Dear Noble Sangha,
On October 17th we took our oaths to serve as the governing body of Shambhala International. We vow to propagate the vision of Shambhala and to dedicate our service to the benefit of others so that everyone may experience their own goodness and decency.
We will serve for a twelve month term, with full legal and fiduciary responsibility to be the operating board that oversees Shambhala USA, Shambhala Canada and Shambhala Europe. Our focus will be on economic health and sustainability; and on community care and conduct. We will work closely with the Process Team on ways to improve Shambhala culture and governance.
We feel honored to have this opportunity to serve the community and the vision of Shambhala. We are humbled by the responsibility and the service of past Shambhala warriors.
Our meetings so far have been to establish relationships with each other, to organize our work, and begin the learning process that will allow us to fulfill our fiduciary and legal duties.
In the coming month we will be focused on organizing ourselves, learning, and prioritizing issues. There are immediate financial issues that will take our attention, as well as issues of ethical conduct and community care.
In particular, we will receive the report from Wickwire Holm, the law firm tasked with the investigation into issues of possible sexual misconduct and harm by the Sakyong and other Shambhala community members. The reporting period to the law firm ends on November 16, 2018. Our next steps after receiving the report at the end of the reporting period will include time to understand all requirements of confidentiality for reporters and witnesses, and time to create and publish a version that respects that confidentiality. Those who wish to contact Wickwire Holm can directly contact the investigator, Selina Bath, at Wickwire Holm by e-mail at email@example.com or phone at (902) 482-7030. Note that it is critical to the investigation process that all accounts will be held confidentially.
The Interim Board is also responsible to work with and report on results of An Olive Branch who have provided listening services and support for those who have experienced harm in our community. These services are available to the sangha by contacting ListeningPost@An-Olive-Branch.org until December 31, 2018.
An Olive Branch has also been working with the Shambhala Code of Ethics Task Group to draft a new Code of Ethics for the Shambhala community to replace the existing Care and Conduct policy. We have been sent a draft of the code that we are presently reviewing for approval and implementation. The proposal includes a plan for community feedback, which we see as integral to restoring trust and promoting inclusivity. The Process Team will be an important collaborative partnership in helping us listen to community concerns.
Like the Transition Task Force, we aspire to open and regular communication. We intend to provide summaries of our regular meetings and aspire to give regular updates of our work. Members may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Given the expected volume of email we will be limited in our responses but commit to reading and considering all emails that we receive. At this time, Shambhala core services will continue to run as before we took our seat. Please continue to use your regular Shambhala contacts for issues related to the Office of the Sakyong, Finance, Practice and Education, Communication, Development, Health and Well Being, Shambhala Office of Social Engagement, and the Dorje Kasung.
We wish to thank the Transition Task Force and the dedicated members of the Kalapa Council for laying the ground for us and helping to make a smooth transition.
May we all work together to cultivate Basic Goodness in ourselves, each other, and societies around the world.
In the vision of the Great Eastern Sun,
The Shambhala Interim Board