Culadasa Interview - Denounced in the Dharma - Guru Viking Podcast

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Steve James, modified 2 Months ago.

Culadasa Interview - Denounced in the Dharma - Guru Viking Podcast

Posts: 96 Join Date: 2/15/19 Recent Posts
In this episode I am joined by John Yates, PhD, aka Culadasa.

On the 19th of August 2019, the board of Culadasa’s organisation Dharma Treasure released a public letter which denounced Culadasa for the Buddhist moral failings of sexual misconduct, wrong speech, and taking what is not freely given.

Culadasa issued two short statements at that time and then recently, on January 13th of 2021, released a 33-page account of the years leading up to the board’s letter.

In this interview Culadasa discusses his account, which disputes the board’s accusations, and reveals the circumstances that led to his public denouncement.

Culadasa also discusses the professional and personal consequences of the letter, and reflects on the psychological and spiritual lessons he has learned.



https://www.guruviking.com/ep78-culadasa-denounced-in-the-dharma/

Audio version of this podcast also available on iTunes and Spotify – search ‘Guru Viking Podcast’.



Topics include:

0:00 - Intro
0:54 - The accusations
10:11 - Summarising Culadasa’s 33 page account
12:29 - Why did Culadasa keep his and Nancy’s separation private and delay divorce proceedings?
18:45 - Why didn’t Culadasa tell the board about the separation during the initial meetings?
21:28 - What did Culadasa think the board was doing when they questioned him?
24:54 - Why did Culadasa admit to adultery in his initial response if he was in fact separated?
29:30 - Why did Culadasa recently release a 33-page account?
32:09 - Why did Nancy go to the board with accusations of adultery?
53:23 - What did the board stand to gain from Culadasa’s demise?
1:03:03 - What is Culadasa’s current financial situation?
1:10:06 - Psychological blindspots and spiritual plateaus
1:11:34 - Culadasa’s personal reaction to the destruction of his reputation
1:16:21 - Lessons learned from this situation and Culadasa’s current practice
1:26:40 - What’s next for Culadasa?
1:29:32 - Further comments about the structure of the board’s letter
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Noah D, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Culadasa Interview - Denounced in the Dharma - Guru Viking Podcast

Posts: 1124 Join Date: 9/1/16 Recent Posts
As I mentioned on other thread, I tend to believe him.  He doesn't seem to be lying . There wasn't the subtle hesitations & pauses people have when their stories don't add up .  If he was lying, it would be politician or spy level mastery.  

im also struck by how calm he seems to be given his situation.  Potentially running out of money while having increasing medical bills (& accompanying health issues) with age, all the while having reputation & income streams eroded by those closest to you unexpectedly .  I know everyone's saying he's not advanced since he does suppression & not worthy of being a role model but I've got to say "damn, I hope I have that kind of equanimous foundation some day." 
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Siavash, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Culadasa Interview - Denounced in the Dharma - Guru Viking Podcast

Posts: 1196 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
If he was lying, it would be politician or spy level mastery.

I don't think he has that kind of skill.

Content of the conversation aside, my main focus on watching the interview was exactly to notice signs of lying or hiding things, and I didn't notice anything in that regard. Of course experts in that area may find it differently, but it seemed to me too that he was not lying.

My first impression after his recent document was that he is not honest about the whole situation, but the more I thought about it and examined his words, I got farther from that impression. So my current state is "I don't know. Let's see how it unfolds in the coming months and years -- And more important than that, I don't have to have any judgement about it".
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Griffin, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Culadasa Interview - Denounced in the Dharma - Guru Viking Podcast

Posts: 139 Join Date: 4/7/18 Recent Posts
There was an interesting bit towards the end where he said that the last year and a half were among the happiest years of his life, although his reputation has been ruined. I don't know whether that's true, but it has reminded me of the zen story "Is that so" about Hakuin Ekaku (the difference being that Culadasa's "is that so" is 33 pages long and we still can't know whether that's the whole story emoticon).
Anyhow, I wish happiness and peace to Culadasa and all others involved in the situation.
Jake Barnes, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Culadasa Interview - Denounced in the Dharma - Guru Viking Podcast

Posts: 3 Join Date: 1/29/20 Recent Posts
That you asked him about his cash situation was pretty badass Steve.  Well done.  Great neutrality.

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