Ep78: Culadasa – Denounced In The Dharma

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.


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

– Dharma Treasure Board letter, 19/08/2019: https://mailchi.mp/dharmatreasure/new-teacher-training-course-other-happenings-at-dharma-treasure-3007417?e=693097afaa
– Culadasa’s initial response, 23/08/2019: https://www.reddit.com/r/TheMindIlluminated/comments/cu5lz0/this_is_not_an_appropriate_time_for_me_to_respond/
– Culadasa’s 33-page account 13/01/2021: https://www.guruviking.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/A-Message-from-Culadasa-01-12-21.pdf

To find out more about Culadasa, visit:
– http://culadasa.com/about/

For more interviews, videos, and more visit:
– www.guruviking.com

Music ‘Deva Dasi’ by Steve James

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