Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexually as

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:36 am

An Open Letter to Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche from a Burmese Buddhist Activist: A former ally of Aung San Suu Kyi responds to the Tibetan Buddhist teacher’s support for Myanmar’s controversial leader
by Maung Zarni and Matthew Gindin
Tricycle
Nov 28, 2018

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Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche, a well-known teacher of Vajrayana Buddhism, surprised some in the Buddhist world recently when he penned an open letter of support to Aung San Suu Kyi, the head of Myanmar’s civil government accused of complicity in the military’s persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority. The letter praises her sacrifice, courage, and principled political actions in pursuit of the rights of her people, while attacking her critics as hypocrites and arrogant colonialists pushing Western interests and values.

Dzongsar Khyentse is a major figure in contemporary Buddhism. A tulku (reincarnated master) in the Khyentse lineage, he is the son of the revered Thinley Norbu Rinpoche and grandson of the influential Dudjom Rinpoche. An embodiment of the Rime (nonsectarian) movement, he is the guardian of the teachings of the Dzogchen master Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, as well as an accomplished filmmaker and author of popular English language expositions of Buddhism.

His support for Suu Kyi comes on the heels of a September report by the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar that said the violent campaign against the Rohingya amounts to genocide, a claim supported by several human rights research and documentation bodies around the world. The report, released at a UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, stated that Suu Kyi and her civilian government had “contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes” through their “acts and omissions.” As a result of mounting allegations of culpability, Suu Kyi, who was once lauded for her activism on behalf of democracy in Myanmar, has been stripped of multiple awards, including the US Holocaust Museum’s Elie Wiesel Award, her honorary Canadian citizenship, and Amnesty International’s human rights award.

In response to Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche’s letter, Maung Zarni, a Burmese Buddhist, pro-democracy activist, and former ally of Suu Kyi, and I have co-authored an open letter challenging what we view as faulty narratives, misinformation, and questionable reasoning in Dzongsar Khyentse’s letter.

—Matthew Gindin

Dear Rinpoche,

In a November 16 letter, you expressed your “deep respect and appreciation” for all Suu Kyi has done “to fight for your people’s freedoms.” You call her a “true heroine of this age, more than worthy of the Nobel Prize and other honours” and say you are “appalled by the removal of awards” she received. You argue that this is a “blatant double standard,” citing the reception of a Nobel Prize by former US President Barack Obama despite his use of drone warfare against Middle Eastern civilians.

You see this double standard as part of “insidious colonialism strangling Asia and the world,” which you say teaches Asians to “disparage our own noble traditions and instead to treasure Western values and music, to chew gum and wear faded jeans, to embrace Facebook and Amazon, and to ape Western manners and institutions.”

I (Zarni) am a child of a Burmese Buddhist family with close ties to the military. I grew up with intense pride and deep reverence for the Buddhist tradition and spiritual culture of Burma. After coming to the US to study, I founded the Free Burma Coalition to support the struggle for democracy in Burma and became a hardworking supporter of Suu Kyi, inspired by her personal courage and the mixed discourse of Buddhist loving-kindness and human rights. But early on I began to suspect that she was an ethnic nationalist and a Buddhist chauvinist, more concerned for her own legacy and the interests of the Bamar majority than she was for human rights and a true democracy for all the peoples of Myanmar. In April 2016, Suu Kyi assumed the position of State Counselor. She quickly morphed into a key actor in the longstanding oppression of Myanmar’s Rohingya people. Since then I have been a fierce critic of my fellow Buddhist dissident, who now acts in a joint partnership with our former common oppressor, Myanmar’s murderous military, the Tatmadaw.

According to statistics from the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM) earlier this year, 898,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled violence in Myanmar currently live in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh. Of them, 686,000 have arrived since August 2017, when the government launched a coordinated military-led campaign of arson, murder, and sexual violence against their communities in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. This assault, according to human rights organization Fortify Rights, was deliberately prepared for months in advance by the Tatmadaw. Many Rohingya, faced with proposals over the last year to repatriate them to the country where for decades they faced systemic discrimination and the deliberate deprivation of basic human rights, have said that they would sooner die in Bangladesh.

Genocide is not simply incidents of mass killings; it is a long process of systematic, intentional destruction of a target group. Suu Kyi, as the leader of the ruling NLD party, controls several government ministries involved in such efforts against the Rohingya, but she has done nothing to protest or attempt to stop her country’s abuse of them. Meanwhile, she has repeatedly and publicly dismissed well-documented reports of the genocidal violence of the Tatmadaw—in one instance referring to systemic sexual violence against Rohingya women and girls as “fake rape.”

Rinpoche, you cite atrocities committed by Western governments past and present and accuse the modern West of hypocrisy for criticizing Suu Kyi. First, the criticisms of Suu Kyi do not only come from the West but also from people all over the world who oppose the kind of brutal oppression the Myanmar state has subjected the Rohingya to. Second, you erase the distinction between Western non-governmental bodies and activists on the one hand and Western governments on the other. By your logic, the Swedish Nobel committee, local bodies like the Oxford City Council, or Suu Kyi’s own alma mater (St. Hugh’s College, Oxford) cannot criticize human rights abuses if the governments of Britain or Sweden have ever committed atrocities (which of course they have). You lump together governments, private bodies, and activists under the simplistic rubric of “the West.” These kinds of generalizations can become fodder for muddled thinking and racism. After all, many of the Western activists and human rights organizations who have criticized Suu Kyi have also spoken out against the violations of Western countries, and continue to do so. They have also confronted the Chinese state for its persecution of Buddhists and embraced efforts to preserve traditional Asian culture and values, such as the Gross National Happiness initiative in Bhutan.

A more sober assessment of global politics would recognize that all cultures have committed atrocities and that many have fallen into the temptations of militarism, racism, and colonialism. You present the “noble tradition” of the East as opposed to the ignoble tradition of the West despite the fact that “our East” has as many murderous and colonizing legacies as “their West.” This way of framing the Rohingya crisis and criticism of Suu Kyi does more to obscure the matters at stake than to clarify them. In setting off West against East, your letter focuses on a clash of civilizations instead of the real problem: a clash of values. The true battle is between those who embrace values of nonviolence, compassion, and justice—which the best traditions of both West and East argue for—and those who put first their race, the defense of their traditions, the accumulation of capital, or other divisive values.

While we sympathize with your criticisms of the hypocrisy, arrogance, and colonial legacy of many Western countries and share your concern for the way that the “capitalist system” is swallowing diverse global cultures, we balk at your emphasis on the Western nature of what is destructive in the world today. The problems we face—growing fascism, violent racism, nationalism, tremendous gaps of wealth between the rich and the poor, the destruction of our shared ecosystem and the destruction of both ethnic and zoological diversity—are now global problems exacerbated by the worldwide embrace of misguided policies that are often championed by those who hold power and wish to cling to it. The current conflict in Myanmar embodies this adoption of destructive policies, in which the fires of ethnic disputes have been stoked in order to consolidate power for the military and business elite.

Toward the end of your letter you say that “nothing I write here denies the suffering of the Rohingya people,” but you argue that instead of blaming Suu Kyi, the British “should be taking responsibility for bringing the Rohingyas from Bengal in the 19th and 20th centuries as cheap labour” and suggest that the UK should take in the Rohingya refugees themselves.

Here you are referencing a false narrative, popular in Myanmar, that claims that the Rohingya are not a native ethnicity but rather Muslim Bengali laborers who never went home and who now want to undermine the Burmese Buddhist state. This ahistorical propaganda is used to justify discrimination and violence against them. Suu Kyi has signaled that she accepts this narrative with her refusal to use the name “Rohingya,” a title by which they refer to themselves and that reflects their centuries-old history in the country.

In fact, the Rohingyas’ presence in the region long predates both the arrival of British colonial rule in 1824 and the emergence of Myanmar as a nation-state in 1948; thousands of Rohingya have been living in the western Arakan Kingdom, now Rakhine state, since the 15th century. Aside from the fact that there were no national boundaries as such in the 18th and 19th centuries, in the pre-colonial societies of the time, demographic and geographic fluidity was the norm. Arakan, or Rakhine, the fertile coastal region of the Bay of Bengal, was a multi-ethnic, multi-faith society until Bamar invaders arrived. Their forces destroyed the nearby kingdom in Mrauk-U and then expanded, annexing Arakan in 1785.

Although international attention has focused on the plight of the Rohingya, their persecution is only the most egregious symptom of the interethnic conflict that afflicts Burma, a violence fueled by the Bamar supremacism of the ruling government and the oppression it directs at the Shan, Kachin, Karen, Mon, and other historic peoples of Myanmar. Arguably, the idea of an ethnically pure nation-state is a product of the very colonialism you claim to decry.

“For me,” you write to Suu Kyi toward the end of your letter, “you remain the heroine you truly are. And for many who dare not speak up but who secretly agree, you personify our own #MeToo movement.”

The #MeToo movement arose because powerful persons used their positions to sexually harass and assault women (as well as some men) and then manipulated or threatened them into keeping quiet about it. If anyone in Myanmar personifies the #MeToo movement, it is the Rohingya women and girls whom the Tatmadaw has gang-raped and murdered.

Suu Kyi has publicly stated that these rapes did not occur, making her an enabler of the kind of violence that the #MeToo movement arose to stop, not a victim of it. In this situation, it is Suu Kyi herself who is a powerful abuser aiding other powerful abusers. Moreover, we find your attempt to co-opt the #MeToo movement to be acutely disrespectful of both the Rohingya victims of sexual violence and of all the courageous women who stood up to say “me too” to call sexual abusers to account around the world.

After this quick reference to #MeToo, you then suggest it may be time to seek out “the Westerner’s weak spot” in that “they don’t dare criticize Muslims or Jews for fear of being called Islamophobic or anti-Semitic,” so “perhaps we need to coin new words for anti-Buddhist or anti-Asian bias to evoke their guilt.” Western countries are particularly sensitive to the Holocaust because so many of us were complicit in the deliberate, state-sponsored murder of six million Jews only 70-odd years ago. We are sensitive to Islamophobia both because of the recent warfare between Western governments and historically Islamic ones, and also because of real problems with violent Islamophobia in western countries, such as the mosque shooting in Canada in 2017. There is a great irony in your writing this at a time when the United States government has tried to impose a ban on Muslims entering the country and when heated anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish rhetoric has been normalized.

To close, we would like to call attention to one voice that is almost totally silent in your letter: the Rohingya themselves. Though your letter is really aimed at “Western” critics of Suu Kyi, the chief resistance to the genocide, and the primary critics of Suu Kyi and the Myanmar state, are not Westerners; they are Rohingya activists like Nural Islam, Razia Sultana, Tun Khin, and Nay San Lwin, to name a few, as well as groups like The Free Rohingya Coalition and Arakan Rohingya National Organization. Many of these Rohingya have been fighting for the last four decades against their impoverishment and oppression at the hands of the Myanmar state, and no one was more pleased by the revocation of Suu Kyi’s awards for human rights activism than they.

While there is always room for criticizing specific policies of a specific Western country or institution, when you paint matters with as broad as a brush as your letter does, opportunities for grappling with injustices in the real world are replaced by harmful meta-narratives that, to our mind, simply stoke the fires of conflict and division. It would be more fruitful for those opposed to colonialism, racism, violence, and injustice around the world to work together rather than to close ranks against each other. Your claim that Western institutions are guilty of colonial violence, both gross and subtle, is true. So is the claim that the Myanmar state and Aung San Suu Kyi are guilty of genocidal violence. Instead of putting these truths in opposition to each other, why not join hands to fight against injustice everywhere? Why not recognize greed, hatred, and delusion wherever they rear their ugly heads and create an international coalition of generosity, love, and clarity?

With goodwill,

Maung Zarni and Matthew Gindin
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:36 pm

There Are Risks to Mindfulness at Work
by David Brendel
Harvard Business Review
February 11, 2015

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Mindfulness is close to taking on cult status in the business world. But as with any rapidly growing movement—regardless of its potential benefits—there is good reason here for caution.

Championed for many years by pioneering researchers such as Ellen Langer and Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness is a mental orientation and set of strategies for focusing one’s mind on here-and-now experiences, such as abdominal muscle movements during respiration or chirping of birds outside one’s window. It is rooted in ancient Eastern philosophies, such as Taoism and Buddhism. Contemporary empirical research demonstrates its benefits for reducing anxiety and mental stress. A recent study suggested that it might cut the risk of stroke and heart attack as well.

Mindful meditation and other related practices are now widely accepted. The New Republic published an article entitled “How 2014 Became the Year of Mindfulness.” Mindfulness has recently been featured on CBS’ 60 Minutes, and lauded by the Huffington Post. Dan Harris, a well-known ABC News correspondent, published a best-selling book called Ten Percent Happier, which describes his journey to discovering mindful meditation as optimal management for his very publicly shared anxiety disorder. There is increasing interest in how mindfulness can be applied in clinical medicine and psychology, and even large insurance companies are beginning to consider providing coverage for mindfulness strategies for certain patients.

As an executive coach and physician, I often sing the praises of mindfulness approaches and recommend them to clients to manage stress, avoid burnout, enhance leadership capacity, and steady their minds when in the midst of making important business decisions, career transitions, and personal life changes. Drawing on concepts of Eastern philosophies and research evidence from contemporary neuroscience, I help some clients to employ controlled breathing and similar strategies in our sessions and in their everyday lives. In addition, I refer many clients to trusted colleagues who teach them yoga and mindful meditation in greater depth than I can provide in my coaching sessions.

But my growing knowledge of (and enthusiasm for) mindfulness is now tempered by a concern about its potential excesses, as well as the risk that it’s crowding out other equally important models and strategies for managing stress, achieving peak performance, and reaching professional and personal fulfillment. At times, it appears that we are witnessing the development of a “cult of mindfulness” that, if not appropriately recognized and moderated, may result in an unfortunate backlash against it. Here are a couple of my concerns:

The avoidance risk. Some people use mindfulness strategies to avoid critical thinking tasks. I’ve worked with clients who, instead of rationally thinking through a career challenge or ethical dilemma, prefer to disconnect from their challenges and retreat into a meditative mindset. The issue here is that some problems require more thinking, not less. Sometimes stress is a signal that we need to consider our circumstances through greater self-reflective thought, not a “mindful” retreat to focused breathing or other immediate sensory experiences. Mindfulness strategies can prime the mind for sounder rational thinking—but the former clearly should not displace the latter. One of my clients spent so much time meditating and “mindfully” accepting her life “on its own terms” that she failed to confront underperforming workers (and discipline or fire the worst offenders) in her company. After periods of meditating, she struggled to return to focused, task-oriented thinking. She required significant reminders and reassurance from me that embracing Buddhist meditation does not entail tolerating substandard performance from her employees. Mindful meditation should always be used in the service of enhancing, not displacing, people’s rational and analytical thought processes about their careers and personal lives.

The groupthink risk. As mindfulness practices enter mainstream American life, some organizations and companies are admirably encouraging their people to make use of them in the workplace. But I’m aware of situations where this new orientation has gone too far. In one case, the director of a business unit in a financial services corporation required his direct reports to participate several times per week in a 10-15 minute mindfulness session involving controlled breathing and guided imagery. Many participants came to dread the exercise. Some of them felt extremely awkward and uncomfortable, believing that mindfulness practices should be done in private. The very exercise that was supposed to reduce their work-related stress actually had increased it. The practice continued for weeks until several members of the group finally gathered the courage to tell the group leader that they would strongly prefer the daily exercises be optional, with impunity for non-participants. Mindfulness is rooted in a philosophy and psychology of self-efficacy and proactive self-care. Imposing it on people in a top-down manner degrades the practice and the people who might benefit from using it of their own volition.

There is no denying that mindfulness has emerged as a major cultural phenomenon on the contemporary American scene and in the business world in particular. That can be good news for people dealing with stress, burnout, and other realities of the modern workplace. But mindfulness practices need to be incorporated as one among many self-chosen strategies for people aiming to cope with stress, think effectively, make sound decisions, and achieve fulfillment. Mindfulness practices should be used to enhance our rational and ethical thinking processes, not limit or displace them. And mindfulness practices should never be imposed on other people, especially in the workplace. At its very core, mindfulness culture will be a huge step forward for Western cultures if it stays focused on creating opportunities for individuals to discover their own personalized strategies for taming anxieties, managing stress, optimizing work performance, and reaching genuine happiness and fulfillment.

David Brendel, MD, PhD is an executive coach, leadership development specialist, and psychiatrist based in Boston. He is founder and director of Leading Minds Executive Coaching, LLC. He is also co-founder of Strategy of Mind, LLC. Follow him on Twitter @DrDavidBrendel and on LinkedIn.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:50 pm

The Little-Known Downsides of Mindfulness Practice: Some potentially serious pitfalls
by Utpal Dholakia Ph.D.
Apr 27, 2016

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banho de chuva by Gustavo Perez Flickr Licensed Under CC BY 2.0
Source: banho de chuva by Gustavo Perez Flickr Licensed Under CC BY 2.0


As I pointed out recently, mindfulness practice has entered the mainstream of western culture to such an extent that 2014 was proclaimed as “The Year of Mindfulness” by the New Republic, and futurists see “mindful living” as a top trend that will influence consumers in the years to come.

Most readers may know this already, but here’s a quick refresher. Mindfulness practice refers to a set of activities and exercises that concentrate an individual’s mind on experiencing the present moment and excluding the stream of diverse thoughts and mind-wandering that happens normally. Mindfulness practice usually involves some form of meditation, with or without a spiritual locus. Its goal is to create and maintain a nonjudgmental and nonreactive state of awareness.

To capture and keep one’s concentration in the present, the practitioner continuously focuses on a single concept for a period of time ranging from a few minutes to hours. During the practice, he may pay attention to his own breathing, counting breaths, monitoring and regulating each cycle of inhalation and exhalation. Alternatively, she may listen to a soothing, mellifluous sound or recite a chant, over and over, maintaining complete attention on the chosen stimulus, and bringing it back each time it drifts.

Research about the benefits of mindfulness practice has grown in tandem with its popularity in the mainstream culture. Thousands of studies, most of them conducted over the past decade, have associated the practice of mindfulness with a variety of substantial health benefits. Through this research, mindfulness practice is credited with numerous forms of psychological and physiological benefits, including long-term reductions in anxiety and depression, pain reduction, anger management, curbing addictions, and emotional well-being.

But as I pointed out in my recent blog post, these benefits don’t seem to have translated into society-level benefits. On the contrary, data about various social phenomena consistently indicate that on the whole, we are behaving more mindlessly (and often with serious negative consequences) than we used to.

I want to continue critiquing the unalloyed positive spin employed in most discussions of mindfulness practice. In this blog post, I want to focus on emerging academic research that points to potentially negative consequences of practicing mindfulness. I want to mention one important caveat first: I personally value and occasionally try to practice mindfulness myself. Nevertheless, I do feel that the scholarly and popular media discussions of mindfulness tend to be far too unbalanced. Negative findings in research studies and potential detriments of mindfulness are often swept under the rug.

So let’s shine the spotlight on these findings here, so as to have a balanced understanding of the pros and cons of practicing mindfulness.

Forming False Memories

In one recent study published in Psychological Science, the author team led by psychologist Brent Wilson found that after just one 15-minute mindfulness induction involving a guided breathing exercise, participants were more likely to form false memories compared to control participants who engaged in mind-wandering. The authors concluded that:

“When meditators embrace judgment-free awareness and acceptance, their reality-monitoring accuracy may be impaired, increasing their susceptibility to false memories.”

They called the formation of fake memories “a potential unintended consequence of mindfulness meditation in which memories become less reliable.” While the studies in the journal article were limited to rather innocuous tasks, we can only imagine the grim possibility of regular mindfulness practitioners forming entirely fictitious realities (and even past histories) for themselves which they then carry into the future, doing god knows what harm to themselves and others.

Discarding Positive Thoughts

Many variations of mindfulness practice involve putting down mental baggage by separating ourselves from our thoughts, and then discarding thoughts that are seen as negative or harmful. But what if the same thing is done for positive thoughts? In another Psychological Science paper, an author team led by Pablo Briñol found that when participants physically discarded a representation of their thoughts such as by writing them down on a piece of paper and then tossing it in the trash, they tended to use them less in their decision making afterwards, mentally discarding them as well. Relevant to us, the authors found that positive thoughts also seemed to be discarded mentally just like negative ones. In their paper, the authors cautioned:

“This finding suggests that techniques involved in some mindfulness treatments can backfire—at least for some people and for some situations, particularly those in which positive thoughts are present.”


Much as we would like to see the world and our thoughts and memories in black-and-white terms and selectively discard negative thoughts whilst keeping positive ones, such a thing is very hard to do. As we try to cull our negative baggage and get rid of it with mindfulness practice, we may find we have left behind some precious and strengthening baggage with it.

Avoiding Difficult Thinking Activities

By its definition and based on its Buddhist and Vedantic origins, the practice of mindfulness encourages detachment. A core aspect of practicing mindfulness is to attempt a withdrawal from the streams of thought that have to do with current challenges of every form, whether they have to do with difficulties with a particular relationship or the tasks that one has to perform on that day. Unfortunately, such a withdrawal supports our natural, hard-wired tendency to be “cognitive misers” leading mindfulness practitioners to use the practice as a means of escape from having to think about difficult problems and arrive at reasonable solutions. Psychiatrist David Brendel summarizes this danger of mindfulness practice as follows:

“Some people use mindfulness strategies to avoid critical thinking tasks. I’ve worked with clients who, instead of rationally thinking through a career challenge or ethical dilemma, prefer to disconnect from their challenges and retreat into a meditative mindset.”


Adverse Side Effects

In a 2009 paper in Advances in Mind-Body medicine, the author team led by psychologist Kathleen Lustyk provided an in-depth (and to me, astonishing) review of mindfulness practice studies that reported adverse side effects to participants. There is a whole laundry list of psychological and physical effects in the paper.

These included reports of depersonalization (feeling detached from one’s mental processes or body), psychosis (loss of contact with reality) with delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech, feelings of anxiety, an increased risk of seizures, loss of appetite, and insomnia. The authors especially cautioned vulnerable people such as those with PTSD to be particularly careful when undertaking mindfulness practice. Their main point was that participants should be screened carefully for their suitability before undertaking this practice, and its teachers should be properly trained and supervised.




While the paper focused on best practices in conducting mindfulness research, I feel that their advice applies to any of us wanting to practice mindfulness regularly. As psychologists Miguel Farias and Catherine Wilkolm point out:

“Buddhist meditation was designed not to make us happier, but to radically change our sense of self and perception of the world. Given this, it is perhaps not surprising that some will experience negative effects such as dissociation, anxiety and depression. However, like the small print on medication, these “side-effects” in some individuals are not what the creators of this pill are concerned with promoting.” Other experts have come to similar conclusions.


Does all of this mean I am going to abandon my own interest in mindfulness? Of course not! But it does mean that I am going to adopt a more skeptical stance and pay attention to both positive and negative outcomes of mindfulness practice.

I teach marketing and pricing to MBA students at Rice University. You can find more information about me on my website or follow me on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter @ud.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:18 am

Unity of opposites
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/11/19

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The unity of opposites is the central category of dialectics, said to be related to the notion of non-duality in a deep sense.[1] It defines a situation in which the existence or identity of a thing (or situation) depends on the co-existence of at least two conditions which are opposite to each other, yet dependent on each other and presupposing each other, within a field of tension.

Ancient philosophy

First suggested by Heraclitus (c. 535 – c. 475 BC), a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, philosophers had for some time been contemplating the notion of opposites. Anaximander posited that every element was an opposite, or connected to an opposite (water is cold, fire is hot). Thus, the material world was composed by some indefinite, boundless apeiron from which arose the elements (earth, air, fire, water) and pairs of opposites (hot/cold, wet/dry). There was, according to Anaximander, a continual war of opposites.

Anaximenes of Miletus, a student and successor of Anaximander, replaced this indefinite, boundless arche with air, a known element with neutral properties. According to Anaximenes, there was not so much a war of opposites, as a continuum of change.

Heraclitus, however, did not accept the milesian monism and replaced their underlying material arche with a single, divine law of the universe, which he called Logos. The universe of Heraclitus is in constant change, but also remaining the same. That is to say, an object moves from point A to point B, thus creating a change, but the underlying law remains the same. Thus, a unity of opposites is present in the universe as difference and sameness. This is a rather broad example though. For a more detailed example we may turn to an aphorism of Heraclitus:

The road up and the road down are the same thing. (Hippolytus, Refutations 9.10.3)


This is an example of a compresent unity of opposites. For, at the same time, this slanted road has the opposite qualities of ascent and descent. According to Heraclitus, everything is in constant flux, and every changing object co-instantiates at least one pair of opposites (though not necessarily simultaneously) and every pair of opposites is co-instantiated in at least one object.

Heraclitus also uses the succession of opposites as a base for change:

Cold things grow hot, a hot thing cold, a moist thing withers, a parched thing is wetted. (DK B126)


As a single object persists through opposite properties, this object undergoes change.

Modern philosophy

Dialecticians claim that unity or identity of opposites can exist in reality or in thought. If the opposites were completely balanced, the result would be stasis, but often it is implied that one of the pairs of opposites is larger, stronger or more powerful than the other, such that over time, one of the opposed conditions prevails over the other. Yet rather than 'stasis' the identity of opposites, there being unity within their duality, is taken to be the instance of their very manifestation, the unity between them being the essential principle of making any particular opposite in question extant as either opposing force. For example 'upward' cannot exist unless there is a 'downward', they are opposites but they co-substantiate one another, their unity is that either one exists because the opposite is necessary for the existence of the other, one manifests immediately with the other. Hot would not be hot without cold, due to there being no contrast by which to define it as 'hot' relative to any other condition, it would not and could not have identity whatsoever if not for its very opposite that makes the necessary prerequisite existence for the opposing condition to be. This is the oneness, unity, principle to the very existence of any opposite. Either one's identity is the contra-posing principle itself, necessitating the other. The criteria for what is opposite is therefore something a priori.

In his criticism of Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel who tried to systematise dialectical understandings thus wrote:

The principles of the metaphysical philosophy gave rise to the belief that, when cognition lapsed into contradictions, it was a mere accidental aberration, due to some subjective mistake in argument and inference. According to Kant, however, thought has a natural tendency to issue in contradictions or antinomies, whenever it seeks to apprehend the infinite. We have in the latter part of the above paragraph referred to the philosophical importance of the antinomies of reason, and shown how the recognition of their existence helped largely to get rid of the rigid dogmatism of the metaphysic of understanding, and to direct attention to the Dialectical movement of thought. But here too Kant, as we must add, never got beyond the negative result that the thing-in-itself is unknowable, and never penetrated to the discovery of what the antinomies really and positively mean. That true and positive meaning of the antinomies is this: that every actual thing involves a coexistence of opposed elements. Consequently to know, or, in other words, to comprehend an object is equivalent to being conscious of it as a concrete unity of opposed determinations. The old metaphysic, as we have already seen, when it studied the objects of which it sought a metaphysical knowledge, went to work by applying categories abstractly and to the exclusion of their opposites.[2]


In his philosophy, Hegel ventured to describe quite a few cases of "unity of opposites", including the concepts of Finite and Infinite, Force and Matter, Identity and Difference, Positive and Negative, Form and Content, Chance and Necessity, Cause and effect, Freedom and Necessity, Subjectivity and Objectivity, Means and Ends, Subject and Object, and Abstract and Concrete. It is also considered to be integral to Marxist philosophy of nature and is discussed in Friedrich Engels' Dialectics of Nature.

Coincidentia oppositorum

Coincidentia oppositorum is a Latin phrase meaning coincidence of opposites. It is a neoplatonic term attributed to 15th century German polymath Nicholas of Cusa in his essay, De Docta Ignorantia (1440). Mircea Eliade, a 20th-century historian of religion, used the term extensively in his essays about myth and ritual, describing the coincidentia oppositorum as "the mythical pattern". Psychiatrist Carl Jung, the philosopher and Islamic Studies professor Henry Corbin as well as Jewish philosophers Gershom Scholem and Abraham Joshua Heschel also used the term. In alchemy, coincidentia oppositorum is a synonym for coniunctio. For example, Michael Maier stresses that the union of opposites is the aim of the alchemical work. Or, according to Paracelsus' pupil, Gerhard Dorn, the highest grade of the alchemical coniunctio consisted in the union of the total man with the unus mundus ("one world").

The term is also used in describing a revelation of the oneness of things previously believed to be different. Such insight into the unity of things is a kind of transcendence, and is found in various mystical traditions. The idea occurs in the traditions of Tantric Hinduism and Buddhism, in German mysticism, Taoism, Zen and Sufism, among others.

References

1. "The Unity of Opposites: A Dialectical Principle (PDF)", V.T.JMcGill and W.T. Parry, Science & Society, vol. 12 no. 4 (Fall 1948), pp.418-444]
2. Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences (1830) Part One IV. Second Attitude of Thought to Objectivity TWO. THE CRITICAL PHILOSOPHY §48

External links

S.M. Cohen, "Heraclitus on Change and Unity of Opposites"
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:29 pm

Can You Resign from the Board of a Troubled Company?
by David A. Katz and Laura A. McIntosh
http://clsbluesky.law.columbia.edu/2013 ... d-company/
May 23, 2013

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The following post comes to us from David A. Katz, a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and Laura A. McIntosh, a consulting attorney for the firm. The views expressed are the authors’ and do not necessarily represent the views of the partners of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz or the firm as a whole. This article is also being published today in the New York Law Journal.

Two recent Delaware cases involving independent directors of corporations with foreign operations provide a powerful reminder that resigning from the board of directors of a troubled company may not be a simple matter. In both cases, Delaware chancery court judges denied the director defendants’ motions to dismiss; if the allegations—primarily, that the directors of each company breached their duty of oversight—are proven at trial, the directors potentially could face personal liability. While nothing about these recent cases indicates a radical change in Delaware law, and while the standards for proving such a claim remain very high, both decisions offer important observations about the Delaware courts’ expectations of directors.

These cases provide an opportunity for directors to consider how they might react if they discovered corporate malfeasance and how they might handle fundamental, irresolvable concerns or disagreements (whether with management or other directors) that may arise while serving as a director. Ideally, a director should think through these and related issues prior to accepting a director position in a public or private corporation. Once a member of the board, a director must consider how to address such unfortunate circumstances if they do arise, including whether to resign as a director and, if so, how. These are not easy matters, and the answers largely will be determined by the individual facts and circumstances of the particular situation. Though the recent Delaware cases involve foreign corporations and allege rather egregious corporate misconduct, they are a useful starting point to consider directors’ legal and ethical duties in this context.

The Delaware Cases

The cases, In re Puda Coal Stockholders’ Litigation[1] and Rich v. Chong,[2] involve allegations that the independent directors of Puda Coal and Fuqi International, respectively, breached their fiduciary duty of loyalty—in particular, the duty of Delaware directors to exercise reasonable oversight over the corporation and its activities.[3] The standard for breach of this duty was established by the landmark 1996 Delaware Chancery Court decision in Caremark International Inc. Derivative Litigation, which held that only “sustained or systematic failure of the board to exercise oversight—such as an utter failure to attempt to assure a reasonable information and reporting system exists—will establish the lack of good faith that is a necessary condition to liability.”[4] Caremark sets a very high standard for plaintiffs who allege and hope to prove that director inattention resulted in economic loss or other corporate liability. For purposes of surviving a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, however, a complaint need only state a claim upon which relief can be granted, assuming all the facts in the pleadings to be true. In both Puda Coal and Rich v. Chong, the courts found that the plaintiffs did meet this lower standard to survive the motion to dismiss.[5]

The facts in these two cases are colorful and extreme. Puda Coal is a Delaware company created through a reverse merger with a Chinese company that had its primary assets and operations in China. The plaintiffs alleged that the company’s chief executive officer, who was also the chairman of the board, stole the assets of the company through a series of unauthorized transfers. The theft went unnoticed by the independent directors for 18 months until it was called to their attention by a third party. The independent directors, who constituted a majority of the board, attempted to pursue a lawsuit, but after being “stonewalled” in their investigation resigned from the board. Chancellor Leo E. Strine Jr., in his bench denial of the independent directors’ motion to dismiss, was particularly critical of the independent directors for resigning at that point, effectively leaving Puda Coal “under the sole dominion of a person [the CEO/chairman] they believe has pervasively breached his fiduciary duty of loyalty,” rather than causing the company to join the plaintiffs’ lawsuit.[6] Chancellor Strine opined that it might well be a breach of fiduciary duty on the part of the directors to simply resign upon discovering a flagrant crime by a corporate insider.[7]

Fuqi International, the company at issue in Rich v. Chong, is a Delaware company whose sole asset is stock of a Chinese jewelry company. Fuqi completed a U.S. public offering in 2009, but the next year it revealed problems with its 2009 financial statements, and in 2011 auditors uncovered the transfer—apparently unbeknownst to the board—of $130 million in cash out of the company during 2009 and 2010 to third parties located in China.[8] A stockholder suit in 2010 prompted the audit committee of the board to investigate, but the investigation was abandoned in 2012 due to management’s failure to pay the fees incurred by the audit company’s advisors. Fuqi also failed to hold annual stockholder meetings for several years, despite a 2012 court order to do so upon petition from a stockholder. Subsequently, the independent directors of the company resigned. Vice Chancellor Glasscock suggested that, if the facts alleged in the complaint were true, the directors had ignored numerous red flags indicating seriously inadequate internal controls, and moreover, that the resignation of the independent directors may have constituted an abdication of their duties.[9] He pointed out that in such case the protections of the business judgment rule do not apply.[10] Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III emphasized that “the conscious failure to act, in the face of a known duty, is a breach of the duty of loyalty.”[11]

In Puda Coal, Chancellor Strine expressed concern that Delaware appears to have been used as a place to incorporate shell entities with ineffective directors acting as enablers of corporate malfeasance.[12] Though it remains to be seen how these cases will ultimately play out as litigation continues, the dicta thus far should make independent directors of public companies think hard about whether they are fulfilling their fiduciary duties in an active, engaged manner and how they would handle situations involving corporate mismanagement, a fractured board or other fundamental crises of oversight and governance.

Duty to be Active

Chancellor Strine emphasized in Puda Coal that Delaware requires active, engaged directorship. Recognizing that directors of companies with foreign operations may have a difficult task, he outlined at length some basic obligations, many of which could apply to all directors of public companies.

[I]f you’re going to have a company domiciled for purposes of its relations with its investors in Delaware and the assets and operations of that company are situated in China … in order for you to meet your obligation of good faith, you better have your physical body in China an awful lot. You better have in place a system of controls to make sure that you know that you actually own the assets. You better have the language skills to navigate the environment in which the company is operating. You better have retained accountants and lawyers who are fit to the task of maintaining a system of controls over a public company…. Independent directors who step into these situations involving essentially the fiduciary oversight of assets in other parts of the world have a duty not to be dummy directors…. [Y]ou’re not going to be able to sit in your home in the U.S. and do a conference call four times a year and discharge your duty of loyalty. That won’t cut it…. You have a duty to think.[13]

Chancellor Strine cautioned against accepting a board seat at a company in an industry or having operations, a language or a culture that a potential director may not fully understand.[14] Potentially, this creates a high bar for individuals who are considering becoming directors of offshore entities.

In order to avoid the kind of failure of directorship described in the alleged facts of Puda Coal and Rich v. Chong, potential directors should think carefully before they accept a board nomination. Appropriate due diligence by the potential director is paramount. The potential director should feel confident that he or she has a reasonable understanding of the company’s business and operations, how it generates revenue, how its industry operates, and the legal and ethical environments in which it conducts business. Furthermore, as highlighted by these cases, potential directors would be wise to consider as well whether there are any signs of trouble in the company’s recent past or potential problems in the near future. They should review the background of the company’s management and, if they exist, control shareholders. Potential directors can review press and analyst reports on the company, company financial statements, organizational documents, and directors’ and officers’ insurance policies. Potential directors may wish to speak with current or former directors to get a sense for whether the board is functioning in an effective, collegial fashion and how management responds to concerns raised by the board. A potential independent director should meet with the independent chairman and/or lead director and be confident that he or she leads the board with professionalism and integrity. The potential director should also meet with the audit committee chair and the independent auditor to discuss the company’s financial statements and the company’s approach to its financial reporting obligations. If any directors have unexpectedly left the board in recent years, potential director candidates should inquire as to the circumstances prompting their resignations. In the two cases discussed above, management was unresponsive to directors’ concerns when the alleged malfeasance finally came to light; their inability to effectively investigate or obtain answers from top executives led the independent directors ultimately to resign.

Potential directors should also consider the options that will be available in a crisis situation.[15] For example, they should be aware of anything unusual in the company’s policies and procedures regarding director resignations, including any limitations in the company charter and/or bylaws. Director candidates may wish to inquire as to whether they are entitled to consult independent legal counsel or other advisors at the company’s expense, including for advice as to resignation and director’s duties, obligations and responsibilities. Moreover, director candidates should consider whether they are or could become dependent on the income from the directorship, to the point that the directors’ fees potentially could compromise their independence in decision-making.

Considering Resignation

When an independent director begins to feel that there is a fundamental divide, either between the director and the rest of the board, or between the nonexecutive directors and management, he or she must think carefully about what his or her duties as a director require. If there is no reason to believe that anything illegal or unethical is happening, but rather that the differences stem from an essential disagreement on the strategy or future of the company, the director should consider whether he or she can be an effective voice on the board or if he or she no longer is serving the interests of shareholders by being a dissenting board member. While healthy dissent and discussion are essential to the functioning of an effective board, fundamental and consistent disagreement may be only frustrating and disruptive to all parties.[16] If—perhaps with the advice of counsel—the director in such circumstances concludes that it is in the company’s best interests for him to resign, it is likely that the director can and should do so amicably. Even in this context though, the director should obtain independent advice as to whether he or she has any obligation to make public disclosure of the circumstances involving his or her departure from the board.[17]

Once an independent director suspects or becomes aware of corporate malfeasance, the director’s duties, obligations and responsibilities may change. As an initial step, the director should attempt to take reasonable steps to stop any ongoing legal or ethical violations. The director should consider engaging the board in discussions with attorneys and accountants to uncover the apparent violations and figure out the steps that need to be taken by the company and the board. Many of these decisions involve legal judgments, and the directors should be able to rely on the expertise of independent counsel in making any such determinations. The directors should also take steps to provide that the board’s discoveries and actions are accurately and appropriately recorded in the board minutes.[18] If possible without exacerbating controversy, the director should try to have his or her concerns recorded consistently as the matter unfolds, to avoid any appearance or perception that the individual director, the independent directors, or the board as a whole, as applicable, might have acted inappropriately once the issue was discovered.

When a director’s attempts to investigate an apparent problem are met with stonewalling by management or other directors, or when a director’s efforts to cause the board to take action are met with intractable resistance, the director is likely to consider resignation as he or she likely will believe that his or her ability to effect change has been compromised. In such circumstances, the director should seek independent counsel experienced with board and governance matters and the applicable legal requirements; after all, as one commentator put it, “the danger of being perceived by regulators, the SEC, or a jury as one who has been drawn into wrongdoing can escalate very quickly.”[19] This is particularly true not only because a director bears responsibility for his or her own actions and those of the board until his or her resignation takes effect, but also because “it will be unusual for a resigning director not to have accrued a degree of potential culpability for the issues(s) that eventually led to resignation since these types of matters often have a long fuse but tend to start in an anodyne way.”[20] A resigning director should submit a written statement to the chairman of the board for circulation to the board and possibly to shareholders as well. When a director resigns in protest, any resignation letter to the company is required to be filed as an exhibit to the company’s Form 8-K announcing the resignation.[21]

A director faced with intractable corporate malfeasance must consider whether a noisy resignation will harm the company more than it helps. Resigning noisily is a way of calling public attention to the company’s problems—which may indeed be an effective way to bring the malfeasors to account for their actions—but also can harm the company and its various constituencies in the short- and long-term. Moreover, having resigned, the director no longer has any power to determine whether the illegal or unethical activity has in fact ceased, or to help the company recover from the effects of the purported malfeasance. The loss of a strong voice can weaken the remaining independent directors and even undermine the board’s efforts to investigate and remedy the wrongdoing. Unfortunately (from the director’s perspective), under certain circumstances, the director may have a duty to stay on the board for his or her full term if doing so may help minimize harm to the company and attendant losses to shareholders.

In both of the cases discussed above, the Delaware Chancery Court was critical of the independent directors’ decision to resign. Chancellor Strine observed: “[T]here are some circumstances in which running away does not immunize you. It in fact involves breach of duty…. If these directors are going to eventually testify that at the time that they quit they believed that the chief executive officer of the company had stolen the assets out from under the company, and they did not cause the company to … do anything, but they simply quit, I’m not sure that that’s a decision that itself is not a breach of fiduciary duty.”[22] Similarly, Vice Chancellor Glasscock commented in a footnote in Rich v. Chong, “It may be that some of the former independent directors … attempted to fulfill their duties in good faith…. Nonetheless, even though [two of them] purported to resign in protest against mismanagement, those directors could still conceivably be liable to the stockholders for breach of fiduciary duty…. I do not prejudge the independent directors before evidence has been presented, but neither are those directors automatically exonerated because of their resignations.”[23] Both decisions found it “troubling that independent directors would abandon a troubled company to the sole control of those who have harmed the company.”[24]

In the wake of Puda Coal and Rich v. Chong, it has been suggested that a director who discovers corporate malfeasance and cannot get management to respond has a duty to sue the company on behalf of the shareholders.[25] However, a suit by a director against management or other board members of a rogue company is guaranteed to be expensive and unpleasant and is likely not covered by directors’ and officers’ insurance.[26] Another option proposed by one commentator is that a director in that situation may support legal action taken by a plaintiffs’ law firm.[27] Indeed, Chancellor Strine suggested near the end of his bench ruling that the stockholder plaintiffs and former-director defendants might actually have a commonality of interest as against the other defendants in the case and justice might be better served by joining together to bring the true malfeasors to account.[28]

In our view, it is unlikely that a litigation-related option will be the best choice for most directors, even those faced with corporate misconduct and intractable management. That said, directors in that unfortunate situation will have to consider carefully the individual circumstances and available options. Directors who have conscientiously fulfilled their duties at all times of their directorship—including with respect to the circumstances of their resignation, if they do resign—will have the benefit of the protections of the business judgment rule. Directors who prioritize their fiduciary duties to the stockholders and their personal integrity will, with the assistance of experienced legal counsel, find a path through any corporate crisis. In addition, sufficient diligence prior to accepting a directorship may permit a director to avoid the problem in its entirety.[29]

_______________

Notes:

[1] C.A. No. 6476-CS (Del. Ch. Feb. 6, 2013) (bench ruling) available at http://www.davispolk.com/files/uploads/ ... Ruling.pdf.

[2] C.A. No. 7616-VCG (Del. Ch. April 25, 2013) available at courts.delaware.gov/opinions/download.aspx?ID=188510.

[3] That the duty of oversight falls under the rubric of the duty of loyalty was clarified in Stone v. Ritter, 911 A.2d 362 (Del. 2006).

[4] In re Caremark Int’l Inc. Deriv. Litig., 698 A.2d at 959, 971 (Del. Ch. 1996).

[5] Rich v. Chong, C.A. No. 7616-VCG at 3; Puda Coal, C.A. No. 6476-CS at 22 (transcript).

[6] Puda Coal, C.A. No. 6476-CS at 16 (transcript).

[7] Id. at 23 (transcript).

[8] The facts are summarized at pages 2-3 and 38-40 of the Rich opinion.

[9] Rich v. Chong, C.A. No. 7616-VCG at 38, 29-30.

[10] The court noted that “the business judgment rule ‘has no role where directors have either abdicated their functions, or absent a conscious decision, failed to act.’” Rich v. Chong, C.A. No. 7616-VCG at 29 (citing Aronson v. Lewis, 472 A.2d 805 (Del. 1984) at 811-13).

[11] Rich v. Chong, C.A. No. 7616-VCG at 40.

[12] Puda Coal, C.A. No. 6476-CS at 20 (transcript) (“[T]his is a troubling thing for Delaware, and this court has taken very seriously this – the use of Delaware entities…. I take very seriously our integrity.”).

[13] Id. at 17-18, 21-22 (transcript).

[14] Id. at 22 (transcript).

[15] See ACCA, “Discussion Paper: Resigning From a Board: Guidance for Directors,” Dec. 2008 (“ACCA Discussion Paper”), available at http://www.accaglobal.com/content/dam/a ... tp_rfb.pdf. It is a useful resource despite being written for U.K. company directors.

[16] ACCA Discussion Paper, supra note 15, at 14.

[17] Form 8-K has specific requirements for reporting director resignations and disagreements. For a useful monograph on these requirements, see Broc Romanek, “TheCorporateCounsel.net’s Director Resignation & Retirement Disclosure Handbook, (2012) available at http://www.thecorporatecounsel.net/Grea ... nation.pdf (subscription required).

[18] See, e.g., Financial Reporting Council (U.K.), “U.K. Corporate Governance Code,” Provision A.4.3 (Sept. 2012).

[19] ACCA Discussion Paper, supra note 15, at 11 (citing Stephen J. Friedman, “Resigning From the Board,” in Directors & Boards 20/2: 30 (1996)).

[20] ACCA Discussion Paper, supra note 15, at 11.

[21] See Item 5.02(a)(2) of Form 8-K (“If the director has furnished the registrant with any written correspondence concerning the circumstances surrounding his or her resignation, refusal or removal, the registrant shall file a copy of the document as an exhibit to the report on Form 8-K”).

[22] Puda Coal, C.A. No. 6476-CS at 23 (transcript).

[23] Rich v. Chong, C.A. No. 7616-VCG at 31 n.138 (emphasis in original).

[24] Id. at 31 n.138.

[25] See Edward M. McNally, “Should Directors Sue Their Company for its Misdeeds?” Delaware Business Litigation Report, May 8, 2013, available at http://www.delawarebusinesslitigation.com.

[26] See id.

[27] See id.

[28] Puda Coal, C.A. No. 6476-CS at 26 (transcript).

[29] “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Martin Luther King Jr.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:47 pm

The Kalapa Council of Shambhala Steps Down
by The Kalapa Council of Shambhala
July 6, 2018

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


THE KALAPA COUNCIL OF SHAMBHALA

Dear Shambhalians,

In the interest of beginning a healing process for our community, the Kalapa Councillors will step down from our posts.

In this time of groundlessness, there is a wish for more clarity and answers, but the truth is that much is unknown. We recognize that parts of our system are broken, and need to dissolve in order to make room for real change.

It is our desire to exit responsibly. There will be a phased departure so that there is a board in place to uphold the legal and financial responsibilities of the organization. Advisors in transitioning leadership groups are assisting Shambhala in planning how to structure and communicate this progression. We are also reading and listening to all of the feedback that you are sharing. We will share more details soon as we integrate advice and learn more.

Additionally, we want to formally announce several developments that have been confirmed in the last few days.

• The agreement with An Olive Branch has been signed. They will bring their expertise to serve as a neutral party for receiving stories of harm, survivor advocacy and consulting on our policies going forward. An Olive Branch will also personally introduce themselves to you, the Shambhala community, shortly.

• We have engaged Wickwire Holm, a law firm based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to act as the third-party investigator to look into stories of abuse or misconduct involving any teacher or leader in the Shambhala community.

We will offer more details on both of these processes very soon. We are committed to communicating regularly and transparently with the community as new information or updates develop.

Despite this groundless situation, we believe that this community has a path forward from which Shambhala can emerge as a healthier, more supportive, and more inclusive sangha.

Sending heartfelt appreciation to the noble sangha,

The Kalapa Council

Josh Silberstein, Chair
Jane Arthur
David Brown
Wendy Friedman
Jesse Grimes
Mitchell Levy
Adam Lobel
Robert Reichner
Christoph Schönherr
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:03 pm

Brahmajala Sutra (Mahayana)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 2/22/19

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For the Theravada text of the same name, see Brahmajala Sutta (Theravada).

The Brahmajāla Sūtra (traditional Chinese: 梵網經; ; pinyin: Fànwǎng jīng; Japanese pronunciation: Bonmōkyō), also called the Brahma's Net Sutra, is a Mahayana Buddhist Vinaya Sutra. The Chinese translation can be found in the Taishō Tripiṭaka.[1] The Tibetan translation can be found in Peking (Beijing) Kangyur 256.[2] From the Tibetan it was also translated into Mongolian and the Manchu languages. It is known alternatively as the Brahmajāla Bodhisattva Śīla Sūtra (traditional Chinese: 梵網菩薩戒經; ; pinyin: Fàn Wǎng Púsà Jiè Jīng).

The Brahmajāla Sūtra is related to the important Huayan metaphor of Indra's net.

It is not related to the Brahmajala Sutta of the Pāli Canon of Theravada Buddhism.

History

The sutra is traditionally regarded as having been recorded in Sanskrit and then translated into Chinese by Kumārajīva in 406. Several scholars assume that it was composed in East Asia by unknown authors in the mid-5th century, and is apocryphal.[3][4][5][6] The sutra itself claims that it is part of a much longer Sanskrit text, but such a text has never been found.[3] [7] Qu Dacheng (pinyin transliteration) or Wut Tai Shing (Cantonese transliteration)[8] suggests that because the contents of the longer Brahmajala Sutra very much resembled the Avataṃsaka Sutra that was already translated, the translators of the Brahmajala Sutra only translated the key differences.[9] Many scholars and most Mahayana monastics believe the sutra is not apocryphal.[10] Amoghavajra, one of the patriarchs of Shingon Buddhism who was fluent in both Sanskrit and Chinese, stated that the Brahmajala Sutra is a part of the Vajrasekhara Sutra that was not translated into Chinese.[11] Ven. Taixu on his study of the Brahmajala Sutra and the Mahayana Yoga of the Adamantine Sea Mañjuśrī Thousand Arms Thousand Bowls Great King of Tantra noted many similarities between the two and therefore the Brahmajala Sutra must have been translated from Sanskrit.[12] Qu Dacheng states that the Brahmajala Sutra whilst not translated by Kumārajīva is unlikely to be apocryphal. Of special interest, Qu notes some of the Brahmajala Sutra's Ten Bodhisattva Bhūmi matches the Mahāvastu, an early Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Mahayana text never translated into Chinese.[13]

Content

This sutra introduces Vairocana and his relationship to Gautama Buddha. It also states ten major precepts for Bodhisattvas (Chinese: 十重戒) and the 48 minor precepts to follow to advance along the bodhisattva path.

The bodhisattva precepts of the Brahmajala Sutra came to be treated in China as a higher ethic a monastic would adopt after ordination in addition to the prātimokṣa vows. In Japan, the ten precepts came to displace monastic rules almost completely starting with Saichō and the rise of the Tendai.[14]

The name of the sutra derives from the vast net that the god Brahma hangs in his palace and how each jewel in the net reflects the light of every other jewel:

At that time, he [Shakyamuni Buddha] contemplated the wonderful Jewel Net hung in Lord Brahma's palace and preached the Brahmajala Sutta for the Great Assembly. He said: "The innumerable worlds in the cosmos are like the eyes of the net. Each and every world is different, its variety infinite. So too are the Dharma Doors (methods of cultivation) taught by the Buddhas.[15]

The sutra is also noteworthy for describing who Vairocana is as personification of the dharma or Dharmakāya:[15]

Now, I, Vairocana Buddha, am sitting atop a lotus pedestal; on a thousand flowers surrounding me are a thousand Sakyamuni Buddhas. Each flower supports a hundred million worlds; in each world a Sakyamuni Buddha appears. All are seated beneath a Bodhi-tree, all simultaneously attain Buddhahood. All these innumerable Buddhas have Vairocana as their original body.[15]

Bodhisattva Precepts

The Brahmajala Sutra has a list of ten major and forty-eight minor rules known as the Bodhisattva Precepts.[16] The Bodhisattva Precepts may be often called the "Brahma Net Precepts" (Chinese: 梵網戒; pinyin: Fànwǎng Jiè), particularly in Buddhist scholarship, although other sets of bodhisattva precepts may be found in other texts as well. Typically, in East Asian Mahayana traditions, only the 10 Major Precepts are considered the Bodhisattva Precepts. According to the sutra, the 10 Major Bodhisattva Precepts are in summary:[17]

1. Not to kill or encourage others to kill.
2. Not to steal or encourage others to steal.
3. Not to engage in licentious acts or encourage others to do so. A monk is expected to abstain from sexual conduct entirely.
4. Not to use false words and speech, or encourage others to do so.
5. Not to trade or sell alcoholic beverages or encourage others to do so.
6. Not to broadcast the misdeeds or faults of the Buddhist assembly, nor encourage others to do so.
7. Not to praise oneself and speak ill of others, or encourage others to do so.
8. Not to be stingy, or encourage others to do so.
9. Not to harbor anger or encourage others to be angry.
10. Not to speak ill of the Buddha, the Dharma or the Sangha (lit. the Triple Jewel) or encourage others to do so.
Breaking any of these precepts is described as a prarajika (Skt. Unforgivable) offence.[18]

References

1. Taisho 1484 is found in Volume 24 of the Taisho Tripitaka."Taishō Shinshū Daizōkyō" 大正新脩大藏經 [Taishō Shinshū Tripitaka]. CBETA 漢文大藏經 (in Chinese). This is an index to the Taisho Tripitaka - nb Volume 24 is listed as the last volume in the 律部 or Vinaya Section. Taisho 1484 or the Brahmajala Sutra is located here.
2. 東京帝國大學法文學部編財團法人齋藤報恩會補助. 西藏大藏經總目錄索引-A Catalogue-Index of The Tibetan Buddhist Canons (Bkah-hgyur and Bstan-bgyur). p. 10,102. on page 10: Chos-kyi rgya-mo, sans-rgyas rnam-par-snan-mdsad-kyis byan-chub-sems-dpahi sems-kyi gnas bsad-pa lehu bcu-pa [Peking (Beijing) Kangyur No.] 256; on page 102: [Peking (Beijing) Kangyur No.] 256 [Taisho] 1484
3. Cho, Eunsu. Fanwang jing in Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism, 2004, Volume One
4. Buswell, Robert Jr. (1990). Chinese Buddhist Apocrypha. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-1253-9., page 8
5. Muller, Charles, Digital Dictionary of Buddhism: 梵網經
6. Swanson, Paul (1998). Apocryphal Texts in Chinese Buddhism. T'ien-t'ai Chih-i's Use of Apocryphal Scriptures" in: Debeek, Arie van; Toorn, Karel van der (1998). Canonization and Decanonization. BRILL. ISBN 90-04-11246-4., page 248
7. Bhikṣuṇī Vinītā (Tseng Vinita) (2010). A Unique Collection of Twenty Sutras in a Sanskrit Manuscript from the Potala Volume I,I. China Tibetology Publishing House and Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. p. xix. "It preserves twelve codices unici, the only extant Sanskrit texts so far; these are sutras no. 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 20. Two sutras among them, no. 4 and 10, have neither Tibetan nor Chinese translations, nor, to the best of my knowledge, any reliable historical record." Although Bhikṣuṇī Vinītā is not talking directly about the Brahmajala Sutra, she makes clear that the surviving extant Buddhist Sanskrit textual record (including surviving extant commentarial references existing in Sanskrit and translated languages) are hardly complete.
8. "List of Academic Staff". 副教授 is translated as Associate Professor
9. Wut Tai Shing or Qu Dacheng(屈大成) (May 2007). 從古文本論《梵網經》之真偽 [Using Ancient Texts to Determine the Authenticity or Apocryphalness of the Brahmajala Sutra] (PDF). 普門學報 (trans. to English: Universal Gate Buddhist Journal) (in Chinese) (39): 18. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 此外,大本《梵網經》的內容架構,跟《華嚴經》十分接近。或是《華嚴經》既已譯出,無必要再大花力氣傳譯一相類似的長篇經典... (trans. to Eng:Moreover, the structure (arrangement) of contents of the unabriged Brahmajala Sutra and the Avataṃsaka Sūtra are very alike. In other words, since the Avataṃsaka Sūtra was already translated, (the translator(s)) felt there was no need to commit huge efforts to translate a long sutra with similar contents.)
10. Shi Yinguang. 印光法師文鈔 [Ven. Shi Yinguang's Works] (PDF) (in Chinese). p. 69. translated summary The Brahmajala Sutra is Buddhavacana
11. Wut Tai Shing or Qu Dacheng(屈大成) (May 2007). 從古文本論《梵網經》之真偽 [Using Ancient Texts to Determine the Authenticity or Apocryphalness of the Brahmajala Sutra] (PDF). 普門學報 (trans. to English: Universal Gate Buddhist Journal) (in Chinese) (39): 18. Retrieved 2018-01-02. 還值得一提的,是不空(七○五-七七四)《金剛頂經大瑜伽祕密心地法門義訣》提到廣本《金剛頂經》沒有傳入中土時,指中土《梵網經》乃撮取廣本中較淺易的修行內容,如是不空認為《梵網經》乃密典《金剛頂經》的一部分...(trans. to English : It is also worth noting that Amoghavajra (705-774) in “Instructions on the Gate to the Teaching of the Secret Heart of Great Yoga of the Adamantine Pinnacle Sutra“ stated at the time when the unabridged version of the Vajrasekhara Sutra was not transmitted to China, the Chinese [translation] of the Brahmajala Sutra absorbed the comparatively simpler [Buddhist] cultivation practices found in the unabridged version [of the Vajrasekhara Sutra] and therefore Amoghavajra supposed the Brahmajala Sutra is one part of the tantric text of the Vajrasekhara Sutra…)
12. Shi Taixu (太虛大師) (2014-11-10). 梵网经与千钵经抉隐 [Revealing [the Connection Between] the Brahmajala Sutra and the Mahayana Yoga of the Adamantine Sea Mañjuśrī Thousand Arms Thousand Bowls Great King of Tantra] (in Chinese). Retrieved 2018-01-02.
13. Wut Tai Shing or Qu Dacheng(屈大成) (May 2007). 從古文本論《梵網經》之真偽 [Using Ancient Texts to Determine the Authenticity or Apocryphalness of the Brahmajala Sutra] (PDF). 普門學報 (trans. to English: Universal Gate Buddhist Journal) (in Chinese) (39): 5,18. Retrieved 2018-01-02. p 5:此外,《梵網經》的十地說有取於《大事》,而《大事》從無漢譯本,也反證《梵網經》非漢人偽作。(trans. to English: Moreover, some of the Ten Bodhisattva Bhūmi found in the Brahmajala Sutra came from the Mahāvastu and the Mahāvastu never had a Chinese translation and proves the Brahmajala Sutra was not an apocryphal sutra composed by a Chinese person.) and p 18:《梵網經》多次用到佛性一詞...這詞的出現,已足證明《梵網經》非羅什所譯,但這不代表《梵網經》是偽經。...又經文所提到的新的說法、法數、譯語等,不見於早期譯典,無從抄襲。因此,《梵網經》乃偽作的可能性甚低。 (trans. to English: The Brahmajala Sutra uses the phrase “Buddha-nature” on multiple occasions…this [usage] is enough to certify that it was not translated by Kumārajīva, but this certainly does not mean The Brahmajala Sutra is apocrypha…Also the contents of the sutra mentions new explications, new numerical discourses, new translation usages, etc., these can't be found in earlier translations and as such there is nowhere to compile from. Therefore the possibility for the Brahmajala Sutra to be an apocryphal sutra is very low.)
14. Keown, Damien (2008). "Fang wang ching", in A Dictionary of Buddhism, Oxford University Press, 3rd ed. ISBN 0192800620, p. 93
15. Sutra Translation Committee of the US and Canada (2000). The Brahma Net Sutra, New York
16. Buswell, Robert Jr; Lopez, Donald S. Jr., eds. (2013). Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (bodhisattvaśīla). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. p. 137. ISBN 9780691157863.
17. Thanh, Minh (2000). "The Brahma Net Sutra". New York: Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
18. "Brahma Net Sutra:Moral Code of the Bodhisattva". Young Men Buddhist Association of America. Translated by Thanh, Minh; Leigh, P.D. Retrieved 2018-07-15.

Further reading

• de Groot, Jan Jakob Maria (1893). Le code du Mahâyâna en Chine; son influence sur la vie monacale et sur le monde laique, Amsterdam: Müller
• Muller, Charles (2012). Exposition of the Sutra of Brahma´s Net, Sŏul-si (Seul): Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. ISBN 9788994117171
• Muller, Charles; Tanaka, Kenneth K., trans. (2017). The Brahma’s Net Sutra, Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai Amerika
• Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada (2000). [1]
• Wut Tai Shing (Cantonese transliteration) or Qu Dacheng (Pinyin transliteration) or 屈大成 (Chinese) (May 2007). [2] 從古文本論《梵網經》之真偽 (in Chinese) (Eng. Trans. of title:Using Ancient Texts to Determine the Authenticity or Apocryphalness of the Brahmajala Sutra), Kaohsiung.
• Wut Tai Shing (Cantonese transliteration) or Qu Dacheng (Pinyin transliteration) or 屈大成 (Chinese) (March 2007). [3] 從古文獻記載論《梵網經》之真偽 (in Chinese) (Eng. Trans. of title:Using Ancient Accounts to Determine the Authenticity or Aprocryphalness of the Brahmajala Sutra), Kaohsiung.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:05 am

The Life and Death of Chogyam Trungpa's Child Sex Slave: Ciel Turzanski [Drukmo Nyima]
by Leslie Hays [Drukmo Dashen]

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Chogyam Trungpa often worked with large groups of participants. Quite early on he realized that it would not always be possible to provide everyone with the tools and the education to do ikebana in all of the dharma art seminars he presented. Moreover, he was trying to work with principles that could apply to many artistic enterprises, not just flower arrangement. So Chogyam Trungpa, together with Ludwig Turzanski, an art professor from the University of Colorado who was instrumental in the development of dharma art, came up with the idea of object arrangements: arranging various ordinary objects as an exercise for students attending his seminars on art and dharma. In this practice, someone chooses an object and places it on a tapletop or piece of paper. This is the heaven element, which represents the vastness of the primary manifestation and gives the arrangement its tone.

-- Chogyam Trungpa: His Life and Vision, by Fabrice Midal


Over the years, Rinpoche was invited to do a number of ikebana or flower-arranging exhibitions. Later, the exhibits evolved into Dharma Art "installations" in which Rinpoche placed extraordinary flower arrangements in rooms that he and his students designed and created. At the end of 1980, he and a group of students had done a major Dharma Art installation at the LAICA (Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art) Gallery. In September, 1981, Rinpoche went to San Francisco for several weeks to give a Dharma Art seminar and to do an installation there.

As with so many other areas, his artistic endeavors drew a large group of students to him, some of them professional artists but many not. A group called the Explorers of the Phenomenal World was formed to explore the principles of Dharma Art and to work on the exhibits and installations. One of the directors of this work, Ludwig Turzanski, was a professor of art at the University of Colorado when we arrived in Boulder. Ludwig and his wife Basia were our close friends from the earliest days in Boulder.

-- Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, by Diana J. Mukpo with Carolyn Rose Gimian


I first met Ciel when she was 16-years old. I didn’t know her well and I viewed her as a bit of a rival. Ciel was the sort of girl who would steal your boyfriend. I didn’t really get to know her well until the summer of 1985, when she was 17 and I was 24, at what was then called rocky mountain dharma center.

In 1984, after his retreat in Mill Village, which John Perks wrote about in his book, Chogyam Trungpa (CT) decided to marry some more women. To his devotees, this decision came directly from the Rigdens, who were these supposed ‘heavenly beings’ who sat around in the clouds above outer Mongolia and directed the actions of the self-proclaimed universal monarch. Apparently they had nothing better to do than watch the sangha and tell his majesty what strategic moves he should make in his efforts to take over the world. At first, the Rigdens said he should take three more wives, so in order of weddings that would have been Karen Lavin, Cynde Greives [Grieve], and Wendy Friedman.

But as time passed they upped the number to five. That’s when I met him. I was number five and I was groomed to be attractive to him by the father of the children I nannied for. During the summer of 1985, after our wedding, CT apparently fell in love with Ciel, and she became number 6. Agnes Au followed about four or five months later, I think, bringing the total number of wives to 7. But just to be on the safe side, they had 250 copies of the marriage licenses made.

I need to say here that Ciel first slept with CT when she was very young, 13 or 14 years old. Of course people will deny this but it is the truth. She told me herself. I doubt anyone out there has the guts to back me up on this, however. Most still want to believe he was omniscient and powerful and not some pervy, rapey asshole who preyed on children. If your daughter was sleeping with the king of the universe at that age, would that be OK? The universal monarch who is in touch with heavenly beings daily decided that he loved Ciel, and it did appear that he loved her very much. He and the rest of them loved her to death.

In fact he made her the “Sangyum Wangmo” meaning the head of the Sangyum. Then she became the Sakyong Wangmo 2. This meant she sat in front of all of us. Previously, we sat in order of weddings, with Karen closest to CT. We occupied the front row of the court section at talks. And CT’s special attention further isolated Ciel from the rest of us. While she might have been able to share with her sister wives certain things, the pressure to be number one in all actions must have been intense. The secrets she held were way too much, in my opinion, for an 18 year old who was handed over to the king of the universe and groomed since birth to marry him. CT was not the only powerful man to reach out to Ciel -- her love affair with Mitchell Levy began when she was 16. WE ALL KNEW -- JESUS CHRIST WE ALL KNEW. Mitchell’s still in charge of a large part of the cult and he’s actively advocating for teaching positions in Europe and beyond, where perhaps he hopes no one knows the truth about his character. All narcissists hate to be ignored.

Ciel married CT on her 18th birthday. I was at the wedding, as were the other wives, and I remember her parents brought Polish caviar and vodka, or maybe it was champagne. Her father made a toast, saying he gave his daughter to CT completely, that he trusted him with all of his heart and soul, and that he was honoured to become part of the family, or something similar. CT toasted him back as his father in law and thanked him for his kindness or generosity or something. (Folks can you imagine?) The wedding was a very big deal that summer. Of course, only people who had attended Assembly were invited to this event. Seating was as always, highly regulated. The Sangyum sat in the front row of the court section, ladies on one side and men on the other. Assembly was the program where he talked about taking over the city of Halifax and the province of Nova Scotia by force, but there would be only limited bloodshed. So it was about the “Kingdom of Shambhala” taking over the world. And don’t forget it was all backed up by the Rigdens.

I think this was a lot of pressure for Ciel, who was the youngest sangyum. She took her seat bravely. Everyone talked about how beautiful she was, and how much CT loved her. Oh, she was elegant and sophisticated and breathtakingly beautiful. Always, when Ciel was mentioned, her beauty was touted, as if she had very little value outside of that.

After Seminary, Ciel and I were sent to Karme Choling to finish our ngondro. CT gave a talk that year, on Shambhala Day, about jumping the gun. His “talk” consisted of very few words, something to the effect of: “You know what you have to do, so do it! Jump the gun.” this was in February or march of 1986. This was a very celebratory day at KCL and of course plenty of sake was served. There were a number of us young people there -- Liz, Kier, Ciel, myself and others -- and after we got properly inebriated, we put on our skates and headed to the small pond in front of KCL for some skating. We enjoyed doing crack the whip, where we all held hands in a line and spun the person on the end out by spinning in a tight circle. But when Ciel was on the end, we whipped her too fast, and she badly broke her leg. This was the year and the very day CT told us we knew what we had to do, so just do it, jump the gun. Ciel suffered with the impacts of that badly broken leg for the rest of her life. Apparently, the doctors in St. Johnsbury Vermont didn’t set it properly, and years later she had to have it rebroken, which didn’t really fix the problem at all and made it worse. Both of these surgeries required strong narcotics, for an extended amount of time.

As you read this, please try to remember that all of this happened over 30 years ago, and my memory isn’t perfect, especially with the exact time line and order of these events. My brain seems to capture and remember events more than timelines. But I think that after Ciel broke her leg she went back to Boulder to be with her parents to heal. When CT died on April 4th, 1987, all the sangyum flew to Halifax. I flew in from Vermont two days before he expired. I remember seeing CT curled up in a fetal position in his hospital bed at the Infirmary in Halifax. I remember crying a lot with the other sangyum. I remember seeing Diana at his bedside. I had written her a letter saying I felt like I fucked up on a cosmic level, because CT had not really wanted to see me towards the end of his life. Diana took me aside and told me she didn’t think I should be so hard on myself. He’d married me, after all. I cried tears of gratitude. CT died around the time Ciel’s plane touched down at the Halifax airport.

Then the funeral was planned. The body was broken and cut and forced into a seated position and put on display in the front sitting room of the court in Halifax. People were scheduled to do mediation shifts with the body, and it was always packed with worshippers. I will never forget the stench of strong Tibetan incense and decay. It was chokingly overwhelming. Mitchell said his heart center stayed warm for three days, but I wasn’t allowed to get close enough to see if this was true.

The funeral would take place at Karme Choling, St. Johnsbury (KCL) and it would be a grand display, with visits from many senior Tibetan teachers arranged by Karl Springer. We chartered a plane and CT’s body occupied first class. Seats were removed to bring him in.
The plane ride is a blur. Some people bought seats who lived in Halifax, but the Sangyum flew for free.

Everyone who was anyone was there at KCL when the body was brought back from the airport. The seven of us sangyum stayed in a rented bed and breakfast fairly close to KCL with a very nice gay couple who hosted us. Tom Rich and his followers rented a large house and named it Shangri-la. Shibata Sensei and Marcia and crew stayed in a smaller rented house. The hotel which later became known as Ashoka Bhavan (or some such) in Vermont was rented and filled to capacity with monks. Diana and her crew stayed at Bhumi Pali Bahvana which was a farm house with a barn that was purchased for her. After CT died, Tagi lived there for a short while. I don’t remember where the current sock yarn stayed, which means I probably wasn’t invited to any parties there. And its possible they bought the hotel for the visit. Eventually it became part of KCL. Dilgo Khentse took over the top floor of Karme Choling, which had previously been the shambhala shrine room. Many of the other rooms on the second floor of KCL were double or triple occupied by his monks. Lot’s of people stayed in tents on the way up to where the body would be burned in the purkhong the second field. Flags were put up, a round the clock sewing crew was established and set up in the KCL barn as all of the banners and flags and skirts that covered the shrines needed to be created. Reams of fabric were purchased. A purkong in which to cremate the remains was built. Every square inch was filled to capacity and beyond. The body was closely guarded in the main shrine room -- salts were changed once or twice daily but they couldn’t mask the stench of decay.

After the funeral, Ciel moved in with the Mukpos in the court in Halifax, under the same roof as Mitchell and Diana. Ciel and Mitchell carried on with their sexual affair there and Ciel and I lost touch for a while. Mitchell was also having sex with a number of other women and girls at the same time. Basically, sex was everywhere, and Ciel was a much prized commodity. But she wasn’t really valued for who she really was, in my opinion.
She used to be a runner, and she would regularly run up Flagstaff mountain. She once met a famous runner there, but I can’t remember which one. She was pretty healthy, I thought. But after she broke her leg, running was too painful -- another loss suffered from being part of the cult.

So Ciel moved with Mitchell and Diana to Hawaii, after they embezzled a couple hundred thousand dollars from the sangha to buy a new court in Halifax. In fact they took the money, didn’t buy a new court in Halifax, sold the old one, and moved to Hawaii in the middle of the night. (Maybe the old one was too stinky for them.) Mitchell, Diana, Ashoka and David moved with Ciel and her BFF at the time to Hawaii. They left Gesar homeless in Halifax. Some claim Diana knew about the affair with Mitchell all along, and some claim when she learned of their long “love affair,” which was really molestation as it began when Ciel was 16, she was shocked and appalled and kicked Ciel out of the court.

Eventually, after Mitchell and Di and the rest moved to providence, RI, Ciel fell in love with a normal man about her same age and social status named Craig. She got a job at Victoria Secret. Like Wendy and other girls in the community, college didn’t hold their interest as much as creating enlightened society. She got a brief breath of the air outside of Shambhala. They married and lived in Maine together, eventually moving to Halifax to live in the basement of her parent’s house. And for a brief moment in time she was happy. Then Craig died of a brain tumor, and she began to unravel. Her doctor prescribed many drugs for her (probably too many) to help with her grief. She began self medicating, drinking too much, and she crept into herself deeper and deeper.


Ciel eventually moved back to Boulder (her parents as well) and we attempted to restart our friendship. She began seeing Fleet Maull. She liked to take her top off and dance in her bra at parties. Fleet and her broke up, and she began seeing Leonard Hortick who had three small girls and was divorced from his first wife due to her substance abuse issues. Eventually, they broke up as well after Ciel went into a neighbor's house and began raging at them, claiming it was her house, or something like that. Whatever happened, it was clear she was losing her grip on reality. The neighbors called the police.

In the final sad chapter, she ended up dating Don Milani, one of Tom Rich’s straight boys. Something happened between them that was related to domestic violence, but I am not sure exactly what. Ciel claimed Don pushed her down the stairs and pulled a knife on her. Don claimed she got to his house and downed an entire bottle of sake and he called 911 on her. Ciel claimed she called 911.

She continued to get lost in her addictions, and called the detective on the case extremely wasted at 2 am one morning. I think at that point the detectives gave up working on the case. And Ciel was outraged. She began calling Don at all hours of the night and day and threatening suicide. Once Don called me, sincerely worried that she was going to follow through with the act. He asked me to phone her parents and have them check on her. So about six weeks or so before Ciel died I phoned Ludwig and told him about the call from Don.

Ludwig was at first pretty pissed off at me for speaking to Don at all, but a few days later he phoned me to tell me I had done the right thing in phoning him. I stressed that it might be important to hospitalize Ciel and help her with her addictions. I got the impression that Ciel was too sacred for this path to possible treatment. And six weeks later she was dead due to an overdose of pills and alcohol.


I was shocked, we all were, and it was a deeply sad time for so many of us. Word quickly spread that Ciel had left a note and that I was in it, along with Denise (Don’s ex wife) Don, and a few others. My understanding was she somehow blamed me for her death. I got a call from Mark Thorpe who told me the family didn’t want me to attend the funeral. I took it in stride and said, “whatever they need to get through this horrible time is ok with me. If it’s too painful for them to see me, of course I won’t attend.”

When her parents discovered her body, she was dressed in the silk pajamas CT gave her. They then phoned Jesse Grimes, who was a paramedic working for Boulder Valley. Jesse responded to the call. Jesse saw the note, Jesse saw the pills, Jesse saw the empty bottle of vodka, Jesse saw the grieving family. And as usual, Jesse kept his mouth shut about it all in favor of whitewashing the real history of this cult for public consumption.

Jesse saw Osel Mukpo treat Ciel like a piece of meat. There was brief talk Osel and Ciel would marry, this was why CT had put her on that huge unattainable pedestal, this was why he had made her Sakyong Wangmo II. Many, including Ciel, believed strongly they would marry, as he wrote poems to her and and acted loving and caring towards her. Then he dumped her like a hot potato. He had his staff refuse her calls (Mark Thorpe and others, you KNOW this, where’s your spine?). Osel refused to see her, he refused to talk with her, and he callously and unceremoniously broke her already repeatedly broken heart.


So look around in this sham of a community. There are people who worship Osel regardless, in spite of, or perhaps BECAUSE OF the way he treats women. But I truly believe it’s not just women he mistreats. If you are a man and you think you’re important to him, fuck off, because like everyone else you are completely disposable and really not worthy of a second thought. This is what happens when you make malignant narcissists cult leaders and give them absolute control and ownership over vulnerable people through brainwashing techniques. This is what happens when you believe some made up (or pilfered from other traditions) visualizations or practices with a sociopath at the center.

I miss Ciel, Kier, and Bill [*] I truly believe if they had gotten help outside of this toxic soup, Bill and Ciel might still be alive today. Hopefully they would find that the air out here is fresher. The stench of decay isn’t so strong, and the people are much, much kinder. They know better than to ask survivors to heal a community or forgive their abusers for the sake of the organization which victimized them in the first place. They aren’t impressed with titles and pomp and circumstance. They’re just real people who don’t believe in fairy tales, generally.

I write this with love, to anyone who is struggling with these issues, seek therapy outside of sham.

_______________

Notes:

*Bill Sheffel, who recently took his own life in Boulder
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:10 am

Requiem For a Cover-Up
by Carol Merchasin
February 5, 2019

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This seems like a good day to share my gratitude, regrets, clarifications, and disappointments with the Wickwire Holms Report.

Gratitude

• I am grateful that the Wickwire Holms report is out and that it has in large part confirmed what seemed all too apparent, that Claimant #1 was sexually assaulted by the Sakyong and also that Claimant #3 was a victim of clergy sexual misconduct and an abuse of power.
• I am grateful that Ms. Bath was able to talk to enough people to see the patterns of misconduct, including alcohol abuse, abuse of power, financial mismanagement, shunning, silencing and shaming. I am also grateful that she identified the possibilities of collusion among those whose loyalty to the Sakyong might sway them to be untruthful.
• I am grateful to Ms. Bath. This is not easy work, this was not an easy project. I have had no doubt about her neutrality from the beginning to the end.
• I am grateful for the opportunity to work with BPS. I came in with a lot of experience in doing investigations but little understanding of working with survivors of sexual trauma. I am grateful for all of those people who taught me what I needed to learn. I have tried to help them validate their claims.

Regrets

• I regret that more of the women who were harmed did not come forward. But Shambhala’s long history of betrayal, silencing and shunning made it very difficult for survivors to want to devote any time and energy to this. I have learned in this past year that these survivors owe us nothing and they will participate when they feel safe enough to do so.
• I regret that the leadership of Shambhala and their lawyers did not understand that to be effective, an investigation has to be neutral and independent in perception as well as reality. I called for an independent monitor for this reason; instead 1) the Sakyong’s lawyer announced that the Sakyong had never assaulted anybody, 2) Shambhala revealed that the WH report would go to Alex Halpern, a longtime supporter and the Sakyong’s lawyer, and 3) the Kalapa Council’s lawyer advised survivors to ‘just believe’ that despite years of abuse all could be trusted because he said so. In the end, the community suffers – it does not get the benefit of hearing from all of the people who had allegations and from whom we could learn, and as a result, the investigation is incomplete.

Clarifications

• The report finds that the Sakyong engaged in “sexual misconduct” with Claimant #1. What does that mean? Sexual misconduct is a broad term that includes “sexual assault” as well as a number of other types of misconduct that are sexual in nature. The conduct that Ms. Bath validated is in general sexual misconduct but in specific terms, it is a sexual assault. So, let’s call it what it is – a sexual assault, which is a criminal offense with no statute of limitations in Nova Scotia where it took place.
• The IB has stated in their prologue to the WH Report (Reports Related to Sexual Misconduct and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche) that there were ten individuals (including Claims No. 1 and No. 3) who conveyed issues of misconduct but that “[n]o one reported criminal behavior.” That is not accurate. Claimant #1’s allegations of sexual assault were substantiated, and sexual assault is most definitely criminal conduct.

Disappointments

• I am disappointed that the scope of the investigation did not include an investigation into who, among Shambhala officers, administrators, teachers and the Sakyong’s personal staff, knew about and were complicit in covering up the Sakyong’s misconduct. Making change is hard and I understand that the IB is working diligently to do that. But you cannot change the organization without a full understanding of what went wrong. Part of what went wrong lies with the Sakyong; but another large part is with a leadership that enabled and covered up his behavior. Without knowing the full extent of that, a lot of activity, committees, and group discussion will feel like movement, but perhaps not in the direction of lasting change. Without a full diagnosis of all the dysfunction, it is unreasonable to expect a cure and healing.
• I am beyond disappointed that the Chilean woman’s claim from the July BPS Memorandum was not considered. In fact, as late as December 2018, I believed that her claim was being investigated. It is true that the Chilean woman did not wish to come forward because she did not perceive the investigation as independent or neutral. Ms. Bath had all the information to reach out to corroborating witnesses. In addition, she investigated Claimant #1’s allegation without talking with her (Claimant #1 did come forward later in January). It is a “best practice” that all complaints, even anonymous ones, must be investigated to the fullest extent of the information available, particularly a claim as serious and with as much corroboration as this one.

I believe that the IB should authorize Ms. Bath to do just that – to investigate and make a finding.I can tell you what the finding will be – that it is more likely than not that the Sakyong locked the Chilean woman in a bathroom and tried to assault her. There are reliable witnesses and plenty of evidence of what happened immediately before and after and in the ensuing days, not to mention a flurry of activity when the Chilean woman moved to NYC. There is also independent corroborating evidence that a cover-up was begun immediately.

• I am disappointed in the Sakyong’s letter/apology. Here is a checklist of what should be in an apology:

• Expression of regret
• Explanation of what went wrong
• Acknowledgment of responsibility
• Declaration of repentance
• Offer of repair
• Request for forgiveness

Here is another rule: Don’t let someone else, especially your criminal lawyer, write it for you. His job is to keep you out of jail. His job is not to help you understand that if you had actually done the six steps above, you probably wouldn’t be in this situation.

• I am disappointed that no one in a position of authority in Shambhala, certainly not the Sakyong, has ever made an official public apology to the people who were harmed and who had the courage to raise these issues to the community. Remaking the organization can’t happen unless there is a complete reckoning with the past. Apologies are hard work, but it is work that must be done. It cannot be outsourced.

So, in the absence of anyone else doing the hard work of an apology, here is what should be said to every single one of the men and women that have been harmed. I especially include Andrea Winn along with the many others who have been working for years to shine a light on this dark part of Shambhala. You cannot heal if you cannot honor the whistleblowers.

Here is my dream Shambhala apology which (in my dreams) would be signed by every single leader of Shambhala, past and present:

“We are beyond regret that you have experienced trauma at the hands of your spiritual teacher and the organization you trusted and relied on. All of us as leaders of this community have betrayed your trust; we have been complicit not only in seeing and allowing this aggressive behavior to continue, but we also inflicted more pain on you by not listening, by seeking to minimize the harm, by denying this happened, by demeaning you, by labeling you as ‘needy,’ ‘troubled,’ or ‘too ambitious.’ We understand that all of these actions were wrong – not only wrong but done in an attempt to protect ourselves and not you. For all of this we stand before you in breathtaking remorse for the harm we have allowed. In addition to making the changes that must be made to the organization, we intend immediately to begin a program of restitution and repair for each and every one of you who has experienced pain due to our action and lack of action.”

I am not holding my breath on this, but still, what would be the harm in sending this aspiration to survivors on this Shambhala Day?

I wish all of you a good new year with much healing ahead.

Regards,

Carol Merchasin
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:17 am

Buddhist teacher quit Shambhala in ‘protest’ before his own sexual misconduct allegation went public. He's promoting a book called Love Hurts.
by Joshua Eaton
JUL 23, 2018, 8:00 AM
UPDATED: JUL 23, 2018, 6:24 PM

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Meditation teacher and author Lodro P. Rinzler announced that he was leaving the Buddhist group Shambhala International on July 1 after several women came forward to accuse its leader, Sakyong Mipham, of sexual assault. He failed to mention that he had been accused of sexual misconduct himself.

“I am feeling a lot of pain around what is happening in the Shambhala community,” Rinzler wrote on his private Facebook page at the time. “I personally have clarity that it is time for me to officially leave Shambhala as an organization and no longer teach there.”

It was one of the most high-profile departures in an organization that’s been in tailspin since the sexual assault allegations against its leader.

But Rinzler was already facing fallout from Shambhala over an allegation against him. A woman told the organization he had pressured her into sex in 2013 even after she said multiple times that she did not want to sleep with him. After Shambhala opened an internal investigation into that allegation last month, it asked local meditation centers not to host Rinzler’s upcoming book tour. Within two days, he announced he was leaving the group, according to interviews and documents obtained by ThinkProgress.

ThinkProgress is not aware of any other allegations of sexual misconduct by Rinzler. In a statement, Rinzler denied any sexual misconduct and said his decision to leave Shambhala had nothing to do with the allegation against him.

“I was deeply troubled by the allegations against the leadership of Shambhala and after learning of them stepped away from any involvement with Shambhala’s programs entirely of my own accord,” Rinzler said. “There is no truth to the allegation that Shambhala fired me. Nor have I ever been involved in any inappropriate sexual behavior or interactions with any individual.”

A source close to the Shambhala community confirmed that it’s investigating Rinzler for alleged sexual misconduct and defended how senior Shambhala officials Judith Simmer-Brown and Adam Lobel have handled the allegation since the woman first raised it in 2013.

“Lobel, Simmer-Brown and supporters within the Shambhala community feel confident that they took all appropriate measures, offering ongoing support and follow ups for over 5 years,” the source said by email.

“Let’s just relax and see what happens”

Rinzler, 35, ran Shambhala’s local center in Boston, Mass., before co-founding MNDFL, a for-profit meditation studio with three locations in New York City where he’s currently chief spiritual officer. He’s the author of six books on Buddhism and mediation, and his work has been featured in The New York Times. (Disclosure: This reporter pet- and apartment-sat for Rinzler for a week in 2015, when they were acquainted through Buddhist writer circles on social media.)

The woman, “Amy,” who requested we withhold her real name for privacy reasons, described her interactions with Rinzler in an interview with ThinkProgress. They first met when she coordinated his visit to Portland, Ore., to promote his book Walk like a Buddha in October 2013. Amy had been active in Shambhala most of her adult life and was interested in teaching meditation, so she was looking forward to working with a young teacher she looked up to.

After they talked at Powell’s bookstore, Amy said Rinzler invited her out for a drink and later up to the apartment where he was staying for a nightcap. She found the invitation flattering at first. But when he moved in for a kiss, she said she clearly told him that she wasn’t interested.

“I remember literally putting my hand out and pushing him away,” Amy said. “Like, ‘No, I don’t want to kiss you.’ He said, ‘Well no, I’m just curious. Let’s just relax and see what happens.'”

By that point in the evening, she was too buzzed to drive herself home. Rinzler suggested she stay there and promised not to touch her, even offering to build a pillow “wall” between them.

But once they were in the bed, Amy said, Rinzler continued his unwanted advances and began trying to kiss and touch her yet again.

“I think some part of me was flattered,” she said. “But I was also just really not into it. [I was] just going along with it.”

In a last-ditch effort to get through to Rinzler, she told him again that she didn’t want to have sex, and when he asked why, she revealed that she’d been sexually abused in the past. Instead of offering understanding and empathy, Amy said, Rinzler suggested that sleeping with him could help her break through the trust issues from her past trauma.

Then he began to touch her again, and she froze. She felt paralyzed, she said in an interview — as if she wasn’t in control of her own body. Tired, drunk, and dissociated, she said that she performed oral sex on Rinzler in the hope it would make him stop.

“I thought, ‘OK, I’m doing this to get him off of me without having to have sex with him and just survive,'” she said.


“[J]ust survive”

Amy told two people about what happened over the next two weeks — a local Shambhala teacher and a teacher at another Shambhala center. Both corroborated her account to ThinkProgress.

The next day, after an unsatisfying apology from Rinzler, Amy told the first official, based at the local center, about what happened the night before. That official sent an email, obtained by ThinkProgress, to senior Shambhala officials Simmer-Brown and Lobel with a brief description of what allegedly happened and an offer to put them in touch with Amy for more details.

Simmer-Brown responded to the local official five days later to say she’d read the email to Rinzler — without asking Amy first or obtaining her permission.

Rinzler was “heartbroken” over the “real mistakes” he made with Amy, Simmer-Brown wrote. But her email portrayed those mistakes primarily as a violation of the student-teacher relationship — not as an issue of consent.

“[Rinzler] is only now realizing the ramifications of pressing his affections while in the role of a teacher of Shambhala,” she wrote. “He was not defensive, and was very honest with me about what happened. He is also deeply sorry for any harm he has caused.”

Other things that Lobel and Simmer-Brown said gave Amy pause, she said. In one conversation, for example, Simmer-Brown talked about how she’d known Rinzler since he was a kid, making Amy wonder whether she would be impartial. And after Amy told Lobel what happened, she said he responded with, “Wow, that sounds really confusing.”

“It made it clear he had doubts about what I was saying,” Amy told ThinkProgress.

Lobel and Simmer-Brown offered two options for moving forward — mediation between Amy and Rinzler, or Shambhala’s internal investigation process, called “Care and Conduct.” But after a back-and-forth with both teachers, Amy decided to let it drop.

“At that point, I honestly just wanted to forget about it and not keep getting thrown around these different people,” she said.


Lobel checked in with Amy in 2015, according to a source close to the Shambhala community. She didn’t pursue more support from Shambhala then. But Lobel reached out again this year, after a report in February by the advocacy group Buddhist Project Sunshine detailed anonymous accounts of sexual abuse within the Shambhala community.

“I’ve been thinking of you in the midst of the painful and massive learning about gender and power that we are going through in Shambhala,” Lobel wrote in an email obtained by ThinkProgress. “I am wondering how you are and how this is all feeling to you? If you would like to check in, I would appreciate it.”

After a second report by Buddhist Project Sunshine publicized several allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct against Shambhala’s head, Sakyong Mipham, Amy decided to finally move forward with a Care and Conduct investigation. On June 29, she sent Lobel a written account that detailed the incident and her subsequent conversations with Shambhala officials. It matches her account to ThinkProgress.

In separate statements to ThinkProgress, Lobel and Simmer-Brown said they’re glad Amy decided to pursue Shambhala’ formal complaint process.

“After what has now been a few years of offering support, suggesting opportunities for further assistance, and access to resources through Shambhala’s Care and Conduct process, I am pleased that the complainant has decided to take the formal steps she feels are necessary,” Lobel said in his statement. “I stand behind her decision and remain completely supportive of her journey through this process.”

“I have been concerned for [Amy’s] welfare, and hope she will find the healing she seeks,” Simmer-Brown’s statement said.

On July 1, two days after Amy sent Lobel her written account, he wrote back to say a center director had heard about the allegation of sexual misconduct and confronted Rinzler about it. That triggered questions from other centers about whether they should host Rinzler as he toured to promote his new book of Buddhist relationship advice, Love Hurts.

Shambhala asked the centers not to invite Rinzler for book talks while the investigation was pending, Lobel wrote. But Lobel speculated that the question from the center director may have tipped Rinzler off. Rinzler announced he was leaving Shambhala that same day in a post on his private Facebook page, screenshots of which were obtained by ThinkProgress.

In that post, Rinzler also offered his support for anyone who wanted to talk about their experience with sexual misconduct in Shambhala.

“I will hold space and listen and share my heart if you would like me to,” he wrote. “I am truly available to you.”

Do you have information about sexual misconduct in Shambhala or elsewhere? Contact reporter Joshua Eaton by email at jeaton@thinkprogress.org or by Signal at 202–684–1030.

CORRECTION: This article previously stated that Judith Simmer-Brown spoke with Lodro Rinzler before speaking with “Amy.” Simmer-Brown and Amy did speak before she spoke with Rinzler, but she did not ask Amy’s permission first.

UPDATE (7/24/2018, 9:37 a.m. ET): The statement from Adam Lobel has been updated.
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