Andrea Winn, the founder of Buddhist Project Sunshine, offers some final thoughts and reflections, after wrapping up two years of arduous effort on behalf of bringing to light the sexualized violence occurring within the Shambhala community.
We are very grateful to her for raising the banner for others to gather under - a very noble, and difficult, act!
What I personally found most inspiring about Andrea's message and approach was her unswerving dedication to the well-being of the Shambhala community. This was not one woman's quest for justice, although it easily could have been. This started as one woman's call to a better way, and required many of us to re-evaluate our relationships with hierarchy and power structures.
I personally believe the impact of Buddhist Project Sunshine has far exceeded initial expectations, and that Shambhala, and the larger Buddhist community, will be better off if we can take to heart her message and learn from it what we can. Abuse, sexual and otherwise, has not been isolated to the Shambhala tradition, and in order for a healthy sense of practice to move forward, we need to call for more accountability from leadership, and speak out against the injustices we see, instead of turning a blind eye or assuming that the problems are too ingrained to change.
Andrea's work was a great act of devotion to the community, and we will forever be grateful to and inspired by her selfless action for the well-being of others. Truly, a noble woman!