Dear Shambhala members in Europe,
Greetings from the new team at Shambhala Europe. In this newsletter you will find an introduction to the current employees, our aspirations and some information about the organisation and practice opportunities.
We are experimenting with a different way of communicating with the 16+ languages within the European sangha, asking you to use online translation tools which are quite good these days, as some of our translators are very busy. We want to hear your feedback about this – please write to Sophie Leger, Director of Translations: firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments.
Introducing the team at Shambhala Europe gGmbH ( gemeinnützige Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung/ Charitable Company with limited liability.)
Helmut Krächan, Managing Director, holding financial and fiduciary responsibility.
Joanna Francis, Operations Manager, looking after communications and operations, and representing Europe within Shambhala Global Services.
Véronique Villemagne, Rupön, European Dorje Kasung Commander and representing Europe on the new Dorje Kasung General Staff.
Martin Steingräber continues to look after the book-keeping and works steadily in the background.
Helmut and Joanna took their oaths of office in a powerful online ceremony on April 22 and are happy to share all the good wishes they received.
We are learning how to work together and ride this unpredictable Covid time, with as much humour and heart as possible. Due to travelling restrictions we have not yet met in person but are becoming zoom experts. As part of the Council of DCL we are busy supporting Dechen Choling and listening out for the next steps forward.
We share great confidence in our tradition, our teachings and our community, which includes a wide range of practitioners: dharma artists, Vajrayoginis and Scorpion Seal students; Shambhala Sadhana, Shamatha/Vipassana and Shambhala Meditation practitioners; Dorje Kasung, families and many others. We aspire to make space for all voices to be heard and hope we can all be united in the mantra of kindness. We are looking at new ways of working together, using Theory U, deep listening and dialogue to move forward as a community with humility and joy. We are happy to support the new Code of Conduct with its principles of accountability, transparency, inclusivity and care. These are the ground for restoring trust in our sangha and offer a path to heal old wounds and establish dignity and safety in our ongoing relationships.
The charitable Company was founded as Vajradhatu in 1981 to serve the members in Europe. The name was officially changed to Shambhala Europe in 2000 with the following purpose:
“the promotion of the religion of Shambhala Buddhism and the teachings of basic goodness and enlightened society as presented by the Sakyong lineage of Shambhala” (from the Bylaws) You can read the full Statutes here.
- is supported by centres and groups in Europe, as well as individual members and fundraising.
- Owns the land and original buildings of Dechen Chöling. Has representatives on the Council (Bureau) of Dechen Chöling.
- Holds the copyright for Shambhala and Shambhala Training.
- Supports European centres and groups together with Shambhala Global Services. You can click here for a comprehensive overview of the work of SGS.
- Participates and gives a European perspective in Shambhala Global Services team.
Over the years the organisation has been managed in various ways. We will explore, together with the regional leaders, members of the Process Team and all of you, what will be the most useful constellation in the coming years.
We would like to express again our deep appreciation for the European Treasury Council and all the interim leaders who oversaw the management of Shambhala Europe in the last two years and brought the organisation to a healthy state as shown in their budget
A thousand thanks to Veronika Bauer, Ed Keizer, Faradee Rudy, Kurt Hofstetter and Susan Engel!!
We are carefully listening to the financial effects of the COVID-19-lockdown. Financial stabilisation trainings have been offered by Faradee Rudy and we have reached out to centre and group leadership to discuss ways forward for financial stability.
Online practice is flourishing at local, regional, European and international level. For an overview of all European programmes in the Shambhala Database check here. There are also a range of practices offered together with Dechen Choling. We hope to practice with you together online during this time of lockdown.
We look forward to meeting the wider community in person as soon as it is possible to travel.
Yours in the vision of a good human society,
Joanna Francis, European Operations Manager
Helmut Krächan, European Managing Director
Véronique Villemagne, Rupön