Investigation Into Sexual Misconduct

For some months now, in the context of the Buddhist Project Sunshine, allegations of sexual misconduct have been brought against some individuals in Shambhala including, most recently, our main teacher, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

A lot of details are still required in order to get an accurate picture of the situation. However, the news of these incidents has shaken us all deeply. We are thinking of those who have experienced harm as a result of these incidents. We are a community that is based on human dignity and mutual respect and we want this to continue to be the case. With regards to these allegations and the ongoing investigations, we at Karmê Chöling, are fully committed to transparency both now and in the future.

We are happy that Shambhala has engaged a law firm to complete an independent investigation into all the allegations. We are also pleased that Shambhala has hired for “An Olive Branch,” an organization established in 2011 to offer support and guidance to organizations, particularly regarding ethical misconduct on the part of leaders. “An Olive Branch” will give a voice to those people in Shambhala who have experienced harm and will also advise Shambhala in making necessary changes.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has stepped down from all his teaching and leadership activities while the investigations take place. All the members of the Kalapa Council, the highest governing body in Shambhala, have also resigned from their posts and an interim leadership body will soon be appointed.

It is a time of great uncertainty. The Karme Choling community is clear that we will continue on the path of cultivating confidence and to strengthen our compassion for others. We are committed to continual exploration of both our minds and our humanity. Despite these painful events, we believe they are an opportunity for our community to come together and deepen how we relate to one another.

Karme Choling exists to inspire people to discover their innate worthiness, and manifest it in the world as a path toward enlightened society. We believe in the transformative potential of our community, as we struggle with the challenges that are faced by societies globally.

We invite you to come and visit our center, have conversations with us and, with other participants and, of course, to deepen your meditation practice which is more important than ever in these troubled times.