Pema Chödrön, a bestselling author and one of the best-known American Buddhist teachers, has stepped down as a senior teacher in the Shambhala organization.
A new report from Religion News Service details financial troubles facing the Shambhala Buddhist community in the wake of revelations of sexual misconduct by the head of Shambhala, Sakyong Mipham and several teachers in the community.
The report includes allegations against the organization’s head, Sakyong Mipham, and founder Chögyam Trungpa, as well as other leaders in the community.
An open letter signed by six former personal attendants to Sakyong Mipham says that the leader of the Shambhala Buddhist community “has consistently shown a disturbing pattern of behavior,” including sexual misconduct, psychological abuse, and misuse of organizational funds.
According to the Interim Board of Shambhala, the investigation shows that up until 2005, Sakyong Mipham’s behavior included “frequent sexual contact with women who were his students.”
The Sheriff’s Department in Larimer County, Colorado, has confirmed that it is investigating possible criminal activity alleged to have taken place at Shambhala Mountain Center in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado.
Previous reports detailed nine allegations of sexual harassment and assault in Shambhala, including by the head of the organization.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, leader of the Shambhala Buddhist community, will “step back from his administrative and teaching responsibilities” following allegations against him of clergy sexual misconduct.
The nine members of the Kalapa Council, the highest leadership body in the Shambhala Buddhist community, stepped down following allegations of sexual assault against Sakyong Mipham.
Buddhist Project Sunshine released its second report today, containing allegations of sexual assault and clergy sexual misconduct by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, leader of the Shambhala Buddhist community.