Trungpa’s Influence Still Remains: On a Lama Getting Handsy

Recently, I received an e-mail from someone who is preparing to leave Naropa, and she shared this tidbit with me.

The monk harassment… was Lama Tenpa… he touched and came onto a student friend of mine, and then really really came on to me hard in a disgusting way. Since we’re both rather assertive women, we thought – who ELSE is he doing this to? we reported it to Student Affairs….. and you know what happened? He was sat down for a chat, then wrote us letters, that we could pick up in the student affairs office [re-contacting the victim, anyone?!] The letter said that he now understands naropa and american university policy…..he’s still teaching to this day.

Don’t you just love it? Apparently, Lama Grabby is still teaching at Naropa University, despite the fact that the school knows about him getting a bit too hands on with students and him admitting it, claiming that he now understands Naropa policy, which apparently forgives sexual assault. After all, when you remember that Naropa was founded by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a man who knew no boundaries with his followers. After all, when your founder forcibly strips two people at a “seminary party” and marries one of his followers before leaving the monastic order when she was fifteen (he was twenty-nine). Let me make it clear, one of their own publications proudly prints the fact that Chogyam Trungpa was a pædophile who abused his position as a religious leader (though, they don’t use that terminology).

So, who wants to get in on my pool on when the sycophantic alumni are going to start denying that there is anything wrong with Naropa?

The International Symposia for Contemplative Studies and Naropa

English: Naropa University Administration building

Image via Wikipedia

This year, the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies is going to be held in Denver, Colorado. I recently read that Naropa University is co-sponsoring this event, which is likely to be very troublesome. But look at how they are misrepresented on the website of the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies:

Naropa University is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education. This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. The university comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies. Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. To learn more, visit http:///www.naropa.edu

What are some problems with this statement? Well, firstly – Naropa is NOT nonsectarian. Naropa is strongly affiliated with Shambhala Buddhism and was set up as a way to grant Shambhala Buddhism/Vajradhatu some undeserved legitimacy through scholarship. Secondly, Naropa University operates much like a cult, which does not jive with the statement that it helps students “engage constructively with others”. In fact, the followers of Trungpa in Boulder can be outright vicious and Naropa is a location where they seem to converge. This is especially true during events such as Shambhala Day and Community Practice Day.

So, what is the International Symposia and what are it’s goals? Well, according to it’s website:

The purpose of the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies is to bring together academics and other interested attendees for presentation, discussion, and collaborative networking in the fields of contemplative basic science, contemplative clinical science, contemplative philosophy and humanities, contemplative education, and those domains of contemplative practice that relate to and interact with these fields of research and scholarship. These distinct, though overlapping fields of contemplative study each focus on advancing our understanding of the human mind and how training the mind through the use of contemplative practices can lead to a reduction in suffering, enhanced health and cognitive/emotional functioning, greater happiness, and increased social harmony.

Now, here is the question that you probably started to ask – what the hell does Naropa have with contemplative basic science or clinical science? Furthermore, what does Naropa have to do with research (considering that Naropa University is NOT an institution that does research). Furthermore, Naropa University and Shambhala Buddhism have nothing to do with trying to reduce suffering, enhancing health/cognitive and emotional function, increasing happiness nor increasing social harmony. The concept of Shambhala’s “Crazy Wisdom” and it’s application in our world seem to show that to be the case without a doubt.

So, to the directors of this conference, I must ask this question: how in the world does partnering up with Naropa University work to achieve your goals? Considering that the people that choose to and enjoy working for Naropa University/Shambhala Buddhism seem to have sociopathic tendencies or enjoy being sociopaths themselves, I think that you could have chosen better company to keep. So, the question you have to ask yourselves is whether being in cahoots with Naropa University is worth it? Furthermore, is it worth it to promote a University that has harmed or contributed to the harm of so many people?