Such a long answer is really needed to understand this. So I never actually took Samaya with the Sakyong. If I'd continued on my Shambhala path and the abuses never came out I would be doing samaya this summer.
I'd lived at multiple land centers, practicing sitting and chanting many hours every day.
By the time I saw the court I was 10 years into this community.
So for some context, I started out wanting nothing to do with the religious side of Shambhala. I was part of a shambhala youth group where there were no strings attached. I was totally weirded out by the forms such as toasts and kasang military. But after several youth retreats, years of going to the center, and several levels, these things started to seem normal. I thought it was just quirky, after all, I'd never seen them hurt anyone (as I was often asked and reminded if I would question the forms. "Have you ever seen anyone harmed by this?" ...no... "See, it is not harmful")
So after 10 years in shambhala During a time while living at a land center I was invited to participate in the court.
This was a really challenging experience for me because my impression of this was that indeed I might be in a cult. Secret mansion near the land center... Royal forms, uniforms, lavish lifestyle. I was like "F*#*#*#, this is a cult". But I really didn't want to believe it. I was ten years in. I was at the verge of the Vajrayana now (btw most of his Vajrayana students have not seen the court when they take vows with him. I wanted to investigate him a bit first)
So I talked to a teacher I'd been working with for years. We argued a lot about it. He told me to try and see these forms as being teaching tools to show myself and other westerners where our issues were around wealth, power, hierarchy, and service.
I went back and tried to see it this way. And wow it sure did bring up issues for me in these areas! What a great teaching tool, I told myself, repeating what he'd said to myself.
Because I didn't want to believe that my 10 years were sunk cost bad investment. Also I still didn't know about his abuses. I told myself that as long as no one was getting hurt, and he really had some Level of realization, that somehow these things could be justified. Denial is awful. It's really hard to admit live been duped on this mega-level. At least it was for me.
I couldn't talk to people who handnt been there about it this this means you only get to talk to pro-court, or recently court-confused people about your experience.
In addition to that generally in Shambhala samaya is though to be exclusive and completely binding no matter what. So while other teachers like Mingyur say it is ok to have multiple teachers or to leave one teacher for another, Shambhala does not take this view. Another factor making it hard for people to leave.
Ultimately I am leaving once the reports came out this summer I began to see the patterns of coercion and manipulation that I had experienced more clearly. I am lucky I didnt take samaya or this decision would be psychologically much more tormented than the situation is already for me.