Sharing Shambhala, Part I, October 12, 2021

Selected Quotes

"Studying With the Sakyong" Group

We had an interesting discussion about using the trauma paradigm in this situation—to see our community as having been traumatized, and then looking at the path for healing from trauma. That might be quite worth looking into more.

Students studying with the Sakyong, it’s not a monolithic thing. Everybody has a different angle on what’s going on. So there’s no party line.

I think what came up for us was wishing for some more clarity about the whole situation. And it would be very interesting to know more about the Sakyong’s journey in itself.

There was a wish that that people who were not so into the Sakyong would understand that by being a student of the Sakyong, it does not imply condoning any past behavior.

The sense that we would like the community to always go back to our roots, in terms of our view of basic goodness, and apply that to everything we do. And hopefully, that would help us to create a community that where there is enough trust and a sense of safety that people could have meaningful relationships and conversations with each other. So let’s see others.

"Not Studying with the Sakyong" Group

There’s a strong sense of community, agreeing on wanting those who want to study with the Sakyong to be able to do so—but to be able to include everyone.

One heart wish for closure, a heart wish that the Sakyong would talk to us explain himself. And also a sense of wanting to know what’s going on. And wondering whether or not the Sakyong has talked to his own students about such issues.

I’m concerned about what would happen for our future centers, if we are only able to do one thing… Just the question, Will people be able to feel that they can be part of a united sangha? Also a general sense that the community is pretty under-informed and really needs information.

"Ambivalent About Practice Relationship with the Sakyong" Group

The sense of heart wish is that we have received so many precious things from our teachers: the teachings, but also the magic of walking into a shrine room, the magic of the connection to the guru, and the heart wish that that can be carried that can be preserved, that can be alive for the current generation and generations to come. And what that form looks like, not a clue. I think that’s it.

Open Discussion

Bringing up parental divorce resonates to me about the notion that we’re a traumatized community. I’d like to hear more about that as a paradigm. Maybe we should stop yelling at ourselves for not following our teachings and instead look at that.

The healing of trauma requires a sense of safety and trust. I think we’re beginning to get a sense of what that requires or what that means. And actually, I think we’re all kind of healing our own traumas, and beginning to work with others’ traumas in our community.

This is a conversation about sharing and how that’s possible. And we invite people who want to talk about what that would look like, knowing it could look a lot of different ways. There are definitely people who aren’t wanting to talk about what that what sharing looks like, and so be it.

There’s this huge group of people that will never come to these meetings, who have these very definite feelings about the Sakyong and Shambhala. And what about them? You know, I feel so bad about that.

It seems regardless where you are, you want to be in touch in the same community with everybody else, regardless if they are studying with the Sakyong or not… But this is a self selected sample; if we didn’t feel that way, we might not spend an hour and a half doing this.

Thinking about how many years I have been an officeholder in Shambhala, and how much of my life I have spent on committees. And how much of that was not directly about the Dharma, but continuing the institutions that I thought provided access to the Dharma to people. And I think you have to do that, but I don’t know where the balance comes: at what point you’ve lost the Dharma in order to protect the institution.

I might sleep a little bit more tonight. That’s not a small thing. I can’t tell you the dreams that I have—I have dreams about once every month about tearing down or building up seminary at SMC or sitting in the shrine room in Boulder, or doing this or doing that. He wasn’t just promising when he said he’d be haunting us.