Dealing with Sangha Business Issues

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Dealing with Sangha Business Issues

Postby untxi » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:07 pm

I am an upasaka ngakpa, and offer some small amount of service to my local sangha. I generally act as a proxy in different dealings and I file certain papers. Recently working on a certain project, a dharma sister brought up some ethical concerns about a certain matter, and announced that because of these problems that she would have to leave the sangha. While I am confident that I am not in the wrong, this grieves me. My understanding of the sdom gsum is that it is my responsibility to leave the sangha until this matter is resolved and to be available to resolve and questions. Given the potential lapse of ethics I really have no place anywhere near the sangha or its meetings.

My problem is that my dharma sister refuses to voice these concerns beyond oblique comments, and refuses to direct them to our lama or to the sangha. I've encouraged her to do so, but it seems we're stuck in a holding pattern where she will not come to the sangha because of these ethical concerns and I don't feel it is appropriate until these issues are resolved.

Thoughts?

-Untxi
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Re: Dealing with Sangha Business Issues

Postby Alfredo » Sat Oct 05, 2013 12:56 am

You might bring them up yourself. But it is not your responsibility to make her come to the sangha, or lodge a formal complaint. At some point she has to either shit, or get off the pot. It's not fair to you for her to hold this kind of power over you otherwise.
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Re: Dealing with Sangha Business Issues

Postby disjointed » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:45 am

In some cases there are vows requiring you to report another who has broken the vows or risk your own.

It's generally best to be honest about short comings, but choosing the right time and place is also important.
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you are a sock puppet.
Make as many accounts as you want; people can identify your deception with this test.
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Re: Dealing with Sangha Business Issues

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:28 pm

It's difficult. I'm all for reporting stuff like abuse or defalcation (or whatever it is you're talking about) and clarifying things.

However you don't stand a chance if you don't have the spiritual teacher or a majority of that group on your side. If you try to expose one or all of the ingroup running the center but (1) you cannot actually prove anything and (2) the Tibetan teacher has a hands-off approach (because he thinks it's none of his business, or he doesn't want to dirty his hands with "dharma politics", or he thinks this is only a problem of your perception and you should work on your perception instead, or he just doesn't care) chances are a 99% majority of the center's members will turn against you.

They'll accuse you of negative speech, having evil intentions, splitting the Sangha, trying to badmouth the people who work so hard and relentlessly to make this wonderful place of Dharma transmission possible, not keeping the Pure View, acting out of jealousy, trying to kick the leader out because you want to be the next leader, playing power games yourself, trying to act out on someone because you have personal problems, being neurotic, disturbed or even psychotic. In the end the only thing you'll have achieved is that you'll get mobbed out of the center.

While ethically reporting the issue may be the right thing, strategically you should be careful. Try to contact the teacher first and see if he takes the issue seriously and if he's ready to concern himself with it. If he's not accessible or has a hands-off approach you can carefully put your toe in the water and check the temperature by approaching some members of that community who appear trustworthy to you and tell them about the issue in a face to face conversation. If the reactions you get are brainwashy BS answers like those I listed above it's time to realize there's nothing you can do.
"Forget about being clever, and simply remain." Guru Rinpoche, Treasures from Juniper Ridge
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Re: Dealing with Sangha Business Issues

Postby Alfredo » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:06 am

If this is the case, then why would anyone want to belong to a group like that? Isn't Buddhism supposed to make us better people instead of worse?
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Re: Dealing with Sangha Business Issues

Postby ReasonAndRhyme » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:56 am

Hi Alfredo,

not sure if you're addressing Untxi or me or both of us. I've only described what happened to me when I was in similar situations.

Alfredo wrote:If this is the case, then why would anyone want to belong to a group like that?


I completely agree with you.

I think it has to do with people misunderstanding the concepts of pure view and seeing the teacher as perfect. Most people I know understand the concept of pure view similar to the ideology of positive thinking. They jump into student-teacher relationships without testing the teacher first, and then they build castles in the air and believe this is their main dharma practice. If somebody comes along and speaks out some unpleasant truths they feel attacked in their innermost selves. But maybe that would be a topic for itself.
"Forget about being clever, and simply remain." Guru Rinpoche, Treasures from Juniper Ridge
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