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 » 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

Image

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]

Image
$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.

Image
FALSE


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.

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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


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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.


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

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

Part 6 of 10

level 4
BaronAsh
24 days ago
OK: this is from one day ago so I came late to your party here, but I truly hope that there is going to be some substance at some point because so far it's all merely assertion and innuendo. I too was involved for years, probably fading out around the time you came in it sounds like. (And one thing you said I can confirm: the sudden freezing out, a major reason which made it possible to leave.)

I hope you are going to lay out more factual information, even though it won't be able to be verified in this milieu at Reddit. I also want to hear those stories about Trungpa, because although I have mixed feelings about him now in terms of some outer/relative stuff, at the core -- on my end at least -- there is no real problem, although I no longer live under a cloud of obligation/samaya. He left us a right royal mess, I put in my time helping to right the ship, failed utterly, and am happy to have moved on, though will forever wish that things had continued better. That they didn't must be because of deep-level flaws from the get-go, which would include Trungpa's character and choices. But again, the relative world dance is unendingly tricky and fickle, so instability of structure and organisation doesn't tell you all that much, when all is said and done.

Anyway, thanks for the most provocative post I've read in a long time. Reminds me of Jim Green's letter to the sangha (bolstered by one to the Times I think) outing the Regent as a POS. It was very powerful at the time. But his subject matter was simply his role as a spiritual teacher juxtaposed with high-risk sexual activity, so he had a narrow canvas to paint clearly on. You've launched in with a very broad brush; there is a landscape, a terrain; but it's all being seen through the mist of assertion-only at this point, or what I think of as 'words on a page'.

BaronAsh: It's all merely assertion and innuendo.

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


level 5
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
factual information? I didn't video tape everything. I have only my experiences. Baron: i escaped with my life and little else at that point. I wasn't sent there on assignment from the NYT.

I guess you have my assertions, and you have heaps of people coming in and saying "that is exactly what I saw too". I think that is how these things have to start.

level 6
BaronAsh
22 days ago
edited 22 days ago
Small point: I haven't seen these 'heaps of people.' Maybe it's all only on FB or something but all I've seen is the 3 BPS reports with about 10-15 stories or something, all from different people, all second-hand anonymously sourced, and what some people say on this board, though I don't recall any first-hand testimony (forgive if memory faulty). But if by 'that is what I saw too' means that it felt bad to me, it felt cultish, he's a creep etc., fine, but that's just gossip.

I walked away after wrestling with it for years and have hard-won feelings about it. But it wasn't based on witnessing or hearing about crimes; I just worked with my own sense of right and wrong, or rather what felt genuine/authentic, and what felt contrived/stifling. I decided, or rather one day realised it was already too late to un-decide, that the whole business no longer passed the smell test.

And the way it happened was a simple, direct, personal thing. I realised that I would never ever ever ever ever try to encourage my son to join the Shambhala sangha. And he was raised after our divorce by a 12-year-shedra 6 yogi Kagyu lama, and on his own initiative left that household on his 18th birthday, and the Lama is pretty darn good, I must say, even as the ex-husband. But the whole buddhist tantric cult business is dangerous, deluded shit if not done right and in the West it does not yet belong and is not done right.

(I think Tinley Norbu and a very few others might be the exception, plus the white mahasiddha you know where - or should.)

Mipham's fault was turning Shambhala into another cult. A tantric cult. But in my book the fact that he got sexually or otherwise twisted doesn't let tantric cults off the hook. I don't need sexual escapades gone bad at 4 am to tell me that. Tantric practice opens to the dark side by definition. In true tantra, these crimes are a form of teaching. But that doesn't fly in today's pan-middle class world. Something else is needed these days. Something different but rooted in the same depth of wisdom and awareness.

At the same time, I have nothing but the deepest respect for tantra. It's just very electric stuff and doesn't jive with middle class safe space neomarxist yuppy baby boomer sanctimonious feel good inner-cleansing BS realities. Cults and safe spaces do not mix, like oil and water. Beware them! Flee them! Shun them! But if you do join in, don't back out and whine afterwards. You go in as an adult, a warrior knowing you might get flayed alive. That's the deal, so deal with it.

Red-baiting, also reductio ad Stalinum (/ˈstɑːlɪnəm/), is an informal logical fallacy that intends to discredit the validity of an opponent's logical argument by accusing, denouncing, attacking, or persecuting an individual or group as communist, socialist, Marxist, Stalinist or anarchist, or sympathetic towards these ideologies....

Red-baiting is most often associated with McCarthyism......

McCarthy was censured by the U.S. Senate because he was in fact reckless and politically opportunistic, and his red-baiting ruined the lives of countless innocent people. Historian Ellen Schrecker wrote that, "In this country, McCarthyism did more damage to the constitution than the American Communist Party ever did."


-- Red-baiting, by Wikipedia


Well, as DDM so wisely said in the first text, the Commentary: 'Realities are Meaningless; Practicality is All-Penetrating."

Shambhala was -- imo -- the best way OUT of the cult that tantra will always ensnare people in unless it is a secret-mandala-one-on-one function as a fruitional vehicle for Mahayanists entering the final phase of actual realisation and, ultimately, transformative compassionate buddha activity. It's fine, it's great, but it's not a namby pamby societal vehicle which is why SMR made a fatal error in trying to merge it that way and why (I believe) the protectors/mamos/whatever are bringing it all crashing down. Through sunlight. GES sunlight. Bravo! And you are slashing a gap in the obfuscating black curtain of slavish, cultish delusion, both to SMR and CTR.

But don't think that you can just wipe out Shambhala and then have some sort of light and easy vajrayana tantric business surviving afterwards all nice and clean, back to the real basic Buddhadharma which is the only actual real thing. Vajrayana doesn't work in large middle class modern society groups. It doesn't. It didn't. It won't in the future either. So if you want to get rid of Shambhala, then might as well get rid of the entire sangha and all of CTR's stuff and see if you can have tantric sanghas in the West in large numbers in any meaningful way. And you will fail and the same sort of mess will happen -- as no end of Zen, Tibetan and Yogic communities have born witness to continuously the past thirty years. Endless fixation on the corruption of the various gurus involved will not address the problem. Nor will salving the wounds of the adult victims. You have to think deeper. Much deeper.

Well, it all could work in middle class modern societies, but then it would be done in self-secret genius-level programmed Ati Society style which is called: Shambhala!


This is a rant, not an attack. You are not the enemy. But the 'enemy' here is cult mind, not any individual or doctrine. And tantra is no more immune to cultishness than whatever it is the Sakyong just attempted, albeit my critique is that he turned Shambhala into a cult when its original mission was to provide fruition without the cult, a truly seminal break-through in spiritual structuring, one for the millennia. And now it's up to people like you to determine if it survives the decade.

And if it doesn't, that's okay. Timing with terma is notoriously tricky. Maybe 5 of 8 conditions opened in the 80's. Maybe another opened when SMR broke open SS. But maybe there are still a couple more which might take decades to open properly. Who knows? Meanwhile, we keep buggering on.

Whoever set up that secret society Lodge business (Rome?) made a HUGE error. Set the whole thing back by decades. .....

PS I have a new theory on why CTR died young based on this post: by opening up a fruitional tantric mandala to young barbarians unfamiliar with that deep, usually limited, powerful secret mandala, he knew that most of us would screw it up, get it wrong, fuck it up but TOOK ON THAT KARMA, because without making the gesture, exposing the space, performing that stroke, there was no way for fruitional expression on that level to enter the modern world. So he did it, knowing it would leave a heck of a mess including shortening his life. (Am I the only one who finds it fascinating/important that he told VROT in 1971-2 that he would only live 12 years? Perhaps he was just reading the future -- which he was famous amongst Tibetan lamas for being able to do well -- or perhaps he understood the type of Buddha Activity he was undertaking, one that ultimately is like a Joseph Campbell King-Saint archetype, like Jesus, who is sacrificed on the Cross of his Cause and dies young which is not so much playful drama as karmic necessity, aka the rules, aka just how it is.) Something like that.

In any case, the mess is real. I vote for MORE Shambhala -- which is fruitional level mandalas run by ordinary shmucks like us without the need for special wangs and tris and lungs and vows etc. --- and less tantric secret societies with endless decades of dedicated hard practice, though admittedly such types make the best teachers, but also such types are 1 in a 1000, so what about the other 999 of us? That's Shambhala.

SMR messed up turning it into a tantric cult. But I fear the mistake here will be to throw out the antidote and go back to what caused the problem in the first place: tantric cult-itis.

Or in the words of a great transmission talk by the Great Kahuna: "Fuck you!" Fuck all of you: the loyalists, the middle class victimees, the 'let's get back to Buddhism only' crowd, the 'Sakyong is a creep so let's execute him' crowd, the 'Trungpa Rinpoche was perfect' crowd, the 'I won't ever contribute or say anything because I'm above it all' crowd, all of you,..... which is all of US!

We all need to go much, much, much, much deeper.


BaronAsh: All I've seen is the 3 BPS reports with about 10-15 stories or something, all from different people, all second-hand anonymously sourced.

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


level 7
allthewholeworld
22 days ago
you are keeping me alive with posts like this one. I will be rereading this soon. white maha-siddha. I am puzzling through. I should know, shouldn't I. Echart Tolle?

hahahahaha. seriously though, I am thinking hard and your posts are tough as hell and wonderful.

level 8
BaronAsh
22 days ago
Hey, if you don't know, I won't say...... maybe later, eh? But not Echart, though clearly he's got some real samadhi going.....

Thanks for kind words. I think something is cooking here. But you've brought a sword to a feast, I suspect, and the last course might get a little Kill Billish!

level 9
allthewholeworld
22 days ago
duh. adyashanti!

level 10
allthewholeworld
22 days ago
shinzen young! culadasa! all these people who claim enlightenment. don't know them personally, love their writings.

level 10
BaronAsh
22 days ago
edited 21 days ago
Nope!

level 5
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
second reply: you say a lot of interesting things here, Baron. I would really like to hear your story, your take on it. You must have a lot of insight, given how long you have been pondering it and how responsive you are willing to be at this point. Don't hold back, friend. We all have differences of opinion on some things, I notice, but I don't think that will hold us back from joining together to stop the abuse. I appreciate your activity here.

level 5
JoeGrand64
24 days ago
Ash, what kind of facts are you looking for?

level 6
BaronAsh
24 days ago
edited 24 days ago
Well, ATWW is making very pointed judgments. I have no problem with that per se except they are all unsubstantiated, so my British Common Law mind just puts them in a file that is separate from something I can truly take to the bank. That said, I very much appreciate the thrust. Although personally I have a more 50-50 view partly because I'll always be a sucker for the stuff, but also because I think the tendency to land firmly on one side or another of any issue is sort of non-madhyamikh-ish.

For example, I have great respect and fondness for Reggie -- having shared a house with him twice for brief periods, the easiest housemate I ever had -- because he was either out working or quietly practicing.

But I went through some heavy nyams a few years ago (triggered, I think, by intense non-diagnosed for 20+ years Lyme Disease brain infections given I hadn't practiced in a coon's age though I was beginning to play with dream yoga, spontaneous-like), and I managed to get a hold of Reggy to get his take, and his voice was dripping with outright hatred, saying all sorts of terrible things about Tibetans and anything dharmic. I was asking him about dakinis because for a while I seemed to be seeing them in every movement of mind, every iota of experience (nyammy stuff...great for some nice poems!). I thought he might have some interesting things to share about dakinis, given his background, but he just tore into me, not for my experiences I don't think, but simply using the vocabulary.

So here' s my 50-50 with this example: although I think Reggy behaved badly with me that day, both in tone (which was extremely ugly and hostile for no reason I could discern, certainly not explained) and content (I wasn't asking about dakinis out of some sort of schoolboy fascination but because I had just been cavorting with them... perhaps... or certain aspect of them...and wanted to chat). At the same time, I know Reggy from years ago, and I know him and I like him, a lot. But long before he broke away, I also thought he was getting weird. Little things. So I'm not so sure.

I'm not sure about any of this stuff.

But I am sort of sure with 50-50. Some excellent aspects, teachings, experience etc. And some very nasty shit in the mix as well. Am not sure that they are not just fine together At the same time am sure that sometimes you have to make a stand and say 'No!' But the situation that you have to say no to is a teaching, a gift. Therefore, is it so bad? My feeling on this is that it isn't. Even though No must be said. And for me at least Walking Away was the correct decision. I am younger, healthier, free-er and have a cleaner relationship with CTR which is both present and very relaxed without any fanatic aspects, at least emotionally. It really really is Basically good!

BaronAsh: I think the tendency to land firmly on one side or another of any issue is sort of non-madhyamikh-ish.

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


level 4
BaronAsh
24 days ago
and there are hundreds of women who were abused

Do you mean they slept with him and because he was a teacher this is 'abuse'? What does abuse mean these days?

(This is not a cynical question).

level 5
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
in my opinion, he seduced people using a role that is not held for the purposes of seduction. it would be like a doctor seducing patients. to me, yes that is abuse. some women confirm they slept with him consensually. and some women used to say that but don't say that anymore.

I don't know what others think abuse is, and I don't want to stick my thumb in this discussion. But I think he was a major, major abuser. No question in my mind about that.

level 6
BaronAsh
24 days ago
Fair enough. I think the institutions were also very abusive but that is sangha-on-sangha abuse, or rather I should say fanatics-on-human-nature abuse. My concern about the term 'abuse' is that it is part of a current political wave, including stuff like 'metoo' which, although of course has some merit, is mainly over-the-top neomarxist mind control hogwash. But many people buy into it, including so-called dharma practitioners. And I pray that that sort of stuff isn't driving the current long overdue corrective phase. Hopefully it's more of a deep purge, ayahuasca style, than terminal poison. But we'll see. Frankly, I don't believe that people who have bought into all that stuff a) have much understanding of dharma and practice and b) should have anything to do with any of this anyhoo but c) there are far too many serious, dedicated practitioners who have gone astray in Shambhala so that d) it's an effing mess.

I called for more facts. I understand you are for now posting anonymously, as are we all (though my disguise is very thin!). But I just plain don't like hearing really bad stuff said about anybody without more corroboration, so although I have and am enjoying every one of your posts, I can only go so far with them.

And indeed, they only go so far.

So far.

BaronAsh: My concern about the term 'abuse' is that it is part of a current political wave, including stuff like 'metoo' which, although of course has some merit, is mainly over-the-top neomarxist mind control hogwash.

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


level 7
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
nice writing there at the end. not that I can satisfy your request, but what would be useful facts?

level 3
federvar
26 days ago
well, we're totally lost here, because we cannot at all even confirm who this person is. I'm the first for justice and healing in Shambhala, but not like this. Besides, if it is a question of "mental health" (I don't know how that exactly translates to the Sakyong's reality), the police would not be good or even needed place to call. Mental health issues are not a crime.

level 4
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
This is true. Though personality disorders are often linked to criminal activity, if that is what he has. Would be good for people to know about that.

But in general you are right. It would be better for this information to be made public via a different method than a Reddit post. If OP is really that close to the Sakyong, they have an opportunity to really make a difference. But on here, there is also the possibility that it is someone who is just trolling. Which would suck.

level 5
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
Yes. it would suck. If you can think of questions to ask that could let me demonstrate that I am what I say I am, I will answer. Why don't I want my name out there? Because my life is much much more than just the pathetic cult of Mipham Mukpo and Chogyam Trungpa. I don't want the hassle, I don't want the retaliation. Just the backlash from Dzongsar Khyentse's community would be more than I could take right now. Anyone who speaks out against the Mukpos, or even Pema Chodron at this point, has all the crazies from his community to deal with.

level 6
cedaro0o
26 days ago
Your anonymous voice, reported by a reputable journalist who could vet your stories and evidence and stake their reputation and reputation of their organization on their reporting, would expose what you need exposed and your anonymity could remain.

level 7
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
yes. i have many avenues open, as do several friends with similar information and motive. thanks for the helpful suggestion. Remski has been inspiring to me, and I may continue my conversation with him. He knows how to reach me, ball is in his court. he is probably busy man with all the stuff he can choose to cover.

level 8
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
Remski is a good guy. Trustworthy.

Maybe reach out to him again in a few months if you don't hear back from him.

He has been through it himself. So he knows what it is like to leave a cult.

level 8
cedaro0o
26 days ago
He's especially busy right now with the launch of his new book.

level 6
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
Sure, what can you tell us about the court?

The Vermont court in particular? I could confirm or disconfirm some of that. I wasn't super far into the court, but saw a little more than many do.

You can PM me too if you prefer.

level 7
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
i don't even know how to pm you! the vermont court is a completely outrageous redesign of the personal home of the Greenleafs. When Mukpo stays there, he sleeps upstairs and takes over the entire place as if it is his. The actual owners sleep in an outbuilding, which they call, with irony, the "cozy cottage". the compound is across from a lake and there are water birds (loons? can't remember) that make astonishingly plaintive cries. That should be enough juicy info to convince you. TBH, I was not an east coast person, so I didn't go there often.

level 8
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
edited 26 days ago
That's true. It's probably bigger now than it was when you last were there. Many additions. But yes, the greanleafs moved out of it and into a smaller cottage next to it.

You've been there.

level 8
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
I sent you a PM. You can see it in your inbox I believe? You can send one via the envelope icon.

level 2
BaronAsh
24 days ago
Agreed. For some reason, I missed this post beneath the one with books and pins. Clearly it's a potential game-changer on this board. I am now going through the comments chronologically, so this is early on, but based on the OP and comments so far, there are only forcefully voiced opinions without a single name, fact, date or anything else. This was the case also with BPs stuff. It's all hearsay, second-hand etc.

To be clear, I don't have a quarrel with the conclusions necessarily -- though my experience with CTR over many years doesn't line up with the characterization thus far -- but the absence of fact is problematic.

BaronAsh: based on the OP and comments so far, there are only forcefully voiced opinions without a single name, fact, date or anything else.

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


level 1
rubbishaccount88
26 days ago
In typical Reddit fashion for an AMA, can you please offer some sort of image that will give some bit of "proof" that you are who you say? Would go a long way for silencing those loyalists who'd disbelieve you without. Thanks.

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
sure, but what do you mean image? help me and I will do it. I think I owe it to people to verify that if I can figure out how to do so.

level 3
rubbishaccount88
26 days ago
anything that will prove your proximity to court, adam, mukpo, etc. badges, special pins (?), photos, anything in writing?

If you can take a photo, you can just upload to imgur.

level 4
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
ok i understand. that is easy to do. I have to get back home from my meeting and then I will do this. thanks for the help, I can see why this is important.

level 1
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
There is a lot of factual stuff in here that others will and can substantiate. And there is also a TON of just my opinions. this is a lot of opinions, and a lot of fact, but please respect your own perspective and separate my opinions out as just my opinions. Why do I say this to such a modern group as reddit? because some of you are expressing to me that you are really hurt by Shambhala, and are in pain. you are vulnerable, and I am not a therapist, just a dharma friend. get the help you need! I will emphasize the positive from now on a little more!

level 1
Ngejung_Kocha
26 days ago
Thoughts on Mitchell Levy?

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
a very controversial conversation. I know him, and he has always been kind to me, and both encouraging and respectful. I know I know I know. The allegations against him are beyond beyond. I have been told by some of his best friends that none of it is true. How can I possibly believe them in light of the allegations? I have nothing to say about him from direct knowledge, but have heard it all about him. don't worry, if he did the things he did then there are parents of children boiling away in silence that haven't yet learned that their voice is a voice of strength. They will speak, I think.

level 3
Ngejung_Kocha
26 days ago
I'm with you. He never did anything to make me uncomfortable, but I was present when he made others feel unwelcome or uncomfortable (to say the least, women in particular). He's been "handling" things for so long, it's hard to imagine what Shambhala might look like without him.

level 1
zijinyima
26 days ago
edited 25 days ago
I’m curious if you have any thoughts about the various spin-off sanghas formed by people who either left or were pushed out over the years: Dharma Ocean, The Profound Treasury Retreat, Ocean, and so on. These groups seem mostly oriented around preserving the Buddhist teachings of Trungpa Rinpoche, about whom you don’t mince words. Do you think they are worth preserving and are these communities appropriate containers? Given that you believe SI is a lost cause, are they the future of CTR's teachings?

level 2
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
well i just don't know. just because someone studied under an abusive situation doesn't nix them. people change and grow. as for representing CT's teachings, it is their burden to respond openly to the modern conversation about what he was and wasn't. I would observe very carefully how they handle the conversation. cat abuse. If they are open and heartfelt and don't silence it, that is one sign. If they change the topic, get away from them.

level 1
OrpheusSings
25 days ago
Hi allthewholeworld, I have a quick request: would you be able to name other teachers with whom you've had personal experience who are trustworthy, positive, helpful, etc...? Thank you for the work you are doing here. Your integrity and clarity of sight is really impressive. I hope it helps many, many people.

level 2
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
tough one, because I don't want to seem to be endorsing anyone so casually. I would check out Mingyur and Tsoknyi and maybe Anam Thubten. Those are three teachers that many of my friends love, and I do too.

level 3
OrpheusSings
24 days ago
Thanks so much!

level 1
CheredeDarievea
25 days ago
Here's my today's question for you, which I've been mulling over with my peeps. You have brushed against it, but unless I'm wrong you haven't addressed it directly. (If you feel you have, please say so.)

You have already stated that you think Trungpa started out as a great teacher, but he fell due to human weakness. Some of us disagree with that premise (that he started out great), but OK, fine, let's concede the point.

What about his appointed successor, Tom Rich? When you became aware of his massive transgressions, how did you fit that into your participation in the world he helped to create?

We've been speculating on the cognitive hoops you may have jumped through to make it work for you (hell, I remember how hard I worked to force the square peg into the round hole to make it work for me), but if you'd care to put it in your own words, it would be appreciated.

level 2
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
edited 25 days ago
thank you for making me be clearer about these things. I do feel on the spot, but I don't want to be a coward any longer. This topic has always scared me.

I have been asking myself for years "was trungpa always crazy? was he evil to begin with?" The problem there is that I do not have any evidence for that, yet I do have considerable oral history to the contrary. In other words, I have paid very very close attention to early-life accounts of him from Chime Rinpoche and Thrangu Rinpoche, and it really seems that he was not looked at as exploitative, indulgent, or any of the things I think he became later.

Also, this might be interesting to you. I never heard anyone say anything critical of him until last year. Well, I had heard that there were exposes written like the Merwin abuse, but I didn't know how to get a hold of those articles. No google back then. I literally lived in a world where a man had seemingly had a thousand women as lovers and every single one of them felt it was the best thing in the world. When you hear that again and again and again and again for years and years, and you are already a little stupid from smoking so much weed as a kid, you might believe it. you might think, wow, he actually did that and it was cool.

I was relieved to hear stories to the contrary. But when I heard them, I started to lose confidence in other things associated with him. Then I just felt like the whole culture of Shambhala, from the outset, was an organization that terrorized gullible people, and I had no one to talk to other than people who knew about as much as I. then Leslie came out of nowhere, someone abused by mipham sent a link to her post to me. that woke me up. she really changed things for me.

I am still changing. I don't have firm views about CT, and I just don't want to lose even more friends because suddenly they find out that I think CT was an abuser and a sociopath. I already lost all my friends once by questioning Mipham Mukpo. Had to reconnect with other older friends and it took a lot of time to put that network in place. Now, I will lose even more, all the old MIs I had, who I loved. They will feel I turned my back on them and their guru and all that. I just need a breather before I dive into the next pool of pain. But I doubt I'll get one.

If I knew more, I would be more at rest with the whole thing. I understand the total boycott against buddhism that a survivor may have and I would never push dharma onto them (and if I do I should be called out in a friendly manner ;)). But I am a nearly lifelong student of the buddhist and other indian systems of meditation, and I can't get past how very, very capable his handling of basic buddhist teachings was. To someone like me, it is eerie. I understand why people call him a genius, and he also produced excellent translations. The best I have used in some things. I don't know what to do with that because he also beat a cat mercilessly, and I have heard other stories like that (not as graphic). I think I cried the first time I heard about the cat, and I was filled with anger. Why more people don't speak about that puzzles me.

Part of my paralysis on this point, and I do not in any way celebrate CT, is that so many of my early friends were deeply devoted to him and they are still such kind people to me. If I were sick, they would visit me. Those early friends are not part of current Shambhala. Many of them are strong practitioners who have studied with the same teachers I have, and we enjoy practice conversations together and I value that very much. I am appalled by CT the more I learn, but I am still in process. But I am not really that concerned with what someone else thinks about him, he is not a part of my everyday life at all. Mipham Mukpo, on the other hand, is a living concern. He should not have power again. He needs to find a simple life and rehabilitate and repair.

Regarding the future legacy if any of CT: I don't know what needs to happen. what kind of action are people thinking would put things right? And I don't mean action by me, I mean action by those who knew him so well. I am doing what I can to change the world that I know, but I don't know CT's world very well.

I bet those of you who question that he was a great teacher have significantly more information about him than I do. You probably know things that would reverse a naive opinion, and while I don't want this to become a platform that turns that way alone, I hope you feel welcome to paint the picture you see on this thread.

Was he a questionable or even harmful person from the get go? That would be different from my assumption that he just became addlebrained and demented once he started drinking. I am sure the interpretation I put forward is just a mishmash of perspectives that I have arrived at in sincere conversation with friends who are as puzzled. But I really am not knowledgeable about him like you may be, and I am ready to change my views if you can share your experiences.

By the way, keep in mind that when I wrote yesterday I made myself get it out quickly so that I wouldn't hesitate, and I probably said at least 20% of things poorly. I am glad i can refine my statements, that this isn't a printed book.

As for the Regent, I was not around at the time, and heard nothing but the official story again and again. Much later, actually in the last decade, I looked into it again. I have nothing positive to say about him, but know so little that I don't think I have much value to add. People who were there, perhaps like you, really need to sort that stuff out for us!

i hope you feel I have given the attention your question deserves. It deserves good attention.

level 3
dharmarefugee
24 days ago
edited 24 days ago
This is great, finally feels closer to naked. CTR was naked, the space around him had no hand-holds. SMR always felt like a fake to me, a cardboard copy. The Regent went as far as he could, had some siddhis, became a bully and a predator. He and the directors and other mucky mucks were wannabe siddhas. They took risks, took drugs, tried to get into coemergent wisdom, passion, women, girls, boys... Around CTR I experienced a deep space of electric wakefulness and claustrophobia. The dharma teachings were amazing in that space, so good and so true. We all kept it going even when he became demented and predatory. It was never black and white. Even when he was dying and in a coma the space around him was potent, compassion itself. As OT burst into flames, Kier died, later Ciel, many of us still hung onto parts of the story that kept alive that space in ourselves and for others. The power and truth of it. Some of us projected it onto SMR, others left to find it in other teachers and our own practices and memories. Reducing it all to abuse and trauma can't be the whole story. At the same time, as a community we held ourselves so tightly for so long out of fear of losing or spoiling or forgetting. We chose not to see the harm or ask the real questions and became dull and stupid and insular. We failed to protect our own children, were complicit in harm. Those who came forward are waking us all up. I think now it's a question of whether that power just dissipates or something new is liberated. In this moment I feel possibilities of rogue bands of dharma practitioners wandering in the charnel grounds outside the gates. That feels alive. Thank you for stepping in here.

level 4
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
you are teaching me, friend. thank you for this insight, please keep these perspectives coming. I will support this type of perspective, nobody here should feel that they have to support or not support Trungpa.

It is bigger than that. this is not about anybody's personal feeling of a teacher, this is about a culture of abuse and those who are living in it and want it to stop.

level 4
rubbishaccount88
24 days ago
This passage makes more sense of the whole story and its beautiful/sick contradictions to me, comparatively a much later dabbler in the whole thing, than anything else I've read. Thank you.

level 4
BaronAsh
24 days ago
Reducing it all to abuse and trauma can't be the whole story.

Incredibly good post, thank you.

I go with that pasted sentence full-bore, although it's controversial and complicated. But sorting through it all is what has to happen, perhaps only individually, but perhaps also societally.

I was talking with my Mexican wife tonight who has no first-hand experience of all this -- though she keeps asking me to teach her meditation and I keep putting it off because of all this stuff (she has been through native shamanic communities, both good and bad, and most of what is going on here is old news to her, much younger as she is) and her immediate response was to quote Nietzsche about how all men, though they may be aspire to only be gods, are also pigs -- or words to that effect.

The Case of Friedrich Nietzsche

The absolute height of Romanticism, or rather the nadir of general culture, where raving folly and emotional infantilism turned into aggressive mania, the welding point between the Romantic muddleheads and the Nazis -- this was the world of Nietzsche, whose works can only be described as the mind running amok.

This self-hating, joyless psychotic could not tolerate the idea of reason; he hated Socrates, Schiller, Beethoven, and Humboldt. In his confused writings he attempted, if incoherently, to rewrite history, emphasizing not the classical and Renaissance periods as the Weimar classics had done, but the Dark Ages, the dionysian and bacchanalian orgies, the dances of St. Vitus and the flagellants. He regarded the scientific mode of questioning as man's arch-enemy, just as the Greens do today. Everything the Nazis later made into reality was already lurking within Nietzsche's tormented brain, darting about with increasing frenzy: the volkisch idea, a deep hatred of industrial progress, the "biological world outlook" of "blood and soil," the idea of a master race, the mystically inspired hatred of Christianity, and its final and ultimate form, the Ecce Homo, where Nietzsche cries out: "Have I made myself clear? -- Dionysus against the Crucified .... "

Nietzsche, celebrated along with Dostoevsky as the prophet of the Conservative Revolution, was the spiritual pathfinder for the nihilism of the National Socialists and the existentialist philosophers.

The most extreme form of nihilism is the recognition that every belief, every notion of truth is necessarily false, since a true world does not exist. It is thus an illusion of perspective .... Let us think this thought in its most frightening form: Existence, such as it is, without purpose and without aim, but ineluctably returning, without end, into nothing -- this is the only return. This is the extreme form of nihilism: nothingness ("purposelessness"), eternally!


Nietzsche's sick cultural pessimism has had many variants, from Lagarde, Langbehn, and Oswald Spengler through to Jean-Paul Sartre, but he has never been outdone. The Nazis, Pol Pot, and Khomeini have seen to the practical application of his world outlook. An equally devastating effect was inflicted on German intellectual life by the works of Wagner and Dostoevsky. The latter was translated by Moeller van den Bruck, who in a fit of inspiration coined the name for the "Third Reich." By this expression he meant a third historical empire to follow the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations and Bismarck's Empire; but his primary aim was a final empire, where "right" and "left" would be transcended in a single synthesis.

From the first to the last page of Nietzsche’s writings the careful reader seems to hear a madman, with flashing eyes, wild gestures, and foaming mouth, spouting forth deafening bombast; and through it all, now breaking out into frenzied laughter, now sputtering expressions of filthy abuse and invective, now skipping about in a giddily agile dance, and now bursting upon the auditors with threatening mien and clenched fists. So far as any meaning at all can be extracted from the endless stream of phrases, it shows, as its fundamental elements, a series of constantly reiterated delirious ideas, having their source in illusions of sense and diseased organic processes, which will be pointed out in the course of this chapter. Here and there emerges a distinct idea, which, as is always the case with the insane, assumes the form of an imperious assertion, a sort of despotic command. Nietzsche never tries to argue. If the thought of the possibility of an objection arises in his mind, he treats it lightly, or sneers at it, or curtly and rudely decrees, ‘That is false!’

-- Degeneration, by Max Nordau


Applying Cesare Lombroso's term "degeneracy" to the works of such men as Nietzsche, Tolstoy, Wagner, Zola, Ibsen, and such phenomena as symbolism, spiritualism, egomania, mysticism, Parnassianism, and diabolism, Nordau predicted the coming of a human catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. An entire literature developed over Degeneration, including a rebuttal in book form by George Bernard Shaw.

-- Max Nordau, by Encyclopaedia Judaica


-- The Hitler Book, edited by Helga Zepp-LaRouche


In other words, followers project onto the gurus a sort of deity-level perfection which is unrealistic. A fully accomplished guru who sees through any sort of confusion/deception won't be swayed by such projection regarding, rightly, and without effort, all dharmas as dreams. Other people serving as gurus will be driven to pathological states.

From the bruho/siddha path point of view, also teachers are working with allies (Castaneda type language -- and yes, his teacher really did exist btw, for some of Trungpa's old students went and worked with his main colleague still alive), and they need student energy to feed off, manipulate, in order to satisfy those allies. (This is not-so-good bruheria, obviously.) And then she criticized our group saying: how many of Trungpa's students learned how to work with their allies themselves? To which I replied that in our tradition we emphasise mind-training and are taught not to invite or indulge in side-effect siddhis, or magical powers etc. To which she replied, fair enough, but the bottom line is that if you all become sheep and your teacher doesn't teach you how to become free-thinking, free-living adults, then not only is that not good enough, but also it is absurd for anyone to blame that all on the teacher because ultimately it is your choice to be a sheep.

This accords very much with my feelings.


Human beings, from a very young age, have a wired-in tendency to mimic whatever they see.

-- The Contagion of Violence: The Extent, the Processes, and the Outcomes, by L. Rowell Huesmann


Our spiritual mandala (like all others) is mutually co-dependent, or interdependent. Teachers gather disciples but in turn disciples create the main dynamic of a group community. A sangha of 100 in southern rural India with the same teacher is going to feel and act quite differently from the one in Manhattan. This is common sense.

My feeling about Trungpa is that he left a huge mess. But also that he clearly saw this, and I say this because he publicly warned about it in his last major speech, which was at the '86 Chakrasamvara Abhishekha, I believe the last he gave and the first and only one of that ilk, after which he was extremely ill and really never recovered. He told his group of senior students (and many board members who hadn't done the prerequisites were invited) that the whole thing was going to collapse in ways we couldn't even begin to imagine. (I thought he was talking about America, but now am not so sure!) He told the Regent in 71 I think that he would die in 12 years. In other words, he had some sort of view early on of how he was going to function, his mission, a rough time-line and so forth. So I don't think one can boil it all down to abuse or dementia and as one excellent post above said, his presence really was very vivid and compassionate, i.e. not crazed, not wired, but very potent. This is not to praise etc., but just to make the point that boiling it all down to either all-good or all-evil is way too simplistic. And also:

Ultimately in ANY association -- business, crew on board ship at see, citizens of a nation -- we sink or swim together, because we mutually create our mutual reality. Leaders have key roles in this because they are objects of centralised experience, places of focus where many assembled together all look and contemplate the same thing at the same time which sets up a resonance of intention and attention which in turn heightens the experience. If black stuff is being summoned, it will be more powerful, but also white stuff. Heck, if you go to a football game with 70,000 fans you can feel the energy like a wind -- that energy of group focus, group mind on the same object of attention. (The Chinese call it Dzong Chi.)

But as much as they can direct that energy from the teacher's seat, also it is our energy, the community's energy which they are directing. It is a two-way street.

Thus I continue to believe that any sins and crimes committed by SMR are largely because he unwisely agreed to take over leadership of a mature but deeply fractured and dysfunctional sangha in uncharted post-teacher, post-scandal territory when he was far too young to do so. Think about it: he was in the youngest 10% of the population of that community when he took over (even though he was one of only less than 30 of us ready to do the Chakrasamvara Fire Puja in 1988). How can someone that age be expected to take over a mandala in turmoil with people pretty much the same age as his recently deceased father, a sangha fractured into many camps all disagreeing, without any clear organisation or funds coming in, a total, unbelievable mess? In so doing, he exposed himself to all that dysfunction, that mess.

In other words, I believe he is very much the Sakyong that WE created. And as much as he has to own his evil deeds and obscurations, as do we all, so do we. And claiming the status of sheep as a way to absolve us of all responsibility is just not good enough.

Although movies and television programs do not force people to reproduce foolish behavior, the fact remains that young people are inclined to mimic actions that appear "bold, heroic, [and] cool."

-- Warning: Television Violence May Be Harmful To Children, But the First Amendment May Foil Congressional Attempts to Legislate Against It, by Laura B. Schneider


At the same time, the Acharyas are very much to blame in that they are the Nyen principle, both leaders and followers. But to be fair, they agreed to function solely as teachers. Maybe that was a mistake in mission because it over-spiritualised everything and under-practicalized. But when I heard about all this I sent in a 2-page report to the Council, basically recommending 6 months of sitting practice for everyone everywhere and nothing else, and also that every single Acharya resign (the Council had already announced they were going to). SMR clearly had to step back, at least for a while if not forever. So now the question is -- organisationally at least -- does the sangha finally step up and run itself, or should that dissolve as well.

It seems that as long as things are divided between exiles and loyalists, there is no good way forward, and perhaps that's just the way it has to be. But for us exiles, if the loyalists are the ones simply waiting for the storm to blow over and then pick up the pieces much as before -- as some of the recent news-like posts on this reddit board intimate -- then it's all over. And good riddance.

So this whistleblower call from OP is a good one. Not so much for people like me -- though I confess to being curious about a lot of stuff I've missed from being away and not being on FB -- but for the loyalists. They have to see more clearly the harm that has been going on, and on many levels in many ways, not just the sexual scandal harm which (assuming it has been well reported and is substantial which I personally do not know) is part of a larger pattern which also involves those loyalists, many of whom like myself may not have witnessed the sexual stuff directly enough and therefore use focus on that as a way to deflect attention away from the deeper issues, which actually involve them more.

So the more actual names and events and suchlike that are called out, assuming it is corroboratable somehow or at the least first hand witnessing, the better. Perhaps.

The whole thing is very distasteful, isn't it?

BaronAsh: it is absurd for anyone to blame that all on the teacher because ultimately it is your choice to be a sheep.

-- 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 7:21 am

Part 7 of 10

level 3
CheredeDarievea
24 days ago
edited 24 days ago
Wow that's quite a lot to chew on. Sorry for putting you on the spot... well "sorry-not-sorry" because the way you've expressed the process you've been going through is poignant and I gotta thank you for taking the time to say that. You've challenged me now to help sort out the Trungpa stuff. I can't really do that because I wasn't there, but his shadow loomed large over my life for a long time, and perhaps my early experiences with that shadow can provide a cloudy window into the troubled world he left behind. I don't want to recite my whole flippin' namtar so I'll try to be brief.

I didn't actually meet Trungpa. I received wang, lung and tri from the impostor formerly known as Sawang, so Mipham Mukpo is technically my tsaway lama, according to the rules of the game. But it was the students of Trungpa and the culture they represented that drew me in ("magnetized" me, as we used to say, though a better term is "gaslight").

Mimicry

Image

The third short-term process, imitation of specific behaviors, can be viewed as a special case of the more general long-term process of observational learning [8]. In recent years evidence has accumulated that human and primate young have an innate tendency to mimic whomever they observe [9]. Observation of specific social behaviors around them increases the likelihood of children behaving exactly that way. Specifically, as children observe violent behavior, they are prone to mimic it. The neurological process through which this happens is not completely understood, but it seems likely that “mirror neurons” that fire when either a behavior is observed or when the same behavior is acted out, play an important role [4], [10].

-- The Impact of Electronic Media Violence: Scientific Theory and Research, by L. Rowell Huesmann, Ph.D.


I first wandered into Karma Dzong Halifax at the midpoint of the period between when news of Tom Rich's AIDS hit the press, and his death. In spite of the hurricane of ill-will that was ripping the sangha apart at that time, I felt like I had stumbled onto pure gold. Wait, not "in spite of"... "because of". It was because of seeing people apparently carrying on as stable practitioners in the face of such tumult, that initially inspired me. In very short order I had learned as much as almost anyone knew about "The Current Situation", as well as the basics of Trungpa's story and legacy. I knew about the Snowmass Incident. I knew the glass that appeared on the table beside him in photos had more than water in it. I knew about how he would claim droit du seigneur and "deflower" brides on their wedding night. I knew that one of his senior students was serving a prison sentence for cocaine trafficking under the kingpin law. I knew about his underage girlfriend. I knew about the man Tom Rich raped while his attendants held him down. (Nobody, though, connected these two dots for me: that the kingpin had been supplying Trungpa's cocaine habit, and the girlfriend had been his drug mule. Lots of people still don't seem to be connecting those dots, though some are. And no, I have no insider information about this beyond what is already in the public domain.)

I knew all these things and guess what? I drank it all down with joy. These were the people I wanted to be like. These were people who knew how to transmute poison into wisdom.
These were the people who could teach me how to transform my then-dismal life into something useful. So that was the initial hook for me. I advanced far too rapidly on that path, and stuck with it for far too long, because... well you know all about lhaktong and samaya and how that logic can be perverted in the hands of a charlatan.

Here's an example of how deeply deluded and ripe for exploitation I was: When I was still a wide-eyed neophyte, less than a year after I had received my initial meditation instruction, I remember one of Trungpa's senior students told me that even if she were shown photos of Trungpa molesting children, her devotion would not be diminished. The fact that I was impressed by her devotion should give you a notion of what a confused young man I was 30 years ago. To my credit I never attained that level of devotion, and I now regard such an attitude not as pure perception but as sickness. Eventually I got away from such poisonous thinking and learned to think for myself, but it took years. The teacher, whom I admired so much, is currently part of the committee that is leading Shambhala during "these difficult times."

That's what we hear in the official letters that are leaking out from the Shambhala leadership -- "sadness, heartache, difficult times"... All the while the wagons are being pulled into a circle to protect the Mukpo crown jewels, minimizing the voices of the abuse survivors, shifting blame, sowing doubt, grubbing for money. I am frankly appalled and disappointed to see some of the names attached to these communications, names I haven't thought about for a long time... Pema Chodron. Julia Sagebien. Judith Simmer-Brown. Andrew Sacamano. Holly Gayley. Wendy Friedman. Shame on you. What the actual fuck is wrong with you people?

(Lest I be accused of casting stones from behind a mask of anonymity, you can click on my profile and see my real name. [Fred Coulson] Though I doubt many will remember me.)

Image

[GoFundMe] Support for a survivor of Shambhala misconduct

This is a fundraising request to show support for one of the driving forces behind the testimony that led to the findings of sexual misconduct against leaders of the Shambhala Buddhist community.

She volunteered to contribute details of her experience numerous times (and at considerable personal cost) to the Wickwire Holm investigation and Buddhist Project Sunshine, as well as interviews with media. The exertion it required for her to do so interrupted her education and work life, and our contributions here will be offered towards her healing, as well as lost tuition so she can return to pursuing her career path.

She prefers to remain unnamed in this appeal because she is eager to move on in order to refocus on her stalled education, but those of us who know her would like to show our gratitude and solidarity by contributing financially to her pursuit of a livelihood. I hope you will feel inspired to join me.

To read her initial statement, the investigators' assessments and findings surrounding her allegation, as well as statements of several other survivors that contextualize that of her own, please visit
https://shambhala-apology.com/statement-claimant-1/

-- Support for a survivor of Shambhala misconduct


The big difference between us, /u/allthewholeworld, is that you came to this path with specific goals, and it sounds like you had a genuine desire to help others. Me, I was a sheepish follower. I was strongly influenced by the people whom I regarded as my spiritual betters. I don't think I met you, but you probably would have been one of the people I liked. Smart and witty, kind of intellectual, interested in technical details... I clove unto such people and felt that if they were able to navigate the choppy seas of Crazy Wisdom then I didn't have to worry about it; I could just trust their judgment. See how dangerous and stupid that was? Of course you do, and you've changed, and so have I. If we can change, other people can too, so I have a lot of hope, which has emboldened me to speak out here. Maybe others will too.

level 4
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
i clicked on your profile. I have watched you a little on FB and remember feeling like you were making me think hard. but i can't remember what you posted! did you write the LionsRoar article?

level 5
CheredeDarievea
24 days ago
Nope, wasn't me! I've been posting little snippets about my experience and in support of Leslie, mostly on Facebook, and on Matthew Remski's blog, but nothing as long as an article. (I think I know who you are from Facebook, but I didn't recognize the name and I may be wrong, and anyway I don't want to spoil the surprise).

I'm not sure which LionsRoar article you mean-- can you post a link?

level 6
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
i can't remember it either other than it was controversial about the guru-disciple thing.

level 7
CheredeDarievea
24 days ago
Is it possible you're thinking of Dan Montgomery's excellent article in Tricycle?

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/shambhala-samaya/

level 8
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
yup

level 9
CheredeDarievea
24 days ago
Wow thanks! It's quite an honor to be mistaken for Dan ;)

level 10
allthewholeworld
22 days ago
you deserve it

level 1
xchoppon
17 days ago
Hello. I met Trungpa in Berkeley in 1970. I was in Boulder a number of years where I did ngondro, had Vajrayogini abhisheka and did 2 fire pujas. After prostrations I distanced myself from the community but came back. However later, after briefly serving as a Kusung to Mipham, I did drop out and it was a big deal for me. I had some experience I thought because when I was 17 I dropped out of the catholic church and became an atheist. Now I reflected maybe I was Judas in a previous lifetime! Haha. Well, it's sad. It was such a magnificent adventure to start, studying with a genuinely realized person, entering that particular history. It's sad now what has become of that history. Are we allowed to say our names? I have no need to refrain. I left more than 35 years ago. I never really had any close friends in the community however so when I left I don't think anyone really noticed I was gone. I don't know if I know you. I'm Harry Garcia. I applaud you and hope you can do some good. I studied with other buddhist teachers but recently I've been drifting away from buddhism more toward some kind of interspirituality (if that's possible). Ironically (somewhat) I'm living in Japan -- but then buddhist is pretty much dead here, except for a thriving Vipassana sangha (I did a 10 day group Vipassana retreat here 2 years ago). Well, so I don't really have any questions for you. I do wonder who you are. Maybe I'll find out in the future. Did you ever play electric guitar?

level 2
allthewholeworld
16 days ago
i play a little electric guitar, or used to. but more importantly, i want to come to japan. we can connect some day in the future, Harry. atww

level 3
xchoppon
15 days ago
Yeah, sure. I live in the countryside now but am moving back to tokyo which is a better place to make contact, see/learn about Japan. It's interesting here. Yoga and New Age stuff is what's most popular but I was surprised one day talking to a young Shingon monk (with a wife and 2 kids) who said to me, "I want to learn about dzogchen."

level 2
karincash
8 days ago
Harry Garcia: you were always the consummate practitioner. You always inspired me so much. Glad to hear you in this forum. When you and Carol Jean were in Boulder, it was in CTR’s better years. Listening to This thread, it sounds like it all went to hell. I left after CTR died, but the money mismanagement always bothered me. Always felt like The Emperor’s New Clothes. But there is nothing out here compared to that magical time.

level 1
Cashoobutter
16 days ago
I’d like to hear more about the acharyas who put themselves through humiliation and grovelling and I’d like to hear names.

level 2
allthewholeworld
16 days ago
bringing their names into it would just increase their humiliation. the downfall of shambhala will be humiliating enough. It was no secret, people who were there saw enough of it.

remember, my purpose is not to tell all, it is to stop the abuse. a lot has happened (in the real world, not reddit or fb). let's see how it shakes out.

the acharyas as a group include many types of people, and some of them may want to make a new start in life, so i don't want them to be too afraid that ATWW is going to hammer them. I am not going to. there were only a few who were aggressive, most were sheeplike.

level 3
Arupajhana7
15 days ago
I hope you tell the story, even if names are omitted, to a source that can publish it. I worry that 10-15 years from now long after this Reddit post is forgotten SMR will be promoting one of his daughters as Queen and the new heir to the throne and young people 15 years from now won't know the extent of it. Then the cult could continue on to harm another generation in the future as it did under Mukpo after the Regent.

level 4
allthewholeworld
14 days ago
thank you ARupajahana7 for your activity here. you were welcoming of this conversation from the very beginning, and I understand your concern for the future. I don't see a future with a strong interest in Shambhala. It has fallen into a three strikes and you're out scenario. There will always be abusers and charlatans, but some people will keep a nonhierarchical wisdom tradition alive nevertheless. I hope to see you on other platforms, and here, when I return.

level 5
Arupajhana7
14 days ago
I hope you are right, but I am not so optimistic. 15, 20 years from now Shambhala may have quite the story to justify the Monarchy. This reddit post may be buried by then, but the institution will live on. Unless the info comes out through an easily findable published source, like a news outlet.

I hope to hear from you again.

level 1
sakura-designs
4 days ago
edited 4 days ago
I'm supposed to be on retreat, but spent 3 hours reading all 664 comments, and up until last night, still had some sympathy and thought that we all were overblowing this poor man's covert sex life and self-professed alcoholism and that we could still recover. Whomever this is, I think I know you, and we are friends, you said something that struck the base core for me... you all were told "don't invest in those who aren't loyal."

I have been lobbying Richard R., Carolyn M., David Brown and haranguing every BMC director for over 10 years when this "loyalty" prerequisite started and students of Trungpa got ousted and felt like they had to leave. I should post the 10 years of letters to them I sent, with no real response, the KC was indeed well forewarned. I have other teachers (even with permission of SMR circa '92) and it was clear that 20 years later, I was no longer welcome, and left after Dale Asreal said that I'd have to give up my other teachers to attend Scorpion Seal. Every pore of my being knew there was something really wrong there, and I immediately withdrew dues, and my exit did not go well.

We stopped really caring for each other and indeed it became a business, and the new curriculum and SMR loyalists co-opted the old, and send out the old students, right along with it, and now many are aging, alone and community-less in Boulder, so very sad. How can we be Monarchs and create an "enlightened society" if we can't even care for our own aging and infirmed Sangha members? Not loyal? 25 years doing *every single thing* Shambhala told me to do, I just needed teachers that would see me, care and talk to me, I always felt that "samaya" was a mutual commitment based on relationship.

The community contracted and these loyalty prerequisites turned us from an open, expanding, inclusive societal vision, to a bonafide cult status. It's not, imho, what Trungpa wanted. Whatever hurt and loss of years, loss of over 200K in program costs and hope to raise my daughter in a loving, sane community I feel, I still love you all, the "people" in Shambhala. We are still all in this together, even those who left, banished, we are still here.

All Sanghas worldwide are going though something similar or will soon because the root issue has to do with this Tibetan cultural feudal tenet of offering a teacher authoritarian power and control, and we must reply with unquestioning obeisance. This is not what the essence of the third turning was about, the Dalai Lama himself says we need nothing less than a #BuddhistReformation and my hope is if we can in Shambhala, rather than burn it all down, call out this student exploitation that comes under the guise of "samaya" and create a really, genuine, loving, *inclusive* caring, transparent, ethical community, we can model that change for other sanghas globally.

There is still love there, goodness, blessing, dignity, we just need to storm the Bastille a bit longer, it's too soon in this process for SMR to return to his seat, there is 40 years of indoctrination, social control Tibetan vajra hell fear etc. to unravel and process, and the thing is, once we "go clear" we are going to have to actually help *our teachers* to de-indoctrinate and heal. I still have hope in the sanity of you all. If anyone is having "religious trauma syndrome" these people will talk about hell stuff and existential conflicts for free https://www.recoveringfromreligion.org/contact After talking with them and many tears, I wrote about samaya, hell and empowerment here too https://dawnlhamo.wordpress.com/category/discussion/ these things are very deep and will take a lot of time to heal and clarify.
With so much love to all here's my John Hancock ,
in the true vision of the GES,
Dawn Boiani-Sandberg, Boulder

level 1
allthewholeworld
19 days ago
behind the scenes, it is heating up
don't worry, the criminal investigation into MjM is real. They found me and called me and now I have a sense that the scope of his abuses has not been kept from them.

Some of what I was going to share here (I wrote up six or seven narratives per your many requests) just has to be handed over to them first. I will put other stuff up though.


Have you all noticed how many people are speaking up with detailed accounts of their own abuse? FB seems to be boiling.

He is gearing up to flee to Orissa, so unless we can get a lasso around his neck, he will avoid consequences here. His loyals will probably never see him again, unless they foot the bill to Orissa to visit his hovel of shame.

level 2
lhakthong
18 days ago
It is rumoured that he left for India on Monday.

level 3
allthewholeworld
18 days ago
yes, I got word of that too.

take the money and run. whoops, there is no money

level 4
Arupajhana7
16 days ago
The 20,000 dollars he got from those Jewel Patrons will go a lot further for him in Rupees.

level 3
notso-olddog
15 days ago
SMR, from India (with extradition treaties with US and Canada) to Nepal (with no extradition treaties with either). Mmmmmm. .... interesting.

level 3
MystifiedByLife
18 days ago
I think I can confirm, for whatever an anonymous confirmation is worth. I know someone who used to be on the council who is meeting MjM and his wife in India, like, today.

level 2
federvar
19 days ago
wow! I hope you are alright and being able to take care of yourself. Thank you for your stepping up. I was the first one to be skeptic about you here, but it's obvious now I was too much over cautious.

I don't find no one speaking up on FB, as you say. I think I don't have the right links...

level 3
allthewholeworld
19 days ago
i understand why you were skeptical. it was a lot to hear. thanks for sticking in the convo, fedrvar

level 2
BaronAsh
18 days ago
well, I hope you can put up other stuff, as long as it's solid and complete (and therefore unequivocally convincing). I left years ago but still have a very hard time believing what is generally intimated, and not because of unwillingness but because of a lack of detail or corroboration. Well, we went back and forth on that already, several of us, but now it seems that because of the investigations we won't get the information. Perhaps that's for the best but I wish things were more straightforward and clear somehow.

In any case, you have promised something along those lines, so am looking forward. Apart from those, though:

So now what, ATWW?

In your first bombshell post, you maintained that Shambhala from top to bottom and beginning to end (more or less) is a cult and the best thing for anyone is to just get out. Is that still your position? Out of loyalty to my teacher I find it hard to contemplate, but on the other hand I can't think of a simpler, cleaner, better way, albeit I still hope that most of the assets remain and practice centers can teach more basic, and less complex, stuff, but still basically good. Not to mention all of CTR's extensive Buddhadharma materials.....

level 2
DismalPerformance
18 days ago
Who is MjM? This whole thread is beginning to sound like a fantasy.

level 3
allthewholeworld
18 days ago
mipham j mukpo. nightmares are a fantasy that can be solved by getting out of bed.

level 3
fuckinggiraffes
18 days ago
Check the copyright on Turning the Mind into an Ally - Mipham J. Mukpo.

level 1
allthewholeworld
16 days ago
As you have probably seen by now, Bill Karelis is in jail. This may be the first domino, or it may be the only case. we shall see. http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_32423182/ ... lting-girl

level 1
JoeGrand64
26 days ago
Can you describe what you mean by friendship and what that was like.

You said " Really. he has been my friend for twenty something years, but I have to admit, he is the worst person I know. "

But you also said that he has no friends, which is in line with my experience.

The only person I would have thought of as "friend" to him was a certain media personality, and am pretty sure you aren't him.

Everyone else seemed to float about the various roles of servant, enforcer, enabler, benefactor or target. I can't think of anyone who would self-identify as friend other than the above mentioned.

Maybe you could shed a bit of light on that dichotomy.

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
yes fair question. I was his friend in a strange way, but not someone he would confide in. I was an advisor, and a fairly well-connected person that probably made him feel like he was not only surrounded by slaves. I was never his slave. I think he needed a few people in his life that weren't taken in with his fantasy.

He definitely has no friends as far as other lamas. Dzongsar told a friend of mind several years ago, "the Sakyong needs a friend. I will be his friend." but that was never going to happen.

His day-to-day friends were people who told him what he wanted to hear. you can't really be a friend to a living god, so ordinary friendship didn't factor into his experience.

I appreciate you asking for correction on this point.

level 3
JoeGrand64
26 days ago
There is about a 0% chance that we haven't met. It is driving me crazy.

level 4
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
I hope that I was kind to you if we did. I was stressed by the cognitive dissonance at the time.

level 5
JoeGrand64
26 days ago
You and me both.

level 1
YoYoMahSnoobster
26 days ago
Do you still consider yourself a Dharma practitioner in the lineages you mention (Kagyu / Nyingma)? I am a longterm practitioner from a Zen lineage with close ties to Shambhala and have studied with Kagyu and Nyingma teachers as well. It's been really disheartening to see how major players in so many Buddhist lineages represented in the West have failed to speak out or act against all the things that just seem broken to me in these traditions; the misogyny, sexual abuse of children in monasteries, physical abuse, etc etc.

Would really appreciate your insights.

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
oh absolutely! dharma is the most important thing in my life!

I have a rich practice life and excellent teachers (and I have boundaries with all of them, though have never needed these with the exception of Mipham).

Although I have been sidelined and lied to by those in hierarchical traditions I do not see that in any way related to the dharma.

As I said elsewhere, part of my anonymous coward thing is that I don't want to be so stigmatized that people at risk are afraid to talk to me because of my public stance. I help people out from backstage, at least for now.

I hear you about the disheartenment with the major players in Buddhist lineages.

tell me how I can help you, and I am very glad to have the opportunity to do so.

level 3
YoYoMahSnoobster
26 days ago
I guess I've just lost faith a little bit when I don't see the teachers that I admire actively trying to change things. Is that an unreasonable request? Or is everything fine by them, or not worth trying to change?

The fact that probably all Buddhist lineages function as hierarchies seems to just be a breeding ground for domination and abuse. I still love and admire my teachers and I have a deep need for spirituality and community. Not sure if I can just jump back in with all my concerns about the power imbalances built in to these traditions.

Hope this isn't too rambling! Thanks for listening and responding, really appreciate it! Curious to hear your thoughts.

level 4
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
no no don't jump back in. too soon, don't you think? why rush? Lots of my friends quit practicing for a year or so, and some decided they wanted to give it another try and just kept going. sounds crazy, but there is more going on in life than dharma practice. If it isn't healing you, maybe give it a break and just learn to smile again?

level 4
Arupajhana7
24 days ago
I have been struggling with this too. I was originally planning on doing a retreat with a well respected ethical Rinpoche this summer, but recently decided not to.

level 1
saffronandsage
26 days ago
What are your thoughts on the more legitimate lineages helping to prop up this fraud, like Dilgo Khyentse, HH Penor Rinpoche, and Kalu Rinpoche?

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
my thoughts on that are not really ready for publication. I don't have much to say about Kalu or Penor. Dilgo Khyentse is my hero, yet there is no way around his work in legitimizing something that is not legitimate.

My feeling is that Tibetans understand dharma well. They do not understand enough about the world to have their opinions about society hold up under scrutiny.

I also feel that they have misused ritual. They do not have power or magic, if they did, they wouldn't be in the middle ages like they are. They understand meditation, and they know how to keep their own culture together. But they should stop sprinkling menstrual blood on rapists in an effort to reform them. Just not a whole lot of confirming research on the effectiveness of that approach.

level 3
SunnyClouds5
25 days ago
I also love Kilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, and Khandro Rinpoche is currently teaching a bunch of people from the Vajradhatu sangha, and they are happy. I have a somewhat different view of the clash/confluence of Tibetan culture as brought by the teachers to the West, and Western culture. Some of the Tibetans do have power or "magic," to use an English word that has completely lost its original meaning. It's not a medieval belief system. The Catholic Church convinced Europe that it was hokum by killing off millions who dared to cling to the indigenous practices there. We have inherited a disbelief beyond skepticism here in the West, yet there is a human capability for energetic practices that seem "magical" to the Westerner. I would ask people to stop being so sneering of it, since I have seen and experienced some of these things first hand, and have been a little educated, anyway, about how it works. It takes tremendous awareness and energy, and most of us don't have that. So we doubt it exists. That said, weird customs such as you mention won't translate to the new culture. Every time Buddhism moves to a new culture, there is a period of adjustment. I see a lot of what has happened as part of those growing pains...the larger picture...the longer trajectory. That makes me want to make sure the teachings continue. Not the cult-like worship of teachers (Buddhist teachers aren't Jesus), nor the misuse of the teaching seat by imposters, but the teachings, which have been tried and true for centuries. I really hope we can sort this out for the future, that we can place a balm on the hearts of those harmed, and still walk into the sunshine of the well-practiced mind. In that spirit, I'm glad you are trying to help people leave. So many will feel so harmed, so hurt, so misled. That old cradle of loving kindness is an actual thing we can give, all stupid window-dressing aside about it.

level 4
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
Actually sunny, I agree that there is magic. my teachers definitely have it. but when I wrote this I was just making sure I got it out, and I was attacking the superstitious folk magic culture that allows for confusion, murkiness, and abuse.

your responses are worth reading more than once. thank you for your time

level 4
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
one comment, some of your remarks are almost identical to things I say nearly every day, about the continuity of the teachings. I hope we can talk more, because I resonate with your perspective.

level 4
BaronAsh
24 days ago
edited 23 days ago
Every time Buddhism moves to a new culture, there is a period of adjustment. I see a lot of what has happened as part of those growing pains...the larger picture...the longer trajectory. That makes me want to make sure the teachings continue.

Very well said. And it's because of that type of view and concern that all this is worth taking time to discuss and process. If it weren't for that concern, I would never give any of this (CTR, SMR etc.) a second thought.

I suspect the biggest sticking point involves the Shambahala Teachings. ATWW seems to be implying that because the termas weren't entirely finished, that perhaps they should be cast aside (forgive if this is incorrect interpretation). I'm not there yet even though I've personally jettisoned the whole thing at this point, though I do sit and stroke occasionally. But to me the important aspects here are less to do with whether or not they are authentic (that is up to the practitioner, the old 'buddha tooth' story for example), but more to do with transmission from before and transmission to after.

My beef with both Shambhala and the higher Tibetan lineages is that they rely too much on the ritual aspects, along with all the hierarchies and such that involves, but that doesn't mean that the ground underneath all that superstructure isn't worthy. That said, I feel that most of what Trungpa presented is more than worthy, truly top notch, and that would include the Shambhala stuff. But the way it is handled, transmitted, the way the society has been run etc., clearly that is pretty awful. Disentangling the dharma from the institutions should be possible, but especially with Shambhala it might prove hard since it's essentially a society-based mandala from ground to fruition. Personally, I think it would be good to get back to straight dharma for a decade or so, especially Hin-Mahayana and trust that if/when there is a place for the other stuff on an institutional level (versus person to person, confidentially, as in days of yore), that would be good.

Finally, I think Trungpa felt driven, from the days of teaching commoners in Tibet with K. Gangshar, to share the dharma on the fruitional level as much as possible. That is why he so quickly shot over to the West and blazed a trail there. Vajrayogini went from one to one for 13 generations before expanding to more than one and by his time we had half a thousand people doing it at once, maybe more at the cremation. Was that a false piste on his part? I don't think so. I suspect the whole dynamic is a bit like Padmasambhava and then things going dark for a couple of centuries afterwards before re-emerging (or was it another and then Padmas?).

I told the story here in another post about how one lama told me that CTR was unusual in being fully enlightened (whatever that means, but I think they think of it in terms of mahasiddha-level realisation) as a teenager and that this was unusual. This is now how I view him: at a very early age, and blazing with the fire typical of young people (on top of realisation heat), he became convinced that it was his mission to bring the highest teachings to the modern world, that it was time to open up openness entirely beyond the institutional and cultural confines of a medieval mountain society. He held to that vision up until his dying day, even through some very hard years at the end when, yes, his body was ravaged by various excesses. But the biggest excess was his refusal to hold back. His core intention never wavered, and given that level of willpower, I personally have no doubt that had he wanted to change paths and prolong his life, he could have and would have, but he chose the path of the young Padmasambha and blazed that way for a short time, leaving (too many people perhaps) the inevitable mess for others to deal with. Perhaps this mess is a final teaching, or perhaps it's an unequivocal sign to chuck it all away. Figuring this out is what each of us is here doing, perhaps.

It seems that one huge obstacle to overcome, that most walkaway people have done for their own reasons at their own pace, is to take back responsibility for your own mind and body and not worry so much about what others think or say, including their magical powers, or samaya and so forth. As is well said: 'this above all, to thine own self be true.' That is the ultimate samaya, and ultimately, it's a personal call to make, and when you do there are no guarantees that you are not just giving into samsaric rudra yourself. There are never any guarantees, either with or without a guru.

I feel that Trungpa's lineage is a good one, but there were too many messes, back then and now with his son. This needs to be acknowledged and most of the structures let go of entirely for a while. But I would hate to see all his teachings, including the Vajradhatu path and commentaries, dissolved as well. Though ultimately, of course, it doesn't matter. Nothing does.

level 1
Arupajhana7
26 days ago
What can you say to those of us who had very weird and other worldly experiences on retreats and at land centers, say vivid dreams about Trungpa, or experiencing energy near the perkong, weird coincidences like a rainbow or flash of light at an auspicious time or a raven at an inauspicious time?

Are these just transpersonal experiences that come up with meditation and they were distorted by teachers so we would interpret them to fit the Shambhala narrative? We are sitting all day with their pictures in the shrine room, I am sure that has an effect on the subconscious...

And all the "drala" and "werma" signs, rainbows etc, are those also just ways we were taught to reframe our experiences?

Or somehow, was there really "drala" at places like KCL and it was just exploited like the rest of the Dharma for the benefit of an egomaniac?

level 2
TharpaLodro
25 days ago
Or somehow, was there really "drala" at places like KCL

YMMV but personally I think it's this. KCL is older than Shambhala and I think it will outlive it. Also, no matter how fucked up and compromised Shambhala is, you still learned tons and tons of dharma in it. I also think that Shambhala absolutely nails helping westerners deepen in their personal practices. So it's not surprising that Shambhala students would be in touch with reality beyond merely the ordinary. If you believe in such things (as I do).

and it was just exploited like the rest of the Dharma for the benefit of an egomaniac?

buuuuuuuuut I think it's also this. The core of Shambhala's audience is secular white middle-aged professionals. That's a super alienated demographic that's been by and large severed from any kind of spiritual lineage or tradition. Shambhala gives people a way to believe in magic again. It's incredibly seductive and gives the leadership so much power... even if the magic turns out to be real.

level 3
tashi8888
25 days ago
Tlodro -- interesting observation white middle-aged professionals -- think you're right -- clear shortcoming and then maneuvering to self sustain its existence

level 2
tashi8888
25 days ago
these experiences are common to folks who slow down and begin to see -- in all places and cultures and spiritual traditions -- u think hollywood has been creating them from nothing? all over the world there are powerful places and occurrences -- everyday.

level 2
CheredeDarievea
25 days ago
I heard that Trungpa was excited when he arrived at the Chateau Lake Louise and immediately was taken out for a drive. He returned to the hotel profoundly disappointed, declaring that there are no drala in the Canadian Rockies.

I stood on the shore of Lake Louise a couple of years ago, specifically wanting to test this. I didn't see Gesar of Ling or any Tibetan war gods flitting around, but I did feel a massive power that is difficult to describe.

So either Trungpa was using a very narrow and scholarly definition of "drala", or else he was too drunk or numb to feel anything at that point.

level 3
BaronAsh
24 days ago
I heard he said 'local deities,' not drala.

And it is pretty dead around there, though postcard gorgeous. Maybe it has changed, though, with more people over time.

I was there that year but as a student and didn't see the event, but the way it was told me was that he spent a LONG time sitting on a bench looking out at the lake. He was not only disappointed, the way I heard it, but truly surprised, since it is very rare to find such a place.

But then: it's truly quite possible that hardly anyone has ever lived there until only very recently. No action, no deities maybe...

level 1
allthewholeworld
22 days ago
I am so glad to see all you old dogs (no ageism there, just mean seniority) coming in here and laying down some (to me) entirely unexpected potency. so many posts from you that are the most thought out and caring stuff I have read in years.

where have you been for the last 20 years? Haha. not fair, we all know the real question is: where have I been for the last 20 years.

Your prajna is well displayed in these posts, and I admit that my vision of the old sangha had been shaped by the variant of your species that stayed loyal to the mother ship. You are like a hominid to their bonobo line. you are like a restaurant meal to their cafeteria food. Keep it up and take over with that mojo!


level 1
phill62
18 days ago
Looks like you're going to be getting more attention. Media is picking up on your link.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/americanb ... dhism.html

level 1
metal-tiger
12 days ago
allthewholeworld, thank you for speaking out; many things commented here are great food for thought, whether one is in, out or was part of the org before smr took over. Much to ruminate about, and to be able to join in here where identity is protected if need be.

level 1
PositiveChemist
10 days ago
Thank you for sharing this difficult story. Supporting others in getting out is appreciated. It seems more important to get out.....No need to be used or abused by others in the interest of "Enlightened Society."

level 1
allthewholeworld
23 days ago
edited 23 days ago
A word to those who want to defend Chogyam Trungpa (and who have every right to do so).

I am not able to talk about Chogyam Trungpa anymore. He is not important to me at this time and has little presence in my life or conversation with other dharma practitioners. We are here to talk about the situation of 2018/2019. Plenty of space on reddit for everyone. The story of him is for later, after the current administration comes clean and starts to talk openly to the public and acknowledges the widely expressed feeling that Shambhala became abusive. That is the topic everywhere in this small world of ours, and this thread is in service of that, at this point.

If you want to post about CT, start new threads. Take energy away from this one if you want to. Bury this thread with your good writing and it will work in your favor. If people want to read about CT, they will see that there is thread about CT. If you insist on posting here, I hope you are looking at your motives.

I have said what I said, and you know now that I claim to be open to changing my view, but I haven't so far. I am not seeing anything that seems well thought out, and the people who are speaking fiercely are also sabotaging their efforts with displays of murky thinking that is easy to take apart. To me it seems careless, like: you don't actually care.

You have to address what has been said, not merely deny it. Merely denying it makes it seem more likely that you are in denial, and that the thing is true. This platform is not trying to silence you, at least not while I am here. You can consider your feelings and post here and have a conversation and I think people will respect you. You, any of you, and me, do not have the whole picture, because we are not everyone. You can hold very strong views and still present them respectfully and find people taking the time to listen to you.

If you want people to reconsider Chogyam Trungpa who have been persuaded by the alternative stories coming forth, you have to model all the qualities representing his effect on you. And actually, you already do. People who never met him will judge him by you, and do judge him by you. Not by stories or even by testimony. By you and the way you are in the world. So, how is your conduct? How is your patience when people say things you don't want said? It better be exemplary or else you do him no favors. It's up to you, students of CT.

The prime time for Chogyam Trungpa's story to be painted in history is over when his students have all or mostly all passed away. You will be evaluated by the next generation and that will be how he is evaluated: he produced all of you.

He was a complex human being but history will not be kind to him unless very, very impressive people emerge from your ranks to demonstrate that he could only have been a buddha. Those people would be you. If that is the outcome you want, what are you doing to make it happen?

And, I repeat, you are not under attack.

level 2
dharmarefugee
19 days ago
I just hope we don't follow the trend of ignoring history, how we got here, which includes CTR but also goes back before CTR to Tibetan culture generally, with its attitudes towards women and girls. Such complexities can distract from the need for accountability now, but they also help us learn, see ourselves in the bigger picture. From that point of view it was crazy to engage Western students in a samaya relationship so quickly, before we'd had a chance to sort through the cultural packaging, mature spiritually, discern what was compassionate action and what was harmful (as we are finally doing now). CTR had a sense of urgency which in the long run you could say backfired. You can see what might have driven it, though, given the sudden collapse of his own culture and where the world is headed now.

level 3
allthewholeworld
19 days ago
this. you are going to wake many people from their pain.

level 2
tashi8888
23 days ago
Thank you, ATWW. IMO you are correct -- it is the 2018/2019 situation and on-going damage that needs our focus and attention.

Many Shambhala students are struggling and need guidance. Let's keep discussion on track and share authentic stories and context to the con. The Acharyas and Mr Mukpo have not stopped activity nor acknowledged the harm. They carry on.

Please speak up, everybody, and share your 2019 questions, doubts, and concerns. Let's get clarification on what is off-track.

Thanks for listening, and ATWW, thanks for creating this discussion space.

level 3
allthewholeworld
22 days ago
it has been an honor (and I almost said, a pleasure, but it has been very taxing too. but worth it.)

level 2
CachitadelBoddhi
4 days ago
very smart..good idea

level 2
BaronAsh
23 days ago
I suspect this is addressed partly to me. I don't think I've been trying to defend CTR so much as contextualise current events as part of a continuum which includes that past as current ground. And I feel the current ground is often being over-simplified into good versus evil with weighty accusations and mainly only anecdotal, often second-hand, referents. It's disturbingly similar to mainstream US news about the unending, thus far evidence-free Russian Collusion story.

I'll grant you there have been some abuses. But if that is the focus, then they should be discussed in more detail. Perhaps, because such things are so tricky and subjective. Maybe they shouldn't be discussed at all except in a properly set up Court of Law, either our own or the Criminal or Civil courts in various State and Provincial jurisdictions in the countries we are citizens of.

Perhaps the problem is that the middle-level sangha, aka our leadership level, is dysfunctional and has been for a while (as I like to drone on about). Lacking such societal infrastructure, we are left with outrage or gossip or anguish or simply tuning it all out. We lack skillful means as a community to handle these things. Where will it come from? In theory, the Process Team is in place to facilitate this, but they are taking their sweet time, and I suspect it will be just another well-intentioned, overly loyalist, bureaucratic exercise in top-heavy, overly spiritualised, New Agey inertia, with quite a bit of covering up thrown in to keep things smelling sweet and pretty.

However, your call to keep things to the current situation makes sense. On my end, I wish there was more information coming out rather than innuendo, especially since it seems there is so much I'm missing. But I wanted to be out of it, and am glad I am and intend to remain there, and so out of it I'll stay and go back to checking back on this board to see if there is any news, since the official Shambhala organs are sleepwalking through the whole thing, seemingly.

Good luck!

level 3
RStone_etal
23 days ago
What a clever way to drop all credibility by end of 1st paragraph, compassionately saving us the trouble of reading the rest. Thank you!
Based on reading your other posts, you seem to enjoy philosophizing about all this.. Yeah, everyone's at fault, and while we are at it, we might as well blame Adam and Eve and the original sin (oh wait, wrong religion!) or the first fish that walked on land... Theoretically fine, but practically, these are irrelevant. There are "real" issues at hand, my friend, so please zoom in from outer space, to see/hear/address issues concerning (possible) victims and abuses. These larger failures (including e.g. whoever didn't hug whoever enough when whoever was at whatever age..) did not FORCE anyone to abuse others; the fact that you think you are all at fault does not absolve the perpetrators. Unless the alleged perpetrators seriously have no agencies of their own, in which case they are the biggest frauds calling themselves "dharma teachers"... And: realize this post is not "nice", and my apology.

level 4
BaronAsh
23 days ago
Fair enough. But I am maintaining that a culture of abuse is created by both leaders and followers, not leaders alone. This is more than just 'blaming the victim,' although similar on some levels. He's going to take the rap for all this, especially if it turns out there are many specific, credible stories about a clear pattern of not only past but current 'abuse,' but will it help anything to make him the main fall guy?

Probably not.
(Though if most of this sort of thing is true, he should indeed pay a price, as should anyone.)

But the underlying mess, the deeper causes and conditions, will remain unaddressed most likely, and the real witches and demons remain lurking within the bosom of the communal beast. But as you say, it's all just philosophizing, and so I'll try to stop and wait for ATWW's further more detailed narratives to help make it more clear to dullards such as myself.

And so it goes...

level 1
Arupajhana7
23 days ago
Sorry for so many questions, but in the most inner circles, what is the understanding of what the "Rigdens" are? I found the definition of what they are kept changing depending on who you ask and how far into the path you are. Sometimes it was a reference to kings of ancient times, sometimes it was a reference to all beings, like we were all Rigdens in the same way that all beings are Buddhas, sometimes it seemed that it was referring to an alien race of ethereal beings... So as someone who was very close to the Sakyong, what was his interpretation of what they were? Was he seeing these beings in visions?

One senior person at the court told me that "aliens" wasn't too far off, but when I asked for clarification they wouldn't talk about it anymore.

level 2
allthewholeworld
22 days ago
good question. i have my own take, but it is hard to align it with the current behavior of the sangha toward mipham. There are mythical rigdens, but those don't seem to have been essential to the understanding when those teachings were given by CT. Rigden is a yidam. It would make sense to practice with a yidam if you wanted to encourage your fundamental wisdom to shine with a particular activity expressed. To my mind, that would be a type of leadership, which is not necessarily the same thing as being a crazy yogi in a charnel ground. lots of yidams, lots of sadhanas to practice those yidams. rigden is the yidam within the texts taught by CT.

Aliens? that doesn't work for me, it is a cop out. the person who told you that was drawing a blank and just said something rather than nothing, and rather than, *gosh I don't know*.

Although some people may only have learned this type of practice through the Werma sadhana, yidam practice exists throughout tantric buddhism, as well as in hindu tantra. There is nothing, as far as i am concerned, special or "for our time" about the Rigden. All the yidam practices have outrageously vast vision of benefiting all beings. I don't think there should be a culture of FOMO around any tantric practice, but especially not around the Rigden, as may be the case in Shambhala. Tantra is a big commitment, and every form of dharma, even simple meditation, is potent and transformative. FOMO culture produces hundreds of people who just took on a practice they may not want to invest the time to understand, and then they just feel bad about themselves.

I don't know what Mipham thought the rigdens were, and I don't know what his relationship was to them, because he didn't offer background information on his process. People are definitely expected to believe he can download stuff from the Rigdens. But sometimes it did feel to me that he was just composing stuff to have something to teach, and then it was projected onto as a "revelation" without him even needing to claim it was.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:36 am

Part 8 of 10

allthewholeworld takes a breather, next steps

Hello everyone. I have said my part, and now the conversation belongs to those who want to put their energy into it. With some of the events of recent days, and today's release of the Wickwire Holm report, it is up to collective action, rather than an anonymous redditor like me posting previously repressed material.

I am going offline for a period. My life has other enterprises, and I enjoy them. I spoke up here out of moral obligation, and now I make room for others.

We now have evidence that reddit and other outlets can successfully platform our voices of bravery. Please enter the conversation!

So I will be back, after a time, and when I am I will post here and elsewhere (see below).

I am removing a small amount of material from my postings because they involve scenarios that could make leaving shambhala difficult for those involved. If you want details of what it was like, read the BPS reports. They depict rather accurately an earlier stage of the corrupted inner world that I saw.

Anonymity gets the word out when nothing else can

Many people who know me personally have reached out to thank me for doing this anonymously. This is a relief. Anonymity was necessary, otherwise the attention would have been turned immediately to me and my life — a tactic to arrest provocative discourse. That would have derailed the platform from the outset. Instead, the conversation developed and spread. It was a risk, and I think it paid off.

Some have asked if I am a former acharya. I am not, and this was by choice. I was told that I could be an acharya (or any other position I wanted) at any time, just give the word. The word I gave was, “goodbye.”

My next steps

I will be handing off my facebook account to others who enjoy that platform. To me, facebook is best used to keep in touch with childhood friends, but others have used it powerfully and I salute their bravery and tenacity.

I will emphasize three platforms of communication in addition to Reddit. Primarily Youtube and Instagram (both: allthewholeworld). Why? Because I enjoy them. This is taxing, and I prefer to be happy. Those two platforms are fun.

I will also be blogging from allthewholeworld.com. I will not be talking exclusively about Shambhala, but about freeing oneself from coercive and otherwise controlling influences, moving ahead with one’s life if they have been touched by such systems, and recognizing when others are caught in them. There is an enormous world out there: all the whole world, in fact. It is yours, it is ours, and we are ready for it.

level 2
carrotwax
11 days ago
I did a search for those social media accounts and couldn't find them. Even if there's no material there yet, could you create them so we can subscribe and be notified of new material.

Thank you for all the time and effort in this thread. I felt something off at Shambhala and stopped continuing after refusing to take a vow to "serve the Sakyong", but to me, given the thoroughness and levelheadedness of all your replies, I'd say that like the conclusion of the official Shambhala report, what you say is "more likely than not".

I'm currently in India mixing between Advaita Vedanta and Buddhism, and will be visiting Bodhi Zendo in a couple weeks. If you know of any great teachers in India that are accessible I'd love to hear them. I had the blessings of meeting Ajahn Sumedho here last year and it touched me deeply. I think part of what's lacking in Shambhala is that people don't viscerally know that liberation is possible, because it hasn't been demonstrated consistently by teachers. Being in the physical presence in a small group, of someone alive, fully at ease, vibrantly alert and responsive made me bring clarity to what a teacher can be and understanding past feelings of Shambhala.

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karincash
8 days ago
ATWW: Please take care. Personally I would fear for my life. It only takes one unbalanced loyalist.....If you are still in Boulder I would move. Seriously.

level 1
barleyfat
26 days ago
Were you there at the beginning of the Sakyong? Could you shed some light about how that went down? Did the young SMR want this role, how much was they needed someone to keep the family business going, with all the dharmadhatus and other centers and various properties a number of people must have been counting on this whole enterprise continuing, how much role did they play? how much the Tibetans, did they recognize him as this realized incarnation of 19th century Mipham or what? if SMR had his druthers would he had become a fashion designer?

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
edited 26 days ago
your question makes me guess that you know quite a bit. I was not around at the very, very beginning. I was not at his enthronement, I was studying with other teachers at that time. Mipham, from what I hear, did not want this role. He did not want to teach Seminary, and he did not want the burden of piecing together the fragmented, barely-hanging-together "shambhala terma tradition" that his father was absolutely unable to complete. He knew he had nothing: no training, no legitimate title (Sakyong is an inhouse title, others smirked at it), and wasn't particularly good with decision making. Also, the shambhala tantric cycle was left incomplete, as does happen in terma traditions from time to time. Trungpa had several tasks to finish in order for the transmission to be ready for a successor, and he failed to finish any of them. It was like an unfinished book at his death. Unfinished project. But it was the only product Mipham had in his pockets, so he invented the idea that it was his "role" as "terdak" to complete the work of the "great terton". Such desperation and falsity. His father had been unable to complete the work of grounding the terma because he was deranged and dying of severe liver damage. He was hallucinating. (or perhaps, you might say, he was seeing the rigdens). He didn't go on the Scorpion Seal retreat, didn't compose the abhisheka, didn't do things that were his responsibility to do for the shambhala terma cycle to be activated as a complete cycle. He failed, and probably because he was deranged from a life of indulgence and dissipation at that point. I know, hard to hear, but c'mon, let's put the hagiographies away for a while. He abused animals (there are half a dozen stories of that, not just one), constructed all kinds of lusty exhibitionistic sex games for his own amusement (having my first meditation instructor come in to convert a straight woman to lesbian sexuality while he watched. billions of stories like that), and spent practitioners' donations on cocaine and luxury goods. That is not the conduct of a bodhisattva, or of a crazy wisdom guru. that is the conduct of a dictator, of a egomaniac. Apparently, a "realized" teacher can stray from the path. Didn't Abraham Lincoln say "Cocaine is a hell of a drug"?

In summary, he did not want his role because he knew he had not been prepared for it. He was not and is not a mature practitioner, but he is also a terribly weak minded person who is swayed/told what to do and what to be. He was sold the idea of being a glorious dharma king by his handlers, and he was put through a bootcamp of sorts to get enough training to seem the part at the 1996 & 1999 seminaries. What he did there was to teach the vanilla dharma (and he did so very well, very competently, but so can many people, including westerners like Alan Wallace, etc.) and give off the impression that he was a safe, reformed leader who would steer the ship in a relatively traditional direction. Then he invited Thrangu Rinpoche to speak at the 1999 Seminary, and that was an indication that all was back on track. Later, he was unbelievably arrogant and disrespectful to Thrangu Rinpoche, and barred him even from being at Sopa Choling, where he was the lama in charge of 3-year retreatants. Very few ever heard that story.

In answer to your question: did other lamas view him as Mipham? Was he legitimate?

This is almost easy to answer, but many of the tulkus were playing him to expand their own communities. They would have to do the minimum possible reverence act in order to come to a shambhala center to teach. My guess is that no, never, not one of them ever thought of him as a legitimate teacher, practitioner, or buddhist. How could they?

The whole thing that makes it difficult is that Penor Rinpoche "recognized" and enthroned him as a tulku. Not Dilgo Khyentse, who could have, right? Not the Karmapa. And Penor Rinpoche recognized and enthroned Steven Segal. Of course the rumors are that each paid some large fee for their recognition, and I don't know if it is true or not, but I cannot for one second imagine that it was anything other than a financial transaction.


But if you speak out against His Holiness Penor Rinpoche's integrity, that shakes your own foundations as a tulku. They had to swallow it.

I sincerely wonder what Chatral Rinpoche thought of the Mukpos. I have heard stories that he had a student remove a photograph of Mipham from a shrine room in which he was about to teach, because he was an alcoholic and a samaya breaker (or something like that). In response the student said that it was the son of Trungpa. Chatral Rinpoche replied, that Trungpa was even worse, and to definitely remove the pictures. These are just stories I have heard, but they have an effect on me.

But Tibetan culture is a strong face-saving culture, and look how long it took for even the Dalai Lama to speak out about Sogyal. I met Sogyal in 1996 and it was just obvious that he a was penis and nothing much more. Even teachers like Yongey Mingyur won't speak out directly against Sogyal. they keep the status quo at all costs
, not because they are evil, but that is how their culture raised them. We are the losers for that, and so is the dharma over all.

I apologize a little for how darn long these responses are. I have a job too, and so I am getting it all out so I can move on!

level 3
barleyfat
26 days ago
Thank you for the long reply. I didn't know any of this but was guessing something similar. Had not heard about Thrangu being disrespected; from comparing books by the two of them I rank Thrangu's understanding to be superior. (SMR's writings always left me feeling " well, yes, but so …?)

What you write about the tulkus using him to expand their communities makes so much sense. Which leads to his later response to ban all non Shambhala teachers from the centers because "they might confuse students about the path."

It is telling that it was Penor who recognized him. At our center they never specified who had recognized him, only an amorphous they. "He (SMR) is well connected and respected in the Tibetan world." Penor was known to have recognized Segal and most people I think believed it showed cognitive decline related to old age, an embarrassing problem for the Nyingmas. Your suggestion that money played a role is knew to me but makes a lot of sense.

level 4
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
wonderful insights barleyfat. i am not surprised that your local center would not share or possibly even know the facts of the very tradition it sought to represent. that tells you yet again how nebulous the intellectual responsibility and transparency has been.

the level of understanding between Thrangu and Mipham isn't really a savory comparison. Thrangu is the highest khenpo in the Kagyu lineage. He is a master of the Six Yogas and of Mahamudra. Mipham doesn't practice meditation, he exclusively practices subsidiary tantric rituals to increase wealth and power. In tibetan parlance, he practices sorcery for worldly gains. He is a numbskull, not a master.

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Arupajhana7
24 days ago
This is really interesting to me. Because this means that Mipham DOES practice some kind of magic, and that people may have experienced this, but that it is in the service of his ego, which is what I started to suspect by the end but didn't know how to wrap my mind around it. Other worldly experiences of "sorcery" or whatever it is are pretty much enough to wow us westerners who likely disbelieved that stuff even existed into devotion.

Should have listened to the oldest Buddhist teachings on that stuff... It's all still just part of samsara.

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allthewholeworld
24 days ago
keep in mind that none of his magic works. he sucks at it. all he wants is money and power, and he struggles daily despite having every materialistic sadhana available to him.

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tashi8888
26 days ago
ATWW, you are 100% correct -- there is not one legitimate Tibetan teacher who would vouch for Mukpo. Common knowledge.

Penor R was the head of his very large monastery in southern India. Not 'head' of Nyingma 'church' by any means. And yes, the Karmapa saw mukpo on several occasions...

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allthewholeworld
26 days ago
thank you mister eights! he had his chances to dance before the masters, and none chose him. imagine his pain and the pressure on him. how could someone have helped that young man? i guess this was an attempt and it was a timebomb.

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saffronandsage
26 days ago
Penor was head of nyingma. "Drubwang Padma Norbu Rinpoche (1932–2009), was requested to become third Head of the Nyingmapas and served from 1991 until retirement in 2001."

From wikipedia

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saffronandsage
26 days ago
edited 26 days ago
Another of Penor's tulkus is Peter Young aka Venerable! Lama Dondrup Dorje at Pathgate.org

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=W3psYEPYaBo

You can donate to his bribery funds here

https://www.pathgate.org/index.php/make-a-donation

Penor called him out as a liar, but still took his money, and the Palyul lamas continue to help prop him up

https://forum.culteducation.com/read.php?4,11964

https://forum.culteducation.com/read.php?12,138276

I've heard Penor being referred as "Pay More" rinpoche now. Palyul lamas are also helping to back Rigpa after their scandal this last year. It's shameful.

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Arupajhana7
25 days ago
So if Palyul Lamas are defending Rigpa... What lamas should we be avoiding?

I know Mingyur Rinpoche is a Nyingma and Kagyu Lama... He isn't too closely affiliated with this lot is he?

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saffronandsage
25 days ago
Mingyur has been one of the very few lamas to speak out against this stuff.

https://whatnow727.wordpress.com/2017/0 ... ationship/

Personally, for me, there is a bigger question of the potential for abuse when you give in to magical thinking about these lamas. The potential for abuse will always be there. Its a systemic problem, not just a few bad apples or rogue lamas.

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Arupajhana7
24 days ago
Yes but he hasn't spoken up about it in a while.

At this point I would only ever consider samaya with one who has, which narrows my options down to him and maybe one other Lama.

But I am disappointed he hasn't directly addressed the Shambhala scandal while Dzongsar is actively encouraging victims to stay silent.

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tashi8888
25 days ago
Wikipedia? come on... 'third head of nyingmapas'? read your history -- tradition has been in existence since 800 AD -- never had a 'head' -- this is complete bs.

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breathing216
25 days ago
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyingma#Internal_power

Only since the Tibetan diaspora following the Chinese annexure of Tibet have the Nyingma had a head of the Tradition, at the request of the Central Tibetan Administration. It is largely administrative, but the lamas who have served in this role are among the most universally highly regarded. They are:

Dudjom Jigdral Yeshe Dorje (c. 1904–1987), served from the 1960s until his death.

Dilgo Khyentse (c. 1910–1991), served from 1987 until his death.

Penor Rinpoche (1932–2009) served from 1991 until retirement in 2003.

Mindrolling Trichen (c. 1930–2008), served from 2003 until his death.

Trulshik Rinpoche (1923–2011), served from 2010 until his death on September 2, 2011. Selected after Chatral Rinpoche declined the position.[34]

Taklung Tsetrul Rinpoche (1926-2015), served from 2012 until his death.

Kathok Getse Rinpoche (1954-2018), appointed during the 29th Nyingma Monlam in Bodh Gaya in January 2018,[35] served until his death in November 2018.[36]

Dzogchen Rinpoche Jigme Losel Wangpo selected new head of Nyingma

Phayul[Wednesday, January 16, 2019 19:06]

http://www.phayul.com/news/article.aspx ... s53qAjl4d0

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tashi8888
25 days ago
216 - Thank you for clarifying this, and for noting that the position is brand new (60 out of 1200 years), largely administrative, and was created at the request of the CTA.

This discussion originated with reference to Mipham's enthronement and spiritual credentials.

It might be important to clarify the precise history of the Mipham incarnation from solid sources as well.

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saffronandsage
25 days ago
You are correct that historically, in the past, Nyingma never had a head lama. That has changed since. Did you not hear of the recent death of the 7th head of Nyingma?

https://tibet.net/2018/01/kathok-getse- ... ngma-head/

level 3
Arupajhana7
24 days ago
edited 24 days ago
I have been really disappointed that the only two Tibetans speaking out against abuse are the Dalai Lama and Mingyur... And they haven't done so enough. Why are they waiting so long to respond to Shambhala? The other half of Tibetan Buddhism such as The Dzongsar nutjobs are promoting a guru-concubine club while these men have been silent.

Why aren't they speaking against him too? Culture be damned, people are being hurt and big names are saying victims should be silent.

Their silence is deafening.

I hope they will say something eventually... I believe they will... But they have been quiet for long enough.

Very stupid that he banned Thrangu. I hadn't heard that before. Thrangu is still technically the head abbot of Gampo Abbey! We were told he couldn't come because of his age, but he was still visiting Colorado, something didn't add up.

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Shokoku
23 days ago
My understanding from my time at the Abbey was that he had been there as recently as the mid 2000s if not later.

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Arupajhana7
23 days ago
We were told the last time he visited would be the last time. Not sure how many years ago his last visit was. Some years before I was there.

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JoeGrand64
26 days ago
Thrangu Rinpoche was not at the 1999 seminary. He may have been at '94. Tenga Rinpoche was at '99 as he was consulting on the Stupa.

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allthewholeworld
26 days ago
Maybe it was 2000. but you can even see the transcript of his talk in the published seminary transcripts. I was there, I saw him, he was awesome.

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dogstooth
26 days ago
Thrangu

Thrangu Rinpoche gave a talk one afternoon at the 1999 Seminary. I was there. The OP's memory is accurate.

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JoeGrand64
25 days ago
Really? I was there too. I have no recollection of that. But, it was a long time ago.

I remember that Thrangu did a VY abhisheka around then, might have been the same summer.

level 8
JoeGrand64
level 5
JoeGrand64
26 days ago
2000 makes sense.

level 5
DismalPerformance
17 days ago
He spent a week or two at the Vajrayana part of the 1990 seminary. That's for sure.

level 1
JoeGrand64
26 days ago
Hey, I have another. What is your view on the role that Reoch had in building the mythology? I knew Jesse better than any of the three, but it seemed like Richard really built the international hob-knobbery side of things by his own design. Josh had a lot to do with that side of things too.

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
now we're talkin'

I was mostly involved in the dharma side of things, and didn't pay attention or even know about most of this stuff. I knew RR from before his position when he was just an odd duck at Warrior Assembly. He was destroyed by his role, becoming grotesque and, if the rumors are true, abusive to women. I have never associated Jesse with that side of things. Was he involved with the hob-knobbery? Josh is a dirty word.

level 3
JoeGrand64
26 days ago
Jesse never got into courting celebrities and the Aspen institute and so on.

I think that he was pretty sincerely trying to fix a lot of things. But whenever you would point out some hypocrisy or breach of ethics he would kind of sigh, shake his head and say something like "I know man, it's a fucked up situation, there just isn't any more we can do right now"

or something like that. It became infuriating at a certain point. I think Jesse is just wishy washy.

level 4
rubbishaccount88
26 days ago
the Aspen institute and so on

Can you say more about this? I noticed a few odd SMC/AI crossovers that I found quite odd.

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JoeGrand64
26 days ago
I don't know that much. There was a lot of flirting with power going on. I think it was mostly Richard and Josh. The conferences with Queen Noor, the stuff with the aspen institute. I didn't get it at the time, but it was about power and fame.

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
Richard participated in lies about how vast the Sakyong's world was. While in Beijing, when asked how many students Mipham had, he said, 100,000. Mipham was furious. He made Richard change the number to one million.

level 2
federvar
25 days ago
Sorry, some of us are not so familiar with the names: who are Jesse and Josh?

level 3
tashi8888
25 days ago
kc members -- andrea win's site identifies them -- co-perps...

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federvar
24 days ago
thanks tashi

level 1
Cashoobutter
25 days ago
Do you have any idea how much money is left? What do you predict mipham will do if he can’t resume business as usual?

level 2
hazulu
24 days ago
Well, here is my five cents. He tries to get more money, look here:

https://www.reddit.com/r/ShambhalaBuddh ... our_money/

level 1
SunnyClouds5
25 days ago
Please pm me. I need some specific help from you. It won't take long but I'm not willing to put it out for general viewing. I sent you a pm yesterday. I'm supposing you are busy with many comments and pms, and that I will hear from you. Thanks.

level 1
carrotwax
1 day ago
Here is a quite thorough compilation from former Kasungs, detailing past experiences. It corroborates much of what has been said here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W3fN12 ... PZ8HWrMoTw

level 2
Arupajhana7
25 days ago
I guess it would be good to hear a response from OP, if they are who you believe them to be.

But I also hope they aren't discouraged from sharing more by potentially being outed from anonynimity here... The info they have is very important for the public to know. I really hope they don't keep it to themselves and let it all out there.

I can share I used to think highly of the Sakyong and Shambhala and probably advised many people to read his books and encouraged people to get involved with Shambhala. I am glad most of them didn't listen to me now!

It's hard breaking away from the culture of delusion. I was lucky I had only experienced the court shortly before BPS-2. I was already reframing it in my mind, with the help of a Shastri, as some kind of learning experience about my issues around wealth, power, and hierarchy (this is how the Shastri framed the court to me: as an opportunity to bring these kinds of issues up in westerners to teach us and lessen our ego. The court was a place where all these things that in other contexts were oppressive were "transformed" into an enlightened version of those things. A true Vajrayana practice, I was told. I was also told that I might have a "poverty" mentality.)

Once BPS-2 came out I was able to shake off these stories I had been told to help me reframe these experiences and realized that my initial instincts about the court were right. It was a cult, and the Shastri was too deep in to talk to me like a sane person about it.

But if you went on to take samaya with the Sakyong and now feel betrayed based on the interaction you may have had with OP, I can also understand that.

I just hope OP comes out with the info so the whole Sangha can know the truth about Mukpo.

level 3
cedaro0o
25 days ago
I was also a former booster of Shambhala. But survivors and others have revealed to me the grooming, gaslighting, and deception that has occurred beginning with trungpa. Now my amends are to share and warn so that others do not fall for the same myths and lies and are not harmed.

It's never too late to do the right thing. I admire the bravery of anyone sharing their stories regardless of the background. It's so very important.

level 3
DismalPerformance
19 days ago
Who what is OP? What is BPS-2? Please folks, not everybody is up on these acronyms.

level 4
Arupajhana7
18 days ago
OP = Original Poster (person who started this thread) BPS-2 = Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 2 Report. It is the report released by Andrea Winn that rocked the Shambhala community with serious allegations of sexual misconduct at the hands of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche (SMR)

Some more that might come in handy: VTR, CT, CTR, and VCTR all = Chogyam Trungpa under various different titles

SMC = Shambhala Mountain Center DDL = Dorje Denma Ling KCL = Karme Choling SI = Shambhala International


level 5
DismalPerformance
18 days ago
thank you
Very kind of you... Most of the other abbreviations I know by heart. A rupajhana interesting name.. Wisdom body...or wisdom form.. Maybe sacred world also now that I think of it. ;) Once again.. you are very kind to help a old man

level 3
juliaskig
16 days ago
I always thought the court was the problem of the court. It never occurred to me that it Sakyong's... I only saw him on a few occasions, but when I did, he talked too much, not too little. I also felt like he could read minds, as I would ask him specific questions in my mind, and he would then answer them. I never got through any of his or his father's books, but I thought that was because I have an ant's attention span. It's strange how little I saw him as the OP described him. I thought he was an excellent teacher.

I am also shocked by the allegations against him, and even more surprised by his creepy response. He sounds like a sad decrepit soul.

I never felt like Shambhala was at all cult-like. I would take meditation retreat here or there, but was never pressed to do more.

The worse thing about Shambhala for me, was those weird meal kits we had to have at the Dhatun, and the creepy way the court treated the Sakyong. (2004 was the second to last time I saw the Sakyong, so maybe the dynamic changed).

This makes me wonder if anything is cult if people want to devote themselves to it. I don't think Shambhala is like scientology, at least not as Leigh Remini describes it. Even for those devoted to the Sakyong, leaving doesn't come with the shit that it does with Scientology.

level 4
Arupajhana7
15 days ago
Not as hard to leave as Scientology: this is true. Scientology is probably one of the most extreme examples of an extremely controlling cult. There is a spectrum. Not all cults will be as bad as Scientology, but that doesn't mean they don't have many similarities as well even if they aren't taken to the same extremes. In Shambhala the further you are from the center of the mandala the less of the cult dynamics you experience.

So at the outer fringes, the average level 1-5 participant at a city center doesn't see the culty stuff. People who've been at the court have seen more. People who've gotten to spend lots of time around Mukpo as ATWW has, have seen much more. The Acharyas are likely to know more as well.

Scientology uses video recordings of all of a persons personal thoughts to intimidate them out of leaving. This is pretty extreme. Shambhala (past a certain point) prefers the psychological pressure of samaya and the accompanying vajra hell.

Basically there are worse cults. Scientology is one of them. But Scientology being a much more extreme cult does not mean that Shambhala is not a cult.

I often had the "we aren't a cult because..." conversation in Shambhala. Usually they would point to Scientology and say "see we don't do THAT, therefore we aren't a cult".

In hindsight, if the group you are in has to point to worst case scenario cults to try and explain why it is not a cult... That's not a good sign.


level 2
EdmundButler
25 days ago
Every Shambhalian I ever met was a 'Shambhala advance person'. I ran a meditation group for two years and developed a small Sangha, based entirely on the Sick One's teachings. Now I publish a blog about my experience because I feel it's important people not be deceived by this cult. I had a change of heart based on experience. It's neither cool nor useful to criticise me for what I've done, or do similar things to others. Nobody's perfect and we all change. Deception is still deception regardless of what anybody did in the past. They are two completely separate things: the deception of the Sick One and the shifting loyalties of the student. The former is in no way diminished by the latter.
https://shambhalacrime.wordpress.com

level 3
federvar
25 days ago
I understand what you are saying, wabashcannonball, but let me say that I hope you are also checking yourself out of the "feeling good" thing, and not be just "trolling the (perceived) troll".

level 1
cedaro0o
26 days ago
Any thoughts on the process and people for the Transition Task Force, Process Team, etc?

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
I really don't follow that stuff. so as of now I don't, but thanks for asking

level 1
breathing216
26 days ago
I read again all the posts, and there were two things I was hoping you could elaborate on:

1- You wrote: "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)." Could you describe one instance when you saw that, with as many details as you are willing to share? Having a clear image of that would help me get my head around how he is in private vs in public.

2- You also wrote: "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." Who is that worst one, and what has he done/is doing? I thought all the Kalapa Council had left, except for Grimes and Mitchell who are still in their kasung positions (but you talked about them and I did not get the impression that they were the worst).

Thanks.

level 2
tashi8888
25 days ago
The KC has not 'left' -- there is a power sham for one year, then everything's up to mipham to do what he wants with the board. also the same kc names are still on the board of the Canadian orgs -- check it out -- it's all public info...

level 2
BigLoveNow
26 days ago
edited 26 days ago
You are rocking it allthewholeworld. Your combo of knowledge about Buddhist culture, the Kagyu, Nyigma and the Shambhala scene, along with your clear bodhisattva-ness is sanity support for me. Thank you.

Is all of the Shambhala organization a lost cause?

When I came up in the organization, in the late 1990's I got a fantastic Buddhist education and felt part of a wonderful culture that was very healing and fun for me. Once Sakyong Mipham started insisting people start acting kindly (yes I see the irony) I felt like the organization was finally warm and relational. I've not kept up with the curriculum post Rigden Abhiseka because the Scorpian Seal had NO appeal to me. That said, outside of the close-in Court scene, which I've only dipped into for a day at a time, here and there.

2. Shambhala offers a lot, or does it? Even when meeting teachers in Nepal they acknowledge Trungpa and what he created. Help me see more clearly.

3. Would you not agree that there are many folks who are of good heart and excellent motivation, that are very different than the dysfunction of the Sakyong?

Baskets of goodness to you for sharing so much of your time on this, I hope it's helpful to you too!

level 3
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
hey biglovenow, sorry didn't see this. let me jump straight to 3

yes. many many good folks in shambhala who I hope will soon be shambhala survivors with the rest of us. many folks I love.

I don't think shambhala offers much of anything anymore. it has been gutted. even the aesthetic has changed to be lifeless. I don't think you will find the teachings of CT there, he is almost viewed as a competitor by Mipham. it is just crazy, and that is what crazy is like I guess.

level 3
tashi8888
25 days ago
big love -- of course the buddha dharma is hugely important and helpful to the modern world -- sham and mukpo turned it into james jones micro-universe -- now times up -- has absolutely no effect on true teachings and their powerful help to any one interested ...

level 1
hazulu
25 days ago
Oh, here is another question: Any knowledge or thoughts on David Schneider?
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:40 am

Part 9 of 10

level 2
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
sure: the whole gig is up, and if you want dzogchen all the way up to togal, you better be prepared to practice year after year like your hair is on fire with a qualified teacher. In other words, find a situation where that stuff is being properly handled. Please donate the money I saved you to the ASPCA.

level 3
BaronAsh
24 days ago
edited 24 days ago
So what sort of dharma is suitable for householder yogis, or perhaps more importantly, those that don't want to go into such depth. I believe the Shambhala path was made to be able to create fruitional space using societal architecture (aka groups of people) with a regimen of practice and study, initially delivered in bite-size weekend chunks, later to be more continuous on a sort of one hour a day basis, or less, the core binding factor not being esoterica so much as increasingly enriched sitting practice, enriched by time, by group practice, and by contemplation of the terma texts.

I believe the secrecy around the initial KOS-in-NS project skewed the thrust of presentation and practice and began the movement into cultishness -- not to mention deception of presentation to beginners oft and rightly lamented here -- and when SMR, not without reason given the obstacles within the sangha at the time, joined the Buddhadharma and Shambhala streams into some sort of common lineage which only he could preside over, turning the role of Sakyong into one identical with vajra master, and therefore turning all subjects into tantrikas-only mandala, that's where it lost the plot.

Doctrinally it's not such a big deal, just another split-off lineage which in Tibet is a dime a dozen (such as all the many terma lineages, which Shambhala surely is by definition). But the underlying mission of Shambhala was indeed to attract millions, however not to funnel them into a tantric cult. It really was supposed to go OUT, to percolate, simmer, brew, boil, infuse, radiate, permeate, provoke and ultimately facilitate some sort of cultural milieu founded upon group sitting practice making it a ubiquitous part of our modern cultural vernacular. Mindfulness and yoga have very much succeeded in this, as has tai chi and martial arts. But they have not done so with a monolithic, centralised, one-leader hierarchy whose transmission mechanisms are very tightly held, and whose insistence on commitment to one individual is so pervasively mandated.

Stepping back from the loyalty, scandal and samaya aspects, on a simple, tactical level this is a ridiculous structure, albeit perhaps the original mission -- meditation for the millions -- was not.
In short, we lost the plot. And you could say that CTR lost the plot around the time he was enthroned (1981) given that thereafter he was very ill most of the time for the next five years until his cardiac arrest -- or whatever it was.

In any case, I suspect what you say about dzogchen advanced practice is basically true (though not for everyone). It takes terrific time and dedication, like HHDKR's 20 years in solitary retreat, or Mingyur's recent 4.5 (?) year wandering yogi adventure (I think his youtubed meditation instruction to Google employees, listening to the air conditioning, is terrific btw). But the Shambhala Way offered a real path for ordinary non-intensive practitioner types to create enlightening social mandalas which would channel, contain and share living ati/dzogchen space perception. It's still doable, I suspect, but we should not 'misunderestimate' the power of the mamos, the dark ages, samsara, rudra, setting sun, the four enemies of relatives, merchants, entertainers and professionals (which latter include medicine, Press and Education, polluting body, speech and mind) and so forth. If you introduce something which actually offers true goodness, you will get pushback in the form of outer, inner and secret obstacles. Rather than in a retreat hut and individually, the Shambhala Path unfolds in public, warts and all, and yes, including life and death dynamics. It is not an abstract game.

Obstacles ARE the path. Maybe it's time to dissolve this organisational structure as a failed model and get it over and done with already. But if so, only if the Path is continued will it do much good.

But I just cannot accept that the whole thing is no more than a wicked outgrowth of an over-ambitious, deluded Tibetan alcoholic and his trauma-filled, charlatan, psychotic, alcoholic, sexually perverted son.

Sorry, not buying. Not until much more information, (which have been told I lack, but which I suspect can never be forthcoming on a public board like this, and quite right too). Meanwhile, I will continue to feel (strongly) that all the monsters now coming out of the closet are a mutual creation in a mutually created reality, aka 'community.' (In this regard, whether the stories or true or false is perhaps not so important, since they are being collectively narrated and visualised and thus on the experiential level are real.)

Our failure to step up as Nyen-level leaders and transmitters of the dharma put the single Leader on too high a throne, involving too much hero worship and cultish follower-sheeple. Is it any wonder it's all gone pear-shaped? This is not the fault of one person, though he is going to (rightly) bear the brunt of the burden. The King takes that on by becoming one, including often being the first sacrifice when the mandate of Heaven has been lost -- as seems to be the case here, especially with these ongoing programs and fundraising drives. He is sequestered with loyalist cronies he has taken refuge in, and abandoned his people. (Just like VROT in his last years.)

In any case, the challenge to all of us is: are we going to throw that Shambhala Vision 'Heaven' out along with the corrupted organisation with its current Leader, or just the Leader? And either way: will we then be able to get back to the original Shambhala view and vision (meditation for the masses etc.) or is it felt that without a monolithic patriarchal structure it is unworkable and we have to simply go back to K-Nyingma Buddhadharma only? (I think not!!)

I wish the Sakyong would step up and call a five year moratorium or something and give us a final command to get our act together ourselves, with his blessing, and then revisit the whole thing later, but meanwhile, since clearly his structure and approach has blown up, he'll get out of the picture for a while. Loyalists are going to have to come to terms with being responsible for their own practice with addiction to a charismatic leader. Exiles can again consider whether simple group practice without all the stress and strain of political correct speech, mandated diversity and other memes, and loyalty tests is still worth the whistle. But as long as he is there, esconced, loyalists will have no choice but to defend the flag and thereby corrupt any genuine sort of reform or renewal process. I don't know any of the people on the new board, but based solely on the gender distribution, I smell a rat! That oath too was inappropriate at this time. So hopefully ATTW's thrust here will bear more whistleblower fruit -- if that is indeed helpful though am not sure -- and we can begin to move on. I still feel it is good to let that initial third party investigation present its findings, or we find Halpern redacts it into meaninglessness or whatever. Then let the chips fall, assuming that happens in a month or two.

But I hope they dissolve (and if the Acharyas would resign, that would effect it, I suspect). And then to start with, there should mainly -- if not only -- be group sitting. And then more group sitting. And then teachers like Trangu can come in and teach: more group sitting.

level 4
JoeGrand64
23 days ago
Ash, I think people stepped up all the time. They got pushed back down. I saw it over and over. It got progressively worse as time went on.

Anyone who had any insight was immediately labeled a troblemaker if it was even slightly at odds with the party line.

The top down thing came from the top, not from the bottom or the middle.

level 5
BaronAsh
23 days ago
edited 23 days ago
Oh, I am sure you are right. But early on, there were quite a few highly respected Bigwigs who were moving pieces around on the board, and the Sawang was just the main piece. After a while, he had to turn the tables on that dynamic, and rightly so. But he did this mainly by clamming up and not saying a word and not delegating either. I think there was at least five years of this. It did help make things settle though, so one could argue that, although frustrating and painful, it worked. He held the reins, and then held, and held, and held.

I still feel convinced, having felt it shortly after CTR's death and not finding any reason to revise, that the original CTR sangha failed massively to regroup after the death of both founding lineage holders with all the considerable negative detritus in the mix. This was OUR mutually created detritus, not just those two's. We also should have taken much more care to help his family, especially the Sawang's education which was somewhat helped with -- esp. given he was already adult -- but more especially Gesar's who was 14 at the time. But also ourselves. Well, we did have KTG give his excellent courses (which, since I was travelling I missed, and when I came back was informed I no longer qualified for, so that was that!), so the most advanced practitioners did have a way forward for a little while.

But the issue wasn't so much advanced practice as a viable, self-supporting, self-maintaining, self-growing community, sort of like a healthy plant kingdom which can thrive without overmuch centralisation if you give them basic Biggies like Sunlight, Water, Earth and so forth.

We didn't build our own strength, including especially institutional strength and fell into an understandable trap by over-spiritualising everything. We sort of went Tibetan, consulting HHDKR and other High Ones to help us resolve our own internal issues which in fact we never attempted to address.

Rather we presented the Sawang with a seriously crippled situation. For example, speaking organisationally, after Rinpoche and Vrot died, the only two people getting money were Howard Moore the accountant, part-time, and the Sawang, mainly living in low budget Asia, and also getting money I suspect from a few well-heeled kusung and secretaries personally devoted to him, a small bunch. In other words, Vajradhatu had already collapsed and indeed I heard scuttlebutt in very early 80's that the inside joke on the Board was about 'the collapse of Vajradhatu'. I was sent out to launch Shambhala Training in New York, albeit they had already done a series up to Level V which half the membership -- the largest outside Boulder -- had already done. There was $20,000 USD in the bank with which I was to fashion an advertising campaign and bring in thousands etc. This was stated calmly as the objective, no big hype. But the day I arrived, the Board yanked the entire $20,000 out to pay for Lady Di's horse school. Shambhala Training NYC had no money whatsoever with which to launch anything so I placed $30.00 ads in the Village Voice. A few months later I was recalled to Boulder for other duties which had me much closer in with their family and which, for a while, I deeply enjoyed. But this was 1980, they were already in trouble. By 1982 they were laying off most of the 70 employees they had left right and center.

So that sort of organisational difficulty is what we had to deal with. And didn't. And when you layer in the extremely conflicted emotional terrain after VROT etc., well, again I say it was entirely inappropriate and unfair to bring him into all that, and we are reaping the result of seeds sown back then by a rather stupid, though not unintelligent, clannish bunch of people at the top, who never organised good teachings and practice for the wider, general sangha after the parinirvanas, were upset about no end of things, arrogant, opinionated and organisationally paralysed. The Sawang's inheritance!

About VROT in this context: many senior students felt that VROT dropped the ball in the early 80's when he was supposed to step up and take the reins as CTR began to fade, which he had foretold the year they met. Instead, so the story goes, he was out on the golf course and also indulging in too many other extracurricular activities. He was always the organisational muscle and hustle. He was the main one who set up the Levels structures at the beginning for Shambhala Training, he was the American CEO type in the mix. So the collapse was as much on him by not being there in the lineage holder relay as on CTR who had blazed the trail and was basically done by 1981. That is where it all began to go downhill.

Footnote about money: Many critics here talk about CTR as some sort of vampire living off the fat. My understanding is that a) on his death he had not a penny in the bank, which was the norm b ) he was the single largest donor to Vajradhatu by far.

Why b ? Because he forewent taking income directly from program fees. Instead, he set up a non-profit-church type deal which involved him being paid 'parsonage', i.e. room, board and expenses. Some of his expenses were up there, like first-class flights and clothes tailored by Gieves and Hawkes of Savile Row (good, but not entirely the best if truth be told, though Idi Amin was also a customer!). But if you take into account that he wasn't on a salary or taking money from all the seminars and three-month seminaries, his contribution to Vajradhatu, which at its height employed 70 of his students, was in the millions had he taken even a very reasonable 20% gate fee cut. So he was not some sort of mooch as has here been portrayed. Son of a farmer, trained as a Governor of a large province, he knew how to set things up, valued paying personnel, and was very proud of it all, as he should have been.

But realisation is a pesky thing. Visionary experiences are hard to handle. Protectors are demanding. Obstacles are Legion, especially for tertons which he undoubtedly was. All this is boiled down nowadays as 'alcoholism'. Well, maybe that's one way of describing it, but maybe it ain't so simple. In any case, the point here is: he produced. He was a real mensch!

So the Sawang -- then -- Sakyong was not dealt an easy hand. More importantly, he had no choice but to make some choices. He did not rush. Many thought he was paralysed. But at some point he decided on a way forward. It seems not to have worked out so well despite being a jewel with quite a few facets for a while, albeit too many flaws. But one very deep flaw is the old sangha which was still the nyen and lu foundation upon which he built the new palace, and that foundation was rickety and rotten and badly in need of repair and recuperation, revival, rejuvenation. You can't build a great Lha -- which he attempted mightily the past decade or so -- without good nyen and lu. It is simply not possible, and most of the interpersonal and behavioral problems currently surfacing do so because of this unfortunately configured poor foundation (and in many ways were at the root of much of CTR's behaviors in terms of being exposed to the mass neuroses of his students and, by extension, 1970's modern world). And I still say all this might be a blessing in disguise, that there is enough authentic spiritual merit in the mix that this whole thing could prove more a restorative purge than a terminal disease. In order to uncover and revive that merit, however, we / they are going to have to go back to basics, which mainly means STOP fixating on all the higher/inner/secret stuff and take care of kitchen sink organisational structures and operations, aka lu and nyen stuff and renounce this endless fixation with the lha end, including endless curriculum revisions which do much more harm than good (and are evidence of the wrong-headed view from the get-go).

In 1947 Theodor W. Adorno defined what would be later called "blaming the victim," as "one of the most sinister features of the Fascist character". Shortly thereafter Adorno and three other professors at the University of California, Berkeley formulated their influential and highly debated F-scale (F for fascist), published in The Authoritarian Personality (1950), which included among the fascist traits of the scale the "contempt for everything discriminated against or weak."

-- Victim blaming, by Wikipedia


In any case, we didn't need a twenty-something year old to step in and clean up the old mess, rather we should have given him more of a clean slate to begin fresh with -- even though, as someone born to his father before he met any of us he was chronologically the oldest student -- and still is -- even if not the oldest in years-lived terms. Which is why I keep insisting here -- but no doubt will soon stop! -- that the monstrosities we are hearing -- and to much extent also involving CTR -- were always and are always an interdependent, aka mutual, creation of leaders and followers, teachers and students, sakyongs and subjects. It can be no other way. It is no other way. So if you want to apply 'drive all blames into one' for each of us that is ourselves, individually, but collectively is it into 'US', the big WE, not a him or her or them.

James Elliott on April 19th, 2010 2:02 am

My interest in these things began and remains because of witnessing abuse at the hands of appointed officials, and the abject failure of any official party involved to relate to those problems productively and tangibly with concern for those affected. Any manifest concern has been for appointed officials, or the image of Shambhala, not those affected.

In such a highly hierarchical structure one cannot, Ash, hold those who have been poorly served accountable for the behavior of appointed officials. That is the role responsibility and duty of those who appoint them. Holding those adversely affected responsible would mean leadership is not accountable for its decisions, the actions of officials, or any ensuing results. That would be the antithesis of genuine leadership, and would if continued lead predictably to a collapse of social cohesion.

Blaming the victim also exacerbates the frustration of people adversely affected, and activates people to do more than just grumble. Because when that happens, it becomes clearer we are not talking about simple misunderstandings or minor mistakes of people with responsibility, but rather an institutionalized denial system actively avoiding responsibility for the very things the institution and its leaders must at the very least be held responsible for.

I begin to think a highly centralized absolute monarchy will ultimately only serve the kinds of films you saw of Nicholas II’s coronation, and perhaps the noblemen and soldiers tiptoeing in order to get a glimpse of the great man. The rest of us can eat cake.


level 6
allthewholeworld
22 days ago
another rereadable thread.

the most important disclosure is that you think Gieves & Hawkes is sub-optimal. I need facts. I have socks and a shirt from them and this type of comment really brings out my rage. reckless, really.

level 7
BaronAsh
22 days ago
Well, all you need to know about Gieves and Hawkes is that they are (or at least were in my day) up at Harrow. Eton would have none of them!! They are a 'bespoke tailor' to be sure, and on Savile Row, and their tailors are excellent, but their clientele tends towards the political and institutional, including military, is my guess. Johnny gave me a fantastic set of mess dress made originally for a Surgeon General. Not made for me of course, but the trousers fit better than any other because they are carefully made to fit the contours of the body, and this guy must have been a bit pear-shaped like myself, though the cut makes for a dashing, slimmed down figure. They are good, but some smaller, quieter, less well-known houses are better. I wouldn't know what they are though, because as an old Harrovian I never made it much past the G&H level. If you can afford them, btw, custom-made shoes in London are terrific things, and they'll last a lifetime if well looked after.

The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant [EXCERPT]
by John Riley Perks [John Andrews]
© 2004 by John Riley Perks

Somehow during this winter of the retreat year my handle on what I thought of as reality was becoming a little insecure. Out of seemingly nowhere I started having panic attacks, rapid heartbeat, and hyperventilation. I was sure I was going to die on the spot and I was certain there was a ghost following me around the house. So I asked Rinpoche if he had seen any ghosts in the house.

"Only two," he replied.

I almost fainted.

One night I had a dream of talking to a woman in her late thirties. She was wearing a long dress and holding my outstretched hand. She was talking about building the farmhouse where we were staying. "Where were you born?" I asked.

"May, 1853," she said.

I did the math in my dreaming mind, pulled my hand away and sat up in the bed, awake, with my heart racing.

When I was physically with Rinpoche I did not have panic attacks but I was certain that he was somehow the cause of it all. It did not occur to me that Buddha's message, "Nothing whatsoever should be clung to," applied to me. My Britishness was part of "me." I had made my living by being British and if I gave that up what would I become? American, French, Italian? I mean, you can't just become nothing. But the fear was growing in me that Rinpoche was somehow nothing -- a gap. How could "I" act as nothing? Where do you start? After all, the Path of Accumulation was the Path of Accumulating, not the Path of Nothingness. The Path of Accumulation meant that I was going to get something. Here I was being invited to jump into empty nothingness. Not even invited, I was being pushed -- caught between a rock and a hard place. My memories of war became a welcome and safe distraction. I felt that if I could keep these away from Rinpoche I could hang on to some semblance of sanity. Every time the world would start melting around him I would take refuge in the only thing left in my thinking mind, my memories.


Rinpoche said he would like to target shoot. I had my .38 revolver, which I had purchased to protect Rinpoche (some joke), and a .22-caliber single-shot rifle. Now I went out and purchased a ruger .223-caliber semiautomatic with a thirty-round clip. I set up a target area in the garden that resembled World War II in miniature, with plastic soldiers, tanks, and trucks. Rinpoche, Max, and I would go out and blast them. Rinpoche called them the Mara Army. "You could be victorious over the troops of Mara, Johnny," he said. That sounded good but what the hell did it mean? I looked up Mara in the encyclopedia and it said "Mara is the Lord of the Sixth Heaven of the Desire Realm and is often depicted with a hundred arms and riding on an elephant."

Oh, I thought, mythology. I felt better. It's not real. But just in case, I started to look for an elephant rifle. Perhaps a Winchester .375 H and H Magnum might do the trick.

One evening Rinpoche and I were sitting in the kitchen. Max rushed in from shopping in town. Now, the closet and basement doors were next to each other and both doors looked the same. The basement stairs were very steep and ran down about twelve feet. Max was distractedly talking to us as he took off his coat, opened the wrong door, and, not looking, reached in to hang it up. Rinpoche yelled, "Shunyata," as Max and his coat fell into the basement. Unhurt except for a few scrapes, Max climbed out.

"Rinpoche," said Max, "You should have yelled to stop me."

"Why?" replied Rinpoche. "You could have gotten enlightened."

That night we went out to dinner at the local inn. Rinpoche had me purchase some cigars and secretly put some gunpowder in one of them for Max. the three of us sat in the inn causally smoking our stogies, two of us waiting in anticipation for the other one to explode. This went on for some time until Max, with the cigar still in his mouth, took a big puff and the cigar let out a big whoosh rather than an explosion. Flaming sparks and smoke shot out across the room from the cigar. Max remained pretty cool and said, "Your idea, I expect, Rinpoche." The three of us laughed.

However, the truth was that Max was a nervous wreck, and beneath my dignified British facade so was I. Finally, Max asked Rinpoche if he could go back to Boulder for a few weeks. Rinpoche gave his okay and Max departed, leaving Rinpoche and me alone in a house surrounded by deep snow. By necessity Max left his dog, Myson, with us. One night after supper Rinpoche said, "Get Myson and bring him in here." I dragged the shaking dog into the kitchen and following Rinpoche's instructions I sat him on the floor and covered his eyes with a blindfold. I set up stands with lighted candles by either side of his head. Myson couldn't move his head without being burned. Rinpoche took a potato and hit Myson on the head with it. When the dog moved, the fur on his ear would catch on fire. I put out the flames. Now and then Rinpoche would scrape his chair across the tiled floor and whack him again on the head with a potato.

"Sir," I began hesitantly, trying to stop him.

"Shut up," snapped Rinpoche, "and hand me another potato."

I started to empathize with the dog. In fact, I became the dog. I was blindfolded and was banged on the head with a spud and if I turned my head my hears would burn and there was the squealing sound of the chair on the floor. Pissing in my pants I was that dog not being able to move, feeling terrified and at the same time excited. Finally, the scraping chair and the potato throwing stopped and we released the shaking dog, who ran upstairs to Max's empty room.


"That's how you train students," Rinpoche calmly stated to me.


In addition to all the other activities in the house, we sometimes had parties, some of which got pretty wild. I think that Rinpoche found it interesting to socialize with people in this way. During this period, Rinpoche was on a steep learning curve. It was often a wild ride for him and everyone else. He liked to get right out on the edge with people and see what would happen. It was a very creative space for him. I think he regarded it as a kind of research. Although the whole scene may sometimes have seemed merely chaotic and totally unplanned, Rinpoche was not just hanging out with people in a random fashion. As he said later,

On my arrival in the United States of America, I was met by lots of psychologists and students of psychology, ex-Hindus, ex-Christians and ex-Americans of all kinds .... At the beginning, when I first arrived in the U.S.A., I was trying to find students' so-called trips and trying to push a little bit of salt and pepper into their lives and see how they handled that. They handled that little dash of salt and pepper okay. They understood it, but they would still maintain their particular trips. So then I put more of a dash of salt and pepper into their lives and further spice ... experimenting with how to bring up so-called American students. It's quite interesting, almost scientific. You bring up your rat in your cage, and you feed it with corn or rice or oats and you give it a little bit of drugs and maybe occasionally you inject it and see how it reacts, how it works with it. I'm sorry, maybe this is not the best way of describing this -- but it was some kind of experimentation as to how those particular animals called Americans and this particular animal called a Tibetan Buddhist can actually work together. And it worked fine; it worked beautifully.

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


"Jesus," I thought, "that's pretty barbaric."

Rinpoche had me change the telephone number so that Max could not call us before he came back. He arrived, bags in hand, concerned that he had not been able to reach us. Before he could say much else, Myson rushed in and jumped all over him in exuberant delight. Rinpoche deliberately scraped the kitchen chair across the tiled floor. The terrified dog shot out of the house and fled across the field. Max was shocked and pointedly asked, "Rinpoche, what did you do to my dog?"

"I don't see any dog," he replied, looking at me.

"I got it!" I said, with the realization of being blindfolded and having three things happen to you at once, knowing the scraping and the disappearance of the dog were both somehow illusion. In fact, it was all illusion. Everything was illusion, but real. Rinpoche smiled and warmly greeted Max.

Did I get it? Not then.


“It was summer of 1985. I "married" Rinpoche on June 12th of that year. I met him around May 31st at a wedding of Jackie Rushforth and Bakes Mitchell in the back yard of Marlow and Michael Root's home. That year, we had our wedding at RMDC a few days before Assembly, then we had Seminary and Encampment happened during Seminary.

That was the year he spoke of limited bloodshed and taking over the city of Halifax and the Provence of Nova Scotia. We were in the middle of the Mahayana portion of seminary teachings. For weeks, CTR (Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche) had been asking everyone he saw if they had seen a cat. He asked the head cook, the shrine master, and all of his servants if they'd seen one. We returned to our cabin late one night after a talk and there was this beautiful tabby cat sitting on the porch. I said, "Here kitty, kitty" and it came right over to me, purring and rubbing against my legs. I picked it up and said: "Here, Sweetie. Here's the cat you've been wanting."

I can't remember exactly which guard was on duty, but I think it was Jim Gimian, and of course Mitchell Levy. Someone took the cat from me and Rinpoche ordered them to tie him to the table on the porch. He instructed them to make a tight noose out of a rope so the cat didn't get away. He stood over his guards to examine the knots and make sure they were secure. I was curious at this point, wondering what this enlightened master had in mind for the cat. I knew there were serious rodent problems on the land and I assumed he wanted to use the cat for this problem.

Then, he instructed the guard to bring him some logs from the fire pit that was in front of the porch, down a slight slope. We took our seats. Rinpoche was seated to my right and there was a table between us for his drinks. He ordered a sake. The logs were on his right side, so he could use his good arm. (His left side was paralyzed due to a car accident that happened in his late twenties.)

The cat was still tied by a noose to the table. Rinpoche picked up a log and hurled it at the cat, which jumped off the table and hung from the noose. It was making a terrible gurgling sound. He finally got some footing on the edge of the deck and made it back onto the porch. Rinpoche hurled another log, making contact and the cat let out a horrible scream as the air was knocked out of him.

I said: "Sweetie, stop! What are you doing? Why are you doing this?" He said something about hating cats because they played with their food and didn't cry at the Buddha’s funeral. He continued to torture the poor animal. I was crying and begging him to stop.

I said, "I gave you the cat. Please stop it!" I'll never forget his response. He looked at me and said: "You are responsible for this karma" and he giggled. I got up to try and stop him and he firmly told me to sit down. One of the guards stepped closer to me and stood in a threatening manner to keep me in my place.

The torture went on for what seemed like hours, until finally the poor cat made a run for his life with the patio table bouncing after him. It was clear he had a broken back leg. I'm sure that cat died. I looked for him or the table for the rest of Seminary and never found either. I imagined him fleeing up the mountain and the table catching on something and strangling him.

I was completely traumatized by the event, but it was never spoken of again. Rinpoche told me the "karma" from this event was good. I was dumbfounded. A common feeling I had when around Rinpoche was that there were things going on that I simply could not understand. It seemed like other people, with a knowing nod of their heads, understood things on a deeper level than I. I was in fear of exposing my ignorance, so i learned not to question and to go with the crowd around him. They didn't appear to have any problems with what he did. Such was the depth of their devotion. I just needed to generate more devotion to Rinpoche and one day I might understand.”

-- About the Time Chogyam Trungpa's Wife Gave Him a Kitty and He Tortured it to Death in Front of Her, by Leslie Hays [The Wife of Chogyam Trungpa]


It was during this retreat in Massachusetts that Rinpoche started envisioning a developing the Kingdom of Shambhala. The Kalapa Court would be Rinpoche's home and it was to be in my charge. Instead of being Rinpoche's butler I would soon be Master of the House. I would become a Dapon in charge of the Court Kusung, or servant guards -- in Buddhist terms, Bodhisattva Guardians. Molly, one of Rinpoche's students, came down from Karme Choling. She was an illustration artist and she and Rinpoche together designed the Shambhala flag -- a white ground with blue, red, white, and orange stripes on the leading edge and the yellow sun in the white field. Rinpoche designed and drew the Shambhala arms of the tiger, lion, garuda, and dragon, which are soon on the cover of Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior (published by Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1984)

I was excited about this creative time. This was going to be a real kingdom with its location in Nova Scotia, Canada. I would be safe within that reality, or so I thought. One day Rinpoche said to me, "Well, you know, Johnny, someone has to ask me."

"Ask you what?" I said.

"Ask me to become Earth Holder, the Monarch of Shambhala."

"Well, I'll ask you," I replied.

"Great!" said Rinpoche. We planed the event for the Tibetan New Year. I cut a tree for a flagpole and Max planned a dinner. Then at sunrise on the New Year the three of us got up and dressed in our best attire. As the sun rose in the eastern sky I asked Rinpoche formally if he would become Sakyong for the benefit of all beings.

He replied, "Yes."

I fired off a twenty-one shot salute from my pistol and Max ran the Shambhala flag up the pole. We saluted and shouted "Hip, hip, hurray!" then followed up by singing the Shambhala anthem. Max and I went into the dining room and feasted with the new Sakyong. I was joyful and excited, but underneath, my uneasiness continued to alternately swell and subside. Somehow the reality of the "gap" was still lurking below my world of this-and-that. On an intellectual level that was still fairly primitive I had some understanding of Buddhism. I knew what it was supposed to look like -- peaceful, calm, wise, compassionate. I knew enough to say, "Yes, I got it," but at the same time it was not in my gut on a visceral level. I thought perhaps I should do a retreat, since it would give me a change to get away, relax, and get myself together before things went too far.

I could see myself robed, sitting under a pine tree in meditation posture with the sunlight playing on my shoulders and the wind in the pines. "Yes, that's it," I concluded, so I asked Rinpoche.

"Not a chance," he growled.

"But, Sir, I could finish my prostrations and do the other practices ... take the Vajrayogini abhisheka with David and the Regent and ..."

"No hope of that," he snapped.

Shit. I was trapped again, stuck in the life of a servant bursting with resentment. Then he gave me one of those smiles that light up the whole dark universe. It penetrated into my murk and dissolved it and I was better and worse off simultaneously.

"One day you will be Sir John Perks," he said.

Wow, I thought. Sir John Perks of the Kingdom of Shambhala. I was full of hope again.

Aloneness, when it hit, ruined my hopes and expectations. I was walking to the car in Greenfield, having done the shopping, when it struck. I was suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of total aloneness and stopped dead in my tracks. There was no John Perks. There was nothing to be alone. Had "nothing" been a mental concept, it would have been something to hold onto. Then I panicked.

Only now, looking back, can I say that it was an overwhelming realization of nonexistence. The only way that I can convey what the experience was like is to ask the reader to imagine that all you think you are is totally fabricated. What you are is totally manipulated and conditioned by your own mind. Had I completely realized this at the time I would have died on the spot from a heart attack. For what was under assault was my thinking mind, its solid reality, what and who I thought I was. That which I thought was reality was, in fact, totally empty. This was the great "switcheroo," or turnaround.

Desperately trying to get back to what I still thought was my solidity I staggered to the car, trying not to hyperventilate. I managed to drive to the Howard Johnson's Motel bar. I ordered a double gin and tonic and drank it down like a glass of water.

"Are you okay?" asked the bartender. Where had I heard that phrase before?

"Fine, fine," I said and ordered another double. Sir John Perks had better get a suit of armor, I thought wryly.

But the attacks became more frequent. Then I had a realization. Sex! If I felt so alone why not have a partner? I asked Rinpoche if I could have a lady friend up on some weekends. To my surprise he said yes. So I invited a friend from Boston to visit. But it gave me no relief. In fact, it made the aloneness sharper and I felt as if I were going to die any second. One day at breakfast Rinpoche said to me, "Johnny, isn't it strange how orgasm and death feel the same?"

I blocked his words for the moment and panicked later.

Relief came several days later when he said, "Johnny, let's take a trip to London."


I pretended not to be excited, and to make sure, I asked, "To London, England, Sir?"

"Yes," he answered matter-of-factly. "We need to get some Shambhala medals made there and we could get some military uniforms." I brightened up. Trooping of the Colors meets sir John Perks. I had a mission.

"Let's stay at the Winston Churchill Hotel," he suggested.

National pride swelled in my chest. Shambhala was going to be British after all. As a safety procedure I went to the local doctor and got prescriptions of Librium and Tagamet for my panic and stomach pain. Sam, the publisher of Shambhala publications, was to meet us in London where he had an office. On the aircraft Rinpoche and I sat together. He was quite upbeat and talked about all the things we would do in London: restaurants, nightclubs, theater, and clothing stores. The air stewardess asked what we would like to drink. Rinpoche ordered his usual. "Ginandtonicus," pronounced as the name of the Roman general from the Asterisk Comic Books.

"You could teach people etiquette, Johnny," said Rinpoche. He went on talking about military uniforms, tuxedos, evening dress, balls, dancing, and formal dinners. Excitedly I joined in with further ideas. Rinpoche said, "Yes! Yes! Yes! Let's do it. We will grow old together." Bliss and joy returned, drowning out the emptiness.

And so it came to pass. In London we stayed at the Winston Churchill. We took the designs of the Shambhala medals to the jewelers to be made. We ordered uniforms at Grieves and Hawks on Savile Row -- a general's uniform for Rinpoche, a major's uniform for me. Rinpoche used his family name on the order form, Mr. C.T. Mukpo. I used my original birth name, John Andrews. The clerk looked at Rinpoche's form in a quizzical way and asked, "Who is Mr. C.T. Mukpo?"

I hesitated, my mind searching for a realistic answer. Finally I said the first true thing I had ever said in my life.

"I have absolutely no idea."


Image
Author (middle), with Gregory Bateson (left) and Jim Herndon (right), at an education workshop at Naropa Institute. Photo: George Holmes

Image
He said, "Let's put on our uniforms and go and have our pictures taken together."
"Why?" I asked.
"It will help later on," he replied.

Image
Rinpoche in his Scottish Highland regalia with the Eliot Clan kilt. Photo: George Holmes/Blair Hansen
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:50 am

Part 10 of 10

level 5
wabashcannonball108
13 days ago
edited 13 days ago
Yes. There is an aspect of desperation in taking refuge, and I understood that when I did it. I did not subject myself to the knee and back pain during my first weeklong sitting program because life was hunky-dory for me, but I never considered it a desperate act. A desperate act is drunkenly assaulting one of your students, a desperate act is to check your common sense and personal boundaries at the door because you feel it's the only way to achieve enlightenment. Yes, we dharma practitioners need to humble ourselves for the path, but as you say there are degrees. Can I get an app on my phone to astral project, because that would be awesome!

level 6
Mayayana
13 days ago
I was thinking of desperation on a more existential level. I'm guessing your non-Buddhist friends probably thought doing a dathun was a very desperate act indeed.

"Can I get an app on my phone to astral project, because that would be awesome!"

Certainly. Please just send your credit card number. Act now and you also get a flashlight app and a public bathroom finding app. Absolutely free!!

level 4
Rainbec
14 days ago
wabashcannonball I really identify with the feeling of having to keep moving along the path to finally get to the good stuff. They kept telling me that once I got the Werma sadhana I was going to be amazed. My next step was Sacred World when all of this broke out. So now I will never get there. People are still telling me how amazing the Scorpion Seal path is. What is so amazing about it? I agree with what you are saying that one of our views needs to be how to care for people who want to be fixed without manipulating them. I don’t know how we do that. Especially when so many of the advanced students are, I have felt, quite arrogant about their status as advanced practitioners. Maybe part of it is letting go of all the secrecy to everything? One of my teachers got mad that someone told me what I was going to do at Warriors Assembly because it should be a surprise.

level 5
wabashcannonball108
14 days ago
edited 14 days ago
Yeah. Back in the 90s I was part of a group of 50 or so students who studied pre-vajrayana dharma with Reggie Ray. This was before he and SMR divorced and SMR was a newly empowered Sakyong but was off working on his own studies, etc. A few of Reggie's students went to SMR's first V Seminary because Reggie extolled the "power" of the vajrayana path and said that he could only impart that profundity to us if we went and entered into those vows and practices. At that time Reggie was supportive of the Sakyong and seemed to indicate that after we became vajrayana students of SMR he, Reggie, would be our advisor and guide. So, a handful of Reggie's students went to the 1999 V Seminary and came back vajrayanists, doing Kagyu ngondro. Some of these people seemed to go and get the vajrayana stuff at seminary because SMR was authorized to impart it, but had no connection to SMR as a person and felt in some way Reggie was their "real teacher", some even designating Reggie as their "root guru". Those people seemed to have immediately "preferred status" in Reggie's group and basically everyone wanted to follow their footsteps to the good shit. They seemed fully expecting to become enlightened and all that. (I'm writing this out in case anyone reads it because I think it's an interesting sub-chapter of how this all unfolded). Reggie was an excellent teacher, but he allowed and I would even say encouraged people to idealize him and kiss his ass. Like with SMR, I always felt hesitant about presenting myself that way, but boy I sure wanted all the vajrayana power and profundity that Reggie increasingly promoted in his talks, which included things like him weeping while he talked in vague but honorific terms about CTR. I went to Sutrayana Seminary in 2000 (I think that's the year), taught by the Sakyong and met several other Acharyas, Gaylon Ferguson being the main one. Allthewholeworld was there and we became friends. I was struck at how businesslike and undramatic Gaylon was compared to Reggie, and that he too knew a lot of dharma. I joined the Kasung, a process that included a lot of devotional speechifying by our Rusung about SMR. The Rusung was a drunk and the Kasung banquet was a drunken mess, with the food being hours late and everyone just getting wasted. I like to tip a glass, but I remember going home early after people started groping each and pairing up. I was married and my wife was home with our two very young kids. It is a testament to my own hunger for dharma that I took a month away from home to be there. I feel guilty even now, but it's fine.

There was a group of us Reggie people there, and mainly we did the program so we could eventually go to vajrayana seminary and get the good shit. One of our fellow Reggie students arrived on the land the last day of the seminary and received vajrayana initiations from SMR at Reggie's special request, forgoing the need to attend sutrayana seminary. We all knew and it sort of deflated us. It was explained that this person was such a great father and bodhisattva he needed to get immediate access to the vajrayana. I considered my own status as a father and sort of shrugged, but certainly wished I had been given a special deal like that.

Forward to my attending vajrayana seminary in 2001 (whatever the year the Ridgen Ngondro and the Shambhala Vajrayana path was initiated). Well that was an interesting month! The whole thing built to a climax wherein we (with a lot of the Reggie cohort from sutrayana seminary) were initiated as vajrayana students. Seemed like it was a big deal -- we'd made it! The very next day we were to receive permission to start doing our ngondro practice, and the tent was crowded and expectant. In comes the procession, SMR now newly fit from taking up running mounts the throne and says he has a big surprise for us. Cut to the chase, we were given the new Shambhala Rigden Ngondro practice, not traditional Kagyu Ngondro. Reggie has been "on the land" the whole month but was known to be up behind Marpa point on deep retreat (Reggie was kind of the Alberto Salazar of meditating -- full throttle). Reggie had been called down from retreat by SMR to hear the presentation of the new ngondro, which was heavy with references to Shambhala and the Sakyong, the Rigdens, GES, etc. Anticipating the inevitable, we were told that if we really wanted kagyu ngondro we could request that and to talk to your MI. I was sitting in back and when the thing finally broke up, Reggie and his wife Lee literally stormed out, Reggie in particular wearing what looked like a I skinned my knee badly pain face. Some of the Reggie students were visibly upset. I went back to my tent feeling ok, mainly because we were told this ngondro would be more easily completed, and it was common knowledge that many people stalled out trying to do 108K of each of the 4 ngondro practices. I greeted some of my fellow Reggarians the next morning at breakfast with a cheerful "Hello Rigdens!". Some of them looked like they wanted to punch me. Oh well.

Reggie had a meeting with us the next day and seemed to have calmed down considerably saying it was fine for us to do either kagyu or Rigden ngondro and that he would be a guide to us either way. Great. Some mouthy guy who needed to think he was Reggie's main "student" later called a meeting of the Reggarians in order to present himself as our "representative" to SMR and Shambhala (he was definitely doing Kagyu ngondro, he announced). I told him in polite terms to fuck off and that I did not want him to "represent" me. So then here comes fall and we are all up at SMC with Reggie. Those of us who had been to v seminary were excited to finally partake in Reggie's guidance on the "vajrayana path" since now there was enough of us that we had the critical mass he had said was necessary. Well, Reggie was very worked up and basically let it be known he did not like the Sakyong and that he was here to "protect the dharma of CTR". "Schism?", I asked at the microphone later. "Absolutely", was more or less his response.

At dinner some guy told me he was "all in" with Reggie and that he fully expected to become a forest renunciate and "do all the dharmas of Gampopa or something to that effect". I had started regularly doing the Rigden ngondro and had found it workable, but I kinda missed sitting practice. I decided that Reggie was on a mission I did not care to ride along on since at that time SMR and the rest of the Shambhala Acharyas (much smaller group then) seemed to be more reasonable and ecumenical people, so I decided to stay "mainstream". Reggie had a tantrum on the last morning of the weekend and refused to go to much anticipated meeting that was scheduled with the new vajrayana people. Such drama. Reggie called me on Monday at my office and seemed to be regretting the tantrum. I was annoyed and he had lost credibility with me. Soon after he left Shambhala and all the people who wanted him to be their "root guru" followed. Few if any of those people are still associated with him, I believe.

So I kept going and made it to Scorpion Seal, which felt workable. Those practices are variations on the Werma Sadhana and are actually easy and fun to do. Fruition? I stopped the habit I had from childhood of ripping by fingernails to the quick at the first Scorpion Seal. Could have done it through hypnosis or something I think also. But? All along there has been this constant narrative from the Acharyas and others that Scorpion Seal is The Thing. Whatever.

During these years of vajrayana practice I also experienced a major mental health crisis tied to the stress of barely saving our family business. Vajrayana practice did nothing to mitigate that and I believe may have contributed to it due to my over-reliance on it to mitigate the anxiety and stress I was feeling. What worked? Running and finally seeing the business stabilize That's it. It was not Scorpion Seal, which I just think is fun and makes me feel sort of peaceful or something for an hour after I do it. That "feeling" lasts about a week when I get back from a SS program. Whatever.

But yes, this boring story was impelled by the constant promise of eventual but not too far down the road "enlightenment", a place where I can feel great and be powerful all the time. Nope. People with problems and struggle (we all have them to varying degrees) are vulnerable to outrageous promises of salvation. And the reward therein promised is so wonderful that people can get manipulated and taken advantage of, made to ignore things that otherwise appear stupid and degrading.

In my 24 years the most powerful program I did by far was Dathun (before I met Reggie or SMR), way more transformative than chanting about SMR or doing more protector practice.

level 6
Rainbec
14 days ago
Thank you wabashcannon for this. It makes so much sense to me. I appreciate you sharing this story.

level 6
breathing216
13 days ago
Rigden ngondro was introduced in 2004. It's interesting to hear about all this Reggie Ray drama, because I was there at that seminary, and completely unaware all of that was happening.

One other thought as I was reading your post : it feels like you are expecting the practice to do something to you. I don't think that is how it works.

level 7
wabashcannonball108
13 days ago
OK 2004. I get the "expect something". I am simply relating my experience. There is a weird dynamic wherein "abandon all hope of fruition" combined with "you don't want to miss a minute of this" is applied. I think the whole "I'm a better practitioner than you" thing is unfortunate, but if you want the blue ribbon, it's yours u/breathing. I keep doing the practice because I like it.

level 8
breathing216
13 days ago
My point was not about expectations, but more about thinking the practice does something to us, in relation to the experience you related. In any case, it was just a thought. I am not looking for any ribbons or pins.

level 9
wabashcannonball108
13 days ago
Cool. Let's let someone else have the ribbon. I definitely think it does do something, and in my experience it helped me loosen up. Vajrayana practice throws a lot at you and you can either try and do it perfectly or watch yourself do it imperfectly and then relax, and then you can apply that to life. And yes, it was probably wrong of me to expect Werma to help me out of my rut, and when it didn't I found other resources. But? When I confided to a few people in the community that I was not sleeping, worrying all the time, not happy, etc, a lot of them asked about my "practice", and someone actually told me just go on retreat and do a certain protector practice. One guy (high up teacher type) when I told him I was suffering said he'd "pretty much cracked the code". Hmmmm.

level 10
breathing216
13 days ago
watch yourself do it imperfectly and then relax, and then you can apply that to life.

This is what I was trying to get at. In some way, we do it to ourselves through the practice. It's not the practice doing it to us in a passive sense.

level 1
hazulu
25 days ago
Maybe this was already asked, but: how did you manage to get so close to Osel Mukpo (as I prefer to call him) without becoming one of these slimy slave creatures he keeps around him? Me, I first saw him at the 1988 Seminary, the one and only with Tom Rich, aka the murderer of Kier Craig. Which of course I did not know at the time. He was lifting a lot of weights there (the so-called Sawang, I mean). He did change over the years, as you pointed out. But there was no way to get close to him, even back then, let alone later on. So, how did you do it?

level 2
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
i just don't know, to tell you the truth. I think that I was not traumatized as a child, and wasn't really hookable. I was uncomfortable with the ingratiating behavior, and didn't do it. But it was an intuitive thing. it just felt wrong.

I did not get close to him, actually. He got close to me. He wanted something from me, but I never could quite be certain what it was. I have my suspicions, but I don't want to go there. He wined and dined me more than once.

level 3
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
ok. here are my suspicions: maybe he wanted me to call him out.

level 4
hazulu
24 days ago
I think that is entirely possible. He may have been attracted to you precisely because, I assume, you had no tendency to grovel. Psychologically, that makes a lot of sense. And I suppose that CT would have needed someone to stand up to him too. But there was no-one could do it, apparently.

level 2
Arupajhana7
22 days ago
edited 21 days ago
Do you know more about Kier Craig? (This is the person who Thomas Rich killed?) What happened to his family after? Did his GF get HIV too? How were the people close to him and directly involved affected? It's so hard to find information on this.

EDIT: I found some more info about this and posted a new thread about it. But if you have any more information I would be interested in knowing... I feel like there was a lesson in that that could have prevented this current shambhala abuse scandal. I also just feel for the friends that were left behind... I wonder how they were after, if their relationship to Buddhism was damaged. If the health of Craig's GF declined over time. So sad that the Sangha learned nothing from that tragedy and went on to repeat the cycle of abuse again.

level 2
breathing216
25 days ago
edited 25 days ago
According to other stories, the only people that were close to him were patrons.

u/allthewholeworld, do you feel you were able to get/stay close to the Sakyong because of money you were donating (if that was your situation), and if so, would you be willing to share how much you were donating, so we get an idea of what he might require of his patrons?

level 3
allthewholeworld
25 days ago
not because of money cause money has always been tight. I donated 10 bucks here and there, and usually gave a teaching gift of 108, and then downsized it to 54 when I noticed how lavish his life was, and then I downsized it to nothing when I got to know him. and then I left.

level 1
DismalPerformance
19 days ago
If what you say is true, then your name must be very well known in the Shambhala sangha. When you say things like he is "a terribly dangerous man" or "terribly sick man"with out any details, only the most naive people on this site will believe you. Your writing ability is world class and entertaining. Therefore I will read your posts for entertainment purposes until I get some details and or your name.

Respectfully yours

DP

level 2
allthewholeworld
18 days ago
edited 18 days ago
that sounds reasonable to me, don't utterly discount, yet don't believe, until I (or others, perhaps? would that be ok?) provide something tangible. I am temporarily not posting things that I have run by others who could be impacted. but as I keep saying (and having little to show for it, I admit, because life is very busy) I will put some things up now, and soon enough, much more.

it is good to remember, his abuses were sexual and much, much more, and they scrambled the lives of many people who are now so deeply ashamed to have been associated with him that they are trying to keep it a secret that they ever were so that they can get jobs and reintegtrat​e their lives into mainstream society. my stories reveal contexts where others were present who are recognizable by those "loyalists". Nobody, and I mean nobody, is afraid of Mipham Mukpo. He is simply a coward who is on the run in a way that shames all of his students. They are afraid of the loyalists.

level 3
Kiki_Vader
18 days ago
You need to know the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has left Canada with his family to go to his wife's parents in Nepal. He left Mon Jan 28, 2019

level 4
allthewholeworld
18 days ago
Yes. Thank you for reaching out.

This is not the behavior of an innocent man.

level 5
MystifiedByLife
18 days ago
Or a hero.

Or even someone who is just morally average.

level 5
dogstooth
18 days ago
There's a perfectly innocent explanation: he's visiting the in-laws for Losar. Under ordinary circumstances, no one would think anything of it. I'm tempted to engage in all sorts of speculation about what's happening, but until there's real evidence, it's exactly that: speculation.

To be clear: I'm not sticking up for the Sakyong. I sincerely hope he's utterly removed from Shambhala and never seen in this hemisphere again. But let's not get ahead of ourselves here.

level 6
allthewholeworld
18 days ago
you could be right. he also happens to know that he is under criminal investigation for child sexual assault and new investigations into his finances. he is also doing this just before the WH report is due. he is also probably aware that a previously unreported South American rape is being discussed on FB.

there is plenty of evidence of this man's guilt, but it is being kept behind closed doors. read the posts, read FB, try to understand why people are silent.

level 7
DismalPerformance
16 days ago
Is there a Facebook page where the South American incident is being discussed. It is not being discussed on the Shambhala page. Maybe it was discussed months ago, but not right now.

level 8
allthewholeworld
14 days ago
i do not have access to whatever page discusses it. I was told over the phone by someone active in that discussion.

level 9
Metropolion
8 days ago
Hi Allthewholeworld!

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'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. I'm happy to feel that I'm among like-minded and good-hearted human beings that have woken up from this sticky dream that takes a toll on your critical intelligence. The dream 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.

I'm deeply sad, hurt and troubled on the way the "incident" in Chile has been silenced and covered up all these years. I was director after that so I'm complicit in following the party line on that regards. I'm deeply ashamed for having done so.

But if you want names please ask Acharya Magaly Meneses. She was the Sakyong's translator in Chile. 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, that she's talked to the victim and all is clear with no bad feelings from her. Speaking like that is a crime. Sepulveda keeps his position remaining in a convenient silence, the same with Nilo. All off them have been trying to brush things under the carpet, clenching their theets in order to pass the storm so that to keep them alive in their positions. But people are intelligent, more than they'd wanted to. And things have been falling down little by little.

And don't forget Veronica Guzman, the director at the time of the sexual assault happened and actual executive director of a mindfulness institute (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 and she doesn't like Mipham. That's why she was ostracized after all this. And now she speaks out loud! I do remember her garcon-like chauvinistic predatory behaviour. To see her speaking as if something happens without her knowing is an insult to intelligence.

These are the main actors, the players on what happened here in Chile in 2002.


level 10
CachitadelBoddhi [Julia Sagebien]
4 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 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.'


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. But 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. Once during a a seminary, 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 4
notso-olddog
15 days ago
A country with no extradition treaties with US or Canada.

level 1
narcbabynarc
16 days ago
We all know who you are. No one really cares.

level 2
prasunya
15 days ago
The amount of replies indicates that people care about what's happening. Many are beginning to realize that Shambhala's problems emanate from the core, and that they began when CTR first stepped foot in the West. allthewholeworld has offered great insight into the more recent troubles plaguing Shambhala, and most of us here appreciate this.

level 2
waterbuffalo777
15 days ago
speak for yourself, culto.

level 2
allthewholeworld
14 days ago
thank goodness

level 1
Sacred_Silly_Sack
26 days ago
In almost 20 years I never met anyone who couldn’t -- or hasn’t -- left when they wanted to.

Who are you actually trying to help?

level 2
allthewholeworld
26 days ago
not people like you. you are the sort I am helping them to get away from.

level 3
OrpheusSings
26 days ago
When and if you can, would you be able to point out some more Buddhist teachers you've experienced who are trustworthy, helpful, etc., and whose integrity you trust? You've named Chantral, Mingyur, and Tsoknyi...

I am extremely grateful for your thread. Your honesty and integrity strike me very strongly. Thank you.

level 4
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
well, Chatral is no longer with us, but the other two certainly are and are lots of fun to study with. no samaya trip, just a joyful teaching and learning environment.

level 5
Horsetravelor
24 days ago
Dear Allthewhole world, could you share what practice you do now and what you have found most helpful in your path? After the death of my mother who was a profound spiritual practitioner although not Buddhist, Catholic -- I found myself, like many other people deeply facing impermanence, the fragility of life, and it's finiteness. Also then my dearest companion of 25 years, Tristan a noble, sensitive and generous soul, a horse, died suddenly as well. I found I could not any more do sadhanas or visualizations. I read "Vivid Awareness" by Trangu Rinpoche, and Pristine Awareness, and just wanted to do that kind of meditative practice. Striving seemed to go away from me. I felt like there was no where for me to go, only deeper. I wanted a simple practice. And so I wished to hear with your many experiences what practice you feel close to today.

level 6
allthewholeworld
24 days ago
I would be happy to talk with you. I could share what has helped me, and who has helped me. I am by no means a teacher at that level, but I am a practitioner of the very things you referenced. Mahamudra and dzogchen can be taken as a path of simplicity with no generation stage component (visualization and liturgy). Some call this the path of Saraha, or the sahjayana. Pure simplicity, shamatha and vispashyana. (maybe not the same thing as "shamatha-vipashyana").

Not everyone wants to go through a three hour liturgy or even a one hour liturgy. You can cultivate awareness in a very simple way using any number of instructional systems. And Tibetan systems are not the only game in town.

Really, I hear you Horsetravelor. And I am sorry about Tristan. Horses mean every bit as much to people as dogs or spouses, I have learned. drop me a PM and we will talk a little more specifically.
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