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Aug 14
Friday

Three Recent Acharya Retirements

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Recently three acharyas retired from their posts.  Below, the Times has published their individual letters to the community.


Dear Shambhala Community,

I write with a sad and tender heart. I have retired as an acharya as of July 1.

I feel that my appointment two years ago was in one way an acknowledgment of my journey joining the Shambhala dharma with the work of healing personal and social oppression and importantly, it also marked a greater acceptance of that work in Shambhala. Many in the community rejoiced. Two weeks later revelations of the Sakyong’s misconduct surfaced on Facebook. Eight months later my husband had a near death fall while hiking and suffered a traumatic brain injury. His recovery has been slow and laden with obstacles while at the same time a beautiful unfolding of warriorship.

My reasons for retiring are two fold. First, I choose to continue turning inward to focus on my family and my husband’s healing process. Secondly, from the May 21 zoom meeting with the acharyas, my understanding of the Sakyong’s intentions to not further engage in dialogue and open communication with the broader sangha feels discordant with the work I have engaged in Shambhala over the past decade, initially as the Chairperson of the Diversity Working Group and then as an acharya. This makes it difficult for me to serve in the role of acharya as his personal representative.

I wish to thank the many people who have supported me over the years as I explored the inseparability of the Shambhala dharma and the work of bringing awareness to social oppression. I am indebted to members of the Diversity Working Group: Gale Young, Michaela McCormick, Elaine Yuen, Bob Pressnall, and Toby Sifton for nearly a decade of collaboration. Thanks to the newer groups that emerged: the PoC Council, White Awareness Council, and Inclusivity Warrior Council. Thanks to acharya colleagues: Gaylon Ferguson, Adam Lobel, Judith Simmer-Brown, and Christie Cashman for their kind and insightful support over many years. Much appreciation to Ro Horton and Rita Shimmin, co founders of the ​UNTraining​. I have been blessed sharing this journey with so many true warriors as my heart was torn open by the suffering of social injustice.

Continue…

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