Dear Shambhala Friends,
I am writing to you today with both a sense of urgency and trust. This spring, registration at Dechen Chöling is down dramatically as compared with previous years. If this trend does not shift in a major way in the coming weeks, it will have very serious ramifications on our ability to continue to offer programming and operate. I want to be transparent about the situation with the community and to invite you to help us move forward in a good way.
It is understandable why registration for retreats and programmes is much lower than previous years. With all of the turmoil, upheaval, and groundlessness in our community in recent months, it makes good sense that many community members are holding back with a “wait and see” approach before choosing to register for programmes and retreats at Dechen Chöling this year. The consequences of this, however, are very real, as we rely on pre-programme registration in the spring to continue to operate through the summer months.
All of our projections for 2019 were very conservative, and at this point even our conservative estimates for programme attendance are not yet met. The following is a brief snapshot of our situation:
Programme registration is down 30% from 2018 and 40% from 2017.
There is a projected operating shortfall of 250,000 EUR for 2019.
While on the one hand this paints a bleak picture, at the same time, I am sharing this with you, our dear Shambhala sangha and family in Europe, with a sense of trust in your love and care for Dechen Chöling. I am asking you to come and stay with us, attend programmes, and be with your fellow sangha in retreats this summer as we navigate the path forward together. We are working hard to create spaces where our community can come together in a shared experience and move forward with renewed optimism and heart, and we invite you to experience that this year at Dechen Chöling.
Should this feel right to you at this time, you can register to attend a programme or retreat this summer here:
Come visit us and help support us financially – and at the same time, renew both yourself and your connection to the community.
We are all in this together. I trust and hope that I will see many of you this summer.
With much appreciation for our community,
Director of Dechen Chöling