Shambhala History

Shambhala is a community-based and community-led organization that spans the globe. We are committed to creating meditation practice spaces, leadership processes, and a culture that are inclusive, kind, contemporary, and available to all. Our aspiration to make the Dharma relevant and accessible in a rapidly changing world has deep roots in the teachings of Shambhala and Kagyu and Nyingma Tibetan Buddhism. Our history—and what we have learned from it—is deeply important to us as a community, and to our continued growth and evolution.

Misconduct at Shambhala

Part of Shambhala’s history since it’s founding in the US in the 1970s includes instances of controversial behavior, sexual misconduct, and abuse of power perpetrated by leadership, including:

  • Controversial behavior from Shambhala’s founder Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
  • Sexual misconduct by Trungpa’s Dharma heir, Thomas Rich (Dharma name = Ösel Tendzin)
  • Sexual misconduct and abuse of power by Trungpa’s son and Shambhala lineage holder at the time, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche


Learn more about our History on the Shambhala Global website.

Changes to the Shambhala Global Organization

As a result of misconduct at Shambhala, our organization instituted many changes including the below.

A new Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is now self-governing and financially independent of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, who is no longer engaged with the Shambhala organization. Learn about the Board’s scope of work and members.

Code of Conduct

New Code of Conduct policies and processes that apply to everyone.

Transparency of Misconduct and Resulting Changes in Community Care

  • Shambhala Care and Conduct Initiatives
  • website, which includes an archive of communications from the Shambhala organization, the Buddhist Sunshine Project investigation into the Sakyong, the Sakyong individually, the Sakyong Potrang Board, and other Shambhala organizations. It also includes links to news media reporting on Shambhala and on Sakyong Mipham, and publications from (ex)members from Shambhala.


The Dallas Shambhala Meditation Center adheres to the Shambhala Code of Conduct. Our Center Council includes a position called Community Care and Conduct leader for members of our community to contact to report their concerns about conduct by our leadership and within our community.