Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Enough of the Lies! Naropa University and Shambhala Mountain Center Boulder, CO

"As a recent graduate of Naropa University in Boulder, repeat visitor of Shambhala Mountain Center, and longtime student of Shambhala I felt compelled to reach out to the Daily Camera this week. As you may already know, news has been coming out all month about Shambhala assisting multiple pedophiles in avoiding prosecution.

The word back from Naropa has been “we are disconnected from Shambhala for decades.” The word from Shambhala has been “we could have done better.” As someone who has attended both organizations, I now find myself deeply ashamed for every dollar and minute they got of mine.



In my time studying at Naropa University I was repeatedly told that Naropa and its contemplative approach to education come directly from the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa. The Shambhala school of Buddhism was covered extensively in Buddhist Psychology Part 1 and 2, maitri (a meditation invented by Trungpa), as well as Senior Seminar Part 1 and 2. All of these classes were mandatory for my contemplative psychology degree. The majority of these classes were taught by ex-followers of Trungpa. Upon the recommendation of the college I went on retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center yearly and took Shambhala meditation classes at the Boulder Shambhala Center.

I write this because the idea that Naropa and Shambhala are separate is as much a lie as that Naropa is a secular university.

I am deeply ashamed to hear that Shambhala has repeatedly stepped between pedophiles and any meaningful repercussions for their actions, but I cannot say I am surprised.

Trungpa slept with his students. This has always been known. His son Sakyang Mipham was accused of sexual assault last year. I repeatedly heard about Naropa teachers having sexual relationships with students in my time as a Naropa student. I personally witnessed Naropa teachers dating students they had taught. I repeatedly heard about a situation where a Naropa student was in a sexual relationship with with a teacher’s underage son.

This is what I heard as a nontraditional Naropan trying to keep my head down and just get to graduation. I can only imagine what other stories exist. As the Denver post quoted a former Shambhala Mountain Center staff member in its last article about the allegations: “Every young girl I knew had something happen.”

Enough of the lies."

https://www.dailycamera.com/2019/07/09/opinion-darryl-collette-enough-of-the-lies-about-naropa-and-shambhala/

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