Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, leader of one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist Organizations in the West, Shambala Internation with over 200 centers across 30 countries has stepped down from the administrative and teaching responsibilities after allegations of sexual misconduct against him. The statement informed that the religious is going into a period of ‘self-reflection’.
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the leader of the Shambhala Buddhist community – an organisation with more than 200 meditation centres globally – will “step back from his administrative and teaching responsibilities”, a statement said according to the report in the Guardian on Wednesday.
Two women sharing their stories according to by a leadership coach and active member of the US Shambhala community, Andrea Winn indicated that the Buddhist teacher had kissed, groped and insisted on going to bed while he was intoxicated on certain occasions, another woman shared that the rinpoche’s close attendants also summoned her to his bedroom. The yearlong independent investigation against the Buddhist leader also claims Shambhala International ignored the issue.
Besides the Sakyong himself, nine members of the Shambhala organisation’s highest leadership body resigned too. The Buddhist leader had earlier issued an apology letter to Shambala Community following the allegations of sexual harassment against his female followers.
“It is my wish for you to know that in my past there have been times when I have engaged in relationships with women in the Shambhala community, I have recently learned that some of these women have shared experiences of feeling harmed as a result of these relationships. I am now making a public apology.” adding that he “apologized personally to people who have expressed feeling harmed by my conduct, including some of those who have recently shared their stories.” Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche said in apology letter late last month.