Shambhala Mountain Center announces its new name: Drala Mountain Center.
Why the name change?
When SMC became a fully independent nonprofit organization last fall, we came to an agreement with the Sakyong Potrang to change our name by the end of March. We are grateful to the Sakyong Potrang for working with us to effect these changes, which are essential to fulfilling our mission.
What does Drala mean?
When people reflect on being at SMC, they talk about how vividly they experience the power of the land itself. We can experience drala by directly connecting to the world through our sense perceptions. By opening to this experience, we encounter vast wisdom in ourselves, those around us, and the world itself. Much more can and will be said about drala as we grow together into the meaning of our new name.
What About Shambhala?
Our roots run deep in Shambhala, and we endeavor to uphold the teachings of our tradition. We will continue to host Shambhala practitioners as well as those from other secular and nonsecular wisdom traditions. Many people within the Shambhala community and beyond consider this land a refuge and a home. All are welcome.
The Renaming Process
With the opportunity to rethink our name and position ourselves for the future, SMC undertook a multi-month process to carefully consider our mission, our values and our broader community. We renewed our ongoing commitment to our mission:
Bringing people together to experience wisdom.
With our mission confirmed, we clarified our values, and identified the key elements that together define SMC. These elements are expressed in the graphic at right.
Following this work, SMC staff and governing council members offered name ideas. After several rounds of discussions and voting on the various choices, we emerged with a short list of five names. We then hosted five focus groups composed of more than 50 friends, advisors, donors, teachers and presenters to consider the choices. When all the focus group data was collected, one name emerged as the clear front runner to best express the heart of who we are: Drala Mountain Center.
Same Place, New Name
For the last 50 years, SMC has been one of Colorado’s beloved retreat destinations, a place of pilgrimage, and host to world-renowned teachers of meditation, yoga, Buddhism and a range of secular and nonsecular activities. We reflect with gratitude on our roots: originally secured as a retreat place for Karma Dzong (Boulder Shambhala Center), the land eventually became known as Rocky Mountain Dharma Center. For the last 20 years or so, we’ve operated under the name Shambhala Mountain Center.
Drala Mountain Center encapsulates our aspirations. We look forward to sharing the dralas of this land with you for many years and generations to come.
SMC Governing Council
Clifford Neuman, Chair
Michael Gayner, Executive Director
Reid Miller, Secretary