Shambhala Practice and Study Paths, March 30, 2021

Selected Quotes


What troubles me is the loss of treasured members over the Sunshine Report revelations and questions of survival of our sangha. Also, the loss of our physical center and the ability to practice and talk together in person.

I don’t know how the umbrella stays up and open without that stick that’s in the middle, the support. And in my mind that support is the lineage. And the one that the container was built around, to support, to hold the transmission for the teachings. And I find that so heartbreaking.

I have a problem going all the way back to the whole creation of this thing called Shambhala Buddhism. I’m a Buddhist who’s a Shambhalian and a Shambhalian who is a Buddhist, but I don’t feel I’m a Shambhala Buddhist. I don’t even know what that is exactly.

For me, the elephant in the room is and what I find heartbreaking is that [the Sakyong] is teaching again, but he’s unable to do it in the container that was constructed the transmission of the teachings.

And that for his students—not me alone, but me for one for sure—feeling welcomed in my own center. That’s the elephant for me. That’s the discomfort.

Looking Forward: Opportunities and Inspiration

I think some of what’s happening now is this open space that we’ve had for a couple of years, for us collectively as a community to design some alternatives. We want the power spread out more diversified and we want to be able to make different choices. And here we have an opportunity to suggest a different way.

I hear the question “When is someone going to decide what to do?” Someone’s us, right?

We’re all one family, we all want to be under the same umbrella, regardless of differences, juicy as they may be. And we all want to be respected and not have arguments, and get along.

We all have to recognize and live these teachings which say that emptiness and compassion, basically openness, is to allow people to have their differing views.

What I’m enjoying now is the bringing back the variety, multiple paths to be able to study. Not everybody wants to keep circling through the same series of classes, they want to broaden and learn new topics, which is where I’m at. So I’m hoping that maybe there will be more variety.

Looking Forward: Suggestions

I would like to have the Sakyong supplicated to come back into Shambhala.

Personally hoping that we can invite the Sakyong back into our organization, but with an independent board and a willingness to make room for and respect and support folks who do not wish to relate to him as their main teacher.

I think the people who don’t want to relate to the Sakyong or think he’s unfit, need to let us have him. And let let us have his picture on the shrine and not consider that an endorsement of the kind of behavior that was revealed in the Sunshine Report.

So that’s what the people who can’t relate to the Sakyong need to do, they need to let us have him and respect us and not cancel us. And then the people who are relating to the Sakyong need to allow the people who don’t to be full members of the community.