Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds
So here’s something I didn’t know until last week: Spirit Rock rescinded Noah Levine’s authorization to teach Buddhism under the auspices of Spirit Rock. I was told that Levine was the first Spirit Rock teacher whose authorization was rescinded for misconduct. Moreover, Jack Kornfield, who was Noah’s personal teacher, rescinded his authorization for Noah Levine to teach Buddhism as Kornfield’s student. Why is this important? Because Noah Levine keeps trying to resurrect his teaching career from the dead. Apparently he has tried to start a new version of Against the Stream, which had been dissolved as a Buddhist sangha last year, due to Noah’s alleged sexual assault of some 7 or more women. He is still trying to continue to operate Refuge Recovery as a retreat and teacher training program to train people to run the Refuge Recovery program. His plan is to authorize teachers under his own ‘lineage’ so they will be the only people ‘qualified’, according to Levine’s logic, to run a Refuge Recovery group. Moreover, Levine is doing everything he can to prevent people from using the name Refuge Recovery for their own Buddhist recovery groups. I think it’s about time that we show Levine that he can’t stop a decentralized army of thousands of recovering addicts who will responsibly run our own Buddhist recovery groups in a democratic, collective way, using whatever name we see fit, and not cowtow to his malignant narcissism. The age of the Western guru is over, and what is emerging are collectively run sanghas that are not based in hierarchy, but mutual care and responsibility.
BTW, Levine was finally and permanently removed from the Board of Refuge Recovery this year.
Following Against the Stream’s investigation into “allegations of rape, sexual harassment and other misconduct against him,” the Ethics and Reconciliation (EAR) Council of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, in Woodacre, California, has withdrawn the authorization to teach given to Noah Levine. Further, Jack Kornfield, who led Levine’s teacher training and was his authorizing teacher, has rescinded that 2006 authorization. (Read the rest at the link.)
The full statement of Spirit Rock on the de-authorization of Noah Levine is here: https://www.spiritrock.org/file/Spirit-Rock-EAR-Council-Statement-regarding-Noah-Levine.pdf