Oprah Winfrey’s new Super Soul interview with Pema Chödrön aired live on Facebook earlier today. The Buddhist nun and teacher spoke about her new book, Welcoming the Unwelcome, about how Buddhist practice helps us foster clarity and empathy, and more. She also addressed the sexual abuse scandal within the Shambhala Buddhist community, in which she is a senior teacher.
Asked how she felt when the allegations against Shambhala leader Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche broke, Chödrön replied, “I felt angry with him. And I felt deeply saddened for him and for the community.” She told Winfrey she now considers herself more outside than inside the Shambhala community.
The two also spoke of the #MeToo movement in general, how Chödrön had recently made contact with a woman whose experience of sexual assault she had previously dismissed, and why she now regrets the way she initially responded.
Asked by Winfrey if she’d attained enlightenment, Chödrön replied, “I would not say I have,” explaining that “I feel like I’ve just started on this adventure.”
Read “How to Appreciate Your Life — Just As It Is,” an exclusive excerpt from Chödrön’s book, Welcoming the Unwelcome, inside the November 2019 Lion’s Roar magazine.