This document clarifies the relationship between the Shambhala School and Shambhala International, in light of recent press reports of sexual assault and misconduct by teachers within Shambhala International.
Recent allegations of sexual misconduct are not associated with the Shambhala School.
While the Shambhala School shares the same name as Shambhala International, we are separate organizations legally and financially. Our school has its own Board of Directors.
The Shambhala School was founded 25 years ago, by parents who wanted their children to be educated in a mindful and compassionate environment that would allow their inherent goodness, wisdom, kindness and strength to grow. Therefore, our founders, our founding principles, and several of our teachers and leaders are practitioners of the Shambhala path of meditation. However, when the press refers to sexual misconduct allegations against Shambhala “teachers”, it is referring to specific people who are authorized teachers of meditation within the international Shambhala organization, and not any of the current or past school teachers or leaders at the Shambhala School.
Our school has a zero- tolerance policy for sexual assault. This past year, we have also been working to articulate and develop a strict new policy about sexual harassment that will be fully communicated in September.
While we are writing this letter to clarify the organizational differentiation between
Shambhala International and the Shambhala School, we are not doing so as a way to avoid the issue of sexualized violence. We are heartbroken for those who have been harmed and we support victims of sexual violence in any context.
Our hope is that the international Shambhala organization will use the profound wisdom of its practices and teachings to identify and uproot harmful patterns of behavior, and also care for the women who have suffered. We continue to be inspired by the principles of Shambhala–mindfulness, compassion, and the basic goodness of all individuals, that are the bedrock of our school culture.
If you have specific concerns or questions, please contact our Executive Director, Carolyn Mandelker.
902-454-6100 ext 3