Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

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Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Adamantine » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:05 am

The following is an open letter from Lady Diana Mukpo to the Shambhala community:

February 19, 2019

Dear Members of the Shambhala Community,

I write to you today with a very heavy heart. This is an incredibly painful time for all of us. However, in many ways, I feel that the situation we find ourselves in as a community was inevitable. The deep dysfunction and unkindness at the heart of our organization has been like a festering boil that finally burst. The revelations that have come to light over the last year have been horrifying. It has been so shocking to hear how women have been harmed. The abuse of power and violation of trust that allowed this to occur is unimaginable. As an organization and as individuals, we need to do whatever we can to support not only the women who have been abused but, as we now know, the men who are victims as well.

I have been heartbroken for years as I have watched the expansive vision of the Vidyadhara becoming more and more reduced. He used to say that Shambhala was a vast umbrella that would encompass many different activities and levels of practice. Over the last two decades, our community has become fractured, and the teachings that promise the way toward manifesting an enlightened and compassionate society have become hollow words.

During my seventeen-year marriage to the Vidyadhara I saw him manifest and teach in many different ways. The priority for him was always to find the best way to connect with people. I am sure that if he were alive today, he would be using totally different forms to interact with his students than those he employed during the era in which he was teaching. During his lifetime, he created the Kalapa Court to be a vehicle for students to have access to him. The current interpretation of court is a perversion of the initial intention. The Vidyadhara’s court was designed to build a bridge for his students to interact with him. The current model has built a wall.

I feel that the model of the court and of monarchy has become an obstacle, within which, as we have recently heard, there were abuses and cruelty. I have avoided the court situation for many years, having felt increasingly uncomfortable in that environment. It has been very sad for me, but I felt that I had to distance myself. At the same time, not being aware of the harm that was being perpetrated, I felt that it would only have caused divisiveness to speak out publicly about what I perceived to be a misunderstanding of the teachings. I have watched so many of the beautiful parts of our culture disappear and be replaced by what I have perceived to be a culturally bound religiosity. Like many others, I also have felt marginalized and have been subject to unhealthy power dynamics. If I had thought that speaking out publicly would have helped, I would have done so. In many respects, I now regret that I did not do so earlier. Privately, over the years, I have tried to give the Sakyong advice, but his reaction has been to avoid communication with me. I wrote to him twice last summer imploring him to take responsibility for his actions. We spoke on the phone, and I made a similar plea. Ultimately it is up to him to do what he can to repair the harm he has created.

There has been much discussion about the Sakyong’s childhood. He had a very difficult time growing up. When he arrived in this country as a traumatized ten-year-old child, I, his stepmother, was nineteen. I did not have the parenting skills to help him sufficiently. I am sorry about this and wish it had been different. His father was always loving toward the Sakyong but did not give him as much attention as he needed. This too is sad, but we all have different degrees of trauma. It is the nature of life and doesn’t really excuse his abuse of power and all that went along with it.

There also has been plenty of discussion about the Vidyadhara over the past year. I feel that it is my duty to be completely honest about his life. He was the most brilliant, kind, and insightful person that I have ever met. He was also ultimately unfathomable. When one examines his life, it is easy to make judgements, since his behavior was so unconventional. He was a human being and was not perfect, but he was unrelentingly kind and helped many, many people. During this difficult time, many people have spoken up about how he saved their lives. This is how they have put it, and I can connect with that completely.

In general and understandably, people – especially those who did not know him and only are hearing second-hand stories – may pass negative judgements on him. I know that there is one person who has prominently spoken up about feeling traumatized by the Vidyadhara and those around him. As his wife, the last few years of his life were very difficult for me. There is no question in my mind that alcohol had a devastating effect on both his body and mind in his latter years. My sense of this is quite different from some of the students who were close to him at that time. I have heard from a number of close students that they had positive experiences during that era, and I honor that. I think this is a time for us to honor one another’s experience, rather than judging or dismissing it. Simply speaking for myself, however, this period was very difficult. Nevertheless, it does not negate the brilliance of his teachings both in his words and in
the sacred environments he created as learning situations.

The Vidyadhara taught that the Shambhala teachings should be practiced along with the Buddhadharma, and that the two must support one another. He wrote, for example: “We can plant the moon of bodhichitta in everyone’s heart and the sun of the Great Eastern Sun in their heads.” (Collected KA, page 194.) The Sakyong’s de-emphasis and outright omission of the Kagyu and Nyingma teachings in the last 15 years has been a great detriment for our community. As much as the Vidyadhara conducted Kalapa Assemblies where he opened the Shambhala terma, at the same time he also taught Vajradhatu seminaries where he transmitted the Buddhist teachings of the three yana’s in a traditional manner. Not long before his death, when he was very ill, he made it a priority to give the Chakrasamvara Abisheka to several hundred students. This was an important Buddhist ceremony empowering people to practice advanced vajrayana teachings. He felt that it was imperative that he give this transmission to senior practitioners. I truly believe that he saw the Shambhala and the Buddhist teachings as
equally important.

At the first Kalapa Assembly, in 1978, there was a lot of discussion about what problems might arise from propagating the Shambhala vision. In that era, people often openly questioned the Vidyadhara and each other about any number of things. The following question was posed to him:

“As someone who has been worried about fascism and the possibility of the degeneration of Shambhala into that, could you say something that might be a safeguard against that?”

His response was: “Gentleness, meekness. Most of the warriors are meek persons. That’s it. And also they are practitioners of Buddhadharma.” (Collected KA, page 148)

There are many other examples of how the Vidyadhara viewed the two aspects of his teaching as equally important and supportive of one another. I do not think it was his intention to combine these teachings into one “Shambhala Buddhism”, as the Sakyong did after the Vidyadhara’s death. This move has created deep and painful rifts, not only with Trungpa Rinpoche’s heart students but also with respected members and teachers within the Tibetan community. So I think we need to look to the buddhadharma, as well as to the Shambhala teachings, to help us find the path forward. This does not invalidate the path taught by the Sakyong, nor the diligence of his students in applying themselves to it or the genuine experience of devotion many have had. Rather, it is a call for us to incorporate a bigger version of our relationship to the dharma.

I am writing to all of you and sharing my innermost thoughts with you today because I do believe so strongly that this community is worth fighting for. The incomparable practice of meditation and all the valuable teachings we have received have helped numerous people. Clearly, everything has to be re-evaluated and a healthy organizational structure needs to grow out of this. Over the past year, I have worried that the unfolding of events would be the destruction of Shambhala, but now I am wondering if, in fact, these disclosures might be what actually saves our precious community. I truly pray that we can get back on track and become what we profess to be, becoming a safe and nurturing home for those who seek these teachings. I don’t have the answers, nor do I know how all this is going to happen. There is certainly going to be more difficulty as things unfold.

Please know that I am willing to help in any way I can. I will make myself available if anyone would like to reach out to me.

In closing, I would like to discuss the role that I have played as the copyright holder for all the Vidyadhara’s written and other intellectual properties. Since his death, almost thirty-three years ago, there have been close to thirty books published, and many more could appear in the years to come. It always has been and will continue to be my intention to make his work accessible and available to all those who wish to practice and learn from his teachings. I consider this legacy as a sacred trust and will continue to work to protect and safeguard his teachings so that they will be available to people for years to come. I will do whatever is necessary to honor this commitment to all of you.

Holding you all in my heart,
Diana J. Mukpo

Contact Lisa Fiore at: fiorelr@aol.com
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

yagmort
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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by yagmort » Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:25 am

i am not educated about all this Trungpa/Shambala thing, so why does it sound like shambala teachings and Dharma teachings are different?

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Adamantine » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:30 am

yagmort wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:25 am
i am not educated about all this Trungpa/Shambala thing, so why does it sound like shambala teachings and Dharma teachings are different?
Shambhala in this context refers to Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s terma revelation, teachings and path that was specifically designed to be somewhat secular, or at least open and accessible for people of all traditions or faiths. In other words, it wasn’t Buddhist. . . Although it contains many dimensions of the highest principles of Buddhist wisdom. This attracted many practitioners who wouldn’t have otherwise gotten involved in something Buddhist, since they wouldn’t have converted faiths, or they wouldn’t have joined any “faith”. Chögyam Trungpa’s son who was bequeathed the care of this path, changed this essential aspect of it by making it “Shambhala Buddhism”. The rest of the motivation and the effect is pretty clear from the letter.
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by DechenDave » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:49 pm

Is there a source for this letter? I have only seen it on reddit.

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Nemo » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:06 pm

That letter doesn't sound right. She says things are horrible and have gone terribly wrong. So she takes zero responsibility and then that delicious part at the end,...
P.S I own the copyright on all these teachings Dharma peasants and my horses don't groom themselves. 💵💰💵💰💵💰

It is looking to me that Trungpa is giving a teaching about hereditary monarchy in the same way he did about alcoholism. It's poison, even to highly realized beings, let alone ordinary people who have some experience of shamatha. The rot is coming from the top down. That is where the cancer resides. She should not own the teachings obviously. Her dubious take over of the organization after Trungpa's death(under sketchy circumstances) was really the start of all this nonsense. The patient will die of this infection if you don't start chopping out the infected parts. Or perhaps just walk away. It seems the rot is very scared of running out of money. Don't give them a penny till this is resolved. It is not the time for meekness and submission as she suggests(as those in power always suggest). It is time for true warriors to walk alone even if it means eating beans out of the can. I learned in the army truly brave warriors are forged by disobeying orders and walking alone sometimes. I think it is that time.

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Rick » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:43 pm

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by DechenDave » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:15 pm

Rick wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:43 pm
Source: Shambala Times

https://shambhalatimes.org/2019/02/19/l ... ana-mukpo/
Thanks Rick.

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Varis » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:22 pm

Nemo wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:06 pm
It is looking to me that Trungpa is giving a teaching about hereditary monarchy in the same way he did about alcoholism.
I'm sorry, but I'm tired of attempts to spiritually explain objectively terrible actions. A tree is known by its fruits, and this tree has produced rotten fruit that continue to harm people long after its existence.

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by DechenDave » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:25 pm

Nemo wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:06 pm
That letter doesn't sound right. She says things are horrible and have gone terribly wrong. So she takes zero responsibility and then that delicious part at the end,...
P.S I own the copyright on all these teachings... 💵💰💵💰💵💰
Came across that way to me too.
She should not own the teachings obviously.
If they were copyrighted, someone owns them, but who? It’s particularly important to know if he made such arrangements before he died.

Her dubious take over of the organization after Trungpa's death(under sketchy circumstances) was really the start of all this nonsense.
Could you elaborate on this or point to resources that do? Not that I disbelieve you, and I have always wanted to understand what went down, but it’s the kind of thing that, if left to mere assertion and innuendo, can add to the cancer and infection. No?

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by DechenDave » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:27 pm

Varis wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:22 pm
Nemo wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:06 pm
It is looking to me that Trungpa is giving a teaching about hereditary monarchy in the same way he did about alcoholism.
I'm sorry, but I'm tired of attempts to spiritually explain objectively terrible actions. A tree is known by its fruits, and this tree has produced rotten fruit that continue to harm people long after its existence.
Cant speak for Nemo, but as I read it, if you put “air quotes” around his use of the word “teaching” your point becomes implied.

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Queequeg » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:10 pm

DechenDave wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:25 pm

If they were copyrighted, someone owns them, but who? It’s particularly important to know if he made such arrangements before he died.
Depends. Did he leave it in a will? Then whoever he left it to.
Did he die intestate? Then depends on the jurisdiction where the property was "located". We're talking about intellectual property so that's a good question.

I'm sure if she's claiming ownership, I'm sure she owns it. The son sounds like the kind of person who would bring a legal challenge if he had a claim.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Nemo » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:13 pm

DechenDave wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:25 pm

Could you elaborate on this or point to resources that do? Not that I disbelieve you, and I have always wanted to understand what went down, but it’s the kind of thing that, if left to mere assertion and innuendo, can add to the cancer and infection. No?
I'll give you a quick run down of what I remember. Perhaps other know more and I have no intention of digging up documents.

Trungpa's autopsy reported the cause of death as sepsis caused by being left in his own urine. This takes a considerable amount of time. Lady Dianna and Trungpa's personal Doctor were having an affair, understandably since he was mess. Almost immediately the Board of Directors was disbanded and new articles of incorporation(and ownership) produced. Soon after Lady Dianna and the Doctor married and she developed a taste for an opulent lifestyle with lots of dressage and horses.
Does that look sketchy?

Oh ya, and I'm in Canada so you can't sue me. Probably why you don't hear this more often.

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by DechenDave » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:31 pm

Nemo wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:13 pm
DechenDave wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:25 pm

Could you elaborate on this or point to resources that do? Not that I disbelieve you, and I have always wanted to understand what went down, but it’s the kind of thing that, if left to mere assertion and innuendo, can add to the cancer and infection. No?
I'll give you a quick run down of what I remember. Perhaps other know more and I have no intention of digging up documents.

Trungpa's autopsy reported the cause of death as sepsis caused by being left in his own urine. This takes a considerable amount of time. Lady Dianna and Trungpa's personal Doctor were having an affair, understandably since he was mess. Almost immediately the Board of Directors was disbanded and new articles of incorporation(and ownership) produced. Soon after Lady Dianna and the Doctor married and she developed a taste for an opulent lifestyle with lots of dressage and horses.
Does that look sketchy?

Oh ya, and I'm in Canada so you can't sue me. Probably why you don't hear this more often.
I don’t want to sue you. And as I say I don’t disbelieve you. Also I appreciate you elaborating. “Having said that...”:

Yes, it does look sketchy. But so do accusations of foul play without sources.
Without digging up documents yourself, is there a book, a site or a blog you can point to which does (even if its from the Carrerons ;-)) ?

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:33 pm

may i ask, why is necessary that this person Sakyong leads this community? what makes him suitable to take the lead and to teach? i'm not a member of shambala, but i wonder.

sorry if someone gets annoyed, if so i take my leave of this thread.

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by DechenDave » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:35 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:10 pm
DechenDave wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:25 pm

If they were copyrighted, someone owns them, but who? It’s particularly important to know if he made such arrangements before he died.
Depends. Did he leave it in a will? Then whoever he left it to.
Did he die intestate? Then depends on the jurisdiction where the property was "located". We're talking about intellectual property so that's a good question.

I'm sure if she's claiming ownership, I'm sure she owns it. The son sounds like the kind of person who would bring a legal challenge if he had a claim.
He does sound like the sort, yes.

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Grigoris » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:39 pm

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:33 pm
may i ask, why is necessary that this person Sakyong leads this community? what makes him suitable to take the lead and to teach? i'm not a member of shambala, but i wonder.

sorry if someone gets annoyed, if so i take my leave of this thread.
He is CTR's son from his first marriage.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:40 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:39 pm
javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:33 pm
may i ask, why is necessary that this person Sakyong leads this community? what makes him suitable to take the lead and to teach? i'm not a member of shambala, but i wonder.

sorry if someone gets annoyed, if so i take my leave of this thread.
He is CTR's son from his first marriage.
and?

edit: was he pointed by CTR to be his successor?

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Grigoris » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:42 pm

What a shit fest!
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Grigoris » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:43 pm

javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:40 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:39 pm
javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:33 pm
may i ask, why is necessary that this person Sakyong leads this community? what makes him suitable to take the lead and to teach? i'm not a member of shambala, but i wonder.

sorry if someone gets annoyed, if so i take my leave of this thread.
He is CTR's son from his first marriage.
and?

edit: was he pointed by CTR to be his successor?
Did you miss the monarchical overtones of the organisation? You do understand how monarchies work, right?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Diane Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:46 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:43 pm
javier.espinoza.t wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:40 pm
Grigoris wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:39 pm
He is CTR's son from his first marriage.
and?

edit: was he pointed by CTR to be his successor?
Did you miss the monarchical overtones of the organisation? You do understand how monarchies work, right?
i don't understand yet why they still exists. the king is mad and naked, don't you see? he is going to jail eventually.

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