Saturday, September 24, 2011

Shambhala "Lineage" Festival?

with Shastri Pamela Bothwell
Ram Dass, Tsultrim Allione, and a young [pre reckless car crash] Chogyam Trungpa (
  • Sat Sept. 24th: 9:00 am-6:00 pm
  • Sun Sept. 25th: 9:00 AM - 2:30 PM
  • Price: $30.00 General Public
  • EAGLE ROCK SMCLA, Main Shrine Room

The Shambhala Lineage Festival is an opportunity for members and visitors to celebrate and enjoy being together. It is also a time for them to further commit to the Shambhala Vision [with some trepidation about allegations of engaging in behavior more consistent with a cult than a free and open religious center]. More

Smoking, seducing, drinking, and growing rich with the gift of gab and a cult of personality, it's "crazy" wisdom (

"Lineage" Festival?
Susan, Wisdom Quarterly
A lineage festival suggests a lineage -- a strange celebration for an organization that originated based on a charismatic leader who had broken all ties to tradition. But for the sake of legitimacy and to be a proper Tibetan Buddhist organization, it Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche was humbled to that extent and affiliated itself with a sect.

Money is the measure of respectability, and the Rinpoche had tapped a rich vein of American supporters. That respectability made affiliation possible, and the vein continues to be mined. Shambhala did not come from Tibet. It came from the imagination of Trungpa Rinpoche, who had left Tibet and was living a debauched life (which any Tibetan can do while singing the praises of Milarepa, the beloved drunken "crazy wisdom" saint).

The organization makes money by selling multilevel "warrior" trainings, tithing, special programs, special donations, pricey retreats, and militaristic bootcamp outings, and donations. Ultimately, things seem to center more around money-making ventures and reliance on a questionable "guru" (the founder's jet-setting son) and social events than meditation, which it officially regards as "cool boredom" and something not to get too carried away with.

If it were not for Pema Chodron's greatness and the success of affiliated publications, there would only be a get-togethers at someone's house to read Trungpa Rinpoche railing against "spiritual materialism." Instead, we have consumer spiritualism. Come see for yourself. (Bring your wallet).