Basic Goodness - Episode 1
“You’ve pledged your body and soul”: sexual abuse allegations in the Shambhala Buddhist community
At the heart of Shambhala Buddhism, there lies a beautiful idea: every human being has a fundamental nature of basic goodness.
This teaching has been severely tested by reports of sexual abuse at the highest levels of Shambhala world headquarters in Halifax, N.S. and beyond.
Episode One examines the very particular kind of damage caused by abuse within a spiritual community. What happens when your meditation practice requires you to visualize the face of your abuser as a divine being? What is it about the way spiritual groups are organized and their practices that can help lay the groundwork for abuse?
Carol Merchasin — retired lawyer who investigates allegations of abuse in spiritual communities
Phil Cass — a member of the Shambhala Board of Directors
Carol Penner — Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Conrad Grebel University College. She worked as a pastor in various Mennonite congregations
Matthew Remski — author of Practice and All is Coming: Abuse, Cult Dynamics, and Healing in Yoga and Beyond
RESOURCES FOR SURVIVORS
Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-833-900-1010
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1‑855‑242-3310
Crisis Services Canada: 1-833-456-4566, or text 45645