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Letter From Diana Mukpo On Project Sunshine

Letter From Diana Mukpo On Project Sunshine

This has been a very dark dön season for many people. It has exposed a tremendous amount of pain that people have experienced both in the Shambhala community and in the greater world.

Having the Shambhala community as the focal point for the majority of my life, I have witnessed numerous times when many members of our community, myself included, have not been protected in a way that reflects our ideals and strengths. Culturally we are at a powerful moment in time, which allows women a voice to express their pain. This has not always been the case in the past. We have a responsibility to one another to facilitate a conversation that is actually of benefit to our community and therefore the greater world.

Distortion of facts is extremely damaging and is counterproductive for this process. While I respect the need for everyone who has experienced trauma to find a way to be heard and to find healing, that does not absolve us of the poison of presenting assumptions and untruths. This has caused a great deal of pain and confusion and this is what I need to address.

When I first heard about Project Sunshine I thought it would be a wonderful way to embark on this important process. But now that I’ve seen its connection to the spreading of inaccurate, misleading facts, I no longer have faith in its ability to assist with this important task in an unbiased and honest manner. Embarking on the process of healing is a greater call to our sangha to come together and address these issues. This process is being hindered by a personal agenda to launch an attack on the Mukpo family.

Unlike many Buddhist teachers, Trungpa Rinpoche was committed to transparency. He had a very outrageous lifestyle. Some of the events that transpired during that era clearly caused some people pain and we need to create a process where these people can be heard. In the vein of transparency, I have written extensively about this time in my book Dragon Thunder. The reason that I wrote this book was that, in order for people to learn from Trungpa Rinpoche‘s teachings, they needed to have their own insight into the lifestyle that surrounded those teachings. Personally, I feel that the Shambhala teachings provide tremendous benefit to people and will continue to do so for generations to come, but only if we truly commit to helping one another heal and chart a path toward a better sangha.

When and where a transparent, measured, and responsible accounting of the facts shows that misconduct or abuse has taken place, or that the response by administrators and teachers has failed to adequately protect and care for those who were harmed, I am committed to healing and acknowledgment, even if that requires consequences for those at fault. But our tradition is not one that allows for mindless mob justice spun from aggression and half-truths.

May the remainder of this dön season be free of obstacles. I extend the love of the Mukpo family to all of you. May this new year bring in a time of healing and change in which we are committed to finding the correct forum for this process to take place.

Lady Diana Mukpo