Town Hall Gathering

June 10th

Date details +
    Room: not specified

    Over the past ten months, there have been about twenty different community gatherings where we were able to express our heightened feelings, concerns, and ideas following the allegations of misconduct by Sakyong Mipham and all the various reports and communications since. 

    Here are the major themes and concerns you’ve shared at these gatherings and in response to our survey in April. These are listed roughly in order of frequency suggested:

    1. Practice, and more practice; and as a community
    2. Clear boundaries around sexual conduct and use of power; an improved Care & Conduct policy and process, and one with broader application than leaders/teachers
    3. Healing; restoring trust
    4. Holding in uncertainty; determining Sakyong Mipham’s future role in Shambhala will emerge over time
    5. Presenting more Kagyü and Nyingma teachings; more Lojong and Tonglen practice and study
    6. Reconnecting the greater Trungpa Rinpoche student community
    7. Removing images of Sakyong Mipham and/or Trungpa Rinpoche from the building; removing the thrones; rethinking chants and liturgies; returning the Vajradhara thangka to BSC
    8. Paying proper attention to inclusion and respect for people from all backgrounds and identities, and to supporting social and climate justice 
    9. Rethinking organizational structures; community empowerment vs. mandala hierarchy/monarchy
    10. Need for greater clarity around what is secular and what is sacred/religious on the Shambhala path
    11. Removing alcohol from community celebrations.

    On Monday, June 10, from 6:30–8pm, we will hold a town hall gathering where you’re invited to comment on this list and add to or change the emphasis/understanding of the items listed there. It’s also a time to express what you think is most essential, most valuable in Shambhala for us to protect and offer. This will help us identify the common ground we hold as a community.

    Shortly after the town hall, the BSC Governing Council and BSC Director Melanie Klein will present a short list of recommended changes in response to these themes and concerns and describe how we’ll establish them and solicit feedback. Our recommendations will not seek to respond to all eleven items—the Shambhala Process Team will lead on many of these.

    We have a precious opportunity to work together and take our next steps with tender concern for others and confidence in the basic goodness of ourselves and society altogether. Please come and share your insight.