Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct Ashley Dinges’ title to Shambhala communications representative.
Another property in Boulder County with ties to the embattled Buddhist organization Shambhala International is for sale.
The Boulder County home of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the leader of Boulder-born organization now headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia; is on the market for $2.4 million. Recently, the organization sold Marpa House, a cohousing community where about 40 people with ties to Shambhala live, for $4.9 million to a group of developers to pay off its debts.
The organization is navigating a “difficult period” stemming from accusations of sexual misconduct against Mipham and other leaders that came to light last summer. Mipham stepped back from his duties in the wake of those accusations.
Boulder County property records show an 8,100-square-foot, eight-bedroom house in the 6800 block of Marshall Drive belongs to Mipham JT Mukpo and Tseyang P. Mukpo, or Mipham and his wife.
The listing price has been decreased from when it was initially listed for $2.8 million in April. The house is listed by Joel Ripmaster of Colorado Landmark Realtors.
Attempts to reach Ripmaster were not successful.
Ashley Dinges, Shambhala communications representative, said because the Marshall Drive home belonged to Mipham personally, not Shambhala, she could not comment on why the house is listed for sale.
Efforts to reach the interim board of Shambhala International for comment on the listing of the house were unsuccessful. Mipham is in India with his wife, and it is unclear how long he will remain there.
Boulder County Assessor property records show the property was purchased in 1999 for $230,000 and again in 2010 for $1.38 million. Property records also show the house was deeded to a new owner in June 2013.
Shambhala International was met with resistance from some residents of Marpa House, who organized the Community of Marpa House to raise money to buy it and maintain it as a cohousing community.
Shambhala officials sold the property in August to the group of developers, headed by John Kirkland, which offered a higher bid. The resident group later said they felt misled by Kirkland, who they said visited them and offered to help them keep the house. Since the sale, the Boulder Landmarks Board unanimously voted to initiate the process of designating the property as a landmark, which would protect the building’s exterior from unpermitted alterations.
Mipham has been mostly silent publicly since apologizing in July 2018 for causing “harm” in past relationships after the release of the three-part Project Sunshine report. It detailed sexual misconduct allegations from anonymous women against him and other high-ranking Shambhala officials.
Boulder’s Naropa University removed Mipham from its board and members of the Kalapa Council, Shambhala’s governing body, stepped down after the report’s release.
Shambhala also commissioned a third-party report to investigate the allegations. When it was released in February, it showed Halifax-based law firm Wickwire Holm found credible two accusations of sexual misconduct by the leader. At that time, more than 40 Acharyas, or high-ranking spiritual teachers, signed an open letter asking Mipham to step back from his teaching role.
Former Shambhala member Michael Smith, 54, and former teacher William Lloyd Karelis, 71, were both arrested earlier this year on suspicion of sexual assault of a child.
Smith was charged in July with sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. The victim in that case said he assaulted her multiple times beginning in 1997 when she was 13. Police reports show Smith participated in a deal to undergo therapy and treatment in exchange for his name being withheld from police in 1998. The deal was orchestrated by a man known in the Boulder Buddhist community for “dealing” with “family conflicts or domestic violence issues.”
Karelis, who resigned from Shambhala in 2009, was charged in May with sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. The victim in that case said he assaulted her multiple times during weekend trips to his house while he was teaching her to meditate beginning around the time she was 13.
In July, a Denver Post investigation showed Shambhala had for decades suppressed abuse allegations by using internal processes that often did not deliver justice for victims.