Dear Dorje Kasung,
The Council of the Makkyi Rabjam, which continues to hold the leadership of the Dorje Kasung, has begun meeting weekly, and we want to share some of those discussions with you.
This is a very difficult time. As a community of Shambhalians, as members of the Dorje Kasung, and as individuals, there is more than a lot to consider. Pain that was hidden is now visible, and things that may have felt certain are much less so. The CMR would like to first and foremost encourage everyone to be true to themselves and their hearts. Please bring your intelligence, fearlessness, and gentleness to bear on taking care of yourself and others. We have personally found kasung practice to be very helpful, in particular slogan compilation. Continuing to practice as your own wisdom calls to you is extremely important now, individually and in kasung groups.
Secondly, we would like to share our conviction that the Dorje Kasung have an ongoing and important role to play in Shambhala. The Dorje Kasung protect the Shambhala Dharma and provide containers within our communities through service in the centers. The CMR believes strongly that this service should not stop, and for the moment, Dorje Kasung have been engaging in the following activities which we fully support:
Service shifts for ongoing Center community discussions.
Guard shifts for Shambhala events (where possible for local squads).
Garsung staff for land center programs.
Magyal Pomra Encampment preparation and planning.
Providing service to the Sakyong and family by Dorje Kasung who want to do so.
There have been nine zoom calls with the CMR and other Kasung leaders. We feel this is an important way to connect and will continue these calls in the months ahead.
As we all move through the reflection process over the next few months, we will offer more refinement and details.
As we grapple with more nuanced understandings of power, consent, and relationships within Shambhala, many of us are reflecting on how we have been harmed, and how we have caused harm. Like many of you, we have heard the social media allegations against the Lamen Kyi Khyap, Mitchell Levy. To date, individually and collectively we have not been presented with any specific facts or allegations that we believe would warrant his removal from the CMR. In a recent open Zoom dialogue for Kasung, the Kasung Acharya spoke at length about his relationships within Shambhala. The transcript on this topic will be posted shortly.
We want to acknowledge that this is a time for self-reflection. It is clear that changes need to happen in the Dorje Kasung. But that change should not come from a place of reflexive reaction, and cannot all come from the CMR - we want to take whatever time is needed to ensure that all levels of kasungship and leadership are heard and represented, and that changes are made from that place of listening. As we start the process of reflection, the CMR will continue to hold the leadership of the Dorje Kasung. We will be filling the empty Kusung seat on the CMR, and are exploring how to keep the structure of the CMR appropriate and up-to-date.
Please take care of yourselves and each other. Please continue to share your experience and your wisdom in the calls that are happening and in your community. Please continue to show your caring and bravery however you are engaging your path.
We are sending you all our love and appreciation.
Yours in the true command,
Kasung Kyi Khyap Jesse Grimes
Kasung Acharya, Lamen Kyi Khyap Mitchell Levy
Gesar Arm Commander, Toby Sifton, Rupön
Desung Arm Commander, Janet Jercinovic, Rupön
Kasung Shastri, Andrew Sacamano, Rupön
Dorje Kasung Sergeant Major, Anna Weinstein