Since the #MeToo movement went global, almost no one is immune to the shining light of its fury. Not even Buddhists.
Jezebel’s article on the sexual allegations against popular Los Angeles-based Buddhist teach, Noah Levine (Against the Stream), is a worthwhile read. It gets into the difficult and convoluted politics that has permeated mainstream Buddhist organizations in America. (China has its fair share of problems, too.)
The author of the article, Anna Merlan, does a fine job of parsing through the intertwined connections that Levine apparently has fostered in his career. Many institutions and organizations, both non-profit and for-profit, conspicuously promote him and benefit from his involvement. The issue of money is like a sticky goo that is hard to wash off.
I realize that large organizations inevitably cannot avoid political strife. The world functions in many ways that is incongruent with Buddhist values. While this isn’t the primary reason that makes me seek smaller, grass root, and less complicated groups like the Eastside Mindfulness Collective and Angel City Zen Center for my own spiritual studies, what’s happening at Against the Stream substantiates some of my intuitions.