Shugden Family Excluded from Protests and NKT events by NKT people
February 26, 2014
Dear Gen Rigpa, Gen Jampa, and members of the Ed. Council,
I am writing you with some concerns about the AD, Erika, at KMC LA/Hollywood. I have written before that there seem to be some people who manage at the California Centers that do not seem sincerely with our tradition, though they may teach or gatekeep for us. Concerning Erika Schieferstein, my daughter and I have experienced missing all or some of three very important events to Shugden practitioners in which Erika managed the event or was point of contact for reduced fees or accommodations:
- The California Dharma Celebration 2013, which featured a Dorje Shugden empowerment. Erika was AD at this event; the sound in the kids’ room never worked properly, we were in the smallest kids’ in 3 years running with the most kids, with an overlarge bookstore than normal in its very own room; in other words, the room was cramped, overcrowded, the sound didn’t work, and we had no official monitor for the first time. I have written about this before, as well as a resident teacher Maxine Wright, who was chosen as an usher, who sided with the mother and her kid who wanted to play with bubbles during Jampa’s afternoon teaching; I feel that these were room/usher/lack of monitor in room conditions arranged by the AD, which were uncomfortable at best, and which easily allowed for harassment of my family. This is the same empowerment in which Dorje Shugden was not referred to in the publicity as a Buddha, which is a departure from the norm; the U.S. festival the year before referred to Dorje Shugden as a Buddha. My daughter and I were unable to stay for the rest of the teaching that afternoon; I felt it unwise to bring my daughter back into a harassing environment the next day, so had to leave her with a friend; she therefore missed the rest of the transmission from Jampa.
- Gen-la Dekyong’s teaching Nov.29th; though I asked in early November for reduced fees, Erika never got back to me, which prevented me from attending, as they won’t let us arrive and not pay them full price. We were completely removed from this event by the result of the lack of communication, though I had cced to the EPC at KMC LA as well.
- The protests in Los Angeles: I was not informed that there were protests; I am on correspondence Sunday FP, but thought I had written Ryan (webperson), and Erika noting that they hadn’t uploaded the teachings for 2 months, we still didn’t have teachings past December by the time the protests began. When I found out that the Dalai Lama was being protested, and finally found out how to register, I was emailed, as I mentioned in yesterday’s correspondence, by the ISC’s Lingpur that I would be informed on the 25thwhere I would stay on the 24th. Since Lingpur seemed to think we would have a place to stay, I was nearly boarding the train by the time Erica called/emailed and said there wasn’t any accommodation after all. This completely prevented my daughter and me from being two more people present at the protests; I had said we could sleep on the floor, and on the organization page it indicated that most accommodation would be on the ground, but Erika made it clear that there was absolutely no room for us in KMC Hollywood, retracting the ISC’s offer.
I do not consider that Erika Schieferstein is forthright concerning our exclusion from 1. Teachings on Dorje Shugden at an empowerment that she was responsible for organizing 2. Never responding to my email concerning reduced rate to Gen-la Deykong’s teaching, thus barring us from entry 3. Keeping us from protests by retracting the ISC’s offer for a place to stay.
These three events are crucial to sincere practitioners in our lineage; the empowerment of Dorje Shugden and his teachings are essential to those who really belong to the NKT, and I had requested the empowerment of Dorje Shugden on several occasions, so it was very important to me. Obviously, going to a teaching on tantra by the GSD would be helpful to someone who is on this path in the NKT so we can see the GSD teach; this helps people decide if she would be someone that they can take HYT vows from; the HYT is necessary to attain full Buddhahood to help all beings become Buddhas as well. The protest would obviously be helpful to attend, as it would give greater numbers and thus bring more attention to what the Dalai Lama is doing in India to Shugden followers. It also might mean that people who really like Shugden would be at the protests, which might give us a voice if someone were doing interviews, rather than giving it to our replacements from the Dalai Lama’s group.
I am very tired of constantly dealing with this; I feel very concerned about getting to events or being harassed at them; I have written a lot and told what happened; I am requesting that we could do something to end the harassment that we receive at Shugden events, as well as the exclusion, so easy to do with people who need discounted teaching rates or overnight accommodation; all the AD has to do is not respond to requests regarding discounted teachings and then we are completely barred from coming.
I do not think Erica Schieferstein is a sincere follower of Dorje Shugden after the fiasco of publicity that failed to mention that Shugden is a Buddha, the fiasco of how the Shugden CADC was run, and also the exclusion of our family completely from Gen-la Dekyong’s tantra teachings temple opening weekend at KMC Hollywood, by simply refusing to respond about whether I could pay less for the tantra teachings, thus barring us from entry; she also retracted the offer of the ISC that there was a place to stay, though the ISC itself had told me I would be told on the 25th, where we were staying on the 24th. Please, we need access to events, and you need to get these people out of management positions that constantly bar us from entry to events.
There is always an excuse to keep us out; if we need to pay for something and can’t pay full price, if we need accommodations, if there is anything at all that would require normal human contact or decency regarding entry to important events, such as housing, funding, communication, then we will be barred as long as we keep insincere management in place. Thank you for your time.