self-Esteem and Set Boundaries with Difficult People.)

Once victims come out of denial, it’s common for them to mentally want to redo the past. They’re often self-critical for not having trusted themselves or stood up to the abuse. Don’t do this! Instead of perpetuating self-abuse, learn more about how to stop self-criticism and raise your self-esteem. (For more on how to stop abuse, see the book How to Be Assertive and Set Boundaries.)

-- How to Know If You're a Victim of Gaslighting: Spot the behavior and the side effects, and begin recovery, by Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT


I lost a hundred friends, and spent many years trusting people who came to reveal themselves as untrustworthy. I also befriended many people who were born into shambhala, and have since suffered greatly in learning about the terrible fate they face if they try to get out. Second-generation cult members face terrible odds.

I have a deep social network, and am connected with many practitioners from other sanghas, so when I let people like that know that I was leaving, people absolutely rallied around me and helped me move on. I was also able to talk to lamas, all of whom were like "you are safe here, move away from there." I was lucky because I was educated in dharma before Mipham and the acharyas perverted the spirit of dharma education into a mechanism of capture: exclusively loyal to Trungpa-Jong Il and Mipham-Jong Un. Many of the acharyas are far too stupefied by their own impoverished existence to recognize what they are doing. I had options. But the sadness and feeling of betrayal was not easy and i really encourage anyone reading this who is looking to leave to secure friendships outside of shambhala for a few months if you can so that you have people who understand what you are about to do. You need human community because you have been exploited and abused, and its going to hurt for a while. but you can get through it. And you don't need to jump into another community right away, or ever. Especially if you have friends. Get counseling. Read good books about leaving cults. Take this seriously.

However, when you have moved beyond, you can turn state's witness, so to speak, and take it down responsibly.

Shambhala is a cult. But it is more important to get out of it than it is to take it down. This is not the same thing as simply a rogue guru who needs to be exposed (as per the Dalai Lama's instruction). This is that, but it is a much deeper thing. It is also a very old (50 years or so) culture that hijacks people's critical thinking and spreads a strong message of denial from day one. Get out, then, a few years on, help others get out. That is at least how I am doing it.

thank you for your question, and good luck to you in your life

level 5
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
you are not deluded, but all that is gone now. and you will probably have to reconsider your ideas of Chogyam Trungpa if you choose to learn about the emerging narrative that was silenced. Same to some extent with Pema.

AHHH: Europe. Yes that changes things. Much more sane community, and always one that was kept out of the scandal by sheer distance. The european sangha is lovely, in my experience. good for you.

Your MI is most likely not aware of anything. Shambhala does not attract or keep people who have penetrating or uncompromising intellect. That is not to say they are not kind and good people. But there are zero matthew remskis in shambhala, for example.

A question you may face now that shambhala is unravelling and the hidden story is emerging is: do you want to stay attached to something that is rotten at the core? that is a hard decision. I am happy to talk privately if you think that would be helpful. but my agenda should be clear: get out.

level 4
Arupajhana7
23 days ago
What are some good books about leaving cults?

level 5
DismalPerformance
18 days ago
The best "book" for leaving something you are very deep into is "It's all over now Baby Blue.. Bob Dylan..

level 2
kweenofkats
23 days ago
This post is enormously heartening to me. To cut through the fear of breaking a vow, to give permission to walk away is so benevolent. I am super grateful and touched by your words. I left in August after an ugly encounter with Kate Raddock and Emily Bower. I saw the cult for what it was then but now seeing that the Sakyong is a fraud, I feel my grief giving way to relief. Thank you so much.

level 1
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
the title of my original post
you all realize that the title of this post, about how I know more than anyone, referred to "anyone on this subreddit, as of yesterday before I posted", right? I was talking to a collection of 30 people or less, who seemed like they could benefit from a little info drop. I used a tone that seems pretty normal for reddit, and it is one of "c'mon, lets get into this". At the time, there were a handful of posts, not often updated, that were hashing out really bad information and I just couldn't take it anymore. Then you all showed up. I didn't expect that. Anyway don't get too offended, I am not like that.

I am no longer more knowledgeable than everyone here. I recognize quite a few people already, and there are some people who have a lot to say, if they so choose.

BTW: coming across as a "know it all" simply gets people to pay attention and then you can show them you are just teasing, just wanting to get a conversation going. people like a challenge, they enjoy it, and they enter into it with a good spirit, as the early posts in this thread show. almost everyone seems to have gotten that, but I fear some others don't know how wry humor works. This is how I excel at parties. I do not see myself as the most knowledgeable person here. but i am not going to shut up, either.


level 1
beaudega1
24 days ago
Bravo, thank you for doing this. I think it will be immensely valuable for this discussion to happen in public and out of the reach of the censors in the Facebook group and elsewhere. Word will get around that this place is open for business and not easily kiboshed.

I have been following the recent public revelations closely and with great interest although I left the community some time ago. I was heavily involved from 2000-2010ish, but was never remotely in the inner circle. Like you, I had a certain amount of experience with other lamas and sanghas before diving into Shambhala fully.

I could see various signs that things were not right fairly early on, but for me it was the way that samaya was handled at my VY seminary that was the first big turn off for me. It was foisted on us in a way that was so antithetical to the values of genuineness and openness that we purported to champion.

The first shoe really dropped for me though when I came back from seminary and read Stephen Butterfield’s memoir. When all is said and done I hope he is recognized (albeit posthumously) as one of the real warriors. His honest, kind, brave, and funny book mirrored my experience back to me and gave me permission to acknowledge it.

Then a Google search led me inadvertently to Nancy Steinbeck’s similarly wonderful book around 2008, which I had never even heard of. After reading those revelations it was clear to me that the community was built on deep and pervasive dishonesty. Another real actual fucking warrior, thank you Mrs. Steinbeck if you see this. After that I was done for good although it took me a while longer to fully disengage. Thank you also to Leslie Hayes, Andrea Winn, and everyone who has come forward and spoken out about the truth of this sorry situation.

Kiki VanDeWeghe!

level 2
TharpaKunga
23 days ago
edited 23 days ago
That’s a good post! I was around and quite involved from about 2004 to 2016. Things fell apart for me at my VY seminary when SMR swept in with his retinue, gave a talk about money and the need for every man jack in the room to give an awful lot more of it to Shambhala, then took off in a fleet of limos to a private residence up the road. First time I’d ever met him. Thing is, this was in 2011 amid austerity Europe when old age pensioners were sleeping rough on the streets of Athens, morphine supplies had run out in the Ukraine and regular folks were very worried that the banks and thus their jobs and savings were about to vapourize. Turning up in the midst of that with butler/chef types plus bling and talking about money struck me as in unusual taste, shall we say. The last time I saw SMR at that seminary he looked waxy and unshaven and I thought “hangover”. I knew there and then that samaya and the guru thing was never, ever going to happen with this one.

I struggled on for a few more years but it was never the same and in the end persistent abuse from a senior teacher did for me. This person always flatly denied stories about VCTR and alcohol, dismissing them as “lies, all lies”. Questioning this would provoke a temper explosion. Denial is so, so powerful.

Really, it’s incredible how Shambhala has been able to get away with it for so long. But it looks as if that karma moment has now arrived. Many good decent people still there at my old centre. It’s far, far away from North America and they deserved so much better. Very fond memories of good times there despite all the confusion. I think of them often and hope they will be OK. Chogyam Trungpa’s dharma is still the dharma I follow for what it’s worth. Perhaps distance makes it clearer.

And, yup, my impression is that the main Facebook group is heavily manipulated.

level 3
beaudega1
20 days ago
edited 20 days ago
Yes, there were many decent, wonderful people I met in the community and I’m sure there still are. Naturally the most irreverent people were always my favorites. It is quite a shame that we were all exploited financially, and of course sexually in the most awful cases.

It gradually became clear to me that Osel Mukpo could not care less about his students. At some point I heard the rumors about him having the kasung cull attractive women from his talks for private sexual encounters. It was evident to me that I was very unwelcome to ask whether it was perhaps inappropriate that he stay at a world famous luxury hotel on one of his few visits over the years to us, one of his largest centers. I’d heard about him making ridiculous grandiose pronouncements about how many tens of thousands of members we were going to have in the near future. I remember him trying to ingratiate himself with Goldman Sachs (right, as it turned out, before the financial crisis in 2007).

Then there were his fickle initiatives like Mipham the Great Day and “Shambhala Yoga,” which were heralded as major developments but which everyone knew would soon be never heard of again. There was that year he supposedly spent in “deep retreat” around 2010 (ATWW-I’d love to hear about what he actually did that year, they couldn’t be bothered to tell us much about it) and a funding campaign was launched demanding the several hundred thousand dollars in salary and expenses he felt entitled to annually regardless of what he was doing. The Karmapa received a little grudging acknowledgement when he was first able to visit the US before even that went out the window soon after and the Kagyu lineage went completely out with the trash. The Pope-Emperor would rather rape, er, rule his world without any outside oversight, thank you. His infant daughters were to be exalted with “Jetsun,” an honorific theretofore limited pretty much to Milarepa. Oh and that other abusive cult leader Penor Rinpoche empowered, "the Buddha from Brooklyn."

I’m just glad I was gone for the last few years when it sounds like all of the practices and chants were revised to be pure Osel Mukpo jerk off.


level 1
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
some have asked if I felt abused. Yes, of course I did, but it was a type that was hard for me to see and basically functioned to shut down my creative spirit and intellect. I was depressed in my time there, and it took a lot of time to realize it was a symptom of being in a bad situation. I am amazed to find myself not depressed. I feel like I did before I entered shambhala. I was slow to get out, and too proud to ask for help. took its toll on me. but i got out!

level 2
CheredeDarievea
25 days ago
too proud to ask for help

I feel that.

level 2
BaronAsh
23 days ago
I get that completely. And now I'm also getting the many levels of meaning the word 'abuse' has, which is relaxing.

level 1
CheredeDarievea
26 days ago
This is wonderful. I'm so glad to have stumbled on your truth-telling, allthewholeworld. My last contact with Mipham was in 2001 and I was never "inner court" (though I served at the pre-court Kalapa Camp whenever I could), so I cannot confirm or deny much of what you say above, but it rings true to me.

I can confirm, though, the difficulty of getting out of the Shambhala cult for some people, and I am thrilled that you are helping others peel away from that freakshow. I was partway through my Chakrasamvara retreat cycle when I lost heart, and I lingered on the fringes for years after that, before finally giving myself permission to throw my so-called samaya on the trash-heap and walk away. It was a huge relief when I did that because you're right, the samaya I held was nothing.

I had to work through all that on my own without any kind of counseling or debrief, and it was hard and sad. So here's a question for you, allthewholeworld: what kind of support are you offering to people who are trying to "get out"? Or if you think that might be too self-identifying, what advice would you suggest for people struggling with the decision to leave?

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
you are an actual warrior. you own that term. thank you for posting and I look forward to anything more you offer.

I am offering help to people who know to reach out to me directly. I am overwhelmed with that and don't have anything in place to help people from afar who I haven't met. But I can find ways to talk to brothers and sisters in need that help me preserve what little privacy I can. If you need to talk, I need to listen.

level 3
CheredeDarievea
26 days ago
Thank you. I think that most of what I need to say I can say publicly-- so I'll just hang out here and contribute when I can. I'm glad you are extending yourself with the offer of private conversations, though; I'll bet there are people who will welcome that.

level 1
breathing216
24 days ago
edited 24 days ago
Thank you for your replies to my other posts. As some others have also suggested, do you think you will be able to provide more “objective” descriptions of some of the things you saw at the court? Like instances where he treated his students badly, examples where he was manipulated by the people around him, or when he acted in ways which were not in the better interest of his students? (I mean literally telling the story of such cases, like narrating them.)

Having concrete examples of such behavior would be helpful
(for me, but I am sure for others as well) because most of us have only seen him in limited and usually very controlled public circumstances. I have not seen the things you saw, and I think deconstructing (even in my own mind) the “mythology” surrounding the Sakyong will take more than general impressions conveyed by others. Facts have more weight than opinions, especially when we feel we can come to our own conclusions based on these facts.

I also think this would lead to asking tougher questions to Shambhala “officials”, when they will try to minimize or ignore what is being discussed here.

Thank you in advance.

level 2
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
got a few scenarios done, just want to check consent of another person before i post.

level 2
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
this. thank you. i needed that request, wouldn't have occurred to me otherwise. I see why that would be helpful. let me catch my breath and get back later

level 1
federvar
26 days ago
I would be very interested on understanding better the rol that the whole of the community there at the court has in all of the enabling, if it has any. To which extent is it possible to be there and not notice? How many of the teachers and people in "high positions" were aware and /or complicit -aprox-? Do you believe that restorative justice and healing -and surviving of the lineage- is possible?

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
edited 24 days ago
this is a wonderful question, and I agree that understanding this can go a long way to grasping the craziness of the whole thing.

The KC, the court, has gone through many phases, and some phases were more true to the original or popular vision of what it is. In that vision it is a place where subjects of the king go to serve him as a part of the path. To them, it is a practice, a way of giving to the one who has given so much. I have never seen a phase of the court which was even remotely like that, even though there were times when it was an ok place for someone like me to be, to make friends, to meet with mipham, etc. But it was, from day one in Mipham's reign, a place for him to get his needs met. All he wanted to be was famous. That is the single goal Mipham has for his life. And rich, but he has never worked a job, and has been fed the notion that he should live like the king of any nation lives, and so money was something provided to him, not something he needed to manage himself. He is a pauper who begs money from millionaires in an effort to live like a billionaire.

The Acharyas are 100% complicit in every facet of Mipham's abusiveness. they are almost all washed up people with terribly tiny lives and no future options who have degraded themselves again and again and again to become worthy of the most embarrassing pin in all of Shambhala. When they have made it clear that loyalty is their only concern in life, and if they can perform a function for his ever expanding need for praise (such as getting up in front of 300 people and gushing about his inconceivable qualities), he may give them a chance to become an acharya. Most of the acharyas are B-level, or C-level buddhist teachers, if that. There are a few bright minds, but those minds inhabit deeply compromised personalities.
Notice how not a single acharya has stepped down? That should tell you everything. Every one of them knew about his sexual predation and financial predation and none of them did a damn thing. They are utter, utter cowards.

The chief among them was Adam Lobel.


Image
Adam Lobel

Not because of his dharmic qualities, but because he seized the power they all so desperately wanted and then he bullied them. Adam is another sick member of the abusive team. He wanted to be number one, but realized that because of the structure, he could only be the guy next to number one. But Adam also (because obviously Adam is highly intelligent and can be skillfully diplomatic) realized that Mipham was way in over his head. Mipham wanted nothing to do with running Shambhala or teaching students, he didn't want to bother over curriculum or training of new people. To Mipham, the students in shambhala are a burden, a hassle. He doesn't want to be hassled with news that someone is dying of heart disease, or that someone's child died yesterday. he would actually yell at people not to pollute his space with such information. (his own students). To him, the members of shambhala are just cows in a large herd he owns. Adam came in, took over almost everything, distributed none of that power, and began to turn the acharya system into one of control. The Acharyas are broken souls, sorry to say. I know almost all of them, and I was their peer. I look at them as the most compromised people in modern buddhism. They are at the bottom of the buddhist world.

The court is a place to groom people for servitude. When Mipham married he was under great pressure to stop manipulating his students into sexual servitude, and most of the people in his court do not have enough money for him to extract, so he used them for narcissistic supply. The worst abuse happens with his kusung, who are his close attendants. They hand him the toilet paper when he shits. They clean up his $3000 array of cosmetics in his bathroom. He is a slob, by the way. nothing elegant about his inside life. I know first hand.

I do not believe that restorative justice is possible because it is based on a fake lineage, it is all lies. There is nothing to save. Do you think Scientology can be rehabilitated? I don't. It is a cult based on sickness of L Ron Hubbard. It is a tumor. Shambhala is just like that. By the time Trungpa was teaching Shambhala, he was experiencing severe dementia. He was cruel, he was violent, he was off the rails with drug and alcohol abuse. He was every bit as narcissistic as Mipham. The brain is a soft tissue organ, not an indestructible vajra, and he damaged his. And as his brain went, he turned into his own shadow. In buddhism this is called rudrahood. That is the story of shambhala. He appointed two successors, one a predatory abuser and severe alcoholic who died in 1990, and his son, whose level of trauma should always factor into any conversation about him. Shambhala is a parasite on the dharma, it is an imposter, a pirate. It is something to feel shame toward, if one was involved.
Leaving Shambhala is not that far from leaving a white supremacy movement.

The position of monarch and head of state is inherited, lately through the Windsor family line. The Windsors are white and only their descendants are eligible to be king or queen; only their first-born can be the British head of state....

The system of monarchy is, by default, racist....

Whichever way the defenders of royalty try to spin it, there is no escaping the fact that non-white people are excluded from holding the title of British head of state -– at least for the foreseeable future.

When the Queen dies, her role as head of state will pass to her first-born son, Charles. When he is dead, the head of state title will pass to his first-born son, William, and so on. From white person to white person to white person. No blacks need apply. The all-white Windsor family has the exclusive franchise on the office of head of state....

If Prince William was killed in a helicopter crash, we'd eventually end up with King Harry, notorious for his Nazi fancy dress and "Paki" jibe. And we could not get rid of him, no matter how many more insults he hurled and no matter how badly he did his job.

-- Our system of monarchy is racist, by Peter Tatchell


But you have to penetrate through the secrecy to get what is going on at the center, and that just isn't possible for most people. they will never be invited in. My situation was bizarre, and I still wonder what Mipham was thinking by bringing me so directly into his innermost world where I saw, in relatively short order, that he was a sociopath. I was nauseous for a full year after seeing him in full blown narcissistic and sociopathic (by the way, I do know what those words mean. Mipham is one of the few who are afflicted with both narcissism and sociopath, which is what some people call "malignant narcissism"). I spoke to several of his close people about it, including the three members of the Kalapa Council. Two of them admitted it. None of them have left. They are serving their own needs by keeping their power.

This is not something that I would generally talk about if people were not in harms way. Why bring up a person's mental illness? You do so because they are dangerous to others. Shambhala members are in harms way. Some people have become suicidal around Mipham's abuses, and not a single acharya or kusung or administrator is speaking out about that, and therefore the larger community lives without this knowledge. Why the silence among the acharyas and leaders? Because of warriorship and courage? No, of course not. because of cowardice and fear, the very combo their Shambhala practices are supposed to be overcoming.


People need to move on, but you have to understand that shambhala was a place where thousands of people with untreated trauma came to find a home. It is a collection of very traumatized people, and they don't make good decisions, and don't face facts. They have been abused for their entire career in shambhala, but they don't recognize it. Of the 20 or so women who are my friends and who were sexually abused by Mipham, not a single one of them has spoken out. Actually one of them has. She is case #1 in the last BPS report. She spoke out and continues to do so. Several of them are in therapy, probably more than I know. Yet they are silent. That is the culture of shambhala.

level 3
cedaro0o
26 days ago
I was never near court. I was a secular guide in a small local center. I have known shashtris, I have met acharyas. I have met people who were kasung for trungpa. For the past year I have been listening to insiders and survivors speak their experiences. Your description here is in close alignment with everything corroborated witnesses have shared, and what I have witnessed myself.

level 4
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
edited 25 days ago
This all makes sense to me too.

I wish I had seen the court much earlier... I would have immediately recognized it as a cult. But I didn't see it until a decade of practice in Shambhala.

In hindsight, it doesn't make any sense that someone who was born in a refugee camp, later taken from his adoptive parents to be raised by an alcoholic to become an enlightened guru-king would turn out to be the model moral family man. Of course he turned out to have some serious unexamined issues that would play out as abuse when he was put in a position of extreme unchecked power.

No wonder shambhala had such a huge propaganda machine around him... They really needed it.

And no wonder not too many people get close to him, and those who do are sworn to keep everything about those interactions secret.

level 3
ohmygodhika
26 days ago
Thank you so much for sharing this. This is so disheartening to read, but it gives me so much clarity around the relatively short time I spent in the organization (thru Sacred Path). A lot of brokenhearted folks enter into Shambhala looking for answers or support, and many of us were willing to ignore the aspects of the organization that hinted at trouble at the core. I still have ties to Shambhala teachers who are samaya holders, and these accounts are really leaving me at a loss for how to move forward as a dharma student.

level 4
tashi8888
25 days ago
no samaya with mukpo - he can't hold his side of it - it is nothing...

level 5
ohmygodhika
25 days ago
I agree with you, but I don't think my teacher (who I want to trust) sees it that way. Cue cognitive dissonance.

level 3
markszpak
25 days ago
No acharya that I know of has stepped down recently. However, a while ago Jules Levinson did step down, after a number of years translating for and helping Mipham with his talks and writings. Like the author of this AMA, Jules had extensive background with other Tibetan Buddhist teachers prior to meeting Mipham, and became dis-illusioned. Reggie Ray pretty much got kicked out by Mipham and the other acharyas, and now runs his own Dharma Ocean scene.

level 4
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
I asked Jules' friend why he stepped down, and the friend said "because Mipham was hurting people". That did not come from Jules, but from his friend.

level 4
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
Do you know more about why Reggie Ray was kicked out? A Shastri I was close with strongly discouraged a peer from doing a retreat with him. It was very weird. This Shastri was so open and gentle to most mentions of other traditions but when Reggie was mentioned he acted as if my friend were going to join up with the worst kind of traitor... He didn't say it in those words but he did everything he could to discourage him and slandered Reggie as an inauthentic, lineage-less person who was messing up his students by not following the proper protocols.

level 5
discardedyouth88
25 days ago
Do you know more about why Reggie Ray was kicked out?

Listen to this. I think you'll find it interesting. That is if you haven't already heard it.

level 6
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
This is actually really good so far. 45 min in. What he says about Shambhala teachings resonates much better for my own personal experiences with the parts of the terma I have received than does the way it was taught in Shambhala the organization.

level 7
discardedyouth88
25 days ago
This is actually really good so far

Thought you'd like it.

level 5
markszpak
25 days ago
Reggie Ray was a senior student of and is in the direct lineage of Chögyam Trungpa. When SMR came into power, Reggie was one of the people he designated as an Acharya. Reggie requested permission to use the Nalanda Translation Committee (NTC) translation of the Vajrayogini sadhana with his own students, and was denied that. The other acharyas, Richard John and Jeremy Hayward in particular, as I recall, then got him de-listed as an acharya.

More recently Larry Mermelstein, head of NTC, was canned as an acharya.


level 6
Icy_Peanut
25 days ago
Why was Larry "canned"? i thought he resigned.

level 7
markszpak
25 days ago
He did not resign. He was unceremoniously dumped, fired. His main emphasis was (and continues to be) on translating and transmitting the core texts of CTR and his lineage, but he was never a vocal exponent of SMR, was not doing the Scorpion Seal programs, etc.

Beyond that, last year (mid-summer) he was suddenly told that the Nalanda Translation Committee house in Halifax, which had been donated for use by NTC, with the condition that it not be sold, was going to be sold so as to raise money to help pay off Shambhala/Sakyong Potrang debts. That's been put off, but is still hanging there.

level 8
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
Markszpak tells it the way Larry told it to me.

level 9
BaronAsh
24 days ago
I think Larry was also a bit too open with his cynical attitude about the whole thing.

level 10
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
Larry could say things that would shake people up. He didn't always recognize how his words would land. I think I agree with you. But I appreciate him a lot, and I know he is a PITA to a lot of people.

level 5
Icy_Peanut
25 days ago
I hear Reggie threatens his students with Vajra Hell if they are not completely loyal. Glad I'm not his student, as fear tactics remind me of all the psychopaths I ever have had the pleasure (LOL) of knowing!!

level 6
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
edited 25 days ago
That sounds as bad as Shambhala and Dzongsar.

EDIT: after listening to his talk posted by discarded youth, it seems he may not endorse that kind of samaya? Unless what he says in that talk is inaccurate.

level 6
paul_adams
22 days ago
And.. it’s not true. He does not threaten anyone with Vajra Hell if we are not loyal. I speak from experience. You should not speak at all unless you have something true to say.

level 4
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
So you might be outing OP from anonyimity here. What is your intention in doing so?

OP has chosen to remain anonymous on here for a reason and is still debating whether to become public or not.

level 5
markszpak
25 days ago
Not sure why you think I might be outing OP. I respect what he is doing, and how he is doing it: it seems both not-ignoring and compassionate, and also a bit courageous, maybe even a lot. I'm also OK with OP not being perfect. Are you thinking that I'm suggesting OP is Jules L? I mentioned Jules as someone who did stop being an acharya for some of the same reasons (although not publicized) OP describes, except at least 7 years ago, maybe more like a decade or so.

level 6
rubbishaccount88
25 days ago
Mark, what happened to RFS? Did it stop after Suzanne Duarte died? Or is that just coincident timing? You guys provided some really great material and space over the years.

level 7
markszpak
25 days ago
I think that RFS (Radio Free Shambhala) had more or less run its course in its critique of the directions being taken by SMR in moving away from CTR's vision of a Shambhala without buddhist (or other religious) credentials. However, I did put up a Practice and Study Resources page last year to let people know about where there might be practice resources locally that they can turn to. And perhaps it could be further helpful.

level 3
Lucid_Gem
2 days ago
Hey, thanks very much for these posts. It's really important to talk about, and I really appreciate your candor and courage in talking out loud.

I was pretty active in the Shambhala scene around 2004-2010, and then gradually became more and more disgusted. I lived and worked at SMC, participated in centers in Boulder, Berkeley, and Portland OR. I coordinated programs, served as a Kasung, and did a few court shifts. The few times I had contact with SMR he was consistently aloof, cold, and disdainful. As I had exhausted all the programs leading up to VY, I knew that the next step was to forge a bond with him, and I just couldn't— I had no respect or connection with that person. I supposed I was saved by my own knowing. I have also been lucky enough to have relationships with other Tibetan teachers. While I'm pretty grossed out by dharma stuff right now (the BPS report being the final straw with Shambhala), I figure I might get back into practice someday. In the meantime, I want to thoroughly separate from the situation and disinfect myself.

Your commentary above in another thread, on SMR's samaya vows being trash is very helpful. I was conned into a 'Kasung samaya vow' at the last minute when I took my oath, and I have felt guilty about that. What a fucked up way to treat people.

Like many people, I had spent a long time fascinated and enthralled by the Shambhala Dharma, was very into VCTR's teachings, and was in some sense working out some emotional and personality issues that meditation was very helpful with. However, I was also conning myself into believing things were okay, 'gilding shit' as I like to say is one of the favorite activities in Shambhala. However, this basic disconnect between how things are and how things ought to be, a disjunction between one's feelings and one's ability to conceptualize them, is apparently a common phenomenon among people who participate in cult systems.

A few months ago I read some of Matthew Remski's posts, and followed his suggestion to read Alexandra Stein's great book, "Terror, Love, and Brainwashing: Attachment in Cults and Totalitarian Systems." I really recommend this book to folks who are sorting through the aftermath of their participation in Shambhala, and to understand how to identify cult activity and build resources for leaving cult situations. Dr Stein herself participated in and escaped a political cult, later did a research study where she interviewed people who have escaped cults, and articulated a theory of how cults and totalitarian leaders induce a disorganized attachment state in followers, who feel simultaneous love and terror in relation to the cult/leader. In brief:

Cult affiliation can happen to anybody. it's not your fault that happened, you have no character weakness-- it's just something that happens

The simultaneous love/belonging and fear/terror experience that cults and cult leaders are so skillful at creating make it hard to think clearly about the situation

The strategies that cult leaders use to create a disorganized attachment state are recognizable and predictable (and Shambhala uses quite a few of them)

The most important things are to have real conversations with people who can cast critical, questioning, and open perspectives on what Shambhala is about

And to cultivate real attachment relationships (close relationship bonds) that have depth and meaning, in which people are valued for their differences and individuality, and that don't create a sense of fear

Just thought I would share about this in case it can benefit other folks. Thanks again for all you're doing by speaking out here.


level 1
lingua42
26 days ago
For a lot of people not in Shambhala, the elephant in the room is Pema Chödrön. What are your thoughts about her -- how much do you think she knew? Did she look the other way, help cover things up, etc.?

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
just this question makes me sad. but you bring up an important point. I know pema, rather appreciate her. She has been a helpful person for me to discuss my own practice with. But she is just another practitioner to me.

Nevertheless I think she is an apologist who uses deepity and thought stopping cliches to satisfy the unrobust intellects of the people that come to her. She has been used as a revenue stream by shambhala. They depend on her for new students. She is yet another procurer who probably feels bound by her oaths to Chogyam Trungpa. She sends streams of people into Shambhala Centers where they will be groomed for exploitation.

Deepity is a term employed by Daniel Dennett in his 2009 speech to the American Atheists Institution conference, coined by the teenage daughter of one of his friends. The term refers to a statement that is apparently profound but actually asserts a triviality on one level and something meaningless on another. Generally, a deepity has (at least) two meanings: one that is true but trivial, and another that sounds profound, but is essentially false or meaningless and would be "earth-shattering" if true. To the extent that it's true, it doesn't have to matter. To the extent that it has to matter, it isn't true (if it actually means anything). This second meaning has also been called "pseudo-profound bullshit".[1]

The example Dennett uses to illustrate a deepity is the phrase "love is just a word." On one level the statement is perfectly true (i.e., "love" is a word), but the deeper meaning of the phrase is false; love is many things — a feeling, an emotion, a condition — and not simply a word.

-- Deepity, by RationalWiki


My biggest issue is that she has been a lifeline for so many people, yet she has such an unexamined perspective, such a cowardly attitude.

Pema knew everything. Absolutely everything and she turned a convenient blind eye to it all. I am very sorry if this is hard for you to hear.
She does love and respect the dharma, but is challenged in some ways, as you might guess.

level 3
SunnyClouds5
25 days ago

Pema was my meditation instructor for many years, 70s-80s. She was good on the specific instruction for practice and what was happening there. She was terrible as a person relating to the human experience.

After I experienced terrible abuse from a person in the sangha, abuse that put me into serious therapy and caused me much loss, I went to her to get help making sense of it. She basically ripped me apart and said I wasn't being compassionate enough toward my abuser, and if I didn't like it I should leave Buddhism. It was beyond harsh at a time where I was still experiencing uncontrollable crying. I wasn't raped, as the woman was who got a letter from her, but the abuse was intense, longterm, and nonetheless considerably traumatizing. I did leave, completely cynical, that very day, and eventually went to study with another tradition altogether.
I am still a Kagyu/Shambhala practitioner, however, since those teachings that I received in the 70s and 80s worked for me. It was never a cult for me, or a social club. It was a set of practices with a really arrogant sangha to accompany them.

I have not received an apology from Pema. It is my understanding that Trungpa did not recommend her to people who needed life advice. I wish I'd known that before I sought her out. What she did to me was devastating. It ended any respect I had for her.

I will say this, however. While I righteously regard her as the "celebrity nun," enjoying her fame and fortune but failing inside, she has written books and given teachings that have helped people. I will not dispute someone who felt moved into a new place by her, or brought into practice and the path because of her. Sometimes the dharma comes through in strange ways, this I have seen in many places and many times. I don't send my students to her teachings, but if they want to read her, it's not something I'll get in the way of. I will write her a letter at some point, to get it really off my chest, to give her the full picture of what she did to me. As a dharma practitioner, she should be completely willing to receive that.

level 4
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
edited 24 days ago
I wish I could give you a bundle of flowers right now. Is there something I can do to be helpful? I agree that this is just very, very personal.

level 4
mycatnameddog
15 days ago
Hi -- I’m Pema’s granddaughter. I am so, so, so, so, so sorry. My heart aches for you. That is horrific and disgusting. Of course I cannot apologize on her behalf, but I support you 100%. You deserved so much more -- I wish I could travel back in time and scream at her so you never had to endure that cruel response.

I’m really close with my grandma and always have been (my mother died when I was young and she raised me in a lot of ways) and of course I love her -- but it’s been a hard year of coming to terms with totally cowardly and damaging behavior she’s displayed. I will always take the side of of victims and survivors.

If you ever do want to send her a letter, I am happy to give you my personal email or other contact (I can prove who I am) and I can make sure it gets to her directly, immediately, wherever she is. If there’s anything else at can do for you, period, please let me know.

Once again, I am so sorry.


level 4
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
I am really sorry that happened to you. I imagine it must be really upsetting to see the whole sangha, and people like myself, speak so highly of her. You didn't deserve that at all.

level 3
lingua42
26 days ago
And I think you're right that Ani Pema too often "uses deepity and thought stopping cliches" for what is at best bypassing. That's the impression I've gotten, and I'm glad to hear someone say it.

level 3
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
edited 25 days ago
This is harder for me. I spent a decent amount of time with her and do think she is a serious practitioner. She had very good advice for me in my practice at several points...

But also, she has never been able to make a strong statement acknowledging the harm of her guru or his son, and this is very telling about her samaya.

We also have to think about the effect she had... How many women joined Shambhala because of her books? And how many ended up being abused by the Sakyong?


Ugh.. This is hard. I still respect much of what she has said about meditation and practice... I also think she has a good heart overall, but it seems she is compromised by her interpretation of samaya... I just wish she would say and do the obvious moral thing here and speak out about it.

level 4
Icy_Peanut
25 days ago
I have known Pema for 36 years and staffed a month's program with her at Gampo Abbey, as well as programs at Omega. She was a wonderful teacher, friend and inspired me a lot, especially in the early days. That said, I sensed that there was an iron fist within the velvet glove. Since then I have heard stories of her yelling at nuns in her service and of course, the story of her heartlessly dissing the woman who told her she'd been raped. So I am very sad to see that Pema was complicit with all the sexual abuse, etc. all these years.

level 5
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
I never saw her abuse anyone or act with malicious intentions. But she could be tough and sharp, and sometimes she might not have all the facts, or a misunderstanding, when making a harsh leadership decision.

Never saw her scream at nuns. But she could say something cutting once in a while. But usually I think she was trying to give "tough love" when she did this. I really do think she is good intentioned overall. But definitely had some shortcomings that we all ignored because we loved her so much and put her on a huge pedestal. Particularly her minimizing of abusive behavior from Trungpa. And the interaction she had with the pregnant woman.

I think she does have a good heart though, despite continuing to make some of the wrong calls by not speaking up more. I think she has that unhealthy kind of view of Samaya where one never criticizes their guru no matter what...

level 6
IcyPeanut
25 days ago
I agree that Pema has a good heart. I would say, however, that her "no good, no bad" slogan and "don't know mind", where she refuses to make any calls, confuses the relative and ultimate truths. This can be misinterpreted as "anything goes" and has caused a lot of excusing harmful behavior.

level 7
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
edited 25 days ago
I agree with you there

its a hard time. Hope you are taking care of yourself. Thank you for saying what you have (and to everyone else on here!) it's been super validating.

So glad to see that so many people care about this issue.

level 8
DhammaCura
6 hours ago
She finally has begun to acknowledge the issues in the community and to a limited extent her complicity (I’ll post the link when I locate it) Prayerfully she will come to terms and acknowledge more in a deeper way. That would be her most profound contribution to the unfolding of the dharma

level 9
Arupajhana7
13 minutes ago
So glad to hear this. I hope she makes some statements soon about the recent Kusung letter and is able to use her unique position to help the community move away from its harmful center. So many people are brought into shambhala through her and so many people listen to her. She has a very important voice. I hope she speaks soon.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:47 am

Part 3 of 10

level 3
lingua42
26 days ago
That makes a lot of sense to me, and I really appreciate your frank sharing your perspective on this and all the rest.

I'm personally quite fortunate in that, while I've passed through some circles I'd call Shambhala-adjacent, my teachers and communities have all been with other, much more ethical and transparent people. Closer to home has been the stories coming out about abuse by Lama Norlha at KTC, though I didn't know him personally.

So yes, I've read a book or two by Ani Pema, but she was never particularly central to my practice life. But it's concerning that saying unpleasant things about her could be really disruptive to some people's practice. I wonder if famous people like her are too often not seen as ordinary people because they're just too famous. We learn more from the teachers and mentors we actually get to know, and since we see them as human beings, I hope our faith won't be as affected if anything should go wrong.

level 3
mycatnameddog
15 days ago
As her granddaughter who loves her very much I wholeheartedly agree with you.

level 4
allthewholeworld
14 days ago
yes, she is worth that love, just like you are mycatnameddog. thank you for the posts you have given on reddit about this. I have read them and learned a lot from your willingness to speak about things so close to your heart.

level 5
mycatnameddog
14 days ago
Thank you. I really, really respect what you’re doing here. I’m sorry for the garbage you’ve endured.

level 1
Horsetravelor
25 days ago
to allthewholeworld, deepest thanks and gratitude. I came to a big city Dharmadhatu in 1978, a very long time ago. I gained a lot and was deeply involved in every aspect of my life in integrating my Buddhist practice. I believe everything you say because I saw it in those first ten years. I was a humble and devout practitioner, spending sometimes 4 hours a day in my practice and others did as well at the center I belonged to. I went to Dhatun, Seminary with Chogyam Trungpa, many solitary retreats etc. As did most of the people at that Center. But after the Regent's behavior I had to leave. Moved far away into the mountains. Heartbroken. Very sad. Still kept up my meditation practice. Read. tried to practice at a small Shambhala Center with good people. But I felt that the higher ups were corrupt. So much charisma with darkness beneath. I had seen too much. Now the pieces are coming together. Thank you so much for what you've shared. I can stop blaming myself for not being a better community member -- when in fact all I really ever wanted was to practice meditation, and go deeper on my spiritual path. Believe me I know how easy it is to get sucked into the vortex and then not be able to see or think clearly. I was lucky that I was doing therapy with a fine woman Jungian therapist, and I also went to 12 step programs, and then later I spent a lot of time in the mountains, in nature, and riding my horses out to think alone.. These things I think saved me from going down. I'm grateful. But most grateful for your exposure of all this..... thank you.

level 2
tashi8888
25 days ago
Thank you for speaking up, Horsetravelor -- you are not alone. When narayana was appointed regent, I stepped back. Had seen his 'ordinariness' at Tail and sensed something was amiss. There are many fine VJ teachers and practitioners all over the globe -- quite a few horses get it as well. IMAO you made the right choice. Stay safe, travel well.

level 2
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
and thank you for sharing this. you have quite a story to share. if you want to use this platform to speak up anonymously, please do. it really helps, and it will make you strong.

level 2
EdmundButler
24 days ago
That's a very sad, beautiful trajectory, Horsetraveler. Nothing wrong with Thinking Like a Mountain, at all! This is a very confusing time for many of us associated with this crowd just now so voices like yours are really helpful for perspective. Best wishes to you...

level 1
allthewholeworld
17 days ago
details #4
[from 2015ish] I was invited to develop a program of meditation at an enormous health club, one with more members than all of Shambhala. I collaborate with a popular, well respected, not-in-shambhala teacher who looked forward to developing a "non-religious" program to the public that referenced the latest neuroscience. This had nothing whatsoever to do with Shambhala, it was an outside invitation.

We went through several meetings, got outside advice, and then set a date to begin our work. This could have provided livelihood for this teacher, and for me.

During this time, I was called to the kalapa court. At the court, Mipham grabbed my arm and walked with me around his yard, praising my activities (which he surely didn’t even know).

I mentioned that I was excited by an opportunity to develop a program that would give me a chance to do something good with meditation. He looked at me and raised an eyebrow and cocked his head, as in “tell me the details”. So I did.

He paused, and started to nod his head a little and then looked right at me and said, “The thing is, what’s my cut?” I laughed out loud, I didn’t take it seriously. But he got serious.
“You are using my tech. I am tired of people using my tech and taking all the money. I need a cut.” Then he arranged for his secretary to meet with me to discuss the cut.

I did not agree to give him a cut, and wondered how that would unfold. But the project fell through, so I’ll never know.

I did not learn how to meditate from him. My “tech” at the time was a mixture of Yongey Mingyur and Khenpo Tsultrim, and the traditional materials from the sutras. His claim on my knowledge showed me early signs of his delusions of grandeur, thinking he had invented the dharma. This is around the time he really started fleecing the flock.


level 2
CheredeDarievea
17 days ago
I haven't been keeping up with the Reddit discussion; thanks for posting these little character studies. The Mipham you describe is not the man I remember, but I have to keep in mind how I was seeing him through the eyes of wanting him to be more than he was.

Amazing to hear he thought of his own bafflegab as "tech". Perhaps he sees himself as a startup whizkid, too? Lol. Such hubris. And now he DONE RUNOFF to India... The next few days will be an important trial for the cognitive dissonance of the Believers. Thanks dude, keep it up.

level 2
metal-tiger
12 days ago
again ATWW, so very glad you have spoken out in this platform.

level 2
BaronAsh
17 days ago
Stunned -- truly -- at how underwhelming these stories are.

So will continue to await investigation results before forming an opinion as regards possible criminality.

BaronAsh: Stunned -- truly -- at how underwhelming these stories are.

-- A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Charles and Tara Carreon


level 3
allthewholeworld
17 days ago
yeah, i keep it pretty tame to some, and to others this is confirming a bigger picture and is horrible.

it is not meaningful to you because you have so little direct knowledge of the situation (as you have more than generously acknowledged). I am not posting for the benefit of people like you although i welcome your presence. I am doing something different than you understand me to be doing.

level 4
allthewholeworld
17 days ago
Ash: don't hear this the wrong way, but nobody gives a hoot about your conclusions in this matter. you are not part of the conversation, you are a bystander with opinions. you have no skin in this game — at least the one I am speaking to.

level 4
BaronAsh
17 days ago
Fair enough. I think we all have to be careful of making accusations of criminality without respect for normal due process. But there are many things which do not rise to the level of being crimes that are very serious, of course, though how to determine such things is also fraught with peril.

Some have said it is because of fear of being sued. No doubt that plays a part. But also it is actually very hard to accuse anyone of anything. Ultimately, all such things end up being some sort of he-said-she-said.

In any case, I don't think nearly enough is out there yet to dissuade most hard-core loyalists to shift their view.
Well, we'll see. It ain't over yet....

Is it for sure SMR went to India and/or Orissa? Any notion of for how long?

BaronAsh: I think we all have to be careful of making accusations of criminality without respect for normal due process.... it is actually very hard to accuse anyone of anything. Ultimately, all such things end up being some sort of he-said-she-said.

-- A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Charles and Tara Carreon


level 5
allthewholeworld
16 days ago
yes, and I think hard-core loyalists have the right to their views, it is no one else's business but theirs. it is the conduct, the behavior, that needs to shift. I am sure most loyalists are nonagressive to begin with and are practitioners on top of that.

many people have come forward on fb giving confirmation of his departure to india, so yes, i think it happened.

level 4
BaronAsh
16 days ago
I am doing something different than you understand me to be doing.

So I'll try to define and you can correct where wrong:

It is ATTW's mission here to persuade SMR students that their teacher is unworthy of ever being a spiritual teacher of any sort and anyone involved should immediately up and leave the Shambhala Community and Path because the entire thing is altogether too corrupt. Rather, if they want to continue some sort of spiritual path, they should get into more traditional Buddhadharma lineages.

How's that?

level 1
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
Final post of today from me, the OP.

I am tired, it is waaaay past my bedtime. I have a lot on my plate this week, but I feel the timeliness of this so I will stay in the conversation this week at least. Originally I planned to do this for just today. Didn't know that it would get such a heartfelt response.

For now, while supplies last, I commit to responding to genuine comments (and they have all been so genuine today, I appreciate you) one by one. I will need a few days at the rate things are flooding in, but this is very important I think. If it gets beyond what I can handle, I don't know what I will do. I got a family!

Basically, I will listen and help as I can, while supplies last!

I said a lot today that was frank and wrathful. I will also be saying things that are appreciative, but in my own way. And just know that I may change my opinion, or take back my words if it seems right to do so. I said a lot about the acharyas because, well, why is no one calling them out? To say what I said will surely stimulate pressure on them to speak. And they will see this. they will chatter their teeth together and ask yet again, is this person telling the truth? is this what my life has become? and then they will read the rest, and they will -- some of them -- start to cry. and when that happens and the first one speaks, thousands of people, not dozens, will begin to heal.

That acharya will be a real hero, and I already forgive them in advance for all the complicity (?) they demonstrated during their tenure. Now they will have spoken up, spoken out. Who will be the first hero? Who do you all think will be the first acharya of shambhala to say a non scripted, critical thinking, independent thing in line with the larger perception of Shambhala and the Mukpos growing in the media every day?

I am not trying to make anyone the enemy, but many powermongery people have been causing harm and sometimes you gotta risk upsetting some people in order to cut through the cult messaging and slow aggressors down. At least I think you do. Don't mean to harm, just to slow or stop the harm.

Goodnight everyone. I will be friendly, to you, especially if you are in this mess, too. Please speak up if I seem not to be, but do give me a chance, like you already have.

goodnight, allthewholeworld

level 2
cedaro0o
26 days ago
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.

Martin Luther King Jr.


Thank you. Looking forward to less passivity and more protesting from future others inspired by yourself and other survivors.

level 2
barleyfat
26 days ago
Thank you so much for posting all of this. You have walked a fine line by reporting craziness worse than we suspected without straying into bitter rancor.

level 2
tashi8888
25 days ago
edited 25 days ago
Thank you allthewholeworld u hav opened the gate -- touch my head to your feet.

level 3
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
tashi I am happy for you.

level 4
tashi8888
24 days ago
edited 24 days ago
we need to clarify the real story for sincere Shambalians caught up in the con -- the truth is available -- old dogs and western students with Asian experience can set record straight -- no fear -- have you given thought to setting up a tech rally point for publication (any/all media)? This has been a very good start.

level 5
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
what does that even mean? tech/rally point? yes the story must be available, not all souls are lost

level 6
tashi8888
24 days ago
last century we would have gathered stories together and hard copy published as rick fields did -- today not necessary -- can self-publish stories on medium or another platform with integrity -- the response to you and your authenticity speaks for itself -- deferring to you and encouraging you to make it happen...

level 7
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
encouragement like this comment hits me right in my heart. I have been a coward for so long, didn't even know I COULD speak. but you telling me that really moves me and encourages me. it means a lot

level 8
tashi8888
24 days ago
100% with you -- got your back -- have been quite shocked over the last year to discover what's been going on with vj in the west -- first tsogyal then norlha then sham and know there are many many others -- very glad for met and times up and current spotlight on 'buddhist' perverted cons -- very powerful and POSITIVE changes now happening -- speak from year one or two from my side -- will tell you all when we connect.

level 1
imperatorprime
25 days ago
I'm just wondering something. I've been attending my local Shambhala center for ~12 years or so. I've donated $5 - $20 a couple times a year hoping that it would go to upkeep of our center, I've taken a few of the weekend levels over 12 years I've sat in the timer's seat semi-regularly, and hoped to one day get to where I could offer 'authorized' instruction to others, because I've found meditation beneficial. I like the company of the other people who sit at our Wednesday open houses and I've liked engaging with the center's teachers, who when the scandals really started breaking hard in the last year or so seemed genuinely shocked and appalled, like I was when I started hearing about the abuse and exploitation. I've never taken it so seriously as to get really invested in hierarchies or politics, never felt bound by loyalty to Mipham or any of the others (though I've appreciate their books), and as I see it the whole top of the organization should be deposed. The same clearly goes for many of the others at my center.

Do you think it's possible to reconcile the disparate worlds of the grassroots membership, where we just want a place to sit and learn from each other, and the rot at the head? Do the centers need to be shuttered or is the organization something that can be adapted to survive with a more democratic government?

level 2
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. I am so disappointed in the leadership, and that is barely saying it, that I can't see them capable of doing anything wise or responsive to the needs of modern people in a modern world facing today. I think people should start meditation co-ops if they don't want a hierarchy. Shambhala does not have a track record of success in anything, so I don't know what they are going to do to turn that around.

level 3
BaronAsh
24 days ago
To me the issue there is about transmission. If I had my druthers, I would teach stroke to secular types right off the bat, before sitting. Met many like that. I also taught it to my 4 yr old son who took to it like a duck to water. I guess that's all illegal, but what's the legality of stroke transmission anyway?

Image

Stroke practice is a contemplative calligraphy discipline for graduates of Warrior Assembly and other authorized practitioners. It involves cutting through self-concept by executing the "stroke of Ashe", which represents unconditional confidence.

-- Ashe Society - Stroke Practice, by Shambhala.org


More importantly, if you want to go off on your own and start teaching etc., or if you simply find yourself in a place where you're the only one and want to get something going, what are the parameters? Because of the tendency to hold on tightly to and fixate on the higher/inner/secret levels (like the cabin at Kalapa Valley for the dark retreat and the closed gate to the property which is otherwise undeveloped and of no benefit to the struggling local community whose mayor lives 150 yards away across the 'sacred river Ingonish'), we have little idea of lineage and path beyond dealing with these high-falutin' super-duper tulku-type throne holders.

I believe that we in Shambhala should be able to do better than 'my way or the highway.' In other words, either you stick with the official program or you go into exile and are not permitted to teach most of what you learned without being an oath-breaker. This is a very important issue, or 'rub,' as in 'aye, there's the rub!'

I think it's almost criminal how many thousands (literally) of dedicated, good-hearted students have ended up in this sort of exile. It's okay to leave Mama Sangha at some point, but it should also be okay to go off spreading wild dharma oats as one sees fit, including sharing what we've learned. In a strange way, I think this constipation at the top in terms of encouraging more spontaneous, free-form, non-institutional dharma practice, study and teaching has almost intensified a bottled-up need to explode the whole thing, in which case the diseased behaviors being uncovered are acting as some sort of protector principle to ensure the whole thing isn't suffocated in overly protective super-sacred super-secret BS, which has been ongoing, imo, for most of the last 20 years, but whose roots go back to a messy transition following CTR's death and VROT's painful, and administratively even more dysfunctional and damaging, exit.

level 2
TharpaLodro
25 days ago
Do the centers need to be shuttered or is the organization something that can be adapted

I'd like to ask a follow up: is there a third path, that of the teachings being liberated from the present organisation? Per its own claims, the "Shambhala dharma" is a universal heritage that doesn't belong to anyone...

level 3
markszpak
25 days ago
CTR saw the story of the mythical kingdom of Shambhala as an inspiration toward building an enlightened, or at least more sane!, society. He had often talked about "buddhadharma without credentials": and then, to the chagrin and puzzlement of many of his students, actually tried walking that talk in experimenting (and yes, he did consider it an experiment, that might or might not work) with what forms that might take. So you did not have to be a buddhist to be a full citizen of Shambhala society, but could come to it with whatever practice tradition was authentic and real to you. This is what our diverse, multi-cultural global society needs.

Many of the problems that have arisen with the Shambhala Buddhism (which essentially is a buddhist sect with Shambhala vocabulary and branding) created by SMR, especially those having to do with conflating buddhist samayas and guru-ship with secular leadership, have arisen from mashing these two distinct (but of course related, including historically) ways.

So re that third path: yes!

level 4
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
boy, i remember that original vision. it just vanished after 2000 Kalapa Assembly.

the third step is the only way that makes sense to me. gotta take it on yourself and take the risk of keeping it real and not becoming a charlatan. if you don't do it, some charlatan will. If you love the teachings, you can keep them alive. trust yourself

level 2
DismalPerformance
14 days ago
The reality of the situation is that if you want a communal place to sit besides a friends house, you need to rent space. Nowadays, that cost a lot of money for rent and at the least volutes are needed to keep it going. Therefore you need a organization that magnetizes funds. That's life in the material world.

level 2
SunnyClouds5
25 days ago
I haven’t read through all the thread yet today, but please go on Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa and check out Ocean. Teachers trained in meditation instruction and dharma teaching are offering classes and an online shrine room. I’m an old practitioner from CTRs sangha and I see nothing cultish going on at Ocean. It’s about the teachings, which is the point, isn’t it?

level 3
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
yes, if you want teachings, it is important that those are prioritized over group membership. I don't want to opine on Ocean, but if you feel it is serving your needs, and you feel safe or even better, supported, then you should try it out and tell others of your experience, if you wouldn't mind. If it is a good thing, it will get a response and survive.

level 1
TsoDewa
22 days ago
edited 22 days ago
How can we best help and support the survivors?

level 2
waterbuffalo777
21 days ago
Listen to them. Don't try to comfort them with Buddhist platitudes or contextualize their abuse as a teaching or karma. Challenge those who unquestioningly defend abusive teachers. Sign petitions, contact lawmakers, withdraw financial support from teachers and organizations that commit and enable abuse.

level 2
keikobear
22 days ago
Is there a fund set up where we can donate to them?

level 3
cedaro0o
22 days ago
Of course. It must be front and center on Shambhala's main web page and on all local center's web pages. It's the simplest thing a compassionate caring transparent organization would do.

Image what a terrible indictment it would be were it not the case.

level 4
EdmundButler
22 days ago
It is of course a terrible indictment that it is neither the case nor the inclination of the Administrators.

In my 2015 Care & Conduct Complaint I submitted that $10,000 compensation was due to me as a result of illegal dismissal and forced relocation out of the Province of Nova Scotia due to my (internally uninvestigated) attempted murder at Dorje Denma Ling in 2014. The response I got from David Brown in reviewing my Appeal of the Panel's formal Findings in the case, was that Lennart Krogoll said that I had resigned my position and that I was therefore not due any compensation. Brown knew I objected to this assessment, if only because he refused to provide evidence of my resignation and declined to comment on the fact that Krogoll was lying out of self-interest. Clearly had Brown found that Krogoll had overseen my illegal dismissal (which I assert to be the case, on account of his sense of self-preservation for his position as Director of Dorje Denma Ling), Krogoll would have been liable.

So Brown refused my compensation claim, avoiding the issue of the whitewash investigation conducted by Torgny Vigerstad of Halifax and fired Krogoll while writing a glowing review of his, "... devoted service to the Sakyongs as Director of Dorje Denma Ling for three years", on his "...resignation". That's right: he was privately fired (in large part because of how he mishandled my attempted murder by his friend Jeremy Blackburn) and then publicly exalted on his fake resignation. Blackburn, incidentally was banned from ever entering Dorje Denma Ling again, unbeknownst to me. Brown also asked me to clarify, simultaneously, why on earth I felt unsafe at Dorje Denma Ling.

So no, I think compensation for survivors is the furthest thing from their minds. It seems clear that even acknowledging survivors is impossible for these reprobates.

https://shambhalacrime.wordpress.com

level 2
allthewholeworld
22 days ago
thank you TsoDewa, please build as much interest in this question as you can!

level 1
Metropolion
7 days ago
Hi Allthewholeworld and everybody!

I'm writing to you from the Southern Hemisphere. Thank you for all the work done and the healing process you've put in motion with your bodhisattva attitude and clear sensitivity. I'm writing now with answers on the detail of what happened in Chile 2002.

I've been a Shambhala practitioner since 93. I've been director, director of practice and education several times, teacher, MI, Ngöndro Instructor and all the other possible roles up to SS. So I know everybody there for a very long time. I have to say that I'm happy to feel that writing to you I'm among like minded and good heart human beings that have woken up from this sticky dream. The dream or aspiration of having a healthy good place on Earth where decency abides and makes all life flourish. But that's not the case of Shambhala and the Sakyong and of course in the Shambhala center in Santiago Chile.

I'm deeply sad, hurt and troubled on the way the "incident" in Chile has been silenced and covered up all these years. And of course I'm part of it, since as director I'm complicit in following the party line on that regards. I'm deeply ashamed for having done so and having faded out my critical intelligence.

As you may be aware of, every time we had teachers they really loooved the country, they used to say that everybody wanted to come teach here since it was so cool and pleasant. But if you looked at it deeply here, it was a place where that culture of abuse flourished without obstruction. All criticism was silenced, avoided, neglected and of course punished, with the smiley and soft Shambhala way of course, that was both brutal and cold and ad hominem. If you were not in total agreement with the right ones, one should forget about belonging to a sane "enlightened community", it becomes the best amplified version of the worse of any dysfunctional human group. The Catholic church scandals and Shambhala are twins in the way they deal with what they have created

So that's the environment, let's introduce you to the main players of the sexual assault that happened here.

The Sakyong have come invited by the actual Director Veronica Guzman, an old practitioner and also the promoters of the culture of abuse in Chile. Public talks were given with great success. The farewell dinner was held at the department where the Sakyong and his entourage was staying. That department belonged to a sangha member.

But if you want names about who was there, please ask Acharya Magaly Meneses. She was the Sakyong's translator in Chile and she was there. She was at the meeting where the sexual assault occurred (it wasn't rape since it was no penetration, if you want to have a technical clarity on it). Along with her was the actual Shastri Jaime Sepulveda and Francesca Nilo. All of them knew it all, so it's unbelievable when Meneses says publicly here in Chile that sexual abuse is something that happens in the North only, that she's talked to the victim and all is clear with no bad feelings from her side. Speaking like that is a crime, she only wants to keep her position and avoid any possible legal action against her. The same with the rest. Jaime Sepulveda was there too exchanging a row of drinks with the Sakyong. But of course he hasn't said a word in all these years and he keeps his position remaining in a convenient silence, the same with Francesca Nilo. All off them have been trying to brush things under the carpet, clenching their theets in order to pass the perfect storm that threatens to end their unchallenged positions. They want to remain alive in their positions for a better future. But things have been falling down little by little without stopping.

And don't forget Veronica Guzman, the director at the time of the sexual assault happened and actual executive director of a mindfulness institute in Santiago (http://www.mindfulness.cl). She made all the possible efforts to silence the whole situation, she's the first complicit. She created the standard that was followed later on this regard. And Julia Sagebien....oh please! She had her sexual predatory tours while in Chile. She is part of this culture because she wanted to behave like CT but her problem was that she doesn't like Mipham. That's why she was ostracized after all this. And now she speaks out loud against it! Why she didn't tell earlier? I do remember her garcon-like chauvinistic predatory behaviour here. To see her speaking as if something happens without her knowing is an insult to basic human intelligence.

These are the main actors, the players on what happened here in Chile in 2002. All of them know it all all the time. And they are part of the culture of abuse here in Chile. Their abusive actions continued later on regarding the Acharya and Shastris, they are the big part of the cultural problem Shambhala has. Here in Chile they are simply unwilling to see their long string of power and clerical abuses they have made here and to simply ask themselves if they have played a role in this catastrophe. Why? because Magaly Meneses became a close friend to the Sakyong after his visit in 2002 where she was her confident and translator. So whoever was protected by her had the protection of Shambhala International granted.


level 2
sadderbutwisernow
4 days ago
Much gratitude to you for sharing this story. The more stories that become public, the more we both redress the past wrongs and create safety for survivors to tell their truth, and -- very important to me -- ensure that anyone who is new to Shambhala or newly becoming a member have transparent access to the complete history and viewpoints concerning the past and present operations, leadership, and behavior they are becoming part of.

Many ex-members (and some members) are pressing for a full release of the (Wickwire Holm) stories (the ones that weren't investigated), the Olive Branch submissions, and the contract wording under which WH did their work. As far as I know, the Shambhala community paid for these services, and the community has a right to see the full information. Metropolion, if you know of others who would be willing to anonymously post here, that would help the cause of transparency and protect future generations of meditators. Not putting a burden on you, just by posting here you have offered so much helpful information.

level 3
Metropolion
3 days ago
I'll do so Sadderbutwisernow! and that's my aspiration too, to offer a history that could be talked about and not forgotten. Long term history is made by footnotes only.

This account doesn't have all the clerical and power abuses this leadership did in all these years. Where do you think it'd be good to post these documents?

level 4
sadderbutwisernow
2 days ago
I think if you post here, the accounts and docs will be found, if you prefer to remain anonymous.

level 2
Cashoobutter
4 days ago
Thank you Metropolion. there are so many snakes hungry for power -- thank you for this enlightening account.

level 2
CachitadelBoddhi [Julia Sagebien]
3 days ago
Buenos dias Metropolion. Greetings from the Caribbean. I read your post about events in the Chilean sangha. It inspired me to write to you to suggest that you and I open up the discussion about some of the themes you explore in you post.

Three points are particularly important for me to clarify:

You bring up a very important question: why is there no further investigation on SMR's inappropriate behaviour towards 'Andrea'. You seem to imply that -- because the incident has not been mentioned since the Sunshine Report where the details of the incident were described by Ms. Merchasin, and I posted my addendum to that report published in Shambhala Facebook -- there must be some sort of cover up. However, the reality is quite different. Andrea herself felt that, as far as far as she was concerned, the issue had been laid to rest.

I suggest that you write to Carol Marchasin directly and review the process that involved several conversations between her, Andrea, and me as a 'corroborating witness.' I also suggest you read the Facebook posting with my recollections of the Chile incident.


2) You allege that my distancing myself from Shambhala is the result of the fact that I don’t like the Sakyong. Have you ever spoken to me directly or is this an impression you got from conversation you have had with many others who have not spoken to me either? Despite all the rebuff that I have experienced from SMR and from the administration for my public resistance to a path I simply no longer recognized -- I actually, love the man. I recognize all his limitations and confusions, but he is part of my ‘family’. Nevertheless, I have serious differences with him regarding the self-serving elimination of the Kagyu and Nyingma Lineages (other live teachers who hold transmission and are accomplished) from our sangha's spiritual command.

3) As per my alleged 'sexually predatory trips' -- I would like you to provide specific evidence of your claims. As an educator in academic settings and as an educator in dharma -- I consider my students absolutely off limits. I have very close women friends in Chile -– but that is all they were –- very close friends. Once during a seminary at SMC, I had a relationship with a member of the Iberoamerican sangha. I immediately recused myself as her MI and the relationship was conducted between two rather mature consenting adults. Yes -- power differentials are implied in this relationship -- but how are we even going to date across power strata? I am not sure a total ban is most productive approach. I suggest you ask those who you think I preyed upon and provide evidence that there was indeed such an abuse of authority and abrogation of duty on my part. Stylistically -- yup -- you got me. I am flamboyant, extroverted, loving and do have a certain le garcon style. That is simply who I am -- in Chile, in Havana, in Canada and everywhere else. Perhaps you are reading too much into a style? If you find this style offensive, I apologize for any unintended disturbance I may have caused you. But, in return, I request that you consider that perhaps you have a deep prejudice towards people of my style of personality and are projecting all sorts of malfeasance when there is none. Worth contemplating.

Metropolion -- we definitely need to have to our collective inappropriate behaviour outed. But making the kinds of unfounded allegations you itemized in your post -- only confuses the matter because finding the truth becomes simply a matter of 'I said -- you said' instead of a constructive collective understanding of the real dynamics that need to be changed. Please, consult with Attorney Merchasin, Andrea, and those you think I sexually preyed upon. Let me us know what you find.

In addition, should you want to enter a private conversation with me, I am also open to that. Perhaps together we can address the real harm and leave the spurious allegations of harm aside. We have enough serious and real harm to worry about.

Thank you for reading to you and all on this thread.

JS

level 2
barleyfat
3 hours ago
I encourage you to move this to a first level post. Not many people will see it here on a two week old thread. Until yesterday most of this sub was "maybe something happened in Chile, maybe not" Add this to the Kusang account with the increased visibility of a fresh thread.

level 1
barleyfat
26 days ago
Does the Sakyong have anyone in his life like a mentor or peer? The Zen teachers have an informal network that can offer peer review, I like to think the Kagyus do too although they might be more competitive about students and book sales. Does SMR stay in touch with anyone from the days he trained with Dilgo? As he has moved Shambhala away from Buddhism and to just Shambhala has he put himself on an island? Is there anyone? maybe his father in law?

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
god i love this question! this is the sort of question that is never asked in shambahala.

NO. the sakyong only answers to beings who appear to him in visions. He is the king of the dharma on earth, and has no peers.

Mipham has no friends, and is competitive with absolutely everyone, especially other tulkus. To my knowledge there is not a single tulku in the Tibetan system that sees him as legitimate. he is a charlatan, but he sits at the helm of Trungpa's legacy and so they are intimidated because they are tibetans. They don't have much cultural encouragement to thing for themselves and speak out. Only Mingyur and HHDL have been willing to do so. And Dzongsar has said many deeply snarky (but I admit, accurate) things about the downfall of Shambhala under Mipham.

He is not on the best terms with his father-in-law [His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rinpoche], who has his own questionable reputation to deal with.

To repeat: mipham does not have peers, none AT ALL. No one to work through his stuff with. It is sycophants only. No other Tibetans.
And: he doesn't practice meditation. He views all the tulkus who were around Dilgo Khyentse as his arch enemies. Especially Ponlop Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyentse. They do not seem to view him with the same level of antagonism, but I don't know them like I know Mipham. I did get the feeling that he has a careful respect of Mingyur and Tsoknyi, but I can't be sure. Those two are 100% unafraid of him, or of nearly anyone. They speak out as they feel inspired. As does Dzongsar, but he really seems to be in the midst of a similar downfall, sadly.

thanks for asking this question

level 3
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
And: he doesn't practice meditation

I only spent about a month doing court service but I never saw anything that indicated he was practicing while I was there. It was something I wondered about. Glad to have this suspicion confirmed.

He did work out a lot.


level 4
buddhadao
8 days ago
so to be accurate you didn't see him practice meditation in the 1 month you were there, which is quite different than saying he doesn't practice meditation. you don't really know, and why would you know as it is a private, silent practice.

level 5
Arupajhana7
7 days ago
I never said I had direct knowledge. ATWW said he had direct knowledge that SMR never practiced. I said I had strong suspicions that he never practiced the whole time I was there and that what ATWW said validated my suspicions.

We knew everything else he was up to. "He is going for a run". "He is working out in his gym". "He is leaving to teach". "He is having dinner now". "He is having X for dinner." "He is going to bed now".

His Kusung knew his daily activities and schedule down to some specific details.

If he was practicing, I believe it would have been a really popular topic. Everyone was filled with this idea that everything he did was blessed and auspicious. If he were sitting at that moment I imagine people would have talked about it and encouraged us to "feel" him in that moment.

He had an ornate meditation hall behind the mansion that I know he didn't use the whole time I was there.


level 2
SunnyClouds5
25 days ago
I want to add that it is strong tradition in Tibetan Buddhism that teachers oversee each other and interact as colleagues. This is essential to keeping the teachings pure. That’s why it has always felt wrong to me that Mipham shut out any other teachers and feedback.

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In Woodstock, New York, I escorted Rinpoche to a meeting with about seven other Tibetan lamas. I was seated on a meditation cushion next to Rinpoche's chair. Everyone was speaking in Tibetan. After about an hour Rinpoche looked down at me and said, "Do you know what they are saying?"

"No, Sir," I answered. "You know I don't understand Tibetan."

"Well," Rinpoche explained in English, loudly and distinctly, "they are saying they don't want to give the real teachings to their Western students because then the students will take over."

There was complete silence in the room. I looked around, not meeting any eyes, and responded to Rinpoche. "Well, we don't do that, do we?"

"You bet we don't!" came his reply.

We left soon after that and on the way out I kept a sharp eye out in case I had to whack one of those monkeys. But as usual, everyone was very polite. In the car I asked Rinpoche, "Does that happen very often? Not wanting to give students the real teachings?"  

Rinpoche took a sip of sake from a Dixie cup and said, "Quite often."

I realized again how fortunate we all were to be his students and how the dance of the slogans was victory over war.

-- The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perks


level 3
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
me too

level 1
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
I uploaded a photo of some of my identifying trinkets. it is in the parent thread to this post for those who want to see it. Everything you see is for sale, btw. hahaha

level 1
breathing216
26 days ago
Hi. A little bit about myself before my questions. I am one of those Shambhala members wondering what is happening. I had been reading this sub for a while, to try to get info that is not coming from "official sources". I am sure I am not the only one who was lurking, and your post convinced me to create an account just so I could post here.

I have been in Shambhala for a little over 15 years. I have gone to VY Seminary and did 2 Scorpion Seal Assemblies. I have received teachings from other Kagyu and Nyingma teachers as well, both through Shambhala and outside. I have never been in the inner circle, although I have done some shifts at the court during programs.

I had a question about Penor Rinpoche, but you pretty much answered that already.

My other question is like a conundrum that I can't figure out, and I also am quite sure many other Shambhala practitioners are stuck in the same situation. I was never necessarily impressed by Sakyong Mipham as a person (I never was much around him anyway), but I have been impressed with many of his teachings. I know this might sound crazy to many people here, and maybe to you. I am not talking about his public books or teachings. But I would say that most of his vajrayana teachings do feel "legit", and when he is "re-packaging" some aspects, it is usually comes out as what still feels to me as a helpful way to clarify some points.

So this is really confusing. How can someone who seems to understand and have some high level of experience with the teachings still behave in the way we are now learning he behaves? What are your thoughts on this?

(I will probably have other questions on other aspects, but i will go one at a time.)

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
thank you so much for posting 216. I am touched by your question. I am not a person made of steel, and I really am touched.

First of all: Mipham knows his stuff. That sounds like I am saying two things at once. He is not unknowledgeable about dharma, not at all. You got the first two years of SS and the materials for that are him at his best. We all stayed around him because when he taught well, he really inspired. It was his other side, his sakyong side, that caused harm. he was not a healthy or wise leader, he was narcissistic. His teachings were excellent. You are right on, in my opinion. That is what I loved about him.

We now have ample evidence that people who are held up as enlightened and who display remarkable clarity of view are not necessarily mature in other areas in their lives. I interpret Chogyam Trungpa's life this way, for example. I think he was a deeply "enlightened" person, emptiness was a direct experience for him. Yet it did not correct personal weaknesses that became very dangerous to others. Mysteriously, direct insight into emptiness did not turn him into a paragon of buddhist virtue. We used to interpret his actions to show how they DID, but now we have stopped doing that because it took too much work to keep it up in light of all the new voices coming out with an unvoiced history.

Now we know that either enlightened beings need to practice virtue, or Chogyam Trungpa was not an enlightened being. It did not make him ethical, and his lack of ethical strength killed him by age 47, functionally, much earlier.

messy logic I know. take care friend.

level 3
breathing216
26 days ago
edited 26 days ago
Thank you for your answer. I think what you are doing here is more helpful than what some others are doing on Facebook just attacking and insulting Shambhala and anyone associated with it.

I will take some time to ponder what you wrote, and your other posts, before I ask anything else on that matter.

One thing that keeps me worried since we started learning about all the harm in Shambhala, is what will happen to those who were harmed. Do you know of any initiative under way to offer them support?

level 4
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
i don't know of such an initiative. that is part of my motivation, and I am just a person who once was in.

level 2
CheredeDarievea
26 days ago
I'm new to the Reddit commenting apparatus, so it's unclear to me whether allthewholeworld has replied to this yet. In the meantime, I'd like to give it a go.

I first met Mipham in 1990, before he was considered a tulku. Or a sakyong. I didn't know it at the time, but this was around the time that Patrick Sweeney (the "Regent's Regent") was being touted as a possible successor to Trungpa. Mipham (Osel Mukpo, "the sawang") was being paraded before audiences as the "real" successor. His presentation style was terrible. He could barely string two sentences together. He was just a giggly kid, about my age, and I felt sorry for him.

Then I went to his first Seminary, 1992. His ineptness as a teacher was in full flower, there. He had a severe speech impediment that made him extremely hard to understand. His lack of teaching skill was quite out in the open, and people talked about it, and asked him directly about it in talks. He would just giggle and shrug. It was Pema Chodron who really saved that Seminary from utter disaster. To my knowledge, all of my fellow 1992 Seminarians have dropped out of the sangha.

Then Mipham (after being recognized as "Mipham" and enthroned as "Sakyong") went through a rigorous training regime. He went on retreat in Pharping, outside Kathmandu, and received basic instruction in Buddhism 101 from Jules Levinson. He got the entire cycle of Mipham the Great's (the REAL Mipham)'s teachings in a series of dbang's given by Penor. I attended some of that and saw how well Our Mipham got along with one of Penor's other tulkus, Lama Steve Seagal, who was still considered quasi-legit at that point, but who to my eyes was a fraud.

Long story short, it was a case of incredible transformation. Mipham mastered his speech impediment. He could teach buddhism. I was quite impressed when I saw him in the later 90's, by the change that came over his teaching style.

I go on like this to give some context to your question about "someone who seems to understand and have some high level of experience". I believe that seeming high-level of experience was learned. Normally tulkus learn how to express that kind of "realized" attitude when they are young. Mipham had to learn it much later, and he worked hard at it.


All of this took place prior to the events that allthewholeworld has related, but I think it's important to lay out the history, much as LostMeadow has done.

level 3
CheredeDarievea
25 days ago
Maybe I should clarify what I said about the "rigorous training regime" -- This was rigorous, but it was also brief. His study retreat at Pharping, where he studied under Jules and one of Penor's khenpos (Namdrol, I think, but I may be wrong), took place, as best I can recollect, from fall of 1997 to sometime in 1998 (I think there was a Seminary in '98, wasn't there? So he had to be back by then in order to teach at it). Jules also gave him some Tibetan language tutoring at other times, but to my knowledge, Mipham's only hardcore tulku training took place in that brief window of 1997-98 and then he was off to the races. Others may be able to elaborate on the timeline.

level 4
saffronandsage
25 days ago
edited 25 days ago
Khenchen Namdrol still oversees the Palyul monastery in Pharping. Interesting that he would be who Mipham studies under. He likes wealthy donors! Namdrol is the main Palyul lama helping to prop Rigpa up since it's scandal. He shamed Sogyal's abuse survivors for speaking out saying they were possessed and trying to destroy the dharma.

https://whatnow727.wordpress.com/2017/0 ... to-change/

level 5
CheredeDarievea
25 days ago
I recently became aware of Khenchen Namdrol, the despicable shamer of the Rigpa abuse survivors, but didn't realize he was the same as Khenpo Namdrol, Mipham's former tutor. Thanks for making that connection.

level 4
BigLoveNow
24 days ago
Re: education -- Mipham Mukpo, then called the Sawang, was tutored for intensive intervals by Lama Ugyen. From what I recall, Mipham was not always so happy to be studying, even when in the Casa Werma setting of Mexico.

level 5
CheredeDarievea
24 days ago
I completely forgot about Lama Ugyen. He was a kind and patient teacher.

level 3
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
It seems to me that Mukpo had a very rich intellectual education, shedra style, in Buddhism, but somehow he wasn't able to integrate this into his conduct and lifestyle. Do you have any thoughts about why this was?

level 4
tashi8888
25 days ago
not correct. virtually no education. check with the old dogs who knew him from his arrival in the US -- others in Scotland. What I understand is that Dilgo Khyentse took pity on him after his father died and gently suggested he come to India to learn Tibetan language and culture ... which he did, but with little success. Then tom rich situation developed and things snowballed out of control. He may have a Tibetan primary school education -- certainly not shedra level. can't comment on his US high school certificate.

level 5
BaronAsh
24 days ago
He is dyslexic. And had definite problems leaving Bir and arriving in England where he was abused by Akong for a while then came to US around 10 and into a very difficult family situation with somewhat hostile (and often absent) step-mother, and crazy wisdom on steroids (during that period) dad. He had learning problems. Could be he was stupid, but I don't think so and never experienced him as such, albeit definitely not an intellectual type. I passed into Oxford UK so have a pretty high IQ. His is higher, for sure. (We high IQ types can tell!!)

When you put together that English was a second language and dyslexia, then his learning problems when younger make perfect sense.

I was with him in Dharamsala when he started learning Tibetan (and indeed left the house for 2 months so that it could be a Tibetan-only situation, my idea and I insisted). He enjoyed it and made rapid progress because it was his native language. How far he got with it I don't know.

Rinpoche's other son, Gesar, who is brilliant, also has had a very difficult time with education and suchlike. Rinpoche himself often lamented that he was a lousy father. He was, though he got to spend lots of quality time with SMR, and the two were closely bonded on a deep level.

So I think ATWW is correct: if SMR is deserving of censure etc. then you are also going to have to take a good second look at CTR.

But I'm still a dy'd in the wool 50-50 on this. Figuring mahasiddha level stuff out is notoriously difficult. But I do think some major ef-ups have happened, by both father and son even though I am forever grateful for having spent considerable time with both. And so it goes.

it is actually very hard to accuse anyone of anything. Ultimately, all such things end up being some sort of he-said-she-said.

BaronAsh: Figuring mahasiddha level stuff out is notoriously difficult.

-- A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Charles and Tara Carreon


level 5
Arupajhana7
24 days ago
I read the seminary transcripts from 1999 and 2000. It seemed pretty knowledgable. I don't knew if he had notes on hand... But it did seem at least that he had intellectual information on hand and presented it ok.

level 6
tashi8888
24 days ago
What I was told was he had translators and handlers preparing him heavily. Seems like someone who was there could speak to his mastery of, ie, personal understanding of, the material. Understand there are many lecturers on buddhism in western universities now -- no need for cult apparatus for intellectual learning.

level 4
CheredeDarievea
25 days ago
I think the OP's observation that he stopped practicing at some point is quite telling. Not that practice is necessarily a panacea -- I've met lots of diligent meditators who are just selfish jerks, myself included -- but given that Mipham did not have a solid foundation in practice and study, had an agonizing childhood (as /u/LostMeadow relates), and didn't actually do the practices (per /u/allthewholeworld), well, to be honest it's hard to see how he could have integrated the teachings into his conduct and lifestyle.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:47 am

Part 4 of 10

level 3
BaronAsh
24 days ago
edited 24 days ago
Well, I spent the whole year with him just before you saw him, from mid 1989 until he went to Katmandu for a 3-month wang with HHDKR and all the gang of tulkus around him them. I was invited to stay but had a marriage to save after a year on the road.

The last time I saw him before leaving the next day, after that year together every single day, in both India and Nepal and America and Europe, we circumambulated the stupa three times and then walked together to HHDKR's throne room where the wang was about to begin. The Sawang walked up to the throne area and stood around with all the other tulkus. Although the shortest, he had by far the strongest presence. A few months later, after I had found a place to settle in with my wife (on the streets below prowled low-class hookers at night, the sort of bruiser you find in all harbor towns, but right across that same street, our neighbor the Lieutenant Governor, in a dark stone house, clearly haunted), he called me from Nepal to ask what I thought about the idea of his coming to take over. I told him to wait a few years until we had done our housekeeping so that he could step into something strong, not confused.

It's true he wasn't an experienced teacher, but it's not true about practice. Whilst we were travelling he did a full set of prostrations, about his third. Of course you could argue it was for athletic reasons, but really he is an action type, not a great intellectual scholastic type. Diana said he was the most gifted rider she ever worked with and I believe her, especially since there is no love lost between them.

I thought it a big personal mistake on his part to try to become Mipham the Great, especially when barely in his thirties. Identity is a bitch. And being a Sakyong is a bitch too, talk about a mind-f**k of an identity. I still think he could be a great Sakyong, but he let himself get pushed into it too soon. His father left a huge mess which we should have processed and dealt with before asking him to take over. Shortly after he was recognised, he and I came almost to blows when he started dissing his dad, but in retrospect I think he was right: his father didn't get everything right and he sure as shit left his son a ghastly steaming pile.


Oh well. Looks like it's all gone pear-shaped now, eh?

BaronAsh: Identity is a bitch. And being a Sakyong is a bitch too, talk about a mind-f**k of an identity.

-- A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Charles and Tara Carreon


level 2
JoeGrand64
26 days ago
I would add that SMR was good at monologues, not so much with dialogue.

In the early days, he took questions and gave personal interviews. There were ways for regular people to interact with him in a somewhat spontaneous way. It started changing gradually in the late 90's.

First the Q&A went away, then it got harder to talk to him in receiving lines and at feasts. Then the interviews went away. By 2010 or thereabouts he had no contact whatsoever with anyone who wasn't purely kissing his ass.


I think he believes his own bullshit some decent amount of the time. That alternates with crushing uncertainty. I think he believes in some version of what he is saying. He has some obligation to CTR not unlike the students who thrust much of this upon him.

I think he started phoning it in around the time the sequester was complete. I think he has spent most of his time on vacation for the last 5-10 years.

level 3
barleyfat
26 days ago
What is this "sequester" ?

level 4
JoeGrand64
26 days ago
Just poetic license. I mean when he shut himself off from the outside world.

level 5
barleyfat
26 days ago
Okay. Just wondered if that was "Shambhala speak" for intervention. My mind is just automatically making assumptions now, the hints above about Mitch Level, uggh.

level 3
BaronAsh
23 days ago
edited 23 days ago
I heard second-hand decades ago that the Regent said that Sawang lacked compassion. It's one of those off-hand remarks you hear that sticks. And it has still stuck.

Every year I've downloaded and watched the Shambhala Day thing and with one possible exception a few years back, he was moaning about his work load and such and presented such a joyless (or grimly chipper) facade that I would say to myself 'not yet'. Most tulkus -- one told me -- don't get realised until their fifties or so, and many of them never do. (It's not a fool-proof cookie-cutter system, of course.)

Real compassion can't really be faked because everyone feels it, feels that space immediately. That deep glow or radiance, is authentic, and is why so many people felt drawn to CTR. Most of his students were not party animals and most held down steady jobs, were married, raised children so any wild stuff was more like a (somewhat unpleasant) price of admission, not a source of fascination for those types. Most but not all of course -- and also, esp. at beginning, tons of single people footloose and fancy free in the early-to-mid seventies.

That deep aura of compassion creates a fruitional Mahayana space, you could say, pretty much indistinguishable from Ati space. (I suppose space, being formless, is rather hard to categorize, though how it resonates through whatever armature of personality is left will...)

Anyway, the Sawang was born into an unusual situation, to put it mildly, which nearly always meant being under considerable pressure to perform. He is by nature quite arrogant (in both positive and negative ways) but also, I would say, quite a bit of a snob who, like most Tibetans, rather looks down on whites in general, and almost certainly looks down on slavish students of any background.

I heard years ago that he was trying to forge his own way (around 2004ish?) and in so doing was taking jabs at many of the older students who had been holding him down, bossing him around and suchlike. Some of them were pretty forceful, highly dedicated characters. But he would ask something along the lines of: 'how many students have you magnetized? How many of you have achieved realisation? I want to present a path that actually makes my students achieve actual realisation!' Anyway, that's what I heard, and it's not a pointless point, albeit rather insulting, since he is the one who held so many senior students back by deliberately crafting a situation that made it disloyal and thus oath-breaking to branch out more, thereby developing their own compassion, and thus also rigpa etc., further. CTR taught his students to teach. SMR taught (most of) us to let all that go.

If he ever does become realised at his (very high) potential level, that compassion will radiate forcefully and clearly and delightfully and peacefully. Those Mukpos are an impossible bunch, not to mention scrappy fighters and horrific mess makers, but -- not unlike the fighting Irish or Great British Cockneys -- they sure got mojo!

BaronAsh: If he ever does become realised at his (very high) potential level, that compassion will radiate forcefully and clearly and delightfully and peacefully. Those Mukpos are an impossible bunch, not to mention scrappy fighters and horrific mess makers, but -- not unlike the fighting Irish or Great British Cockneys -- they sure got mojo!

-- A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Charles and Tara Carreon


level 1
LostMeadow
26 days ago
Bravo!!! Thank you for your honesty, kindness and desire to help. I left the community thirty years ago, because I saw everything you wrote about. It's comforting to know that at least one person in Mipham's inner circle sees him for the pitiful/monstrous tortured/rotten person he is. I watched him grow up. I watched the sangha treat him like a pariah, because he was a nobody, no title, raised as a feral child. You have been a great friend to him by understanding his underlying character and refusing to play his game. I also applaud what you wrote about the Acharyas. Anyone who questions your veracity is a sycophant. You have shown up at an auspicious time, because there are developments happening that will expose even more of the rottenness in SI and every voice is needed now. Thank you also for your intention to preserve the purity of the teachings and well-intentioned lamas who keep their vows.

level 2
tashi8888
25 days ago
Thanks, lost meadow. important to speak up right now...

level 2
barleyfat
26 days ago
Wait! Little Osel was mistreated as a child and then promoted when they needed him? Please elaborate.

level 1
federvar
24 days ago
edited 24 days ago
I've seen a link to this discussion in the Shambhala facebook site. Two minutes after, it was not there anymore. It is a 10,000 members group, and it is so frustrating they cannot see this.

EDIT: only today I have noticed the huge number of people there, so only now I can feel the contrast between that number and the feeble, circlejerk-kind of info and discussion you find there. That's what censorship and endogamy make of things.


level 2
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
that's how they roll, for sure

level 3
Quiddity70
23 days ago
Actually I also tried to post a link and it was deleted, but when I asked why at least I got answer. Apparently they have a problem with the anonymity of ATWW, and "unsubstantiated" claims, some of which are "false" (not that they would bother publishing any facts to refute the statements here). So. Basically anonymity is not good. Sigh.

level 2
tashi8888
24 days ago
Keep posting ... of course they probably have an algo deleting it by now. but continued mass postings by many -- or setting up a bot to repost continually -- will get attention. techies take note! you can help here.

level 2
pocapractica
23 days ago
Hm. That's the "unofficial" group and still they are censoring? Although I have heard of posts being deleted from that group before.

This thread is why I sucked up my courage and finally joined reddit. It's a lot like the old newsgroups.

level 1
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
You all understand, right:

there is no baby in this bathwater. the baby was kicked out around 2014.

level 2
fucking_giraffes
24 days ago
Can you say more about this? I have only been around for a couple years but have become increasingly disillusioned.

level 3
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
just the disappearance, in slow systematic fashion, of the buddhadharma, which are the teachings the entire community was built on. Nobody ever, ever, ever expected shambhala to be "cleansed" of buddhadharma. A shambhala without buddhadharma — and robust buddhadharma at that, makes no sense, but there it is. It's like shambhala gave up and became a family business rather than a thousand year vision of mahayana aspiration.

level 4
fucking_giraffes
24 days ago
Thank you for doing this. Thank you so much. I’ve spent most of my time at Shambhala trying to find and connect with the glimpses of buddhadharma. The family business reference nailed it.

Is there something that specifically happened in 2014?

level 5
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
well, fucking_giraffes, I would have to ponder that so I remember things in a year by year way.

but mostly what happened was the clamp down on making all of shambhala about "establishing the sakyong lineage." I mean, fck that. How about establish my practice, like thousands of years of accomplished teachers advised, now that is more like it.

The buddha never said "build a king a pretty palace with luxurious accommodations." Never. But I know someone who did say that. eventually, I just said, no thanks, pal. Reconnecting with other teachers helped that out a lot. Why hang out under a flickering streetlight if the full moon is risen?

level 6
fucking_giraffes
24 days ago
Ah yes, I understand now. I was fixated on the date :) I love the moon analogy. Thank you for expanding on this.

level 2
metal-tiger
12 days ago
Some say the ultimate baby is carried in the hearts of practitioners regardless of belonging to any group currently. The ultimate baby, IMO being sacred outlook; readiness to live the bodhisattva vow, for those who took it, and I suspect many in this thread did, and to engage in practices to help us realize it, and to overcome kleshas and habitual obscurations.

level 1
allthewholeworld
17 days ago
edited 14 days ago
details, #3
this has been removed to protect the journey of those who may remember the evening and not want to see it in print.


level 2
RavensandRainbows
16 days ago
Did you ever think to tell anyone about this kind of behavior? Who would you tell? How did/do you feel about representing a man like that for as long as you did? Do you feel that, like a lot of other people in the upper ranks, that you were complicit in this kind of shit going on in the court? I feel both curious and a bit frayed with utter disappointment and sometimes outright rage. Sometimes I think to myself, we were all complicit. Sometimes I think I have been duped over and over again.

level 3
allthewholeworld
16 days ago
edited 16 days ago
i feel all the same things. In my mind i was representing the teachings of the buddha, and my primary teachers (Khenpo Tsultrim, Thrangu, etc.) were not in shambhala. I was under the impression that all those teachers were working together and that they actually had a place in shambhala. I was helping mipham because I thought he was helping or wanting to help the elder teachers. It seemed for many years that he was, and I would talk to him about those things. We talked about older teachers and stories from the 19th century masters. I never talked to him about shambhala or his role. he had plenty of people who wanted to talk to him about that, and I was not a good conversational partner in those areas because I was not interested. I still believed that he was a tamed person, a person trying to put shambhala back on a good track after the confusion around his father's death and the regent's behavior and death. I believed he was working day and night to right the ship, and since other buddhist teachers seemed to be unconcerned by him, I didn't think to look. So i think I was duped, that is my own story to myself.

I was usually a guest at the court, not a court figure or someone doing shifts. I did a few earlier on, but didn't like it. When I finally became a guest, i saw what people wanted me to see, or what they were willing to let me see. i had not come to any conclusions at that time. when i started to look closely, based on horror stories from friends, my invitations to the court came less and less. As I mentioned before, he froze me out after a certain point. That was a relief, because I never liked being invited to the court.

Every one in shambhala is complicit to some degree, but that word implies to partner in a wrongdoing, and to me that implies intention. I had no intention of harming people, and I doubt you did, either. I am not sure mipham wanted to harm people, he just had no self awareness of the implications of his behavior. People on the outside of the court, at the local centers, are not 100% blameless either, they paid dues into a system that enabled his abusive conduct. They did not vet the situation, they just paid. They were OK with not being allowed to know what he was like, and that fueled the situation just like all the other enabling fueled it. Doing this is like enabling a sweatshop. They enabled, but I wouldn't call it complicity. Getting tennis shoes for cheap despite the conditions of the workers in a developing nation is not a plot to enslave workers, is it?


With all this stuff comes the inescapable feeling of shame. Shame can be processed, it is not a death sentence. If you haven't done something shameful, then shame might not be the most durable feeling. It might morph into regret or remorse, then self-forgiveness, then a renewed appetite for health. I am embarrassed to have been around an abusive scene so long before seeing it, but I was not intentionally conspiring against other beings' welfare. That is not me.

You didn't ask about shame, but there I went talking about it. That is what i see in the stories here and on FB. Shame can be processed through vulnerability. People whose lives once revolved around shambhala can just walk away and involve themselves with healthy activities. Plenty of those out there.

level 4
RavensandRainbows
15 days ago
edited 15 days ago
I appreciate all that you said. I appreciate what you say about shame. I guess that is my feeling too. So many people on the outside of shambhala telling me that they would never study Shambhala Buddhism because of the actions of CTR and me defending the current Sakyong because he was better than all that past silliness. Then, now, here I am having to eat crow and tell people, when it comes up, that our "good leader" is the worst kind of bad; just the same as all the others. I feel embarrassed. I feel remorseful that I gave so much money but then I tried to limit it to the local center and the land centers.

For me personally, it brings up a lot of past pain around being abused and other adults turning their back to it, ignoring the wrongness of their fellow adults toward me. Luckily I kept myself out of harm's way in Shambhala. I have learned from my past abuses/trauma to be constantly vigilant. What this has taught me is that I can trust myself. No one is going to protect me. I just have to trust my gut and go with it. That said, I still feel some twinge of rage when I think of all the times Shambhala teachers told me what a clean, pure, kind, gentle, real-deal kind of teacher Mipham was. It may take me awhile to trust again but I am gonna try to love my way through the wobbly unsure time that I am in. I hope others can do the same.

I do think it would be beneficial for the teachers who were or are still under Mipham to apologize to their students for not seeing what they couldn't see or didn't want to see; for not protecting their students along the path. I heard from a few too many teachers that were so very close to him that they never ever saw anything like what has been alleged. But then I have had the wool pulled over my eyes too so I know it's possible not see the weirdness. It's all a matter of perception, eh? We see what we wanna see. I, too, have been starry eyed to the point of blindness. Sounds like from what you say, they were pretty good at grooming the ones who would buy into the cover ups. Idk.

level 5
allthewholeworld
14 days ago
your response is filled to the brim with experience, and I can encourage you that with good self-care all the shame you have will transform into vulnerability, and with vulnerability you will be strong. I hope we can be in contact if you so desire, because you speak from the heart and aren't too proud to share with others what you are embarrassed to have done. I feel that way about my own journey. May my mistakes prevent others from having to make them!

level 4
metal-tiger
12 days ago
I really appreciate reading this, and don't know if you are still actively monitoring this thread. There are things that occurred with CTR that came to more light in the last several months that were hard to learn about, and I left in 1990 after VROT died. Never got involved with mipham's SI. But because of many close friends still fiercely loyal to CTR, despite having also left and who have other teachers (as I do), I feel I can't even openly discuss the things learned, or raise criticisms, or wonder about WHO WERE we, that we didn't see it. Despite working in the Court set up for CTR, etc. It feels like learning a dark secret about a loved family member and it hurts. And there is shame too, to even admit that one got involved. All those whose intelligence I admired, were we all so "damaged" that we got suckered? We deluded ourselves?

level 2
Arupajhana7
16 days ago
Did he have that woman summoned to his bed chamber later? Or was that him just doing that with the intention to make them uncomfortable in that moment?

Obviously it is bad either way. It seems his intention was to shit on their happiness but the degree of sociopathy would be a huge difference if he actually followed through with that.

level 1
ForestOcelot
17 days ago
Just to convey no more than my sincere appreciation to you, ATWW for sharing all of this.

While more serious and crazy even than I imagined, pretty much everything you’ve conveyed lines up with what I’ve suspected and inferred around how the Sakyong mirage has been created and maintained, the role played by Adam Lobel and others, the way that power has been consistently misused, and the incredible effort that has gone into maintaining the cardboard front of the whole catastrophe, and by individuals in maintaining a kind of ‘virtuous frontal lobotomy’ state around it all.

Yes it would be interesting to know if there’s any money left.

Not posting because incredibly busy and also travelling at the moment, but so glad to see what everyone has written.

level 1
Cashoobutter
26 days ago
Can you say more about Mipham's sociopathy in his treatment of the attendants? Was it typical love bomb, control and torment then discard? Also is his wife capable of protecting herself and the children?

level 2
barleyfat
26 days ago
I am embarrassed that none of us thought to ask about the safety of the wife and children until now.

level 1
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
edited 25 days ago
Acharya Suzanne Duquette, what do you know about her? She sent the following email to KCL staff this summer: http://matthewremski.com/wordpress/shri ... #more-7624

Dear Everyone,

Thank you for our discussion this morning. It was good to hear our collective wisdom and hearts. We didn’t really have time to hear from everyone who might have wanted to speak about the shrine photos being removed or staying up. Since this is a discussion that needs time and care, I would like to offer a further conversation about it soon in addition to inviting you to email me with your thoughts and feelings. I look forward to hearing more about how you are thinking and feeling into this topic. Meanwhile, for now, we are planning to cover the Sakyong’s photo in the Shambhala Shrine Room.

As we discussed, here is some information about the view and meaning of our Primordial Rigden shrine:

One way we might look at the shrine and the photos is from an outer level. From this perspective, shrines have changed over time; they have evolved. The lineage photos are just photos, which also have changed. There was a time, I am told, when there were six photos: His Holiness Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa, the Vidyadhara, the Sakyong, Suzuki Roshi, and the Vajra Regent. The photo of the Sakyong is now making a number of people feel uncomfortable. Since we want to honor and respond to the requests and perceived needs of members of our community, we should take his, and possibly the Vidyadhara’s, photo down. It or they can be put back up at some point.

However, there is an inner level, too. The Primordial Rigden shrine does not exist in pieces. Shrines represent the lineage – past, present, and future – and the photos are representative of the lineage. The shrine is a transmission of the warrior-guru principle altogether, not one specific teacher. The shrine as a whole is also the abiding place of Shambhala dralas; it represents our deepest heart. It represents basic goodness, Great Eastern Sun, and the unity of the two, enlightened society. This is a complete manifestation that represents our connection to the lineage for the long-term.

There is also another perspective: The Primordial Rigden represents the lineage and is also offered to us from the lineage. The meaning of the Primordial Rigden is part of the very heart of the shrine, us, and the lineage and, from another perspective, the Primordial Rigden does not exist without the lineage who introduced us to this universal principle.

Perhaps another aspect to consider is the role of lineage holders.

Lineage holders can be seen as sacred and pure. However, lineage holders are not models because they are sacred or pure, or different from us, but because they are the same as us. In the long history of lineage holders, each has his or her story of overcoming personal obstacles – from murder to anger and more. The teacher, our whole path, is about transforming human karma and bringing it to the dharma, to see the basic goodness beneath our confusion. Human mistakes have to be included or there is no path. Acknowledging our mistakes is key to this. This is true for both teachers and ourselves. The key is that those human mistakes are seen, acknowledged, purified, and overcome. Our lineage stories are filled with this truth. From this perspective, Shambhala doesn’t exist without lineage. If we take away the Sakyong or the Sakyong and the Vidyadhara’s photos, we are removing the Shambhala lineage.

The Sakyong is taking time away from teaching and administration to do very challenging personal work. He has already started that work. At the same time, he is still the Sakyong, the Shambhala lineage holder. We can turn away from the Sakyong because of his actions. We can hold and feel our pain and work with both the human and the teacher. We can hold our confusion and sanity at the same time. These are very personal decisions.

There is not just one or the other approach. In fact, we may find that removing or keeping the pictures up will not make things more or less difficult. We will still need to feel our pain.

Alternative approaches to taking the photos down that have helped people in some communities include covering one or both of the shrine photos, but not taking them down. For now we will start there, with covering the Sakyong’s photo.

For those of you who would like to have a further conversation about this and voice your feelings, I look forward to talking soon or receiving your email.

With appreciation,


When told about people wanting to take pictures of the sakyong down she said "This [Karme Choling] is His house and taking His pictures down is not to be taken lightly."

Also, how does the Sakyong Wangmo cope with such a husband?? Does he treat her poorly too?

What are your concerns for his daughters who didn't choose to be in the middle of all of this?

level 2
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
can't say much about SD, I know her a little, but have little personal experience with things other than basic conversation. Others have more experience with her than I.

I don't know their inner personal life, they always spoke to one another in Tibetan when I was around. I have not seen him treat her poorly, and I have seen him treat his daughters lovingly. She didn't seem like an ill-treated person, but I don't know what signs I would be looking for. I am very concerned about the daughters, but no more concerned than I am about other people's children. children, all children face a rough future, and many, like the survivors of shambhala are able to stand up and move forward after a painful fall into trauma.

level 1
EdmundButler
25 days ago
Nice job. I often get told to just walk away and stop whistleblowing / don't contribute negativity / leave them alone with the shame they must at some level feel (a Senior UK High Court Judge). I know why I'm publishing what I know and feel good. From a dharmic perspective can you tell us how you see your own efforts being beneficial?
https://shambhalacrime.wordpress.com

level 2
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
I have to admit when I first heard of your story I dismissed it. I assumed you were kind of a crazy guy who must have misinterpreted some interaction with a kasang or blown it out of proportion. But after seeing what I saw for myself eventually at the court, and also the BPS reports I have to say, you were right.

Keep the site up. Don't let the Shambhala leaders tell you what to do.

What's this about a senior UK high court judge?

level 3
EdmundButler
25 days ago
I get this a lot so no worries. Imagine how hard this all is for the many dharma brats who have revered the entire leadership as some kind of utopian Oz realm wherein they are fêted as demi-gods, double-nobly born. I've spoken to many who just simply look at me askance and say to themselves, if he's right, I've been horribly wrong my entire life along with my parents and everyone else. I have literally seen this reaction in dharmabrats p[ersonally in face to face conversations about my experiences. The scale of deception and betrayal is way more unfathomable than say Rigpa or Rajneesh because it has gone on for so much longer -- three generations in some cases. There's a serious risk of major mental health / self-harming risk here. I digress... The reaction I've gotten from Jane Arthur's best friend and close advisor was, after a year of only writing letters to the mukiluks without even publishing my blog "It's time to stop talking about this now." No justification as to why it was okay to ignore attempted murder; not even an attempt at same. They knew I was right but continued covering up the crime while complaining that I was embarrassing the facade. So then I published my blog, inspired by my former boss who told me not to "...publish in the Weekly World". I finally fled Nova Scotia for my life and moved back to the UK from where I hail. I talked it over with a family friend, the senior High Court Judge I mentioned. He could see that finding evidence that would secure a conviction was going to be hard, if only because of the pond. But it would also be hard because I had first to focus on healing from the betrayal. TBH, that's still ongoing. It's all a journey.

Thanks for believing me though. But remember, this is nothing compared to what others have experienced... nothing. All the best, Edmund

level 4
cedaro0o
25 days ago
Thank you Edmund. Your voice helped my liberation.

level 5
EdmundButler
25 days ago
That is heartwarming. Be kind to yourself.

level 4
tashi8888
25 days ago
Thank you, Edmund. Keep on healing and sharing. U R a very big help to many others right now.

level 5
EdmundButler
25 days ago
Thanks Tashi. Healing and whistleblowing is a fine balance!

level 4
cellularmisfit
23 days ago
Thank you.

level 4
juliaskig
16 days ago
I am not sure if attempted murder could be proved, because it relies heavily on intent. That said, your story sheds so much light on that center, and the management. What a horrible/scary experience. I saw your extraordinary woodworking, it's beyond most of what I have seen in museums. I feel that the center lost a huge opportunity with you. I also feel that your art is in its own way enlightening.

level 5
EdmundButler
15 days ago
If I read you correctly you're saying that I cannot prove intent. If so, that's a premature conclusion and unworthy because it assumes that all of the evidence is before you. It is not. It's a statement made in the same spirit of that of Joe Pratt, who dismissed the allegation as preposterous without speaking to me, while making admittedly inappropriate assumptions and revealing himself as a died in the wool apologist for Shambhala the corporation. There are a couple of blog posts about.

What you both appear to miss is that there has been a concerted cover up of crime here, by Shambhala. Whether that crime is attempted murder (as I, Richard Reoch and Deputy Sheriff Drew Weber believe may have occurred) or its criminal negligence creating the possibility of death, that statement remains true. As Joe no doubt surmised, what is damning for the message of Shambhala is that it swept that crime under the rug along with people like Bill Karelis.

Just as they banned him from teaching, they avoided formally investigating Jeremy Blackburn and instead banned him from Dorje Denma Ling because they knew he is guilty as alleged. He had accomplices, one of which was later fired (after much protest only) and the long and short of it is that Shambhala is screwed because it can't provide a safe space for people to meditate.

That said, I appreciate your compliments.

level 3
CheredeDarievea
25 days ago
I Have to admit when I first heard of your story I dismissed it.

I had the same reaction when I first met Edmund online and started interacting with him. It seemed a little far-fetched... Attempted murder? Really? Then I sat down and read through his blog, and the situation he described, and the people involved, and the whole thing is entirely plausible, based on my own experience with landcenter power dynamics. And then my opinion of Edmund changed. So hey /u/EdmundButler, sorry about that, and thanks for your bravery.

level 4
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
Yes, my apologies u/EdmundButler. So many in the Sangha dismissed you. Thank you for coming forward with everything when you did. And for continuing to do so.

level 5
EdmundButler
25 days ago
It's cool. When the Spanish ships showed up off the coast of Patagonia, it's said the natives didn't even register because such an event was so far out of their experience...

level 6
JoeGrand64
25 days ago
Yeah. But that "didn't see the ships" business is a bunch of made up billshit.

level 7
EdmundButler
24 days ago
That may well be, but for me it's true on an allegorical level. In any case, my point generally is about the all pervasive cognitive dissonance which permits abuse to thrive. I was probably taking some artistic license there!

level 4
EdmundButler
25 days ago
Totally cool, really. When Hitler was taking over Europe in 1939 there were many who thought he wasn't! The UK Prime Minister went and had tea with him and came back extolling his virtues. Then Hitler sent an army of drones against London.

The devastation which ATHW's accounts will bring is difficult to imagine but published they should well be, like my own and many others, to avoid complicity in the deception and betrayal as well as to warn. These people have weaponised love bombs so that students give their all to the spiritual materialism of Dharma With Credentials. It really is a catastrophe unfolding and I worry about the safety of the many sweet, vulnerable people I knew in Shambhala as they flail around now, failing to navigate their tailspins, clinging to logic they know is false, afraid of how the truth will impact their friendships, their faith in their parents who perhaps put them in the Sangha and even in the value of meditation at all.

level 1
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
Interesting that you are calling the Acharyas out at this time. As this very conversation about them is happening they are recruiting people to join a new curriculum and course they've designed: https://shambhalaonline.org/calendar-details/?id=386287

Business as usual indeed

level 2
TharpaLodro
25 days ago
So you've been abused or have been impacted by abuse? Get all 4 compassion teachings for only $389!

The audacity is almost funny.

level 1
federvar
25 days ago
Reading here, another thing comes to my mind: SMR books. If I am not wrong, Chogyam Trungpa books were mainly editions of his talk's transcripts, but that's not the case with his son. Some of them have been quite inspiring to me, and have helped me with some concepts and practices. I had a strong sense of the need of slowing down in my life, for example, while reading The Shambhala principle. But now I'm starting to suspect, after reading here about SMR, that maybe those books are (at least in part) ghostwritten. Is that plausible? Is there any teacher or acharya doing the work for him?

level 2
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
plausible? yes. mipham is not a writer. he dictates some things, and then has other people patch together this and that to come up with a book.

level 2
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
I heard that he usually dictates his books and writings to others while he is on the treadmill. I saw a documentary about him once that included this. Then he has them read back what they typed. I was told has dyslexia and has difficulty reading and writing himself. But it would be interesting to know how heavy the editing process is.

While considering a life at Dorje Denma Ling and in Nova Scotia generally, I met many Shambhalians who told me that its four Residential Land Centres were intense places at which to live and work, yet ultimately worth every challenge. Should I have expected those challenges to include attempted murder and the systemic cover up of criminal activity at both these ‘lay monasteries’ and across the organisation as a whole? It’s not what I taught my meditation students when we read from the Sakyong’s books in the group I started in my own home two years prior to moving to Dorje Denma Ling, because his books tell a very different story. They also don’t describe how, between writing chapters he drunkenly forced his students to sexually pleasure him, knowing which the reader leaves with a rather different interpretation than not knowing.

-- The institutionalised cover up of crime in the Shambhala International Sangha, by Edmund Butler


level 3
federvar
25 days ago
It would be interesting indeed. Thank you.

level 4
tashi8888
25 days ago
what I was told is that all of his books are ghostwritten ... his speeches too. told from a reliable source who saw the work in action in halifax. Also i noticed in the sham accounts released last summer his 'secretarial' support -- assumed this was funding for his four 'secretary'/writers. also noted that sham then proceeded to fund his travel and book tour expenses for 'art of conversation' launch -- no reimbursement back from books sales...

level 5
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
Yeah what I was told was pretty close to the official version TBH. I wouldn't be surprised if this is closer to the truth.

level 6
JoeGrand64
25 days ago
He dictates the books. Most of them. Some of the restricted books are edited talks.

He most definitely sat there and dictated Profound to Mark Whaley.

You can tell it is him, half the book is him googling the etymology of words and then making up some bullshit.

You don't need a ghost writer for that.


level 7
BaronAsh
24 days ago
I was in a house in Lago di Como and helped transcribe very long talks he gave. The book was rejected, but many interesting stories from his childhood and beyond. I have heard -- though this was years ago before he started publishing -- that he still dictates. We spent many, many nights around fires indoors and outdoors drinking and composing poetry spontaneously. He was always by far the best, way beyond anyone else. And at the famous Ati seminary of '83 as well, when he did one (I recall only one) it was by far the best.

That said, all of his published books are terrible, imo. I can't get through a whole chapter. Have always assumed they are over-edited to the point there is no 'voice' there. And I never heard a single talk that was interesting either, though only heard a couple since he was enthroned.

I still don't think he's as bad as people here say, at least in terms of intelligence, but he's not an intellectual type but a doer. He should have left the teachings to others, imo. Organisationally he is astute, at least in terms of seeing who is good at what. I think the whole Sakyong business has corrupted him and am not so much angry as disappointed and sad. That said, if all this stuff that is only hinted at here is true, time to wrap up the party and call it a night.

Then what is interesting is: what next, or should there be nothing.

But first the process has to play out. And it seems like ATWW has just taken things to a new level, one I suspect will be attracting many more fairly soon. Time will tell.


BaronAsh: That said, all of his published books are terrible, imo. I can't get through a whole chapter. Have always assumed they are over-edited to the point there is no 'voice' there.

-- A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Charles and Tara Carreon


level 7
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
you got this one mr64. good info. googling etymology and making up some bullshit.

level 1
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
I am getting lot of pms about things. why i haven't talked about survivors for one. I thought I was going in the right direction here. Survivors are the ones I hope can stand up and share their voices if and when they are ready. I have said a lot, and I can only say so much in the hours I have at the keyboard. People also asked why I support CT. I wrote quickly with almost no editing. Wasn't thinking much about that. Also, remember, you talk about CT and the thread shifts to that. CT is dead, and the survivors I know are not generally survivors of him. But it is an important point. Can someone lend a hand?

I am writing the stuff I know. I will hand the mic over to anyone who has a story to tell. I don't own this story of course. In fact, just take the mic!

level 2
cedaro0o
25 days ago
There's a thread a few before this one where I posted this, trungpa's butler's account of his time with him, it's a short but very telling read. If the reader can stomach this as wisdom...

https://bbooks.info/book/the-mahasiddha ... ot-servant

level 1
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
someone pm'd me about money. or maybe it was a post below. Money was important for many people who wanted to get close. that wasn't a part of it for me. I don't have any money and I never did. didn't mean to convey that.

I don't know what the patrons have to do, to answer a question from below. I don't know the arrangements. I was definitely never a patron. I have been working since I was 13 years old.

level 1
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
"why are you not more harsh on people who run the court, like Mitchell."

because I don't know anything about these people
, and the stories are widely available and I figured people would get their information from all the places. I am navigating how tough and how healing to be, and I am no master at any of it!

level 2
BaronAsh
24 days ago
Well, maybe I'm really far out there, but I wasn't aware of any stories about ML. There are probably a zillion stories like that I've never heard. This is the only place I've been to since the recent blow-up because am not aware of any place else and don't do FB. (I got spooked when I signed up one day and even though had been out of the sangha a long time, they suggested 300 ex sangha members as recommended friends within minutes. Scary -- not the sangha members per se, but how good their monitoring and categorising algorithms are. I also knew years ago that it was set up by intelligence community so even though that doesn't matter to me or shock me all that much, still, given my keyboarding proclivities, decided to pass.

I complained about All World's initial posts that there weren't enough facts, only opinion and persuasion. I still feel that way, though the voice feels authentic and I'm not fussing about whether or not he's real etc. It's just that I want more data.

Of course, more data might just be more opinion and second-hand gossip. This uncertainty aspect is very, very tedious.




I need to say here that Ciel first slept with CT when she was very young, 13 or 14 years old. Of course people will deny this but it is the truth. She told me herself. I doubt anyone out there has the guts to back me up on this, however. Most still want to believe he was omniscient and powerful and not some pervy, rapey asshole who preyed on children. If your daughter was sleeping with the king of the universe at that age, would that be OK? The universal monarch who is in touch with heavenly beings daily decided that he loved Ciel, and it did appear that he loved her very much. He and the rest of them loved her to death.

In fact he made her the “Sangyum Wangmo” meaning the head of the Sangyum. Then she became the Sakyong Wangmo 2. This meant she sat in front of all of us. Previously, we sat in order of weddings, with Karen closest to CT. We occupied the front row of the court section at talks. And CT’s special attention further isolated Ciel from the rest of us. While she might have been able to share with her sister wives certain things, the pressure to be number one in all actions must have been intense. The secrets she held were way too much, in my opinion, for an 18 year old who was handed over to the king of the universe and groomed since birth to marry him. CT was not the only powerful man to reach out to Ciel -- her love affair with Mitchell Levy began when she was 16. WE ALL KNEW -- JESUS CHRIST WE ALL KNEW. Mitchell’s still in charge of a large part of the cult and he’s actively advocating for teaching positions in Europe and beyond, where perhaps he hopes no one knows the truth about his character. All narcissists hate to be ignored.

-- The Life and Death of Chogyam Trungpa's Child Sex Slave: Ciel Turzanski [Drukmo Nyima], by Leslie Hays [Drukmo Dashen]


level 3
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
with respect, you are so far out of the loop if that first sentence is true that you have a lot of catching up to do to seem ready for this forum. keep posting, of course, but show up with some sensitivity to the situation and you will make a difference. I am not going to attack you or anything, just trying to reach across the aisle here.

level 4
BaronAsh
24 days ago
edited 24 days ago
Well, it seems that if I'm not on FB, then I won't find this all out. An old friend of mine told me the same thing (he has been virulently anti-SMR for over a decade now and athough his view seems vindicated, his vitriolic hatred I still feel is bad for him and a sign of something out of whack, but who am I to judge.

Do you think everyone on this board knows all this stuff and I don't? Interesting, because many of them don't seem to know all that much even about SMR and what he's teaching.

When your reddit phase has blown over, I would be grateful if we could talk one day. I would very much appreciate talking to someone who is familiar with SMR's main teaching period (which looks like is over!). I absented pretty much around 1998 and although we met briefly twice after that, he was in freeze mode, and I was having cognitive difficulties from the stress of sangha-related difficulties, and also brain infections which only found out about three years ago and have since more or less tamed (change of diet, basically, including mental diet and NO visualisation practices!!). But I work intuitively, mainly, and things felt off to me before Rinpoche died, though I was nowhere near trying to analyse it overmuch given how ill he was the last 2-3 years when I spent most of my time with him hour after hour. And I felt the Regent was dodgy, Mitchel and Diana were dodgy (though they asked me to help them run the sangha as their Manager-like but I refused because of how she had fired me and two friends years earlier!), so was aware of stuff feeling off for many years. I am sure I was (and still am) dodgy as well for that matter.

I was around Leslie during some of the nights she described. I had a very different take. I too think she is brave, but I don't buy all of her angle. There are many different subjective truths at play at once. Of course, I only saw one excerpted post about a cat or something (unlike you, I find that sort of stuff somewhat amusing), but although I can see why some people can now view the whole thing as 'abuse', at the time it didn't feel like that to me and I like to think I am the sort of person who wouldn't just follow along with clearly rotten stuff. Indeed, when Lady Diana fired the Rykens in Willowstream Park, even though they had contributed to my being fired earlier (they didn't want a horny twenty-something year old known as a ladies man around their very precocious teenage daughters out on a farm in the boondocks -- and they were right!) I went straight to the Loppon, the senior official in town, and asked if there was anything that could be done, either to get her to change or to give them a severance package. He was clearly nonplussed. In any case, I pushed back is the point, when I saw something off. When I travelled with SMR, in India I insisted that, in accordance with some old buddhist sutra I'd read, that he pay for my room and board, because that was the Buddha's stipulation for how to treat servants. He didn't argue and paid up! (I paid my share in fancy places in Rome, but I never paid for him.) I told Rinpoche to buy skis for his son Gesar so he could exercise and immediately he paid up. Years later I told him to buy dresses for all seven of his Sangyum and immediately he went out shopping with them and did it (meanwhile Lady Diana got a Porsche, which she demanded before giving her permission for him to go ahead with the whole thing), and those dresses were a huge hit with the ladies, btw. 'What sort of husband would you be, ' I said to him, 'if you don't at least buy them wedding presents?!'" As well as being a tulku vajra master mahasiddha General, he was also very British (and proud of being the first Tibetan to get the passport and being a subject of Her Majesty); so I called him on it gentleman to gentleman, and it was no problem, rather delightful.

Is this all abuse? Maybe in retrospect. At the time it felt like something quite different. Weird, yes, but also fun. I think some of the abuse angle is coming out because other things have gone badly and the initial levels of practice, insight, joy and camaraderie have been lost, so, like in a marriage gone bad, everything seems rotten, even those times way back when when you were deluded enough, or 'abused' enough, to feel they were great. But now (the generic) you know better. (Or maybe you are just scared of what your peers in society or relatives might think?)

So although I want to hear more stories now, am circumspect. Stories are in the eye of the beholder, including of course my own stories and memories, but especially I think stories told 30 years after the fact are not much more than entertainment and probably don't contribute much to the current 'current situation.'

Anyway, am running my course. I salute this thread you started. I still want more details -- let us call them that instead of facts. I respect your perspective and views -- SMR is a narcissistic sociopath etc. -- but without more detailed description, I can't take them as more than just one person's opinion with all the subjective overlay that all subjective opinion's have -- like my reaction to Leslies' words, what few I read of them anyway. I was there on some of those evenings. My recollection is quite different. Am I wrong or right? Is she wrong or right? I wouldn't venture to say except I think both are probably right. But what does that mean? Ultimately, almost nothing, especially given the time lapse. I almost flew out to see Ciel two days before she died. I passed, thinking I was going for low reasons even though a voice clearly told me to make the detour. I was extremely upset at her death and ever since have never seriously contemplated coming back in, although I made a few desultory attempts in moments of confusion.

But hard-hitting, reasonably fresh, first-hand, detailed narrative would help blow it open more, if that is your intention.

If what you are saying is mainly true -- and I have no reason or inclination to doubt btw -- then why haven't more people come forth? Or is it just that I'm not on FB and that's the only place these things are aired?

Anyway, thanks again and all best.

BaronAsh: I was around Leslie during some of the nights she described. I had a very different take.

-- A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Charles and Tara Carreon


level 5
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
I am going to just say that I do think you are one of very few who doesn't know much of this, but I am sure you are not the only one. And your voice is important because you feel and know all that you do.

Love your long post, but haven't read all of yet, still just starting...

level 6
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
intense stuff, Baron. You seem to be claiming that the cat incident either didn't happen the way it was reported, or that you didn't view it as a such a negative thing. Did I hear you? Clarify if you can.

level 7
BaronAsh
23 days ago
I wasn't there for the cat -- at least I don't think so, though I have a vague memory of chasing one out. Probably shortly before or after her event which I missed. Certainly I didn't witness what she described though I was around mucho during that exact same period.

What I really meant was that when I read about it, I don't find it all that shocking. Same with the (much better delivered) Johnny and Max's Dog Tale, which I find profoundly hilarious. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

During this period, Rinpoche was up all night hunched over a steel mixing bowl trying to vomit, retching again and again. Leslie hated it and, being quite young and a very natural person in any case, just wanted to sleep. I did my best to stay out of it as much as possible and nap myself. I fully understand why she has bad memories of the time. I don't necessarily disagree with her conclusions which are no doubt 'her truth.' But I was there during that time and her description sounded very different from how I experienced it. There are many levels of subjective truth I guess is all I'm saying.

BaronAsh: There are many levels of subjective truth I guess is all I'm saying.

-- A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Charles and Tara Carreon
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:08 am

Part 5 of 10

level 8
allthewholeworld
23 days ago
I appreciate the way you are exploring your own thinking, your memories, and the differences in the way this affected people. I cannot fathom how you could find cruelty to animals hilarious though.

level 9
MaskAgee
22 days ago
Why are you stuck on the cat? Instead of appreciating what Baron has said quite so eloquently you just dismiss it with one fell cat. Rinpoche hated cats! Obviously air head Leslie didn't know that. Maybe it was a premonition -- if your wife brings you a little kitty -- kill it! The story stinks too, because there weren't any cats at RMDC. Or maybe she was just shocked that Rinpoche didn't like her little pussy and got mad at him! I sincerely believe Rinpoche was more abused by his students than the other way around. Mitchell Levy used to beat him up and yell at him! You do know Rinpoche was paralyzed on one side of his body. Pretty much defenseless!

MaskedGeek: I sincerely believe Rinpoche was more abused by his students than the other way around.

-- A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Charles and Tara Carreon


level 9
BaronAsh
23 days ago
Well, to be honest I don't really remember that story clearly, though I do remember reading her post and finding her current take on it quite out of synch with my sense of how things felt at the time. My later point being that subjective truth, for lack of a better term, is a fickle beast. Which is why much of all this contretemps is tricky, both in how to transmit and how to receive.

But in terms of hilarious: I am mainly going off the Johnny and Max's dog one. And that does involve some sort of cruelty. It was also a sort of doggy abhishekha too!

BaronAsh: Subjective truth, for lack of a better term, is a fickle beast.

-- A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Charles and Tara Carreon


level 5
DismalPerformance
18 days ago
Baron Keep posting. you know more than anyone else on this thread. You maybe 50/50 on CTR, but i hear him coming out strongly through you.

level 6
BaronAsh
17 days ago
edited 17 days ago
Thanks. Well, I'm not really 50-50 on CTR, however I am in the sense that I don't feel the need to try to make out that everything was perfect, nor that perhaps some things really weren't really off. However, the core experience was powerfully, radiantly, good and I can't erase that from the personal akashic record, nor deny it, and am certainly not interested in trying to keep up with ever-changing neomarxist revisionism in order to cast new judgement on the past. We all have the present to deal with, which of course presents more than enough challenges as it is. But thxs for yr kind words.....

BaronAsh: However, the core experience was powerfully, radiantly, good and I can't erase that from the personal akashic record, nor deny it, and am certainly not interested in trying to keep up with ever-changing neomarxist revisionism in order to cast new judgement on the past.

-- A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Charles and Tara Carreon


level 1
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
something to consider: many of the requests I see are: "what are your thoughts on named person?" I understand why this is important to people. You have had years of contact with an individual and want to know if there is something from the inside to know. Yes, they all have their stories, and they all have their enemies. the acharyas gossip about each other just like everyone else does, so you hear stuff if you are around them. same with the administrators.

in general my thoughts are that these are all long term recipients of abuse and have to one extent or another continued this by abusing others. abuse here means not looking out for what is best for the students. I feel that dharma teachers are fiduciaries.

Abuse also means encouraging people to stay in a situation that has clearly harmed many before.

The number of people in therapy, or whose lives have been devastated by either of the mukpos or Tom Rich may seem like fantasy to the isolated world of shambhala, but everything in the isolated world of shambhala is just fantasy anyway. They ignore news and create fake news: Ooooh an acharya I talked to said the sakyong is entering a whole new phase! Ooooooh. Then it's the same old insipid cliche. And you have to purchase it. Meanwhile he's picking his teeth in a first class seat headed to some shopping vacation at guess who's expense. And in a nearby city someone is feeling suicidal because of their involvement in shambhala or their abuse by the court or the duplicity of the leadership. True story, happening right now. An intervention occcurs, and yet another phsycian's office hears about the cult of shambhala. Thanks, acharyas. I don't have good words to say about you because of your offensive silence and mishandling of peoples' trust. Speak out and others will credit you.

So they all participate in an abusive system, keep silent, pretend that everyone in the world worth speaking to is in shambhala, hide from the world and compound the isolation. Let's all keep in mind that shambhala is tiny, and so this is like a bunch of people fighting on a boat out at sea. Nobody actually cares. If I know something really awful, and I know it for sure, I will speak it.

I am not about to accuse someone of a crime if I don't know the facts. In some extreme cases, I may repeat the rumors, but only if they come from absolutely convincing sources. People may be very upset about me for not doing their fights for them. If you want to speak out, please speak out.


But you don't need me to report the same gossip and allegations that you can find on facebook or wherever else. I am not here to publicize things you can simply google.

level 2
barleyfat
24 days ago
A couple of days ago I complimented you for not slipping into bitter rancor. now I wonder if the stress of all this reditting is getting to you. You said you were new to Reddit. Please let me share some knowledge with you.

Reddit makes us into assholes.

Anonymous posting allows expressions that we would never do in face to face, those of us who are already reddit assholes normalize that behavior, even encourage it, snark gets upvotes, then it becomes habitual and can even bleed into real life.

Maybe you should take a break, come back with a new thread in a couple days. We don't want you to become Arupajhana7.

level 3
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
haha I appreciate your advice. I don't want to be an asshole and you are probably right.

level 1
allthewholeworld
18 days ago
edited 17 days ago
detailed stuff per your request (#1)
(someone requested the dates: I believe this was 2005 or so. maybe 2003) I offer to give an acharya a ride to DIA after an assembly with Mipham. On the way there, here is some dialogue:

Me: “how is it for you being around him all the time?”

Acharya: “he is not always an inspiring person to be around”

Me: “what does that mean”

Acharya: [detailed the varieties of excess and laziness he witnessed, tons of television, zero practice. Then said this:]

“My biggest concern is that he is going to get drunk and take a rich sangha member’s 15-year-old daughter upstairs and get her pregnant and then the whole thing falls.”

Me: Uhhh… [not comprehending that this person actually meant it, thinking it was a worst case scenario and that I was being tested somehow. Years later, reading BPS#3, horrified.]

At the time, I imagined this acharya to be a person who would report such a thing immediately, along with any other abuse, because that is how these acharyas presented themselves in their role. I took this to mean, “he gets crazy and anything could happen someday.” And I also thought this person was trying to raise a little crazy wisdom cognitive dissonance. Now, I think this person may have been thinking out loud. I think this acharya was living with the ominous sense of having seen too much.

level 2
breathing216
18 days ago
Thanks for taking the time to write those down. Could you include the year for these stories? It would help me compare to where I was at that time and how I was viewing things. It would also help us get a sense of how long this has been going on.

level 3
allthewholeworld
18 days ago
this has been going on since his teenage years. most of my stories are between 2004 and 2016. it was always the same, but he fluctuated in which vice was predominant. it was sex for awhile, then he got in too much heat for that, so he started to extract money from people and upgrade his lifestyle. Binge drinking was always a part his life.

level 4
breathing216
17 days ago
Thanks, but I was hoping for the actual year of each story. I understand you are trying to paint general impressions with the material you can share, but in the "push back", I often hear "it was like that before, but he changed" or "that was a long time ago". So the clearer the facts, the more convincing the argument.

level 5
allthewholeworld
17 days ago
I put in a few dates to help your quest.

the push back won't be pushing very much longer. if you need more truth with dates, join fb and navigate to the ATWW thread.

there is no need to try to convince anyone. those who wish to know will do their own research, it is all out there, and a lot more is coming.

level 6
breathing216
17 days ago
Thanks again. I am not ready yet to join fb. Hopefully, all the information will become available to everyone.

level 7
allthewholeworld
17 days ago
just posted some dates per your request

level 8
breathing216
17 days ago
Thanks. It's scary stuff.

level 2
Cashoobutter
18 days ago
What is DIA

level 3
allthewholeworld
18 days ago
denver international airport

level 1
allthewholeworld
18 days ago
edited 17 days ago
more detailed stuff
[this is from 2015, maybe 2014 or 2016] I am at SSA during the first glimpse of the big secret book for the kasung. I am meeting with him and his older Kusung come in and start talking to him and his attention turns from me to them so I remain quiet. They seriously discuss the possibility of switching the Scorpion Seal training to a reading of Trident, because that is where “the real transmission is.” Old Kasung & kusung laugh together.

In her 1987 essay “Sex and Death in the Rational World of Defense Intellectuals”, the US academic Carol Cohn argues that the language of defence strategy – particularly nuclear defence – is overtly sexual. “The history of the atomic bomb project itself is rife with overt images of competitive male sexuality,” she writes.

After attending a Cold War era summer course on nuclear weapons, nuclear strategic doctrine, and arms control – run by “white men in ties discussing missile size” – she discovered the way they spoke about nuclear war was rife with imagery of male sexuality.

Cohn noted phrases like “penetration aids”, getting “more bang for the buck”, “to disarm is to get rid of all your stuff”, “the nicest hole – you’re not going to take the nicest missile you have and put it in a crummy hole”, “the Russians are a little harder than we are”, and India’s first explosion of a nuclear bomb as “losing her virginity”.

She also heard references to vertical erector launchers, thrust-to-weight ratios, soft lay downs, deep penetration, and protracted attacks versus spasm attacks (referred to by one military adviser as “releasing 70 to 80 per cent of our megatonnage in one orgasmic whump”). And when she visited a Trident submarine, she was invited to “pat [STROKE] the missile” – leading to this simply brilliant reflection:

“What is all this ‘patting’ [STROKING]? What are men doing when they ‘pat’ [STROKE] these high-tech phalluses? Patting [STROKING] is an assertion of intimacy, sexual possession, affectionate domination. The thrill and pleasure of ‘patting [STROKING] the missile’ is the proximity of all that phallic power, the possibility of vicariously appropriating it as one's own.”


-- The long history of nuclear dick-waving: “White men in ties discussing missile size.” by Anoosh Chakelian


Image

This program is an entry point for Dorje Kasung to enter the Trident Path of Study and Contemplation. Participants will receive the reading lung of the Trident text as well as the 1st three Chapters of the text.

To attend the Trident Intensive portion of this program (Friday evening & Saturday) you must be an MPE Vet and have a current Dorje Kasung oath (one year or lifetime). No exceptions; and Friday evening is Mandatory.

-- Trident Assembly with Bonnie Taylor, by atlanta.shambhala.org


“Delight resides in the tip of the vajra [penis]", as is said in a Kalachakra text (Grönbold, 1992a).

-- The Shadow of the Dalai Lama, by Victor and Victoria Trimondi


[b]I am struck dumb. All the participants had practiced for a year or more just to get there, and genuinely wanted to carry forward their SSA [Scorpion Seal Assembly] path. But he was terribly bored, and was trying to get out with as few talks as he could get away with. They were, I felt, seriously considering just switching the program and saying, “this is the wish of the guru.” I protested.

I don't mention this because it was a joke, but because it wasn't a joke. the respect for practitioners was very low. they were a captive audience and their real job was to adore him, which is what he lived for.

He ended up giving one talk to the group. One. He had led a guided meditation before that. $1500 plus seven full days out of your life for a guru who views your needs as a hassle and is looking to get out of his responsibility to you at any moment he can see an opening.


Image
Scorpion Seal: Year 10 with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, May 20 - 31, 2018


level 2
beaudega1
18 days ago
That was always my impression . . . the phrase the used to pop into my mind was Sakyong Elsewhere, because he either was or seemed to wish he was on the rare occasions when one saw him. Mr. Minimal Effort, can't be bothered.

Any idea how he spent that year he supposedly spent in “deep retreat” around 2010? That was a real eye-opener for me, the funding campaign was launched demanding the several hundred thousand dollars in salary and expenses he felt entitled to annually regardless of what he was doing. And the fact that they could hardly ever be bothered to update us about where he was and what he was up to despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars we coughed up to support the “retreat.”

level 3
allthewholeworld
18 days ago
i only know that he used that time to compose of lot of practices that turned me off. this is where he found the inspiration to revamp virtually everything, including the refuge and bodhisattva vows. it became his inventory creation retreat, i guess. a few friends were on that retreat with him, but they said little. Also, they are not particularly involved with meditation practice, and I doubt he was, either. But no, I don't have much knowledge of the details, but many do.

level 4
TharpaLodro
8 days ago
this is where he found the inspiration to revamp virtually everything, including the refuge and bodhisattva vows

Do you mean the little practices they give out or the actual text of the vows? I took the refuge vows recently, not the bodhisattva vows, but the actual vows were just the threefold refuge people have been saying since the time of the Buddha...

level 1
ChogyDan
26 days ago
Have you gone public with your stories? Why or why not?

And following up that question, given that we don't know how true the stories out there are, can you point to some stories that you feel represent who SMR really is?

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
Thank you ChogDan. I have gone semi public, and I have helped many, many people get out and begin to get through the process of leaving. I am not going full public, not yet, because that would make talking to me too stigmatizing for those who are still in. I will give some stories soon, but let me look through the rest of the replies.

level 3
Icy_Peanut
25 days ago
If you were good friends with the Osel Mukpo for 20 years, why did it take you so long to perceive his pathology? You come across as very articulate and intelligent, so this is hard to understand.

level 4
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
i was not as intelligent as some -- the ones who left immediately. I was gullible, I wanted to believe i was part of a good community. I didn't want it to be what my heart was suggesting it was. I was not much help to myself back then. I believed the older practitioners who told me it was the best thing in the world.

level 1
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
edited 26 days ago
Please share what you can so people can know the truth. Of course make sure you are safe from harm. Maybe reach out to Matthew Remski? Or Andrea Winn? Or both? They seem to be good platforms for getting information out there about what he has been doing.

This is not the first time that I have heard that SMR may have a mental illness. I did hear, shortly after the scandal broke, of one senior teacher questioning SM's mental health. But I never heard any details about why they thought this may be the case.

How were you able to break away from it? When did you realize that he had a mental health issue/what made you see him as a sociopath? (Again, if it's not safe to answer here, may be better to send your info to Andrea or Matthew. They might try to vet your claims a bit via corroboration before publishing.)

ThinkProgress.org would be interested in this story as well. They seem to treat their sources well. But you would need to be able to offer some proof of your claims.

If you are recognized within the community as someone who has been close to SMR and in his inner court mandala over many years, just going public would be enough. People would believe you. Thinkprogress or NYT might want to interview you.

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
There are many excellent questions in your post Aruphajhana7. I have communicated with Matthew Remski, but not Andrea Winn. I respect what Winn has done, but she is unwilling/unable to face the truth of Mipham's father, whose story is changing more and more as people come forward with truly awful stories of his abusiveness too.

Regarding Mipham's mental health, he is a tormented soul in every way, and has been manipulated and abused by his handlers for decades. He is essentially a twelve year old living a life of grandiose delusion which is enabled by a handful of men, several of whom have been pushed out at this point, thank goodness. But the worst one is still there.

I appreciate your concern for my safety. Shambhala is full of weak, small minded men and women, and there is not much they can do to me. I am taking my time with my story, because if I strike, I strike deeply.
But we are talking about a network of hundreds of people who are living with a Scientology level of delusion and fear. And their leader is a deeply compromised paranoid sociopath, surrounded by half a dozen people with similar narcissism, and money. I don't want to harm the wrong people. It is tricky, but I am not going to do nothing, either.


I have friends who spent years with him in day to day lives as his attendants. they have spoken to the press, including the NYT. I am not certain, but I think there are stories being written that are somewhat more investigative. I wish they would come out with them. definitely appreciate the welcome that these first two comments have offered me. thanks redditors.

level 2
cedaro0o
26 days ago
I would like to add my 2 cents to the suggestion that anyone looking to reveal information should work through a reputable professional journalist who would be able to work with the source or sources to manage the level of public exposure to what is healthy and healing and not disruptive.

I would also hope that if the source or sources are struggling with trauma from the experience that they have a support network in place possibly including professional counselling that could provide assistance through a difficult time.

level 1
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
One comment: if you want the help I can give, ask relevant questions. If you want to advise me on what to do, go back to bed. I am on top of this.

level 2
notso-olddog
25 days ago
allthewholeworld: I have important questions that might insure my own mental/physical/emotional/livelihood survival. Have left ushq well over almost 10 years ago. However, I still live in location mentioned above. I have not until recently recognized the ghosting/gaslighting phenomena but have struggled with its reality for over 12-15 yrs. Experiencing ghosting daily with 2nd & 3rd gener’s through use of lies, misinformation that seriously curtails my love life: ghosting occurs through us of old-old dogs (homeless) informing ushq of location almost daily now. Run into smr-Samaya’s in my neighborhood, in town and so on. Has resulted in like as of livelihood for over 9 yrs, interference in my academic life, unable to gain employment despite credentials and extensive experience; often gaslighting has been coordinated with the old-dogs/newbies/regginites.

How do we I get support to work with counteracting phenomena (thought I was going mad for a long time). Many experiences mentioned now makes sense. Real attempts to have me classified as/institutionalized to destroy my life - using old/present therapy community. Interference in my medical treatments. Seeking help and support confidentially with trusted old timers who know the phenomena. Attempts to contact local police would solidify their claims, actions against me. Aware of ushq infiltration of support systems into local enforcement authorities, However, since local investigations continue, along with ghosting, fear and paralysis setting in. Experienced serious infiltration not only by old-dogs/3rd-gen samaya’s, but by smr in personal household, Help needed. Local Ka-Acha dangerous and continues to coordinate activity. Know many old dogs, court-eras, directors & members at ushq over the last 15 yrs.

Please respond. Question and statements genuine and not motivated as provocateur ...

level 3
notso-olddog
25 days ago
Sorry about auto-correct errors, Referring to life situation not love life. Can some tell me how to send private mail to alltheworldover? New to reddit....

level 3
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
So Shambhala has Samaya Loyalists in the Boulder police force that is investigating the crimes? That is very serious. That could impact the investigation.

level 4
notso-olddog
25 days ago
Want to clarify so there are no misperceptions. I am not aware of actual loyalists in the force. However, I am familiar with how the center operated for sometime, i.e., calling the force on members through false claims — members/friends, including myself who have experienced the framing effects of such actions (often through gaslighting networks within the center) have been harassed persistently. I’m sure that the current perceptions by the force or investigators have an$ are accounting for such false claims by loyalists (* I would hope, but don’t know *). To readers, please do not refer to ushq by name. Often targets at the location have been imprisoned for violating local laws and/or investigations into personal conduct. To the identifying misspeller, I would appreciate your not being so petty. This shit is serious! it’s also provocative. Let’s maintain decorum around these matters. Manipulation of locals, use of teenagers to provoke behavioral misconduct are serious matters.

So to reiterate, no I am not claiming such involvement in local force. When I talk of penetration, I am referring to the ability of gaslighting network’s ability to convince reasonable decent people to act on their behalf. It can be called perceptual manipulation; it destroys and continues to affect my life, as well as others. I wish more folks pull speak up!!!

level 5
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
Thank you for raising awareness about these issues. I used to hear that non-Shambhalians in Boulder refer to Shambhalians as "The Buddhist Mafia". I had thought it was a joke when I first heard that...

level 5
JoeGrand64
25 days ago
You can send a pm by clicking the envelope on the top right of your screen.

And the mispelling thing was actually a bot, not a person.

welcome to reddit.

level 6
notso-olddog
25 days ago
Thanks kindly JoeGrand64. If you have any insights into how I can handle the dilemma, please respond via pm.

level 7
JoeGrand64
25 days ago
Not sure I understand it.

level 6
BaronAsh
24 days ago
I followed your instructions but still cannot figure it out despite having used computers since the 80's! Can you provide a couple of steps please?

level 7
JoeGrand64
24 days ago
When you click the envelope it takes you to a second screen with options. On the left, about 3/4 up it says "send a private message." Under the reddit logo. Click that and add the user name. Bob's yer uncle.

level 8
BaronAsh
24 days ago
edited 24 days ago
HA! I had to go again and again about five times until I saw it. Hate it when that happens. One of those people who is 'always right!' Moved today into a lovely place in a drop-dead beautiful area with cobbled streets, horses clopping by down broad avenues, the largest lake in Mexico 100 yards away though out of view, buzzards nesting in the huge eucalypti towering above. There, I'll drink as few cervezas on hot days as possible (to reduce ever-maturing girth) and try to get into some regular (high quality) reading and writing, both dharmic and non-dharmic. Meanwhile, this is the bestest thread of all and I look forward to absorbing it the next little while, once unpacking done.

level 4
hazulu
26 days ago
That confirms what I know or heard. The part about the 15 year old girl is new to me. I was involved with BK for many years, before and after I left Shambhala. I thought he was my friend until, quite suddenly, he became my enemy. I am still working on realizing what a piece of shit he really is. Say, is there any way I could communicate with you in private?

level 4
EdmundButler
25 days ago
He is currently under investigation by the Boulder Police.

level 1
cedaro0o
26 days ago
What drew you to shambhala? What was compelling enough that you stayed involved for 20 something years? What repulsed you from shambhala? What experience or telling experiences "broke the camel's back" for you and caused you disavow shambhala?

If you had the power, what would you do with shambhala? Change it? Dissolve it?

What, if anything, is worthy of salvage?

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
another awesome question!

Mahamudra drew me to Shambhala, as it was the only place in my horizon that seemed equipped to teach it, and when I came in it was expected that teachers like Thrangu, Tenga, Khandro Rinpohce, Dzigar Kongtrul, Ponlop Rinpoche, and most especially at the time, Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtos would always be the primary teachers of buddhadharma. Mipham was the "spiritual head" but was not seen as someone who was going to teach deep dharma. He was a support for practice, not a primary delivery method. I received outstanding training, the likes of which I sincerely do not think are available these days.

In shambhala at that time, people went on solitary retreat. they encouraged others to do the same. Between my twenties and now I did dozens of longish solitary retreats. That culture has been gone ever since the early 2000s.

What repulsed me was what I found when I was invited in from the margins. I was a yogi type, and a scholar. I was involved with studying and training in mahamudra with Kagyu-Nyingma lamas, and I assumed that was what the whole thing was all about. Keep in mind that "shambhala" was a retired vision at that time. I never imagined that it would be booted up again, and Mipham would usually drop hints that he was going to teach Nyintik cycles (dzogchen) which he had gotten from Dilgo Khyentse and later, Dodrupchen (a single abhisheka, not an extensive training). We all knew: Larry M, Dorje Loppon, Gaylon, the crew, that it was looking more and more like a Nyingma course of actions ahead. Some were upset by that, but I was thrilled. I was an advanced Kagyu practitioner (as far as western people go) and I really wanted to train in dzogchen. I stayed because I was unable to predict the crazy, Trump-style fiasco of the thing called the Scorpion Seal.

When I got inside, I saw that a single person, Adam Lobel, had mobilized to hold as much power as possible. I couldn't tell if he was going to be a boon or a bane, but he had inserted himself into the scene in a way that made him indispensable to Mipham's activities. Adam did not have a fraction of the training or integrity necessary to hold such a role, and this alarmed me.

What repulsed me then, was the collection of very inappropriate people, almost none of whom were dedicated practitioners, participating in sycophantic, stratified social rituals that have nothing to do with dharma and everything to do with control.


BTW, by the time I left there were zero dedicated practitioners of buddhadharma left. I am aware that is a judgement call, but given my background and training and intimacy with the situation, it is one i am willing to make. Dharma had left the building by 2014 or so.

The straw that broke the camels back was getting personally involved with Mipham and seeing his level of sickness. I cried more than once, because I had never seen a human being display raw narcissistic conduct before. This can be a reality-altering experience, it is not normal selfishness. It is insanity in human form, and there is no visible entry point for it to be helped. His ritual abuse of people was stunning, but kind of normalized. He would have people flatter him for extended periods. People like me were made to watch acharyas grovel before him in ways that you would think would end their lives. They would squirm before him and degrade themselves with effusive flattery and it was enough to make me vomit. He arranged for flattery sessions, and had his servants alert acharyas and others that they were to "toast" him that day before the assembly of insiders at whatever place he was staying. And then they would do it, the worst display of ingratiating servitude and unctuous degrading fervor. they did it to keep their position or gain new titles. I saw people reduce themselves to subhuman states while he would remain utterly immobile, sucking in their lost dignity like an insect. One person (who left from a similarly high powered role) described seeing him do this as like a spider sitting at the center of a web, observing the struggle of those who had been ensnared, waiting patiently for them to squirm themselves into exhaustion before finally killing them and sucking out their essence. I thought that person said it better than i have here.

How's that sound? Would you like to practice his "Sadhana of Kindness" now?


level 3
tashi8888
26 days ago
Thank you, All. It's really important to get this out.

level 3
waterbuffalo777
26 days ago
That is truly appalling. Thank you so much for speaking out about this. I'm hoping that it will protect other people from joining.

level 4
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
thank you for thanking me sevenseven&seven. it sends the message that i am doing the right thing at the right time. it's a lot to say but eventually somebody is going to say it so it might as well be me. I had a short work day so I had the time.

level 3
wabashcannonball108
22 days ago
Reading this passage about the flattery and demand for humiliating “toasts”. I saw this going on and in my mind explained it as the work of a frustrated and inept executive. SMR has no real training or proclivity for running an organization, and meshed with other comments about his feeling that his students were a bother to him, could it be that he got stupid advice from his Tibetan in-laws to “go medieval” and just impose loyalty? The escalation of this seemed to coincide with the arrival of the Ripa family. I understand things like narcissistic personality disorder exist, but what about plain old ineptitude? Combine a poor understanding of administration with some naïveté and add a collection of ambitious suits who also give bad advice, and it kind of adds up to a kind of multiple cause air disaster rather than a story of sociopathic evil. Maybe just poor judgement and a welling sense of frustration about constant financial dysfunction and the like?

level 3
MaskAgee
24 days ago
I want to ask. It seems as though you never met Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche nor studied under him. So why do you feel the need to disparage him? I studied and worked and practiced with him for 8 years. Your concepts of him are just that. Concepts. All of these problems manifested with the Sawang. Rinpoche was a rinpoche. And Vajradhatu did not have these problems when he was alive. He had no control over how people would react to the power he gave them. Once it was bestowed it was their doing. He could only advise as did. It's kind of like, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink the water."

MaskedGeek: You never met Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche nor studied under him. So why do you feel the need to disparage him?

-- A Flaming Fistful of Reactionary Wisdom, by Charles and Tara Carreon


level 4
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
i respect your opinion but it is a not persuasive in the light of how many people have said very very different things than you are. We are in an age of trust the victim, and you are not playing by those rules, which is your decision.

You knew him, they knew him. You are one, they are many. You can reconcile that. Should I believe you, or people who spent more time with him and more intimately than you did?
At the end of the day your words here are probably not going to be the loudest voice, even if I disappear tomorrow. Even without me posting here to begin with. You try to make a strong case, but who else from among his strong critics are you talking with? Is it just me? Until it is all of them, just keep reading.

level 5
MaskAgee
24 days ago
There are not many! Reconcile that! You have one and only one. Leslie Hays is the ONLY ONE! Everyone knew he liked to sleep around. That was a given, like his drinking! During the years he was alive there was no problem. After 30 years there was no problem until the Sawang's (no one ever ever ever called him Mipham back in the day ever) escapades came about and Leslie with empty nest syndrome -- pathological narcissist thinks she's the one. She is. The only one out of how many over 17 years? You do the math.

level 6
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
you are not under attack.

level 7
MaskAgee
24 days ago
(More than 4 children)

level 4
fucking_giraffes
21 days ago
Your concepts of him are just that, too. Or have you, like all the rest, forgotten the very basics? I see only bitter mean students of CTR within my sangha, intolerant to change and clinging to their ideations (attachment and suffering?) We joke that we should stop on the path now before becoming such heartless, rigid, and compassionless humans.

All of these problems did not manifest with the Sawang. They are certainly a symptom. These problems were evident when OT raped and killed people and no one did anything. And yet there are still people apologizing for his actions -- my own MI [Meditation Instructor] included. They are still somehow blaming CTR for not being clear enough when saying that OT “could not spread this” (i.e. physically incapable or had better not?).

Has Shambhala changed my life for the better? Absolutely. Is CTR the reason for that? Yes. Do his imperfections, diseases, or fallibility change that? Absolutely not.

Do the structures of the past work for our society now? Are we handling things the best way we can? Are we trusting our own inherent wisdom or are we trying to push ourselves and internalize pain when we are in inappropriate situations? How do we know what is abuse and what is growth when we are told to experience and become familiar with the uncomfortable?

Please drop the defensiveness of CTR. All of the people here at one point or another had a connection or benefit from the teachings. We are all in pain. If you’re not in pain you haven’t been paying attention.

You clearly have experience to share, so please do, but with respect.

level 5
MaskAgee
21 days ago
CTR is not responsible for the sins of his son. Is your father responsible for the way you act? You just another know it all not know anything of what you speak. The Sawang did this all by himself. Rinpoche died in 1987 - 32 years ago and people want to blame him?! You're a fucking giraffe for sure.

level 6
fucking_giraffes
21 days ago
I’m not blaming CTR for what his son did. But are you somehow saying OT and the Sawang’s actions occurred in a vacuum? There wasn’t already a system of enablers and fixers? Don’t kid yourself.

You missed the entire point.

Don’t call me names. Are you the kind of person that results from years of practice? I’m not mad, just disappointed.

level 6
MystifiedByLife
18 days ago
I’m trying to remain open-minded and think critically of ATWW’s claims, but you and another here seem too much like the “one-True-religion” types, with rigid, reflexive and defensive attacks at others in the name of some chip in the shoulder that you seem to mistake as moral superiority. In other words, you sound like you’re hopelessly indoctrinated into a cult that you swear by the heavens isn’t a cult, if only we could see the light.

That’s the impression you’re giving me.

If you’re interested in being persuasive on behalf of your beliefs, you’re going to have to appeal to logic, as much evidence as you can muster (even if it is not so solid that somebody might call it circumstantial, or hearsay, or whatever.

You have to offer reasons to believe you. I want to hear them. Others too. This is all very difficult to make sense of, and another angry, attacking voice is just going to reinforce what you don’t want people to believe, or they will just block you, if your noise/signal ratio gets too hairy.

level 2
sadderbutwisernow
24 days ago
Didn’t know, clearly it was hidden from those not inner circle. Totally makes sense, though, how else to drink like that and still be awake for midnight dinners and all-night talks?

level 3
Arupajhana7
24 days ago
People say they were amazed that he would drink so much and not lose awareness... Is it possible that cocaine contributed to this?

level 4
BaronAsh
24 days ago
Define awareness.

His presence was vividly luminous even when asleep.

Even when dying.

Even when dead and sitting in samadhi, which was powerfully perceivable/feelable.

Even the ice flowed back into the harbor in April in silent witness as the fog horns contributed their more audible lament.

level 2
breathing216
24 days ago
edited 24 days ago
Another user rightfully pointed out to me that the topic of Trungpa Rinpoche and cocaine is not directly related to the original discussion, and therefore should be separate.

So I deleted my post above and will make a separate topic. I will post the link here. Please don't comment anymore on this discussion here, but go to the link. Sorry.


link: https://www.reddit.com/r/ShambhalaBuddh ... now_about/

prasunya
19 days ago
Yes, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche used cocaine -- a lot. Although there are people who have publicly talked about this using their real names, most of us 'in the know' don't for several reasons. First, cocaine is highly illegal. We don't want our names forever attached to cocaine and CTR on the internet. We have private lives, and don't want our kids, clients, and colleagues to know we were involved with cocaine (or that we stood on the sidelines as we watched our then-guru sniff and drink himself to death). Second, we don't want to be trolled by current Shambhala members, some of whom have voracious appetites for denial-fueled revenge. Current practitioners want to believe that CTR was upfront with everything he did, and they cite his horrific alcoholism and womanizing as examples of things he did not hide. So the realization that he was indeed a regular cocaine user -- and one who was not upfront about this -- rubs harshly against the myth of his openness. Another thing to keep in mind when trying to get info on this is that not a lot of people were aware of his cocaine use. His inner circle put forth considerable effort -- frequently laced with lies -- to conceal this. In any case, enough people did see it and I think in the future you'll find more and more people coming forward.


level 1
federvar
26 days ago
You claim to have really serious and very important information that affects thousands of people. If what you claim is true and I was in your position, I would take off the reddit mask and go public. If I decided, for some serious and good reason, not to do it and keep all this serious info for my self, I would also avoid the reddit showoff, because showing off in this way is totally undermining if we are really in search of truth and justice. Or maybe I'm totally wrong, and I will be very pleased to stand corrected.

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
don't make assumptions. I am very well known for what I am doing. I talk to people all the time who are looking for an out. I worked for years within the organization to dismantle its oppressive structures, and encouraged dozens, possibly hundreds of new students to move on and find a more legitimate community. I did that because I was seen as someone who knew enough to do so. Reddit showoff? I have never even posted here before. I saw the inaccuracies of the posts here and wanted to help. I will go public when I feel like it. People can leave the cult if they want to, it is not up to me to extract them. I left it. Many of my friends have left it. It comes from within. An expose will not do much for the people already within, although it may discourage new recruits.

level 3
federvar
26 days ago
Thank you for your explanations. Not making assumptions is exactly what i was trying to. Maybe you are new in reddit, but i am not and anything is possible under an anonymous name. I hope that our conversation here and your efforts can be for the best outcome, aka truth and justice.

level 4
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
that sounds good. I do understand the challenge of listening to an anonymous source, but I figured, better that than nothing? still don't know.

reddit is bewildering to me. all this came up in a google search when I learned that my ...friend... lodro rinzler was in trouble for sexual misconduct, so I googled him to verify and found reddit. that was months ago, maybe even late summer. it was also linked to this page, so I read a little to see if I recognized anyone here based on what was discussed. I didn't, so i forgot about it. Now, however, the release of the investigation is on the horizon, and Shambhala is working in hyperdrive to present a united front and a business as usual attitude. I and a few others are loading the howitzers.

level 5
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
edited 26 days ago
If you do have this information I do hope that you go public with it. Obviously you do have to consider that there may be a negative reaction from the devoted and the Dzongsar types.

But as helpful as it might be to the 30 people or so who frequent this subreddit, the anonymous posting doesn't have much power to stop the gears of Shambhala from continuing with "business as usual". If they have another narrative that they want to spin, they may be able to keep spinning it and just ignore or dismiss the Reddit thread here.

I know you said not to advise you on what to do... But I just wanted to let you know how I feel about it. I really hope they are not able to plaster over these accusations and move on to more of the same.

So if you have info, you have a unique ability to really prevent many people from joining this cult in the future.

level 6
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
I appreciate your remark. I will listen to these pieces of advice, btw.

I think that a lot more traffic is getting ready to come to this page. I am talking to the people who will hear of this tomorrow through other social media channels. Not just the these 30.

level 5
federvar
26 days ago
Ok, i'm glad to listen and consider what you are bringing.

level 6
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
cool, friend. thanks for being patient with a noob!

level 7
federvar
26 days ago
no problem, thanks to you for your AMA.

level 2
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
edited 26 days ago
I agree if they have that kind of info it would be good to share via another source, that's why I suggested Remski and Winn.

Or the police! That would be the best option.

I am open to hearing such information here on reddit, but people will be able to claim its false. Devotees will just say you are making it up. I can understand if the person wants to start here and then go public later. But yeah, this information, I think there is a moral obligation to warn people about it in a way that couldn't be so easily discredited.

level 3
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
I did not see anything illegal. I did not see sexual abuse. Of course, I know all about his sexuality, and there are hundreds of women who were abused. No one is speaking up. I have nothing to report to the police.

BTW everyone: I left years ago, I am not "emerging" from the darkness. I am just telling you things you may not have been able to access before. I have been working for this purpose steadily for a long time.

level 4
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
one of the most important points that has not been mentioned in the press is his abuse of young men. Not sexual. He is cruel and abusive in ways that destroy people. His insults of others could make you cry. He is vicious and selfish, but only behind closed doors. In public, he is gamefaced, controlled. People have always assumed that his calm demeanor is a steadiness of mind, indicative of a meditation master. It is a total lack of empathy and disconnect from emotion that is behind that calm demeanor. he controls his public appearance and lets the sycophants project onto him whatever they will. He has his acharyas prep audiences with gushing tributes to his glorious heritage and remarkable accomplishments (which he really doesn't have), and then he comes out and does next to nothing, and then takes the mic and well...you've seen it. Says nothing whatsoever except a lot of cliches and deepity. He is an empty head. He has had better days though. He was a different man in the late 90s up until 2004 or 2005. He stopped practicing meditation before I encountered him, so he is definitely not a dharma practitioner. Adam Lobel told me that in all the time he spent with Mipham he "never saw him practice". My other friends who were his kusung corroborate this omission. And I certainly never saw him practice. Sometimes in meetings he would grab his mala and rush through it, but it always seemed like a show. He was always anxious, always jittery, his foot always bopping along like he had somewhere else he needed to be.

level 5
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
Adam Lobel, is he still devoted or will he be coming forward with info to the public soon?

Why do you think we haven't heard about his meltdowns on the men close to him?

level 6
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
shame. silence. fear. most of them have broken lives and no money and are terrified of samaya.

re Adam Lobel: he was largely an abuser, not a saint. I think he wants to retreat into his family money and keep his mini-guru act alive. avoid him.


level 7
cedaro0o
26 days ago
terrified of samaya is a theme i picked up on early when i started listening to survivors.

level 8
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
and all for nothing. samaya with Trungpa was one thing, and has to be handled with care. Samaya with Mipham is a farce, and there is no actual need to treat it like an explosive device. Just walk away and thank your good fortune that you took a scary vow with a prankster.

level 7
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
edited 25 days ago
That makes sense...

I was never very close to Adam, but to some of Adam's closest students I was... Very sad...

What kinds of abuse do you know of Adam Lobel participating in?

level 6
JoeGrand64
26 days ago
The reasons you aren't hearing about abuse of men are various. One reason is that people don't want to steal thunder from the attention to sexual abuse. Another is that coming forward is a risk, and it might not help. A third is that professional people don't want their clients to associate them with the court or the kusung, whether they were victimized or not. Basically the same reasons more women haven't come forward.

level 7
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
very well said

level 7
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
This makes a lot of sense.

There are a lot of professionals in Shambhala who have careers they might not want to lose... Especially now that they might be losing their religious meaning, their career is all they have left.

I knew of some messed up situations where people were referred to Shambhala therapists by their MI, and the therapist would minimize or try to normalize the weird experiences they were having in Shambhala.

level 8
EdmundButler
25 days ago
The Land Center Director where I was abused arranged for a Shambhala therapist to mediate between me and one of my abusers. He paid the therapist by giving her a seat at a SS retreat at the Center. Anything to avoid the truth getting out, which in this case was that the Director and his bosses had all ignored my pleas for his intervention. Was the therapist biased in assessing the Director's role in the dysfunction which ultimately led to attempted murder? Weasels, the lot of them.

level 4
spiderysense
26 days ago
Request for Clarification 1: you're saying you 'left years ago' ... the awards you posted as proof of your involvement are from 2017. I got an award (nothing fancy) ... years after the activities for which I received that award occurred ... so I wouldn't be surprised ... or is it that you moved on in a somewhat clandestine manner?

Request for Clarification 2: you are saying "I did not see sexual abuse" and "there are hundreds of women who were abused" ... does the former refer to an inability to testify on the levels of abuse that you are confident occurred?
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