Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

The best place for discussion of current events. News about Buddhists and Buddhism is particularly welcome.
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 8341
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:59 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:50 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:01 pm
Mantrik wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:34 am


Have you morphed into a different Mod?

Yes, it is perfectly possible that her response revealed her real nature and that, like quite a few we have discussed, the rest is a facade. Neither do we know how many other times she ignored what was going on or 'victim shamed'. Women do collude in the sexual abuse of other women, you know.

I won't grace the rest of the 'shitty monster' invention of yours with a response, as that was not my assertion. This straw man virus is catching, it seems.
Indeed we don't know those things, so essentializing her as having the 'true nature' of condoning abuse is probably not a great idea.

It wasn't a straw man, but a fairly reasonable inference based on what you said. If you want me to make a different inference then make less definitive statements about the essential nature of someone's character I guess. Why get so personal? I've morphed into a different mod for disagreeing with one off the cuff statement you made?
I did not say she was a shitty monster. Inventing that phrase so you could disagree with it reminded me of someone else's behaviour. That's all.
Do I really need to qualify an embellishment like that? What you did say was that her response in one incident "shows her true nature", presumably as someone who is helping to condone or further abuse. You may not have said "shitty monster",I admit it's hyperbolic, it wasn't meant literally.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

Knotty Veneer
Posts: 567
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:50 pm

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Knotty Veneer » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:52 am

justsit wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:37 pm
Simon E. wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:30 pm
CTR and Mukpo are very important to Pema Chodron.
I'm confused about the relationships here. When CTR died in 1987, did PC take Mukpo as her teacher (he was then 25yo)? AFAIK more recently she has been a student of Dzigar Kongtrul [Nyingma*].

According to the Gampo Abbey website - "Under the spiritual direction of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the spiritual head of Shambhala International, Gampo Abbey is guided by our abbot the Venerable Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche [Kagyu*] and our principal teacher Acharya Pema Chödrön." *(bracket info mine)

So Mukpo is important to her in her role as teacher at GA but not as her personal teacher??
Gampo Abbey offers, I believe, traditional Kagyu format retreats and has ordained monastics. The link with Thrangu R is for these activities, probably.
The Shambhala teachings, however, were created by Trungpa R and are not followed by any group outside of Shambhala International. The Shambhala teachings, from what I can see, seem to be a mix of elements from the Kalachakra tantra, the Gesar stories, and Trungpa R’s own termas. It’s a new tradition of Trungpa R’s invention and is not part of mainstream Kagyu or Nyingma teachings even though Trungpa R was a Kagyu Tulku and his son is a Nyingma tulku.
As regards Pema Chodron, she has expressed devotion for the Sakyong in book dedications that I have read, but I think she is not his student in any sense other than he is guru to all Shambhala members. I think she practices in a more traditional style than many Shambhala followers and has a student relationship with more traditional teachers like Dzigar Kongtrul R and Thrangu R.
“If you are going to put people on pedestals, at least wear a big hat” - Jake Thackray.

PeterC
Posts: 587
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by PeterC » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:47 pm

Knotty Veneer wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:44 pm
Although its mythology derives from the Kalachakra tantra, I’m not sure if Shambhala International sees itself as part of the Vajrayana. So, I’m not entirely sure that samaya is relevant here, in the same way it would be in the main Tibetan Vajrayana schools.

The relationship of the Shambhala organization to the Tibetan schools always kinda struck me as similar to that of the LDS to mainstream Christian churches. Shambhala is a uniquely American Puritan reimagining of TBism, dreaming of its own Buddhist Jerusalem in the New World.

I know thru friends that many folks within the local Shambhala center are at a loss and weighing up whether to leave.

In groups that have a top-down structure and focus on a single teacher, the leader is a single point of failure. The real problem here is that Shambhala has been through this before with the Thomas Rich scandal. Clearly they have learned nothing from that. Rich was not the problem, getting rid of him solved nothing really. The problem was the structure that allowed him, and subsequently the Sakyong to get away with unethical behavior.

Compare what happened with the San Francisco Zen Center with the Richard Baker scandal in the 80s. They instituted a council of Elders, introduced the concept of co-Abbots who served a fixed term, and purposely broke down any top-down hierarchy.
Shambhala needs to do what SFZC did – or similar. I fear though that their absurd religious monarchy thing will actually prevent any real institutional change.
At this point, that might be flogging a very dead wind-horse.

From a lineage perspective the defining feature of the Shambhala organization was the terma system it propagated. If osel Mukpo was an unqualified guru, and nobody else has received and practiced this terma, then that’s a dead end and everyone needs to look elsewhere.

From a functional perspective the Shambhala organization supported Osel Mukpo and his adherents, and furthered his work. Remove him and it really doesn’t have much point.

Could it reinvent itself with different governance and invite in brand new teachers? Sure, but what’s the point? Would that be a better outcome for those involved than if the organization per se just shut down and other Sanghas offered new homes for the refugees?

Simon E.
Posts: 5636
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Simon E. » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:54 pm

This. :good:
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

Knotty Veneer
Posts: 567
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:50 pm

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Knotty Veneer » Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:06 pm

PeterC wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:47 pm
Knotty Veneer wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:44 pm

...

Compare what happened with the San Francisco Zen Center with the Richard Baker scandal in the 80s. They instituted a council of Elders, introduced the concept of co-Abbots who served a fixed term, and purposely broke down any top-down hierarchy.
Shambhala needs to do what SFZC did – or similar. I fear though that their absurd religious monarchy thing will actually prevent any real institutional change.
At this point, that might be flogging a very dead wind-horse.

From a lineage perspective the defining feature of the Shambhala organization was the terma system it propagated. If osel Mukpo was an unqualified guru, and nobody else has received and practiced this terma, then that’s a dead end and everyone needs to look elsewhere.

From a functional perspective the Shambhala organization supported Osel Mukpo and his adherents, and furthered his work. Remove him and it really doesn’t have much point.

Could it reinvent itself with different governance and invite in brand new teachers? Sure, but what’s the point? Would that be a better outcome for those involved than if the organization per se just shut down and other Sanghas offered new homes for the refugees?
Kinda agree with you. If it changed as it needs to, then it would cease to have any features that made it unique. What would it have to do to become reputable? Could those at the top who enabled, or turned a blind eye, to Osel Mukpo ever be trusted not to make similar mistakes again?

The thing is, though, Shambhala is too big and too many people depend on it for their livelihood to just dissolve itself and everybody go off elsewhere. That’s not going to happen.

As it is not going away, what will it become? Will it never recover and die a slow death over years as membership drops? Will it split with some groups returning to the orthodox Tibetan lineages? Will some Shambhala teachers spin off on their own a la Reggie Ray? Will a chastened Mukpo return and everybody act like nothing happened?

What will happen now will be interesting. Let’s just hope that whatever way it turns out, no-one else gets damaged.
“If you are going to put people on pedestals, at least wear a big hat” - Jake Thackray.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 28484
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:24 pm

PeterC wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:47 pm


From a lineage perspective the defining feature of the Shambhala organization was the terma system it propagated.
The Shambhala teachings were never meant to be mixed with Buddhist teachings at all, and they were never meant to be part of a guru transmitted system. I know this because I know people who "were there" when they were originally produced and when Shambhala training was first organized. I myself did the first three levels under the old system.

Indeed, there are older Shambhala students who will, eventually, continue the old system outside the present Shambhala International. The Shambhala teachings themselves are interesting.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Simon E.
Posts: 5636
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Simon E. » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:05 pm

Its a fact that CTR originally designed the Shambala teachings as a way of reaching those who stood outside of a religious view of the world. His idea of the Warrior was basically a kind of elevated humanism. Of course that original view morphed into something different..
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

PeterC
Posts: 587
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by PeterC » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:24 pm
PeterC wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:47 pm


From a lineage perspective the defining feature of the Shambhala organization was the terma system it propagated.
The Shambhala teachings were never meant to be mixed with Buddhist teachings at all, and they were never meant to be part of a guru transmitted system. I know this because I know people who "were there" when they were originally produced and when Shambhala training was first organized. I myself did the first three levels under the old system.

Indeed, there are older Shambhala students who will, eventually, continue the old system outside the present Shambhala International. The Shambhala teachings themselves are interesting.
Malcolm - could you say more about how the older system differed from what they’re doing now?

The few Trungpa students I know had a fairly conventional Kagyu training and parted company with it before the Shambhala phase - the only shambhalians I know then got involved post-OM.

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 28484
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Malcolm » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:11 pm

PeterC wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:12 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:24 pm
PeterC wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:47 pm


From a lineage perspective the defining feature of the Shambhala organization was the terma system it propagated.
The Shambhala teachings were never meant to be mixed with Buddhist teachings at all, and they were never meant to be part of a guru transmitted system. I know this because I know people who "were there" when they were originally produced and when Shambhala training was first organized. I myself did the first three levels under the old system.

Indeed, there are older Shambhala students who will, eventually, continue the old system outside the present Shambhala International. The Shambhala teachings themselves are interesting.
Malcolm - could you say more about how the older system differed from what they’re doing now?

The few Trungpa students I know had a fairly conventional Kagyu training and parted company with it before the Shambhala phase - the only shambhalians I know then got involved post-OM.
It was literally supposed to be two separate traditions, related, but separate, As Simon said, the idea in Shambhala was an idea of warriorship as a personal path, and in addition to his termas, Trungpa drew principally from mundane paths such as the worldly Bon vehicles like Phyva Bon and also Confucianism, according to his own account. His idea was that Shambhala training was a place where anyone could go and learn the principles of meditation-based spiritual warriorship, predicated on the model of Buddhist kings, etc., without having to sign up, take refuge, and so on. In the old days, people could do the ten levels, without ever thinking that they ought to make the jump into Buddhism-- I met several such people back in the late 80's. Of course, at that time, if one made it through the ten levels, went to Warrior Assembly and so forth, one might be strongly encouraged to then proceed along the Buddhist path, but the pure Shambhalians I knew then were quite certain they were following a complete and independent path that was not Buddhism per se. Then Osel Mukpo started giving refuge names like Crystal Spear Warrior and so on, and within a few years, he merged the two systems, many people think to the detriment of the Shambhala teachings themselves.

You asked before about the Scorpion Seal teachings. Well, they are not Osel Mukpo's invention per se, but rather his commentary on the original Scorpion Seal terma of his father. But the people I spoke to about this recently really did not think they were worth much, content wise. Mukpo has no training.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 9405
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by DGA » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:12 am

Has anyone calculated how much a practitioner has to invest in trainings, assemblies, retreats, seminaries, &c in the most recent iteration of Shambhala Int'l before that person finally takes empowerment and begins Vajrayana practice?

This organization has been compared to the LDS church in this thread. I think comparisons to groups such as Eckankar or even Scientology may be also appropriate.

PeterC
Posts: 587
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by PeterC » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:19 am

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:11 pm
You asked before about the Scorpion Seal teachings. Well, they are not Osel Mukpo's invention per se, but rather his commentary on the original Scorpion Seal terma of his father. But the people I spoke to about this recently really did not think they were worth much, content wise. Mukpo has no training.
Thanks - interesting.

It’s very sad, really - Mukpo Jr. has access to amazing teachers, including Diego Khyentse Rinpoche teaching him his father’s terma, and this is what he makes of it.

User avatar
passel
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:30 am

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by passel » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:09 pm

DGA wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:12 am
Has anyone calculated how much a practitioner has to invest in trainings, assemblies, retreats, seminaries, &c in the most recent iteration of Shambhala Int'l before that person finally takes empowerment and begins Vajrayana practice?

This organization has been compared to the LDS church in this thread. I think comparisons to groups such as Eckankar or even Scientology may be also appropriate.
I did a mental calculation in 2006 or so, and IIRC, to get pointing out and become a tantika proper, you needed 10 Shambhala levels, + some standalone Shambhala reqs+ 1 mo Dathun + 1 mo Sutra Seminary + 1 mo Vajra Seminary= ~$10,000 in programs, residential and not. And pointing out was a big focus- going through levels, and getting pointing out seemed like the only practice goals folks had, maybe a few into ngondro. But you had to show up for every party and get loaded yet remain completely non-problematic, or people would think you weren't serious.

Pointing out came at the end; further retreats seemed spotty- some Vajrayogini after ngondro, like 1 week retreat w a fire ceremony 1x/yr.

One of the benefits of combining the Shambhala and BuddhistTM practices was that you could use the Shmb terma texts to come up w new empowerments and retreats- so you get Rigden Abhiseka, Werma Sadhana, Scorpion Seal. They tried a Shambhal Dzogchen annual but there wasn't any context for it, I don't think it was popular. But extra events= extra $$$ which the org badly needed then as much as now. I worked at Shambhala Mtn Center for the summer of the "Rigden Abhi-shake-down", it was embarrassing. I literally saw college kids making $50/month spray painting $1,000 worth of flowers gold to decorate tables for a fundraiser/banquet in the main practice hall, where donors literally paid depending on how close they wanted to sit to the Sakyong (and how much they could afford). Pema put in a plug for that one, I'm dismayed to say.

I Agree Sakyong has no training. Horrible meditation instructor, inattentive conversationalist unless he thinks you're into something cool that's not dharma. Poor sob.
Last edited by passel on Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

User avatar
passel
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:30 am

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by passel » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:17 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:05 pm
Its a fact that CTR originally designed the Shambala teachings as a way of reaching those who stood outside of a religious view of the world. His idea of the Warrior was basically a kind of elevated humanism. Of course that original view morphed into something different..
The terma just got too fascinating; when folks started living in a court setup, riding horses and taking elocution lessons, marching in formation and building kami shrines, drinking shots of gin at dawn [guns in the background], you're no longer really talking about something that's secular, universal, open to everyone, humanist, etc. On the one hand it's a testimony to the quality of the art (I do think some actual good art came out of it, and history will probably vindicate some part of that)- but it's also a good way to hurt people constantly, badly, and without any sense of why or how to stop. Ki ki so so right.
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

User avatar
passel
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:30 am

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by passel » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:32 pm

DGA wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:12 am
This organization has been compared to the LDS church in this thread. I think comparisons to groups such as Eckankar or even Scientology may be also appropriate.
There's a story - I think it's in Recalling Chogyam Trungpa, though could have been anywhere- where he(CT)'s sitting there in his underwear in a trailer on the RMDC land before it was even called that, like not long after the days he cut Bhagvan Das's dreadlocks off when the latter passed out around 5 am one morning. He's still a young man but pretty far out by the time he got to Colorado, keep in mind that he's half-paralyzed, in a foreign culture, always drunk, poor as hell, out in semi-wilderness, with a bunch of people who are pretty much by definition the freakiest people around- not what he was expecting when he was noshing at cocktail parties in Massachusetts with the cognoscenti you know. And Werner Erhard of est fame pulls up, with a driver, in a white Rolls Royce, wearing a white suit, good shoes, Rolex, to pay the Rinpoche a visit. He sits on the stoop of his trailer and has a cigarette w Erhard, talks for a while, and Erhard goes away. As he's driving off, CT turns to somebody and says, "We can do better than that."
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
Posts: 8341
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA
Contact:

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:28 am

passel wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:09 pm
DGA wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:12 am
Has anyone calculated how much a practitioner has to invest in trainings, assemblies, retreats, seminaries, &c in the most recent iteration of Shambhala Int'l before that person finally takes empowerment and begins Vajrayana practice?

This organization has been compared to the LDS church in this thread. I think comparisons to groups such as Eckankar or even Scientology may be also appropriate.
I did a mental calculation in 2006 or so, and IIRC, to get pointing out and become a tantika proper, you needed 10 Shambhala levels, + some standalone Shambhala reqs+ 1 mo Dathun + 1 mo Sutra Seminary + 1 mo Vajra Seminary= ~$10,000 in programs, residential and not. And pointing out was a big focus- going through levels, and getting pointing out seemed like the only practice goals folks had, maybe a few into ngondro. But you had to show up for every party and get loaded yet remain completely non-problematic, or people would think you weren't serious.

Pointing out came at the end; further retreats seemed spotty- some Vajrayogini after ngondro, like 1 week retreat w a fire ceremony 1x/yr.

One of the benefits of combining the Shambhala and BuddhistTM practices was that you could use the Shmb terma texts to come up w new empowerments and retreats- so you get Rigden Abhiseka, Werma Sadhana, Scorpion Seal. They tried a Shambhal Dzogchen annual but there wasn't any context for it, I don't think it was popular. But extra events= extra $$$ which the org badly needed then as much as now. I worked at Shambhala Mtn Center for the summer of the "Rigden Abhi-shake-down", it was embarrassing. I literally saw college kids making $50/month spray painting $1,000 worth of flowers gold to decorate tables for a fundraiser/banquet in the main practice hall, where donors literally paid depending on how close they wanted to sit to the Sakyong (and how much they could afford). Pema put in a plug for that one, I'm dismayed to say.

I Agree Sakyong has no training. Horrible meditation instructor, inattentive conversationalist unless he thinks you're into something cool that's not dharma. Poor sob.

Wow, i had no idea about any of this, kind of shocking, I'd always assumed that current Shambhala was just sort of a milquetoast Mahayana/Vajrayana setup.
"it must be coming from the mouthy mastermind of raunchy rapper, Johnny Dangerous”

-Jeff H.

User avatar
passel
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:30 am

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by passel » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:55 am

Yes, turns out 'lame' is pretty good camouflage.
"I have made a heap of all that I have met"- Svetonious

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 9405
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by DGA » Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:55 pm

PeterC wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:19 am
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:11 pm
You asked before about the Scorpion Seal teachings. Well, they are not Osel Mukpo's invention per se, but rather his commentary on the original Scorpion Seal terma of his father. But the people I spoke to about this recently really did not think they were worth much, content wise. Mukpo has no training.
Thanks - interesting.

It’s very sad, really - Mukpo Jr. has access to amazing teachers, including Diego Khyentse Rinpoche teaching him his father’s terma, and this is what he makes of it.
Was Osel Mukpo the one who decided to make the programmatic and institutional changes that led to the merger of Vajradhatu & Shambhala, and the rebranding of "Shambhala Buddhism"?

Related question: who was responsible for the decision to put Osel Mukpo in charge and at the center of the organization in the first place?

How did these changes come about and what motivated them?

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 9405
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by DGA » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:01 pm

passel wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:09 pm
DGA wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:12 am
Has anyone calculated how much a practitioner has to invest in trainings, assemblies, retreats, seminaries, &c in the most recent iteration of Shambhala Int'l before that person finally takes empowerment and begins Vajrayana practice?

This organization has been compared to the LDS church in this thread. I think comparisons to groups such as Eckankar or even Scientology may be also appropriate.
I did a mental calculation in 2006 or so, and IIRC, to get pointing out and become a tantika proper, you needed 10 Shambhala levels, + some standalone Shambhala reqs+ 1 mo Dathun + 1 mo Sutra Seminary + 1 mo Vajra Seminary= ~$10,000 in programs, residential and not. And pointing out was a big focus- going through levels, and getting pointing out seemed like the only practice goals folks had, maybe a few into ngondro. But you had to show up for every party and get loaded yet remain completely non-problematic, or people would think you weren't serious.

Pointing out came at the end; further retreats seemed spotty- some Vajrayogini after ngondro, like 1 week retreat w a fire ceremony 1x/yr.

One of the benefits of combining the Shambhala and BuddhistTM practices was that you could use the Shmb terma texts to come up w new empowerments and retreats- so you get Rigden Abhiseka, Werma Sadhana, Scorpion Seal. They tried a Shambhal Dzogchen annual but there wasn't any context for it, I don't think it was popular. But extra events= extra $$$ which the org badly needed then as much as now. I worked at Shambhala Mtn Center for the summer of the "Rigden Abhi-shake-down", it was embarrassing. I literally saw college kids making $50/month spray painting $1,000 worth of flowers gold to decorate tables for a fundraiser/banquet in the main practice hall, where donors literally paid depending on how close they wanted to sit to the Sakyong (and how much they could afford). Pema put in a plug for that one, I'm dismayed to say.

I Agree Sakyong has no training. Horrible meditation instructor, inattentive conversationalist unless he thinks you're into something cool that's not dharma. Poor sob.
That confirms what I was thinking with the comparison to Eckankar. David Lane's writings on this topic are worthwhile.

Shambhala Int'l is cheaper than Scientology, but $21 for a single lapel pin is a bit precious.

Silent Bob1
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:38 pm

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Silent Bob1 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:43 pm

It all seems so sad...FWIW, I was a Boulder student of CTR's from 1972 until his death in 1987, left and moved away during The Troubles of the mid-80's, and was fortunate to make a deep connection soon thereafter with Thrangu Rinpoche, who has been my main teacher to this day.

I lived on a remote ranch and practiced on my own for the next 30 years, though I maintained connections with some other students from the Vdh/Shambhala sangha and attended more or less annual VY and Chakrasamvara retreats with them, sometimes under the auspices of SI, sometimes not. I was angry and appalled when Osel Mukpo decided that his father's Vajrayana teachings were no longer relevant to his new generation of followers, began requiring loyalty oaths of them, and ruled that dharma teachers outside SI were not to be invited to local centers, but I was outside the fray and watched all this from a distance.

Sometimes my cynicism gets to be a bit much, even for me, but it seemed transparently obvious that the decision to disown his father's Kagyu/Nyingma heritage arose from his feeling of personal inadequacy and knowing within that he was not a particularly skilled or accomplished teacher, he shrank the teachings to a scale that he could comfortably manage.

I moved from the back country to a good-sized city about three years ago and soon discovered that SI was the only game in town here, so I began attending meditation sessions at their center, while trying to leave my misgivings at the door. This arrangement worked reasonably well until the most recent upheaval over Osel Mukpo's long record of bad behavior. Almost all of the members of the local sangha were new students, attracted by a weekly "learn to meditate" display ad in the local alternative paper, and their understanding of Buddhadharma and of Shambhala's history seemed very sketchy, but they're nice people, embarked on a path that seemed to work for them. Moreover, I wasn't there to teach them and their curriculum was ultimately none of my business. I pretty much burned my bridges there a few weeks ago. During a community meeting to 'share our feelings' about the crisis in Halifax I referred to the new, improved Shambhala Buddhism as "Buddhism-lite", and probably made a few other intemperate remarks as well.

Anyway, I'm tired of writing, but to clarify an earlier statement in the thread, while Gampo Abbey may still be nominally under the direction of Thrangu Rinpoche, it's been many years since he last visited or has in any way involved. Kagyu-Nyingma retreats, including the three-year retreats, are no longer offered there, and the resident community of Kagyu monastics has left the Abbey and established a practice center elsewhere in Nova Scotia.

Cheers,
Chris

Greg
Posts: 396
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:42 pm

Re: Latest report on Shambala abuse just released.

Post by Greg » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:47 pm

DGA wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:55 pm
Was Osel Mukpo the one who decided to make the programmatic and institutional changes that led to the merger of Vajradhatu & Shambhala, and the rebranding of "Shambhala Buddhism"?

Related question: who was responsible for the decision to put Osel Mukpo in charge and at the center of the organization in the first place?
How did these changes come about and what motivated them?
There are a number of letters published on the Chronicles of Chogyam Trungpa website related to this, from such figures as Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche.
https://www.chronicleproject.com/letter ... situation/

From the "Statement of His Eminence Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche to the Vajradhatu Sangha, Sunday, 26 August, 1990"

His Holiness Dilgo Khyenste Rinpoche and I met recently in France and talked about this. His Holinesss and the Kagyu lineage holders are concerned about the future of Vajradhatu . . His Holiness and the Kagyu lineage holders are all in agreement that the Sawang Osel Rangtrol Mukpo should become the lineage holder of Vajradhatu. This is in keeping with the intention of Trungpa Rinpoche, who acknowledged the Sawang as head of the Shambhala lineage and wished him to take on such responsibility...The regent acknowledged this and expressed his full support and blessings for the Sawang to become the leader of Vajradhatu.

CTR's original plan was for OM to be the lineage holder of the Shambhala teachings and "Vajra Regent" Ösel Tendzin aka Tom Rich to propagate CTR's Karma Kagyu lineage. But Rich lived only three years longer than CTR did, much of that time he was too sick with AIDS to function. He was unwilling to relinquish anything right up to his death, and it caused a big rift. It has been reported that he had been having unprotected sex with a number of underage boys in the community while fully aware of his HIV status, but Keir Craig seems to be the only one who died as a result as far as I know. By the 80s when CTR was formulating these plans up his cocaine use was quite heavy and his alcoholic dementia was pretty far along.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche had the following advice at the time, from the letters referenced above: “Trungpa Rinpoche appointed the Regent knowing his capacities and seeing completely his capabilities to continue his lineage. Those who are experience difficulties following the Regent now should realize that it is necessary to do so in order to follow Trungpa Rinpoche's instructions.”

Right before his death Rich empowered Patrick Sweeney, who I gather was a very young man at the time, as his lineage holder. Rich loyalists have had a small community in Ojai California ever since. According to the letters above, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche told him not to. In 2005 Thrangu Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche brokered a rapprochement between OM and Patrick Sweeney. They issued the following joint statement:

https://web.archive.org/web/20050621000 ... Letter.php

The Vajra Regent was commanded by the Vidyadhara to pass the lineage teachings and empowerments he held to a Western dharma student. In 1989, he bestowed that empowerment and authorization on Mr Patrick Sweeney, who continues to fulfill the aspirations of the Vidyadhara and the Vajra Regent through his teachings, transmissions, and leadership of Satdharma: an organization created to preserve and transmit the teachings of the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and the lineage of transmission bestowed by the Vidyadhara on the Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin and in turn, by the Vajra Regent on Mr Sweeney. As the principal student and dharma heir of the Vajra Regent, Mr Sweeney has worked tirelessly over the past fifteen years to provide a source of spiritual support to the members of the Satdharma community, for which the Sakyong has expressed his deep appreciation.

Shortly before his death, understanding that there would be a re-formation of Vajradhatu following his death, the Vajra Regent indicated his approval of the Sakyong as head of a re-organized mandala, which would include Mr Sweeney holding a seat as a lineage holder within that mandala, recognized as the Vajra's Regent's dharma heir with all of the attendant rights and responsibilities of a lineage holder to teach and transmit the empowerments he had received. Both the Sakyong and Mr. Sweeney have now been able to implement this aspiration. Within this framework, Mr. Sweeney has expressed his willingness to serve the Sakyong in whatever manner the Sakyong deems appropriate in manifesting Shambhala and its teachings for the benefit of all beings. They feel strongly that this will create the necessary ground for a deeper harmony within the larger sangha of the Vidyadhara.

As expressions of their mutual recognition and respect, the Sakyong has given Mr Sweeney the lung for the Primordial Rigden: the Magical Heart of Shambhala and authorized him to give it to members of the Satdharma community. Mr Sweeney will receive the Rigden Abhisheka this summer at Shambhala Mountain Center and will attend the Vajrayogini Abhisheka to be given by the Sakyong later this summer in Nova Scotia.

In accordance with the new structures of the Shambhala mandala, Satdharma will have a seat on the Mandala Council of the Shambhala Mandala. This will enable Satdharma to participate in the consultative processes now being established throughout the Shambhala mandala. Like other independent institutions seated on the Mandala Council, Satdharma will continue as an autonomous institution within the aspirations of the Shambhala Charter. The Sakyong has asked that Mr Sweeney, as President of Satdharma, be accorded due respect within the larger mandala.

The Sakyong and Mr Sweeney wish to work closely together so that there can be a harmonious ground of practice and study involving both Satdharma and Shambhala. Mr Sweeney will have the texts and translations that are needed to offer to his students the teachings and practices he has previously received and been empowered to transmit. The Sakyong and Mr Sweeney will work closely together, as needed, on details involving the paths and programs of individual students with regard to access and authorizations.


But then Diana Mukpo, who controlled all of the copyrights to CTR’s works, was furious and put the kibosh on this immediately, and it was never spoken of again. Except that Sweeney seemed to enjoy trolling OM on twitter occasionally:


Post Reply

Return to “News & Current Events”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: namoh and 20 guests