Author Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, a leading figure in Tibetan Buddhism, has stepped back from his role as head of the global network of meditation centers, Shambhala International, amid accusations of sexual misconduct. A report from the New York Times on July 11 indicated Sakyong Mipham is taking leave following allegations of harassment and abuse from at least three women that date back to 2002.
He is the author of several books with the Crown Publishing Group’s Harmony imprint, including The Lost Art of Good Conversation (2017) and Running with the Mind of Meditation (2013). In an emailed statement, Harmony Books said its publishing relationship with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is not currently active and that it will not be pursuing future publications by him.
Though Shambhala Publications is an independent Buddhist publisher unassociated with Shambhala International, the press shares a community with the organization and has ties to Sakyong Mipham through its author, Reggie Ray, who was a student of Sakyong Mipham’s father, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Shambhala Publications’ president Nikko Odiseos extended sympathy to those in their shared community who have been hurt in a statement to PW.
“We of course share a name and some history, and we recognize that many members of that community who are confused, upset, and grieving, are members of our own as well and we wish them solace and comfort in this difficult time,” said Odiseos.
Meanwhile, Sakyong Mipham issued an apology on June 25, stating that he is entering a period of self-reflection and listening.
Correction: A previous version of this story said Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche resigned from his duties at Shambhala International. He has not resigned, but stepped back.
Editor’s note: PW reached out to author Reggie Ray for a comment via Shambhala Publications, but he was unavailable. An independent representative for Ray told PW that the author, who studied at Shambhala International with Sakyong Mipham’s father, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, has no ties to Sakyong Mipham.