A prominent Buddhist teacher and author has been dropped by his publisher after ThinkProgress published an investigation last month into an allegation of sexual misconduct against him, according to Publishers Weekly.
The Penguin Group imprint TarcherPerigee reportedly canceled its fall release of Lodro P. Rinzler’s new book, How to Be Decent, after ThinkProgress found Rinzler allegedly pressured a woman into sex in 2013 even after she said multiple times that she did not want to sleep with him.
Shambhala Publications, which published Rinzler’s six other books on meditation and Buddhism, told Publishers Weekly it has “no new projects planned” with Rinzler but will keep his previous titles in print.
Rinzler is chief spiritual officer at MNDFL, a boutique, for-profit meditation studio with three locations in New York City. He was a teacher in the Buddhist group Shambhala International, which is not affiliated with Shambhala Publications, before stepping down last month.
Just before Rinzler stepped down, serious allegations of sexual assault by the group’s leader, Sakyong Mipham, had came to light.
“I am feeling a lot of pain around what is happening in the Shambhala community,” Rinzler wrote on his private Facebook page at the time. “I personally have clarity that it is time for me to officially leave Shambhala as an organization and no longer teach there.”
Shambhala International opened an internal investigation into the allegation of sexual misconduct by Rinzler just two days before he left the organization, according to emails obtained by ThinkProgress. A source close to the Shambhala community confirmed that internal investigation.
The director of a local Shambhala meditation center confronted Rinzler with rumors about the sexual misconduct allegation after Shambhala opened its internal investigation, according to an email obtained by ThinkProgress from a senior Shambhala official to the alleged victim. In the email, the official speculated that the question from the center director may have tipped Rinzler off about the investigation.
In a statement to ThinkProgress last month, Rinzler denied the sexual misconduct allegation and said he did not leave Shambhala over the internal investigation.
“I was deeply troubled by the allegations against the leadership of Shambhala and after learning of them stepped away from any involvement with Shambhala’s programs entirely of my own accord,” Rinzler said in an email. “There is no truth to the allegation that Shambhala fired me. Nor have I ever been involved in any inappropriate sexual behavior or interactions with any individual.”
Do you have information about sexual misconduct in Shambhala or elsewhere? Contact reporter Joshua Eaton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by Signal at 202-684-1030.