ttnyc wrote:[ I feel I can't fully follow this great teacher because of the association with what I consider very unethical behavior by one of her teachers.
That's a real shame. I agree, Pema Chodron is a wonderful teacher.. at a very dark time in my life her book "When things fall apart" really hit home for me in a powerful way.
But here's the thing - the end of the bit you quoted of me went on to say... "that she had gotten to a point where she could say she didn't know, and didn't know WHO he was really, but that it didn't change her devotion because he'd changed her life."... So, I'm wondering if there is a way that you can view Trungpa's influence on Pema as maybe being pivotal to the insightful teacher she is today?
I don't think you necessarily have to be a fan of Pema's teachers, in order to have a connection or devotion to her. I guess I just feel that if you have a heart connection for a Lama, then don't let your dislike for their own teacher's perceived behaviors stand in the way (unless of course she also displays the same behavior!). I apologise if I'm sticking my nose up in your business
Ages ago I read "Dragon Thunder" by Trungpa's wife about her life with him. It was one of the craziest things I've ever seen & I couldn't put it down. But it did also put into perspective, as Wisdom posted, about the culture in the west in the 60'/70's.. people simply didn't have exposure to sangha & Buddhism like today and Trungpa fit into the crowd to appeal to the lifestyle of the 'seekers' of the day, plenty of whom were more interested in free love, drugs & rock'n'roll. It was pretty radical times for the first Lamas coming to the west.
You asked when will the next Trungpa come along & will their behavior be tolerated - I can't imagine another Trungpa in today's society.
I think the needs and culture of students are so different now and we've been introduced to sangha and a broad range of schools, systems and teachers over the last 30-40 years.
There's been other scandals along the way, in all different traditions... importantly, some adjusting to the boundaries of what an appropriate "student - Guru" relationship are and a much greater openness in recent times about speaking up and exposing fraud and abuses within dharma centres.
I do understand your concern about people being turned off dharma, there are plenty of unscrupulous 'teachers' about but there's also the interwebs to bring them to light.