Dear Shambhala Community,
It is from a place of great sadness that we write you today. When we took our seats as an Interim Board, we did so with the positive aspiration of restoring Shambhala culture to one of trust, kindness, and genuine concern for the welfare of others. In the last days we have learned of patterns of behavior by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche at odds with these fundamental principles.
Six Shambhala students who have served as Kusung, a role of close personal protection and direct service to the Sakyong, have bravely come forward with An Open Letter to the Shambhala Community from Long Serving Kusung. In addition to a signed, joint statement, each has provided stories that describe Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche as an individual who has been disrespectful, unkind and has caused harm to others.
We strongly disapprove of the Sakyong’s behavior described in the Kusungs’ letter. We will do our part to protect Shambhala culture and community and we do not and will not support the behaviors described.
We feel strongly that we need to do what we can to protect the continued mission of Shambhala to connect people with their own basic goodness. We will remain focused on the issues of care and conduct in our community. The Interim Board completed the Wickwire Holm investigative project given to us by the outgoing Kalapa Council and will soon complete the project they started with An Olive Branch, pending receipt of An Olive Branch’s final report and subsequent communication with the community.
We will now turn our attention to exploring how to go forward as we work with these recent reports of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s behavior. We will engage with the various Shambhala leadership groups and the Shambhala Process Team to determine structures of governance that make most sense for Shambhala now and in the future.
Our hearts are with all of you in this time of difficulty. We aspire that we can rely on the truths we feel in ourselves and can find support with each other in our community. We value your continued input and rely on your support for our efforts.
The Shambhala Interim Board