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Thread: Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo & Lama Tsultrim Allione: Shambhala's Sakyong Mipham

  1. #1

    Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo & Lama Tsultrim Allione: Shambhala's Sakyong Mipham

    Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo & Lama Tsultrim Allione discuss the allegations of sexual abuse by Shambhala head Sakyong Mipham. (Recorded at Tara Mandala, July 1, 2018 )




    (just over 12 minutes)..)


  2. #2
    Further development of the situation with Sakyong Mipham:


    Boulder's Naropa University removes Shambhala International leader from its board

    Boulder's Naropa University this week removed Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche from its Board of Trustees, saying it found the allegations of sexual misconduct against the leader of Shambhala International to be "credible and believable."

    Additionally, the members of Boulder-born Shambhala's governing body, the Kalapa Council, announced Friday that they will all step down from their posts.

    http://www.dailycamera.com/news/boul...l-leader-board
    On a personal note I always thought it was crazy that Chogyam Trungpa's son and his wife called themselves "the King and Queen of Shambhala," because Shambhala was a mythical kingdom in Tibet.

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  3. #3
    I've just discovered this article criticising the video that I posted #1:

    "Female Enablers of Tantra Continue The Cover-Up
    ." Its by someone called Christine Chandler who say's she's "a long-time former Shambhala cult member".

    https://extibetanbuddhist.com/female...-the-cover-up/

    ....and more about the author here:

    https://extibetanbuddhist.com/author/admin1234/


    Anyone have any comments?

  4. #4
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    Hi Aloka

    I found the video interesting, I think Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo nailed the problem with her comment about power imbalance.

    In the old paternalistic zeitgeist a lot of the abusive behaviors were just accepted, I think it is very hopeful for the future that the abuse of power is being challenged, mostly by women, but hopefully by men too.

    If it is a successful challenge it will change the dynamic for good, instead of a self-centred, self serving grab for power, perhaps humanity will turn toward a mutually beneficial mode of operation

    I can get down about this aspiration, it seems naive in the face of the current world political movement, however change starts from the bottom, the top is quite happy with the status quo.

    The tibetans have a I think a particular problem with Guru worship, this kind of behaviour lies at the bottom of all the abuse in buddhist circles, people should not leave their discrimination at the door when entering a religious community, although it seems they all have cult like requirements for obedience to the authority.

    Perhaps the time is coming to an end the blind faith that opens the path to abuse ?

  5. #5
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    Regarding Christine Chandler, she was a Shambhala member and part of the inner circle of Trungpa. And, I think she was seriously damaged mentally from this experience. However, she is a loose cannon and now thinks ALL Tibetan lamas are sex offenders and in it for the money, including the Dalai Lama, who she claims is part of a conspiracy to take over the world and end democracy.

    I read her book Enthralled: The Guru Cult of Tibetan Buddhism, until I couldn't take it any more. The majority of her claims are unsubstantiated, and in my opinion, she is on a vendetta against the entire tradition.

  6. #6
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    Hi Lisehull

    Thanks for the interesting insight into Christine Chandler, it seems that she is typical of many cult victims.

    I have met a few people involved in cult like organisations, not tibetan, and it strikes me that they display all the symptoms of being in love.

    The cults play on the human need for connection, people are love bombed, made to feel part of an exclusive community, they fall in love with the community, the teachings, the esoteric nature of the teachers and love is blind, like people who fall in love with unsuitable partners, they recognise the dark side of the situation but think they can change them, they become enchanted.

    When the scales fall from their eyes, they like lovers feel a deep sense of betrayal, the psychological wounds go deep, which is why this kind of abuse is so harmful

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by McKmike
    When the scales fall from their eyes, they like lovers feel a deep sense of betrayal, the psychological wounds go deep, which is why this kind of abuse is so harmful
    Yes, its been happening to western women (and men in Chogyam Trungpa's organisation) for a long time in Tibetan Buddhism. There used to be a website on the internet years ago where women were coming forward and discussing their experiences with Tibetan lamas and it wasn't just in one school of Tibetan Buddhism, it was in them all. Talking about their experiences with each other seemed to be a form of therapy for them in the midst of the knowledge that they'd been used by men that they had deeply trusted and revered.

    As well as Trungpa's son Sakyong Mipham, there have been other (and perhaps still are) married lay lamas with families who have had sex with their students, and maybe also monks like the late Kalu Rinpoche who had a secret affair with June Cambell his Scottish translator.

    http://www.anandainfo.com/tantric_robes.html

    Mary Finningan the English journalist (who I think was was once a student of Sogyal Rinpoche)has also written in the past about issues within Tibetan Buddhism. This was an article in the Guardian newspaper back in 2012:


    A senior monk at Kagyu Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist centre near Dijon in France, has become the first ordained lama in the developed world to be imprisoned.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...lamas-buddhism
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  8. #8
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    Hi Aloka

    Thanks for your post, it seems the problem is systemic in certain forms of Buddhism, particularly where there is a hierarchical structure.

    What do you think the way forward would be, is it human nature and therefore inevitable?

    Are power relationships ultimately corrupt, both the wielding of power by the abuser and the complicit nature of the abused?

    What do you think, is it too utopian to think this kind of abuse will not occur?

  9. #9
    Hi Mike,

    Yes, there was a similar problem at Triratna in the days when it was called "Friends of the Western Buddhist Order"... and also more recently with some Zen teachers.

    I don't know what the answer is, but I think new students of Buddhism need to investigate teachers and their centres very, very carefully ....and definately not get involved if the teachers, as well as being treated with respect, are being treated like rock stars, or if one is told to regard one's teacher as "the Buddha"!

    As far as "power relationships" being ultimately corrupt are concerned, I think they can still exist without corruption. We have many such relationships in life, beginning with our parents, then with our school teachers, and then with our bosses when we're employed. Relationships like that don't need to be corrupt in any way - but occasionally they are, so I think we have to be cautious and very aware of what is or could be happening.

    I also think with some of these Buddhist teachers, its shown their total lack of any insight or wisdom, if they thought they could act like children in a candy store and become sexually active with their students and get away with it. People who walk away from such teachers and their organisations , rather than getting pulled in by even more bullshit, are very sensible in my opinion.

    .

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