Dartmouth Shambhala group downsizes
Declining attendance doesn’t appear to be a factor of Buddhist Project Sunshine allegations, says coordinator.
Dartmouth Shambhala Meditation from anyone that they are choosing not to Group is giving up its rented space at the come because of the recent allegations of MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning and sexual and clergy misconduct, although that will no longer regularly bring in teachers to is always a possibility.” address a dwindling group of participants, Whatever the reason, the Dartmouth group says Margaret Angus, the group’s coordinator. is one of many Shambhala Centres seeing a
Angus has been with the group since it decline in membership. was established in 2006. She remembers a In July of this year, Michelle Munro of the more robust attendance in those days, with Halifax Shambhala Centre told The Coast that meetings of up to 30 people on a regular the Halifax centre had lost “a small percentbasis. age” of members.
“We’ve been seeing a trend for the past two “Any loss of members is challenging as comto three years of low attendance with a small munity and impactful to our financial stabilcore group (half a dozen, give or take) coming ity,” said Munro. regularly and others dropping in occasionThe New York City Shambhala centre, faced ally,” she says in an email interview. with rising rent, diminishing revenues and
Angus says, as far as she knows, people attendance, will close its doors this month, aren’t falling away because of allegations pubthough it is in search of a new space. lished this year in several Buddhist Project Still, Angus says, the Dartmouth group reSunshine reports. mains open to newcomers.
Several former and current members of the “We want folks to know that we will continShambhala Buddhist community have made ue to be a welcoming, supportive community allegations ranging from the community dedicated to exploring and deepening medishunning those who complain about sexualtation practice. All are welcome, including ized violence to more serious allegations of those without meditation experience.” sexual assault. Some of the latter allegations Starting in January, the Dartmouth Shambhave been levelled against Osel Mukpo, also hala group will hold its gatherings at the known as Mipham J. Mukpo, and known Alderney Gate Library. The move from the within the Shambhala community as Sakyong MacPhee centre means no more access to storMipham Rinpoche. age facilities, so at its final meeting of 2018, on
“Our core group members have remained December 10, the group will try to sell off its consistent,” Angus says. “We have not heard meditation benches and cushions.
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