Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

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Arupajhana7
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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Arupajhana7 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:36 pm

DechenDave wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:25 pm
Why they don’t at least leave if they know whats going on I cant say. I’m not them. Stockholm syndrom, brainwashing, guilt, fear, shame etc... its out of my paygrade.
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.
Last edited by Arupajhana7 on Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Seeker12 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:55 pm

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:36 pm
DechenDave wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:25 pm
Why they don’t at least leave if they know whats going on I cant say. I’m not them. Stockholm syndrom, brainwashing, guilt, fear, shame etc... its out of my paygrade.
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 are 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.
Thank you for sharing.
Therein is nothing to remove
And thereto not the slightest thing to add.
The perfect truth viewed perfectly
And perfectly beheld is liberation.

Uttaratantra Shastra

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Seeker12 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:58 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:27 pm
In a hedonistic societies like ours, an ethical ascetic is the one displaying "crazy wisdom".
Good point. In general, it seems like sometimes cultures can get very heavily moralistic without insight, where individuals follow codes of conduct in a rigid way, develop pride, condescension towards others, etc.

In situations like that, acting out of true, genuine insight and a deeper level of morality may sort of 'shock' these rigid moralists out of their ways and show them that it's like wrapping shit in satin.

But for people without either inner or outer discipline or renunciation, displaying actual renunciation from samsara 'externally' may in fact be the more radical approach in some cases.

Thanks for sharing.
Therein is nothing to remove
And thereto not the slightest thing to add.
The perfect truth viewed perfectly
And perfectly beheld is liberation.

Uttaratantra Shastra

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by DechenDave » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:46 pm

Thanks Arupajhana, for being so forthcoming.

I can definitely empathize with the feeling of lost decades of personal investment in something/someone and the denial and chaotic emotions and torment that ensue.
Also, with wondering if you are involved with a cult and being freaked out by religious/group weirdness.
Also with being severely mistreated by someone I loved and trusted.
Etc. etc.

And frankly I can understand why people are drawn to Shambhala despite the obvious red flags. I was rather undecided for some time about whether to get involved (about 20 years ago). I even kinda liked the kalapa court thing in a strange way. And not because it held a mirror up to my issues, but because of the archetypes of royalty and dignity and so on. (I would have been eaten alive if I had jumped in I think!).

I think the encounter between CTR and the West has created some vast, heavy karma and “legacy technology” so to speak (in terms of their media, literature, aesthetics), which we will be dealing with for some time to come yet (although it seems to be fading, and not just because of the scandals but probably the internet in general).
He (and secondarily the organization) are part of our “foundational myth”. He kicked off American/Western Vajrayana with a bang. Like a literal, 20th century Padmasambhava he is easy to mythologize about and sanitize and spin.

I think through the 90’s and 00’s, Shambhala’s whole draw seemed to be people wanting in on that, however indirect it has become. I don’t know if anyone was ever a really big fan of Sakyong based on his own merit, but maybe with his genes and a bit of guruyoga....

Also, you have shed some interesting light on what it’s like to be involved as a youth. So thanks for that.

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:41 pm

pemachophel wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:35 pm
I've said it before (and been criticized for it), but I'll say it again. Vajrayana is inherently dangerous and is not, as it says in the Tantras themselves, for everyone. "Caveat emptor, buyer beware." Speed and safety don't go together even on the mundane level.

I don't believe that the Vajrayana sangha must, by necessity, be constituted in a monarchical, feudal way, but realization of the Teacher as not just a Buddha but the Buddha is an integral, indispensable part of Vajrayana. Try to eliminate that and you "throw the baby out with the bathwater." If you want to see and relate to the Teacher as an ordinary being just like ourselves, then stick to the Shravakayana and Mahayana. Do not drink the samaya water.

Sorry ahead of time if I am totally wrong about this.
:good:
"To have confidence in the teacher is the ultimate refuge." -Rigzin Jigme Lingpa

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Arupajhana7 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:45 pm

Thanks for reading.

Just for clarity the youth program I got involved with was for people under 30, so it wasn't kids. But at age 19 I wanted to meditate, wanted to do it with people my age, and Shambhala was really good at keeping social connections going outside of the formal sitting. So after sitting there was always a social hour. Lots of socializing... Friendships, etc.

A different organization I had been sitting in didn't have that, despite having an under 30s youth night. So it was sitting, silent, maybe questions after, then you go home. So I didn't get a sense of community there. I made some lasting friendships through Shambhala.

In hindsight I realize it was a really good strategy for bringing new people in, especially all the social events. I heard people talk openly about how that was something that helps people stay more engaged and get more involved in the center, that it was intentional to do this. Seemed innocent enough to me at the time.

But I never imagined that 10 years later I'd be acting as a servant at the secret mansion of a king where everyone called him "your majesty".

Very strange turn my life took with that one.

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:52 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:57 am
TrimePema wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:45 am
dzongsar khyentse rinpoche-la makes it clear in the guru drinks bourbon? that it depends more on the student's view than the teacher's wisdom. what if these 'questionable' teachers really are sacrificing all their worldly renown and so on in order to greatly benefit those who have various degrees of pure vision?
Copy-pasting these views and attitudes from one culture to another will just not do.
It is not about culture, this is the Vajrayana path, if you do not like it practice the Mahayana, I'm not sure why people endlessly go on about it. It was the same in India, it was the same when it went to Tibet, it is the same in Sikkim, in bhutan, in ladakh, and now, America, Europe and the whole world. Not culture, Dharma. Doubt is nothing new, and yet, neither is Devotion. Even in this western culture I have met students that truly view their Guru as the Buddha and practice the Vajrayana path as it was intended.


However, it may be worth noting that Rinpoche said in order to receive Samaya, the students must be properly prepared. Assumed in this is also the fact that the teacher has received and KEPT Samaya themselves.

When an individual receives a tantric initiation, if they
could understand Tibetan, they would know that they are warned in the context again and again by the Vajra master before receiving. Why would you be warmed is there is nothing to keep? You can view the teacher as you please, and bash, and leave them at any point, illogical. Let's not go on opinions, let's go on the tantras, empowerment texts, and unbroken oral teachings of the lamas.
Last edited by Sonam Wangchug on Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"To have confidence in the teacher is the ultimate refuge." -Rigzin Jigme Lingpa

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:01 pm

Sonam Wangchug wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:52 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:57 am
TrimePema wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:45 am
dzongsar khyentse rinpoche-la makes it clear in the guru drinks bourbon? that it depends more on the student's view than the teacher's wisdom. what if these 'questionable' teachers really are sacrificing all their worldly renown and so on in order to greatly benefit those who have various degrees of pure vision?
Copy-pasting these views and attitudes from one culture to another will just not do.
It is not about culture, this is the Vajrayana path, if you do not like it practice the Mahayana, I'm not sure why people endlessly go on about it. It was the same in India, it was the same when it went to Tibet, it is the same in Sikkim, in bhutan, in ladakh, and now, America, Europe and the whole world. Not culture, Dharma.
You think Vajrayana didn't change from India to Tibet? That's quite the claim, and one which you would likely have an exceptionally hard time substantiating, for starters ngondro, tulkus, sang and serkyem...we could go on and on. That's not to say everything is cultural dross by any means, but the idea that none of it is is just as deeply naive, and is contradicted by voices from within Vajrayana itself. So, I think you just like the trains to run on time and that is your approach. It doesn't mean it is everyone else's, nor that you own the rights to Official Vajrayana (tm).
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Sonam Wangchug » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:06 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:01 pm
Sonam Wangchug wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:52 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:57 am


Copy-pasting these views and attitudes from one culture to another will just not do.
It is not about culture, this is the Vajrayana path, if you do not like it practice the Mahayana, I'm not sure why people endlessly go on about it. It was the same in India, it was the same when it went to Tibet, it is the same in Sikkim, in bhutan, in ladakh, and now, America, Europe and the whole world. Not culture, Dharma.
Really? You think Vajrayana didn't change from India to Tibet? That's quite the claim, and one which you would likely have an exceptionally hard time substantiating, for starters ngondro, tulkus...we could go on and on. That's not to say everything is cultural dross, but the idea that none of it is is deeply naive, and is contradicted by voices from within Vajrayana itself so....I think you just like the trains to run on time and that is your approach. It doesn't mean it is everyone else's, nor that you own the rights to Official Vajrayana (tm).
In this context it means the essence of Vajrayana path, such as viewing ones lama as the embodiment of all Buddha's, certainly did not change. It's not as though when it entered Tibet they said OK, now you can view your guru as a little bit deluded.
"To have confidence in the teacher is the ultimate refuge." -Rigzin Jigme Lingpa

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:13 pm

Sonam Wangchug wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:06 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:01 pm
Sonam Wangchug wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:52 pm

It is not about culture, this is the Vajrayana path, if you do not like it practice the Mahayana, I'm not sure why people endlessly go on about it. It was the same in India, it was the same when it went to Tibet, it is the same in Sikkim, in bhutan, in ladakh, and now, America, Europe and the whole world. Not culture, Dharma.
Really? You think Vajrayana didn't change from India to Tibet? That's quite the claim, and one which you would likely have an exceptionally hard time substantiating, for starters ngondro, tulkus...we could go on and on. That's not to say everything is cultural dross, but the idea that none of it is is deeply naive, and is contradicted by voices from within Vajrayana itself so....I think you just like the trains to run on time and that is your approach. It doesn't mean it is everyone else's, nor that you own the rights to Official Vajrayana (tm).
In this context it means the essence of Vajrayana path, such as viewing ones lama as the embodiment of all Buddha's, certainly did not change. It's not as though when it entered Tibet they said OK, now you can view your guru as a little bit deluded.
Sure, as far as we know that's so.

Is there a point you guys are trying to make by posting about Pure Vision in a thread about a teacher being accused (with a great deal of evidence) of years and years of abuse and sexual harassment?

I mean seriously, do you think your message of purity and zealousness regarding Vajrayana practice is more important than the surrounding context?

I think we've all read and been told about Pure Vision, what exactly are you hoping to achieve by lecturing about it in a thread about a Guru who abused people for years on end?

I am not sure it is really any of your business how someone who has been sexually abused for years views their Guru, and I find the sense of entitlement implied by the idea that these people should listen to this message incredible. "Sorry you were raped/abused but Vajrayana says x so"...can you imagine if you had to interact with one of these people. Would you tell them that?
Let's not go on opinions, let's go on the tantras, empowerment texts, and unbroken oral teachings of the lamas.
instead let's go on having some compassion for tons of abused people and an organization clearly in pain and falling apart, instead of injecting our own preoccupations.

In short, someone else's experience of being raped or abused is of far greater consequence than your religious orthodoxy. IMO -that- is more in keeping with the spirit of the Dharma.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Arupajhana7 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:16 pm

Sonam Wangchug wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:52 pm
Why would you be warmed is there is nothing to keep? You can view the teacher as you please, and bash, and leave them at any point, illogical. Let's not go on opinions, let's go on the tantras, empowerment texts, and unbroken oral teachings of the lamas.
This is not how samaya is taught in every lineage. Mingyur Rinpoche teaches it quite differently:

https://www.lionsroar.com/treat-everyone-as-the-buddha/


He states:

"Many students of Tibetan Buddhism mistakenly think that they cannot, or should not, leave a teacher once they’ve made a commitment to them. This is not the case. The whole point of the teacher–student relationship is that it should benefit the student. It is not for the teacher’s gain or profit. If you have tried your best and have found that it is not a good fit, you can look for another teacher. This is not a problem or personal failing. It is good judgment.

The best way to leave is to do so without bad-mouthing the teacher or creating difficulties for those who may be benefiting from the teacher and the community. Leave on good terms, or at the very least, do not leave on bad terms. Simply move on with humility and do not feel bad about the fact that it did not work out.

The one caveat I would add here is that it is important to be honest with yourself. Leaving a teacher or community that does not seem to be a good fit is understandable, but if you find every teacher unworthy of your time, then you may want to look deeper into your own patterns to see what is going on. It may be difficult to make any progress on the path if you are looking for perfection.

Serious Ethical Violations

However, it is another matter altogether when a teacher is committing serious ethical violations. Leaving a teacher on good terms makes sense when the issue is just a matter of fit between teacher and student. When the issue is people being hurt or laws being broken, the situation is different.

In that case, the violation of ethical norms needs to be addressed. If physical or sexual abuse has occurred, or there is financial impropriety or other breaches of ethics, it is in the best interest of the students, the community, and ultimately the teacher, to address the issues. Above all, if someone is being harmed, the safety of the victim comes first. This is not a Buddhist principle. This is a basic human value and should never be violated.

Physical, sexual, and psychological abuse are not teaching tools.

The appropriate response depends on the situation. In some cases, if a teacher has acted inappropriately or harmfully but acknowledges the wrongdoing and commits to avoiding it in the future, then dealing with the matter internally may be adequate. But if there is a long-standing pattern of ethical violations, or if the abuse is extreme, or if the teacher is unwilling to take responsibility, it is appropriate to bring the behavior out into the open.

In these circumstances, it is not a breach of samaya to bring painful information to light. Naming destructive behaviors is a necessary step to protect those who are being harmed or who are in danger of being harmed in the future, and to safeguard the health of the community." -Mingyur Rinpoche

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by tobes » Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:32 am

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:36 pm
DechenDave wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:25 pm
Why they don’t at least leave if they know whats going on I cant say. I’m not them. Stockholm syndrom, brainwashing, guilt, fear, shame etc... its out of my paygrade.
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.
Thanks for sharing this - it absolutely needs to be exposed by people who have first hand knowledge of it.

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by smcj » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:48 am

n 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.
If true that kind of exclusivity is contrary to Dharma. That samaya is as bad or worse than the samaya for banned Gelug practice. As Mingyur R. says, the first redress is to simply leave—preferablye on good terms.

Guru Yoga, although essential to HYT, has an immense potential for cult-like abuse. That exclusivity samaya crosses a line into unredeemable cult manipulation. It is not a misapplication of Dharma. It is not Dharma at all.

Where did that idea come from?
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by smcj » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:11 am

[In short, someone else's experience of being raped or abused is of far greater consequence than your religious orthodoxy. IMO -that- is more in keeping with the spirit of the Dharma.
It’s like the opioid crisis. Prescription opioid addiction is ruining lives and killing people. And not just a scattering of people. Lots of people. So obviously the pharmaceutical companies need to stop making them entirely, right?

Is the problem OxtContin, or the abuse of OxyContin?
Does OxyContin have important applications, or is it something entirely negative that needs to be stopped?

In the same way, is the problem Guru Yoga, or the abuse of Guru Yoga? It’s not a question of orthodoxy. Vajrayana is supposed to actually work. If you remove an essential element from your practice you might as well go golfing.

Nobody is saying that prescription opioids aren’t a problem and nothing needs to be done. And nobody is saying clergy abuse in Vajrayana doesn’t need reform. It’s a disaster. But there are people saying that the Guru Yoga has no place in the West. I can go along with that if it’s also agreed that HYT does not belong in the West. I think that should be seriously considered. I’ve suggested it on DW before. The outer tantras don’t require GY and they work too.

—————

And once again, for the record, I am not supporting Thomas Rich, Sogyal R., Sakyong Mipham, or even CTR. I am saying that the abuse of GY is widespread and ugly. But it is still a precious medicine and needs to be appreciated.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

Arupajhana7
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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Arupajhana7 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:48 am

smcj wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:48 am
That exclusivity samaya crosses a line into unredeemable cult manipulation. It is not a misapplication of Dharma. It is not Dharma at all.

Where did that idea come from?
My understanding is that CTR was trying to dissuade his uncommitted hippy students from shopping around to various gurus and spiritual communities as there was quite a bit of this in the 1960s and 1970s. So he had this big emphasis on finding one path, one guru, taking it seriously and following it to the end. (This is how it has been explained to me).

But after he died and the regent scandal happened Shambhala temporarily opened itself up to multiple teachers coming through. When Mukpo returned to take over he didn't like that students who took shambhala training were leaving for other Rinpoches over him (it seems to me based on stories I have heard) so these other lineages were more or less pushed out, Kagyu practices were ended, and everything focused on the shambhala path and the only guru available in the community, Osel Mukpo.

When I joined the community was a few years before the time he was sent into retreat. The community was told that he was going into this year long retreat to discover basic goodness for himself. But we now know from the leaked transcripts to thinkprogress.org that this retreat was an intervention to try and improve his behavior with alcohol and women.

But it became standardized to dissuade people from joining other paths. I heard this from many teachers. What we were taught is that you can try out other teachers for Hinayana and Mahayana but with Vajrayana you can only have one master. It was explained to a Dathun group I attended by an Acharya that having more than one vajra master is like having two head chefs in a kitchen, the kitchen will be poorly managed.

I wanted to get a transmission from ChNN and was discouraged from doing so, I was told that if I wanted to keep going in the shambhala community and path I had to make a choice. I decided to get the transmission anyway, I was inspired to. But then I was told I shouldn't do those practices if I wanted to continue in Shambhala. So I decided not to do the ChNN practices so I could continue in Shambhala.

I know others who've had similar experiences in discouragement from learning in other lineages or from other teachers.

We were told that other lineages weren't as well suited to westerners as Shambhala. That shambhala had this unique blend fit for western people and a Terma meant for this time period. They also often said that other lineages didn't do things in the proper way by giving POI too early and not making people go through every stage of the path etc.

This is how it was explained to me on multiple occasions by many different teachers.

There was also this attitude sometimes not openly expressed, but occasionally expressed openly and literally, that we were building a literal enlightened society that might be the last chance for humanity to make it through the dark age.

Now I wasn't told this in its most literal form until about a year before the scandals became public. But it was also told that we could also see it metaphorically. So I felt confused about it. On the one hand we were told that it was literal, and not a metaphor, but then the Acharyas who told us this at my assembly backed off of it and said that enlightened society will look different for everyone and that it is whatever we imagine it to be ourselves.

But once I finally saw the court everything clicked for me that none of it was metaphor. It was literally what they meant. Some at the court confirmed this for me.

Well we all know that plan isn't how it seems to be going right now.

So there this sense of apocalyptic omens and prophecy about the dark age mixed with this sense that we as a community would be the ones to do something about it (though it's not quite clear what that is till you see the court) and that our leader fit for this was what appeared to be a very moral and perhaps boring family man who also was highly realized. (This is always how the Sakyong was portrayed to me. I never once heard any stories about him drinking to excess or sleeping with students or biting people until the initial report came out).

But everything started off very different. When I first went to my local center it felt just like all the other meditation centers around but had a tendency to get me more involved because they had such an emphasis on socializing after practice.

When the BPS-2 report first came out I was talking to someone who'd taken samaya and saying I didn't think people could still follow him as a teacher and this person said to me "It's too late for me, I am already committed".

That's why I wish SMR would release a statement absolving his students of that commitment if they choose to leave because many are still feeling like they have to stick it out even if they don't want to. So far he has released no such statement that I am aware of.

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tobes
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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by tobes » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:01 am

That's about as culty as it gets. In fact it resembles rather closely the structure of some Christian cults, in lieu of the apocalyptic element

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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by PeterC » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:09 am

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:16 pm
Sonam Wangchug wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:52 pm
Why would you be warmed is there is nothing to keep? You can view the teacher as you please, and bash, and leave them at any point, illogical. Let's not go on opinions, let's go on the tantras, empowerment texts, and unbroken oral teachings of the lamas.
This is not how samaya is taught in every lineage. Mingyur Rinpoche teaches it quite differently:

https://www.lionsroar.com/treat-everyone-as-the-buddha/


He states:

"Many students of Tibetan Buddhism mistakenly think that they cannot, or should not, leave a teacher once they’ve made a commitment to them. This is not the case. The whole point of the teacher–student relationship is that it should benefit the student. It is not for the teacher’s gain or profit. If you have tried your best and have found that it is not a good fit, you can look for another teacher. This is not a problem or personal failing. It is good judgment.
These views aren’t necessarily in conflict.

Samaya is binary - you either have it or you don’t. If you have it then the guru can tell you that it’s not ok for you to seek teachings elsewhere, or that you should wear a kilt or practice interpretative dance - all fair game. The vast majority of gurus today and throughout history do not make demands like this on students, and this point is worth considering when you evaluate a guru who does. Most gurus leave the door open, and as such you can decide to no longer seek further teachings from them, or to seek teachings from another guru, and as long as you maintain pure perception etc you do not breach samaya.

Traditionally empowerments were accompanied by teachings such as Ashvaghosa’s fifty stanzas on the guru or at least an explanation of the root and branch samayas. And if you go back to the vajrayana in India, before the mass empowerments that became common in Tibet, it wasn’t like you turned up, paid fifty bucks and got hit on the head with a vase. Empowerment was secret, restricted, and not given lightly.

But in the situations we are talking about with Mukpo Jr, it’s much simpler than that. If the guru is not qualified, then there was never any samaya in the first place. None of this matters. If you consider Mukpo Jr unqualified, then nobody has ever received empowement from him, whether shambhala’s interpretation of samaya is correct or not is irrelevant, his entire sangha can walk away tomorrow with no consequences besides the ongoing psychological issues that they will sadly have to deal with. And all the evidence suggests that that is the correct interpretation of the situation.

Arupajhana7
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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by Arupajhana7 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:22 am

tobes wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 5:01 am
That's about as culty as it gets. In fact it resembles rather closely the structure of some Christian cults, in lieu of the apocalyptic element
Well... In some ways I do still think the fate of humanity may still be at risk due to damage to the planets ecosystem.

But generally yes I agree. The idea that Shambhala would save humanity from this through an enlightened monarchy is pretty out there.

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heart
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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by heart » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:53 am

Arupajhana7 wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:48 am
smcj wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:48 am
That exclusivity samaya crosses a line into unredeemable cult manipulation. It is not a misapplication of Dharma. It is not Dharma at all.

Where did that idea come from?
My understanding is that CTR was trying to dissuade his uncommitted hippy students from shopping around to various gurus and spiritual communities as there was quite a bit of this in the 1960s and 1970s. So he had this big emphasis on finding one path, one guru, taking it seriously and following it to the end. (This is how it has been explained to me).

But after he died and the regent scandal happened Shambhala temporarily opened itself up to multiple teachers coming through. When Mukpo returned to take over he didn't like that students who took shambhala training were leaving for other Rinpoches over him (it seems to me based on stories I have heard) so these other lineages were more or less pushed out, Kagyu practices were ended, and everything focused on the shambhala path and the only guru available in the community, Osel Mukpo.

When I joined the community was a few years before the time he was sent into retreat. The community was told that he was going into this year long retreat to discover basic goodness for himself. But we now know from the leaked transcripts to thinkprogress.org that this retreat was an intervention to try and improve his behavior with alcohol and women.

But it became standardized to dissuade people from joining other paths. I heard this from many teachers. What we were taught is that you can try out other teachers for Hinayana and Mahayana but with Vajrayana you can only have one master. It was explained to a Dathun group I attended by an Acharya that having more than one vajra master is like having two head chefs in a kitchen, the kitchen will be poorly managed.

I wanted to get a transmission from ChNN and was discouraged from doing so, I was told that if I wanted to keep going in the shambhala community and path I had to make a choice. I decided to get the transmission anyway, I was inspired to. But then I was told I shouldn't do those practices if I wanted to continue in Shambhala. So I decided not to do the ChNN practices so I could continue in Shambhala.

I know others who've had similar experiences in discouragement from learning in other lineages or from other teachers.

We were told that other lineages weren't as well suited to westerners as Shambhala. That shambhala had this unique blend fit for western people and a Terma meant for this time period. They also often said that other lineages didn't do things in the proper way by giving POI too early and not making people go through every stage of the path etc.

This is how it was explained to me on multiple occasions by many different teachers.

There was also this attitude sometimes not openly expressed, but occasionally expressed openly and literally, that we were building a literal enlightened society that might be the last chance for humanity to make it through the dark age.

Now I wasn't told this in its most literal form until about a year before the scandals became public. But it was also told that we could also see it metaphorically. So I felt confused about it. On the one hand we were told that it was literal, and not a metaphor, but then the Acharyas who told us this at my assembly backed off of it and said that enlightened society will look different for everyone and that it is whatever we imagine it to be ourselves.

But once I finally saw the court everything clicked for me that none of it was metaphor. It was literally what they meant. Some at the court confirmed this for me.

Well we all know that plan isn't how it seems to be going right now.

So there this sense of apocalyptic omens and prophecy about the dark age mixed with this sense that we as a community would be the ones to do something about it (though it's not quite clear what that is till you see the court) and that our leader fit for this was what appeared to be a very moral and perhaps boring family man who also was highly realized. (This is always how the Sakyong was portrayed to me. I never once heard any stories about him drinking to excess or sleeping with students or biting people until the initial report came out).

But everything started off very different. When I first went to my local center it felt just like all the other meditation centers around but had a tendency to get me more involved because they had such an emphasis on socializing after practice.

When the BPS-2 report first came out I was talking to someone who'd taken samaya and saying I didn't think people could still follow him as a teacher and this person said to me "It's too late for me, I am already committed".

That's why I wish SMR would release a statement absolving his students of that commitment if they choose to leave because many are still feeling like they have to stick it out even if they don't want to. So far he has released no such statement that I am aware of.
Really depressing stuff, you should know that there is a wonderful world of Vajrayana beyond your present negative experience.
It is many years since I read CTR's books, but I can't recall any place where he said you can only have one teacher. Do you have a quote? Since CTR's students all took empowerments from Karmapa and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche for example so they obviously hade several teachers.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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weitsicht
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Re: Diana Mukpo’s potent letter re: Shambhala

Post by weitsicht » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:12 am

So there is a need for a vajra master who has tremendous power - power over us, power over the cosmos, and power over himself - and who has also been warned that if he misdirects his energy he will be cut down and reduced into a little piece of charcoal.
Samaya means acknowledging connections and being willing to bow down to the experience of life.
Both quotes being from CTR, "Journey Without Goal"

Abhisheka cannot be given back once obtained. But samaya?
How can you have samaya with a piece of coal?
Just drop it.
Take the good parts you had, leave the bad behind and go ahead.
The whole life is a journey.
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

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