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Halifax-based Buddhist group grappling with alleged sexual misconduct announces transition plan

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche arrives in the rain for his Tibetan Buddhist royal wedding to Princess Tseyang Palmo in Halifax on Saturday, June 10, 2006. The 43-year-old Sakyong, son of the movement's founder, is the spiritual leader for more than 10,000 Shambhala Buddhists around the world. Andrew Vaughan/ The Canadian Press

One of the largest Buddhist organizations in the western world has announced a leadership transition plan, three weeks after its spiritual leader stepped aside amid sexual misconduct allegations.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the leader of the Shambhala International community, stepped back from his duties this month pending the outcome of a third-party investigation.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia-based Buddhist leader facing new sexual misconduct allegations

Members of the Kalapa Council, the governing body of the Halifax-based Buddhist organization and its more than 200 meditation centres worldwide, announced they would be resigning en masse through a “phased departure.”

In a letter to the Shambhala community today, the council announced a transition team that will select and appoint an interim board of directors and a so-called process team.

The council says the process team will be responsible for improving the Buddhist organization’s future leadership, representation, and governance structures.

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The transition plan comes after a former Shambhala community member published a report last month with statements from women alleging sexual misconduct by Mipham.

WATCH: Sexual misconduct allegations cast dark shadow over Shambhala Buddhism

Click to play video: 'Sexual misconduct allegations cast dark shadow over Shambhala Buddhism' Sexual misconduct allegations cast dark shadow over Shambhala Buddhism
Sexual misconduct allegations cast dark shadow over Shambhala Buddhism – Jul 26, 2018

The council has hired Halifax law firm Wickwire Holm to investigate the allegations.

The transition plan appears to be part of an effort to separate the current leadership with the appointment of the next board.

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