Many people have asked for an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the directorship of our Centre.
Why were Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s three choices for Centre Director rejected one after the other? The direct answer is not known. There is little insight that can be offered about the motivations of those who rejected them. But here is the sequence of events as they unfolded, together with some comments — you can draw your own conclusions.
In December 2018, the Tara Institute Executive Committee (EC), on the advice of Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche, appointed Frank Brock and me, Peter Guiliano, to take over running TI from Judy Mayne who had resigned after 10 years in the role. Rinpoche’s observation was that we came out as “very good” in the roles.
This change over was in accordance with the American-based international FPMT organisation, with which Tara Institute is affiliated, which requires that “If a center, project or service is affiliated with FPMT, it means that it follows the spiritual direction of Lama Zopa Rinpoche.”
Following the public announcement of that appointment, an overview was circulated to the TI community outlining a quick assessment of the important tasks facing the Centre and how we planned to tackle them.
Several long interviews were held with every member of the EC and with other important stakeholders around the Centre. Enthusiasm was high but within a few weeks Frank and I were sacked without warning and without discussion of any kind, before or after the act.
Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche knows what he is doing
Clearly, Rinpoche wants TI to change, and how much he wants it to change can be demonstrated by the massive forces of resistance to his leadership team recommendation.
Rinpoche’s recommendations have proved impeccable over his more than 30 years as Spiritual Director of the FPMT. He leads more than 160 centres, monasteries, nunneries, projects and charitable endeavours which include establishing the Sera Jey Food Fund. That Fund has provided food for the monks at the monastery for 27 years. It now provides 2,900 meals a day.
Experience of Frank and myself as Centre Directors
Frank and I have decades of experience working for the FPMT and have proven ourselves over the years to be 100% loyal to Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. I was not a founder of TI (as stated in the EC email to Members) but became the fourth Director in 1981 when our Centre owed $120,000 (a lot of money in those days) and had no assets.
By the time I finished my first stint as Director, we had bought and sold Crimea Street and had bought and run Mavis Avenue. Since then, I have served Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche as TI Centre Director at Mavis Avenue a second time, and now he has “appointed” me a third time with Frank. Frank has been Director at Lawudo Retreat Centre, Nepal, and Director at Root Institute, India, and has resided at TI for eight years.
Subsequently, the EC sent out 3 broadcast emails to the entire Members list misrepresenting the facts and misleading the readers by giving the impression that we had not in fact “taken up” the roles and then, later, that the roles had been withdrawn by FPMT Central Office —clearly on secret advice given by the EC. However, we had been appointed by the EC (in accordance with the TI’s official Rules of Association [Rules]) and FPMT had had no power to —and did not— make those appointments in the first place. Further explanation is here.
Check out the history of TI from 1974 up until 2000 — it shows a rapid growth, an impressive range of teachers and teachings built on almost yearly visits by Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Recently, in Brighton, the centre has aged and its works have slowed, with fewer teaching offerings and declining membership.
While Lama Zopa is continuing to work so hard to help others, all around the world, it’s hard to understand why the EC is so intent on resisting change and refusing to move forward or to provide a relevant program for today’s community in Melbourne.
The next step in the current investigation is to look at the Timeline of 2019 events here.
Harmony – the combination of simultaneously sounded voices that blend to produce a pleasing effect. Silencing one of those voices is not the way to create harmony. It is the definition of something else entirely.