Dear Shambhala Community,
For the past four months, the Assessment Process that was announced to the Community in a statement on February 13th has been taking place. This Assessment was jointly initiated by the Shambhala and Potrang Boards, following helpful conversations involving Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.
Both Boards appointed experienced Community members to work together as independent Assessors. These individuals were asked to identify questions and issues that could arise from different possible relationships between the lineage of Sakyongs, the various entities in Shambhala and its communities of practitioners. The reports resulting from this process could then inform meaningful discussions between the Boards.
The Assessment focused on six areas, as originally reported:
- Practice and Education
- Governance, Structure and Authority
- Culture, Conduct and Decorum
- Dorje Kasung
- Physical, Intellectual Properties and Financial
- Interconnections and Communication
We are pleased to report that the Assessors have now completed their work and submitted their reports to the Boards.
The Shambhala and Potrang Boards would like to extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation for the open-mindedness, insight and hundreds of hours of effort the Assessors applied to this inquiry.
To protect these individuals from any form of undue pressure, the boards decided from the outset that they should be permitted to work privately without publicity.
In the course of their work, the Assessment teams consulted with members of the Process Team, Shambhala Global Services, Code of Conduct Support Group, the former and current Directors of the Office of Practice and Education, current and former Board members and dozens of individuals within the Shambhala community. The Shambhala and Potrang Boards likewise wish to acknowledge the important contributions these consultations made to the assessment effort.
The Assessors were supported in finalizing their work by a small “Collating Team” consisting of four Board members (two from each board). The role of the Collators was not to influence the content of the reports, but to give feedback and suggestions to the Assessors on what topics or issues it would be helpful for the two Boards to have addressed. The Collating Team is in the process of reporting back to both Boards. The team has said that they are listening openly to each other, engaging honestly, and are developing an appreciation of each other’s views. They are presently engaged in using the Assessors’ reports to initiate a process of discussion between the two Boards.
We look forward to keeping the Community informed about our progress and will continue to make regular joint reports.
Shambhala Board of Directors
Sakyong Potrang Board of Directors