Holding Harm

The Shambhala Meditation Center of New York is committed to being a safe space for all. Shambhala is committed to a practice, study, and work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. It is each person’s right to be free from harassment, mistreatment, and discrimination.

The purpose of this page is to provide communication between Shambhala New York and our community. We will post updates and information here regularly over the course of the coming months. If you have any questions, please contact our Center Leaders Sarah Freidel and Katherine Lieberson.

Resources from Shambhala International

Shambhala International has created this webpage of resources, including updates, FAQs, and initiatives in place to reduce harm and facilitate healing, including the work with An Olive Branch. You can also submit questions and feedback here.

A Message from Sarah & Katherine

You may have heard of recent allegations against Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the head of Shambhala worldwide. There is currently an independent investigation of these allegations underway. During the course of the investigation, the Sakyong has removed himself from any teaching and administrative functions in Shambhala.

During this time, the New York Center is being held by an interim leadership team consisting of Sarah Freidel, Director of Operations; Katherine Lieberson, Director of Membership & Development; and Mary Beth Minton, Director of Finance. In addition to other functional roles, Sarah Freidel and Katherine Lieberson will serve as community liaisons. Please send any questions and concerns to Sarah ([email protected]) and Katherine ([email protected]). Mary Beth’s focus will be on the continued operations and financial health of the Center.


Please find copies of letters from Sarah and Katherine to our community at the links below:


Below are links to letters from Shambhala governance and the Sakyong, helpful blog posts and teachings. This list is not intended to be exhaustive. We offer this with broken hearts as we hold our community in kindness. Our intent is to remain in a place of openness and not-knowing, to listen to our community, and to try our best to pass on any information that we receive. These are confusing times for everyone.

Helpful Words from Buddhist Teachers

Susan Piver On Shambhala

Ethan Nichtern Reflections on Shambhala

Miriam Hall A Letter from Miriam on the Current Shambhala Situation

A video message from Lama Rod Owens to the Shambhala Community

A video message from Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo & Lama Tsultrim Allione

Community Offerings around Holding Harm

This is a challenging and confusing time for Shambhala. We are committed to providing as much space as we can for the community to come together, share, process, and ultimately envision our future here in New York City. We are committed to seeing the teachings and the community continue to thrive and grow, even in these challenging times. In fact, our teachings are our well-spring of wisdom about how to navigate and meet this challenge head on with kindness, intelligence, and fearlessness. Please join us!


(open to all unless otherwise noted)


  • Monday, July 2ndCommunity Meeting
  • Friday, July 6thA Gathering of the NYC Women’s Teacher’s Circle
  • Friday-Sunday, July 13th-15thReimagining Enlightened Society with Acharya Melissa Moore, Shastri Ethan Nichtern, Inclusivity Warrior Naoko Kojima, and Rusung Shante Smalls –
  • Monday, July 16thA Gathering of the NYC Women’s Teacher’s Circle with Acharya Melissa Moore
  • Monday, July 23rdA Gathering for Shambhala NYC Leaders with the Community Life Team (by invitation)


Care & Conduct Policy at Shambhala NYC

Shambhala is committed to a practice, study, and work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. It is each person’s right to be free from harassment, mistreatment, and discrimination. In addition to being bound individually and as a community to basic Shambhala and Buddhist standards of conduct, we are also citizens of the larger communities in which our centres are located worldwide and, therefore, must abide by public laws. These include but are not limited to laws pertaining to alcohol, drugs, and sexual conduct. Each individual has the right to practice, study, and work in an atmosphere that is free from discrimination.

If any individual is concerned that the behavior of a member of the Shambhala community, including any of its office-holders, may not have been in accordance with this statement of principle, please contact one of the people below. Any such communications will be handled in accordance with the procedures set down in Shambhala Care and Conduct, a copy of which is available at the front desk.

In addition to the Shambhala Care & Conduct policy, Shambhala NYC also has local protocols for Care & Conduct matters, for conflicts between members of the community; concerns about faculty members; concerns about the mental or behavioral health of a community member, staff or student; concerns regarding a member of the Dorje Kasung; and concerns about an Office Holder at the New York Center. You may view a copy of these protocols here.

Your local contacts for Care & Conduct-related concerns: