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Letter from Acharya Eric Spiegel to NYC community

Dear NY Shambhala members and friends;

By now every member should have received the email from the Interim Board of Shambhala International linking to the findings and report from Wickwire Holm regarding their investigation into the allegations that were made over the summer and fall regarding the Sakyong’s conduct. A letter was also sent from the Sakyong.

If you have not received these, all of the communications can be found on our website.  

I would like to say something about all that has occurred over the past year: Many seeds were planted in the 1970s of actions and attitudes that may have been acceptable on the most surface level but were grounds for harmful and destructive behavior to develop in our community. These were never actually acceptable but, just as we are seeing in the larger political world, things were habitually or culturally ignored that should never have been.  

Through time these seeds continued to ripen and last year exploded into their rancid maturity. I want to be very clear, as an Acharya and a leader in Shambhala, that any action or attitude which harms or threatens another person is a direct violation of the basic precepts of the Buddhist and Shambhala teachings: of not causing harm, cultivating a humble attitude, and generating both an attitude and activity of kindness and benevolence to others in all situations.

As New York Shambhala, and the greater Shambhala mandala as a whole look to rebuild and present the teachings which genuinely are the crown ornament of the world, past actions and attitudes that have caused harm are not acceptable. On behalf of the Shambhala New York, I extend sincere and heartfelt apology to anyone in our immediate sangha or the larger worldwide sangha who has experienced harm or hurt. I am so genuinely sad for all that has unfolded.  

The purpose of Shambhala is to cultivate human dignity and goodness. This is who we are and who we will be as we continue to grow and teach the dharma to people looking for a path forward in this age of confusion.  

Please join in this endeavor. We need support – people willing to take on roles so that we as a sangha can again explore our own nature of human goodness and begin again to teach meditation and dharma in New York.  

I hope to see you at Shambhala Day, on Sunday at 2pm at Integral Yoga, 227 West 13th Street.

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