Against the stream centers shutting down

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
TRobinson465
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by TRobinson465 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:05 pm

Not sure. I was thinking maybe it wasn't revealed due to privacy for the alleged victims. But I guess that doesn't hold up since most ppl who are accused of such conduct generally have what they're accused of public.

I'm not sure if Levine is truly guilty. I was more expressing my dismay that even if he was why do the ATS centers have to go too? But chownah makes a good point. Out of their own ego everyone likes to say they believe in innocent until proven guilty because its logical and just and sounds good to say u believe that. Yet it's quite horrifying how few people actually apply this rule they supposedly believe in to actual suspects. Especially high profile ones.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

Digity
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by Digity » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:44 am

Yeah, there was someone in my country that was somewhat high profile that got caught up in #metoo stuff when he was accused of sexual harassment by a women. In the end, I think they found no evidence and I honestly found it hard to believe this guy was guilty. Other women came out saying he was good to work with, etc. Seemed it was just one woman saying it and no real evidence.

The thing with Levine is that it seems multiple women are accusing him of sexual misconduct. That seems like more of a red flag to me...so he seems more guilty in my mind. Unless all these women are colluding against him or something. The other aspect of this is that ATS had an independent investigator look into it and they concluded that he most likely did something wrong. So, that adds more weight to the guilty side of things. I think the fact that he has a checkered past isn't helping his case.

TRobinson465
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by TRobinson465 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:53 am

Yes, when there's multiple people independently accusing you of something its more credible. Not like just one person making all the accusations, although some ppl are stupid enuff to believe things even if its just one person making accusations with no evidence whatsoever.

The updated article does say Levine admits to wrongdoing. So this and the fact that there are multiple independent claims supports that he is guilty of some misconduct, although not necessarily with his students. Although even then, its kinda unclear what he did as sources aren't really saying exactly what he was accused of doing. From the statements it almost sounds like he had sex that he thought was consensual but wasn't or something.
https://www.lionsroar.com/against-the-s ... shut-down/
Last edited by TRobinson465 on Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:07 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

TRobinson465
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by TRobinson465 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:55 am

Regardless, guilty or not. Just a shame these centers that were doing some good are shutting down.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

Digity
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by Digity » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:58 am

I feel like if you're a teacher of Buddhism you have to have impeccable behaviour...that's why I could never be a teacher. :tongue:

Yeah, it's a shame to lose all those teachers and it sounds like a lot of good was done by the center. But still, something was obviously wrong there too. Especially considering how everyone abandoned ship...sometimes life is just messy and it's not nice. It'll be interesting to follow these teachers from that center and see what they decide to do next.

chownah
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by chownah » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:01 am

TRobinson465 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:53 am
Yes, when there's multiple people independently accusing you of something its more credible. Not like just one person making all the accusations, although some ppl are stupid enuff to believe things even if its just one person making accusations with no evidence whatsoever.

The updated article does say Levine admits to wrongdoing. So this and the fact that there are multiple independent claims supports that he is guilty of some misconduct, although not necessarily with his students. Although even then, its kinda unclear what he did as sources aren't really saying exactly what he was accused of doing. From the statements it almost sounds like he had sex that he thought was consensual but wasn't or something.
https://www.lionsroar.com/against-the-s ... shut-down/
Thanks for the link.
The title for the article is "Against the Stream confirms sexual misconduct by Noah Levine; centers to shut down; Update: Levine responds".....this is a very very strong statement.....frankly I dont' see anything in the article with is so conclusive as to warrant this statement. I know that different people will require different degrees of proof. I would be interested in exactly what people see in the article which could warrant this statement.
As to levine admitting wrongdoing.....I don't see that he has exactly done that. Here is the entire letter which levine wrote and is contained in the article.
This is a complicated letter to write because I am essentially writing three groups of people in one open letter. I have a completely different perspective of my experiences with each of you individually and as groups of people. I’m going to approach this with compassion, willingness to listen and attempt to make sense of what is a layered, messy, painful situation.
I feel that it’s important for everyone to know that none of this had anything to do with students of ATS or members of Refuge Recovery. These were issues that came from my personal life.
I take full responsibility for anything that I have actually done. And will continue to be honest and cooperative with the process and anyone seeking the truth. That said, I will likewise also continue to tell the truth about what never happened, such as the accusation that I assaulted someone.
To the women who have come forward and expressed a sense of suffering because of interpersonal experiences with me, I am sorry I caused you harm and I ask your forgiveness. I wanted to connect and to explore a relationship. This has been a deeply painful learning experience. I want to take full responsibility for any harm I caused to anyone and everyone with whom I have had a dating relationship. I want to make amends for my behavior if it didn’t feel good to them. I don’t want to defend or minimize. It is important to me that any woman who felt harmed, now feels heard. I want to understand. It matters. I was shocked to hear (months later) that someone was unhappy in any way with our interactions. I was not aware at the time that anything was amiss with how we connected. Whenever a boundary was stated – physical, emotional, or otherwise – I always honored it.
This is part of the learning for me in all of this – that just because someone doesn’t say “No” or express displeasure at the time, doesn’t always mean they are happy about it. I can also see that I wasn’t taking into account my power/privilege and status as a dharma teacher in my personal dating life. Perhaps I’ve had some denial or dismissive tendencies around my role as the founder of these two communities (ATS and RR). This has been a very painful way to wake up to the reality of who I am and how I’m seen by others.
For my communities, my heart breaks that intimate experiences from my personal life have caused a ripple effect that has made our community fragment. I can’t explain to you the depth of my sadness as I think of each of you and what has come to be a community trauma. I am especially sensitive to the needs of the recovery community and I encourage you to lean on each other. Against the Stream may not exist in name, but the community still exists in each other. Refuge Recovery meetings are a peer-led process, support each-other and continue the necessary work of your own healing and recovery. In moments like this we must remember even more to take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
For my colleagues, I feel betrayed and abandoned. You were my family. We taught compassion and forgiveness together. I feel you did the opposite. You silenced me. You isolated me. You did not give me the benefit of the doubt, and you offered me no path to forgiveness and healing.
As a community we face the painful reality of all that has taken place and we now have the task of beginning the process of grieving the losses, navigating the changes and rebuilding the trust and connection that we once had. I have every intention of carrying on with my calling and mission, that is to practice the Dharma, to embody wisdom and compassion as best I can and to share the teachings of the Buddha with all who are interested to receive it.
I will continue my work at Refuge Recovery Treatment Centers providing addiction treatment to suffering addicts as well as teaching my weekly meditation group at our new location in Venice. I will also be offering residential retreats through my friends at Rebel Saints Meditation Society. For now it looks like all of the other organizations and retreat centers that I have been teaching at for the past many years will cancel my events out of fear of the criticism they will receive if they continue to have me as faculty.
I am continuing to process all of this with my psychotherapist who specializes in Sexuality, and staying in contact with some of my Buddhist teachers.
I will end with my meditation phrase-
Please forgive me for any harm I have caused, intentionally or unintentionally.

Noah Levine
Again....I would be interested in what people see here that shows he admits to wrong doing and specifically to wrong doing which also constitues sexual misconduct.

And, again, I don't see that we are shown specific allegations which would in any way give us some idea about just what he is supposed to have done....not even in a sketchy impersonal way. So far the only thing I have seen is what levine said in the letter above which is "I feel that it’s important for everyone to know that none of this had anything to do with students of ATS or members of Refuge Recovery. These were issues that came from my personal life."

If there is other information I would be interested in seeing it.
chownah

TRobinson465
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by TRobinson465 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:51 am

chownah wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:01 am

Again....I would be interested in what people see here that shows he admits to wrong doing and specifically to wrong doing which also constitues sexual misconduct.
To the women who have come forward and expressed a sense of suffering because of interpersonal experiences with me, I am sorry I caused you harm and I ask your forgiveness. I wanted to connect and to explore a relationship. This has been a deeply painful learning experience. I want to take full responsibility for any harm I caused to anyone and everyone with whom I have had a dating relationship. I want to make amends for my behavior if it didn’t feel good to them. I don’t want to defend or minimize. It is important to me that any woman who felt harmed, now feels heard. I want to understand. It matters. I was shocked to hear (months later) that someone was unhappy in any way with our interactions. I was not aware at the time that anything was amiss with how we connected. Whenever a boundary was stated – physical, emotional, or otherwise – I always honored it.
From my POV, he appears to admit to some wrongdoing here. Although as i stated above its not clear. he still clearly denies assault. it seems like he is saying he had sex that he thought was consensual but wasn't. Which is still considered wrong by a lot of people, although not nearly as bad as outright assault or coercion. He certainly isn't admitting to doing anything that bad.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

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DooDoot
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by DooDoot » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:03 am

TRobinson465 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:51 am
he had sex that he thought was consensual but wasn't.
A person in his position expectant of a high level of 'trust' does not engage in such behaviour. Also, in Buddhism, I doubt there is such doctrine as "consensual" sex. Sex is either caused by defilement or, otherwise, occurs with compassion & other virtues.
TRobinson465 wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:05 pm
I was more expressing my dismay that even if he was why do the ATS centers have to go too?
The little I have read seems to point to the ownership structure of ATS. Noah appeared to be a major controller, owner or trustee thus the vehicle is wound up because he controls it.

TRobinson465
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by TRobinson465 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:25 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:03 am
TRobinson465 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:51 am
he had sex that he thought was consensual but wasn't.
A person in his position expectant of a high level of 'trust' does not engage in such behaviour. Also, in Buddhism, I doubt there is such doctrine as "consensual" sex. Sex is either caused by defilement or, otherwise, occurs with compassion & other virtues.
When i say consensual sex. i dont mean unwholesome sex or some special Buddhist interpretation. i am using the term strictly as consensual as in "consent" between both parties.
"Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism" - the 14th Dalai Lama

"At Varanasi, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by brahmins, devas, Maras, Brahmas or anyone in the cosmos." -Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta

"Go forth, monks, for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction." - First Khandhaka, Chapter 11, Vinaya.

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DooDoot
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by DooDoot » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:33 am

TRobinson465 wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:25 am
When i say consensual sex. i dont mean unwholesome sex or some special Buddhist interpretation. i am using the term strictly as consensual as in "consent" between both parties.
There is no such thing as "consensual" sex because "consensual" implies free-will. If there was free-will, the complaints by the women would not have occurred. In the world of defilement, there is no "free-will". Women get seduced or women seduce and when it doesn't work out, they get angry & blame. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
Last edited by DooDoot on Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

chownah
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by chownah » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:36 am

Also, in Buddhism, I doubt there is such doctrine as "consensual" sex.
Buddhist doctrines don't explicitly cover all aspects of all behaviors. It is enough that consensual sex is widely understood and emphasized in lay life to see its importance in lay life. If someone were to posit that consent was not important......well, need I say more?
chownah

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DooDoot
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by DooDoot » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:38 am

chownah wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:36 am
Buddhist doctrines don't explicitly cover all aspects of all behaviors. It is enough that consensual sex is widely understood and emphasized in lay life to see its importance in lay life.
Personally, I've never experienced consensual sex. Sex always ends up in some type of drama (of blame) when you stick around long enough.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:18 am

DooDoot wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:38 am
chownah wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:36 am
Buddhist doctrines don't explicitly cover all aspects of all behaviors. It is enough that consensual sex is widely understood and emphasized in lay life to see its importance in lay life.
Personally, I've never experienced consensual sex. Sex always ends up in some type of drama (of blame) when you stick around long enough.
A bit like Theravada forum discussions, then, DooDoot? :tongue:

Edit to make a more serious point: Both this thread and the one on discerning the effects of kamma in this life are wandering into a more general discussion about sex and its vicissitudes. Please could people stick to the original topic (i.e. here, about Levine and the specifics of ATS) and start another thread if necessary?

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by Pseudobabble » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:07 am

It really sounds like he has done nothing wrong. How is one supposed to know that someone doesn't like what one is doing if they give no indication of it?

That said, like all men in such positions, Noah really should know how to protect himself from such after-the-fact accusations, particularly as these have been something of a trend in recent times.
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

chownah
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Re: Against the stream centers shutting down

Post by chownah » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:37 am

Pseudobabble wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:07 am
It really sounds like he has done nothing wrong. How is one supposed to know that someone doesn't like what one is doing if they give no indication of it?

That said, like all men in such positions, Noah really should know how to protect himself from such after-the-fact accusations, particularly as these have been something of a trend in recent times.
Do we even know if the allegations are about things which happened in recent times?
I wouldn't say that it sounds like he has done nothing wrong.....to me it sounds like there isn't any evidence one way or the other and that there aren't even any clear allegations that we can consider. My guess is that sooner or later some sort of allegations will be made available to the public....if not then I think that if he wanted to levine would have a good case for a defamation law suit....but I'm not a lawyer.....
chownah

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