Dear Shambhala Community,
We would like to share with you an update on the Shambhala Board’s recent activity and the initiatives of Shambhala Global Services. We affirm as a guiding principle our commitment to Shambhala as an inclusive society, welcoming all students within the dharmic streams of the Sakyong lineages – past, present, and future.
We appreciate hearing from all of you in our community and continue to update the questions we are receiving in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section, now found under the “Community” tab on shambhala.org, or through this link.
We look forward to working with everyone on all of the possibilities and opportunities ahead and taking this journey with you!
In The Vision of Brilliance and Compassion,
The Shambhala Board
Update From The Office of Practice and Education
In March, the Shambhala Board sent a letter to all members about how Practice & Education (P&E) is moving forward with a new collaborative decision making structure, and how our practice and study path will be shaped. A similar letter was also sent to all Shambhala Educators and Center and Group Leaders with more details about the coming structure. All members were sent an invitation to Phase 1 of these conversations. Please take advantage of the opportunity to join a call and share your heart and priorities for how P&E can move forward. The Board’s Letter to the Community regarding P&E, and a growing number of other resources related to the P&E Refresh can be found here.
Recently, the Office of Practice & Education sent a survey to P&E and Shambhala Leaders to learn about the specific training needs of our Centers and Groups. We hope to address the most urgent needs in a fast-tracked training program in the coming months.
We have also created a new “Shambhala Practice & Education FAQs” document. Please click here to see answers to the most commonly asked questions.
Recruiting New Shambhala Board Members
We are in the process of forming a Board Advisory Nominating Group (BANG) comprising members of our community and representatives of the Board who will recommend candidates to serve three year terms to the Shambhala Board of Directors.
Any Shambhala member may submit an application to be on the Shambala Board to the BANG, or submit their recommendation for candidates through the Shambhala Board Applicant Webpage here.
The BANG will assess the applicants against the requirements of the Board job description (available here), conduct video interviews, and make recommendations for nomination to the Board. We hope to complete this process by September.
All individuals interested in serving on the Shambhala Board should fully complete an application through the web page above. If you wish to nominate another person, please confirm that the nominee is interested in being considered for Board service, and only complete the nominating portion of the application form. Please note that the nominee will also need to complete the main portion of the application form as indicated above and supply a resume.
All individuals applying or nominating others for Board membership should first review the job description, included here, to understand the responsibilities and desired qualifications for new Board Members. The Board is looking for individuals from diverse backgrounds with an understanding of Shambhala principles and commitment to an inclusive society. Ideal candidates will have leadership skills and backgrounds in one or more of the following areas: management, non-profits, finance, legal, education, communications, organizational culture and care, psychology, and Buddhist and Shambhala practices. Board Members serve on a voluntary, non-paid basis.
Community Catalyst Grants
On April 28, the Shambhala Board and Executive Leadership Team (ELT) invited Centres and Groups to apply for a catalyst grant to help support and strengthen their community through practice, healing processes, outreach, or other programs. Please see the invitation here. Shambhala is offering grants up to $1,500 for community projects that strengthen and support local Centers and Groups and their communities. The application deadline for the first round of granting is June 30, 2022. The total funding available is $50,000, and projects will be reviewed and grants approved on a rolling basis.
Once your Centre or Group has agreed on a project, simply complete and submit this short Grant Application. If you have questions, please send an email to email@example.com.
Update From The Office of Care & Conduct
The Offices of Community Care and Conduct and Practice and Education would like to invite you to participate in the upcoming Code of Conduct presentation: May 28, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Mountain Time).
These presentations have been offered to the community since April of last year, and have proven to be very beneficial and of interest to our community. Since then, we have held 11 presentations with different parts of the globe, and we gathered a variety of feedback from each of them that are important and have been included for consideration in the review process.
By offering these presentations and facilitating an open conversation, we aim to go over the new documents of policies and its procedures, as well as answer any questions that may arise during the presentation.
We take some time to read together the Shambhala Code of Conduct: The Practices of Good Conduct and Protecting the Space for Everyone, as these “reminders” serve as a basis for contemplation about our own behavior and conduct towards others, not only in our community but in the world, and are also a very good opening for discussing the other policies and procedures documents. Visit the Code of Conduct Hub for more information.
Since the Code of Conduct applies to each one of us, it is very important that we understand how Shambhala responds to misconduct and what to do when concerning behaviour occurs.
We look forward to having you in one of these upcoming presentations! Please click below to register:
Saturday, May 28, 2022 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Mountain Time):
If you have any questions, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to support you!
Update on Board Conversations With Shambhala Leaders
During the months of March and April, the Shambhala Board engaged in 15 calls with over 200 leaders from all regions around the world. These calls have been an invaluable way for us to more deeply understand that each local community is in a slightly, or even radically, different place in terms of their community needs and inspirations. One of the results from these meetings is the Board and Executive Leadership Team offering the Community Catalyst Grants as a way for local communities to determine for themselves the best way to heal, gather strength, and move forward.
We are also hosting webinars with leaders in the next couple of months regarding Centre and Group affiliate agreements with Shambhala, and will also be hosting a specific call for Shambhala Centres that own property, so we can develop shared agreements on decision making around property. We will be inviting leaders to consider local needs and concerns regarding the critical relationship between Centres and Groups and Shambhala Global Services, so we can collectively explore ways to go forward as a community. We will also be inviting leaders to engage their colleagues and community members in conversations about this over the coming months.
You can click here to learn more about hosting your own local community conversation, access a conversation manual, or get support from facilitators to consult with you or host your local conversations.
Here is a link to the Affiliate Agreement Areas of Interest. This memorandum presents the many areas involved in a working relationship between Shambhala Centres and Groups and Shambhala Global Services.
Shambhala Touching the Earth Collective
The Shambhala Board has recognized the need to invest in support for Shambhala community members in honouring and protecting our sacred living environment. This is long overdue, and we were delighted to announce the hire of Irene Woodard, Touching the Earth Co-founder and Coordinator, as a member of the Shambhala Global Services Team in June 2022, and look forward to supporting the work of the Touching the Earth Collective in the years ahead. The work includes some of the following activities and initiatives: integrating into the fabric of Shambhala culture through building membership to the Shambhala Touching the Earth Collective, supporting Shambhala Land Centers environmental initiatives, a vibrant monthly newsletter, regular online “Earth Salon” programs, Planet A Book Club, producing and hosting all Shambhala Sunday Gathering Nyida Days, (Children’s Day, The Spring Equinox, Mid-Summer’s Day, and the Harvest of Peace), in order to bring the essential elements of the earth to all Shambhala holidays, supporting Shambhala Land Centers environmental initiatives, and fostering liaisons with like minded environmental faith groups outside Shambhala such as GreenFaith. It is our aspiration that with this new sustained support, the Shambhala Touching the Earth Collective will continue to thrive and protect the earth.
Shambhala Online Update
Shambhala Online is continuing this practice gathering on Zoom, with sessions now offered on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. Join the Shambhala community as we rouse compassion for those suffering from violence due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. 11:00 AM Eastern – Click Here for a Time Zone Converter.
We are delighted to announce the launch of the Shambhala Online Course Library.
You can discover innovative and exciting Shambhala Online courses from past to present, featuring some of today’s leading teachers of Buddhism in the West, such as Pema Chödrön, Arawana Hayashi, John Rockwell, Judith Simmer-Brown, and many more. These courses explore topics from eating mindfully, to walking the bodhisattva path, to working with protector principle. Courses are added to the library regularly, so look out for announcements as new teachings become available. Enjoy just one course, or explore an entire series that leads you through foundational Shambhala and Buddhist teachings. It’s all there for you to deepen your practice. The Shambhala Online Course Library welcomes you!
Join your fellow gardeners for the Shambhala Online Garden Share, beginning May 31, 2022. With guidance from master gardener Jan Enthoven by way of seasonal videos, and group participation, you can be part of co-creating a virtual gardening community through sharing your knowledge, photos, videos, poetry, and song. You can also enjoy the support of tutorials and sharing gardening advice with others. Fundamentally, this ongoing gathering is about sharing the joy of being outside and getting your hands stuck in the dirt. Find out more here.
Weekly Sunday Gatherings for the global Shambhala community are a place where we can practice meditation together, hear dharma teachings from a featured guest teacher, learn more about the activities of incredible people in our sangha, engage in discussion – and connect with one another, our community, and our hearts. Join us every Sunday at 3pm Eastern – Click Here for a Time Zone Converter.
Land Centre Retreats this Summer
Dechen Chöling – “Gathering of the European Sangha Retreat”
July 26-August 3, 2022
Join us for a week of contemplating and co-creating a good society with a community of fellow warriors. We will explore what a culture of trust means, given all the changes in our Shambhala world. There will be time for practice together every morning, creative expression, time in nature, and practical work for our beloved European Land Centre. There will also be space for exchange on key topics for the European Shambhala Community, including: Governance, Practice and Education, the future of Dechen Chöling, and Shambhala Arts. Click here to learn more and register.
Dorje Denma Ling – “Bodhichitta Weekthün”
August 5-18, 2022
This seven-day meditation retreat will focus on the mahayana teachings of bodhichitta, known as “awakened heart”– the mind of enlightenment. Mahayana, the “great vehicle,” challenges us to outgrow self-centered preoccupations, and develop the wisdom and compassion by which we can actually make a difference in the world. Click here to learn more and register.
Drala Mountain Center – “Summer Seminar: Empowering the Buddha Within”
June 1-29, 2022
Led by Holly Gayley and Loden Nyima. We’re delighted to offer a month-long Mahayana Buddhist retreat that has now been running for four years. Half the day is practice, half the day is talks and small group discussion. Everyone interested is warmly welcome and respected for whatever role this plays in one’s path—no strings attached. The primary source is the teachings of the Vidyadhara, with classical and other contemporary sources as well. This year’s main topic will be Buddha Nature and more broadly third-turning Mahayana. We’ll very much include the five buddha families. Click here to learn more and register.
Karme Chöling – “Celebrating Community Retreat”
September 2-8th, 2022
Come home to Karmê Chöling! This September, we will spark our heart connection with each other and with the dharma, as we re-awaken our inspiration to create a society of kindness. Reconnect with your meditation practice and sangha friends with mornings of practice and afternoons of cookouts, hiking, contemplative arts, and enjoying each other’s company. Come for just the weekend or stay for the whole week. Click here to learn more and register.
May 2022 Appointments and Departures
Sophie Leger has stepped down as the Director of Translation and Multilingual Development. For over a decade, Sophie has worked tirelessly for Shambhala to ensure that the Shambhala teachings were available to sangha all over the world in multiple languages. It is in large part due to Sophie’s incredible efforts that Shambhala is the multilingual community it is today. We thank her for her incredible service to Shambhala and wish her all the best in her journey ahead.
Rose Keyes has stepped down as the Communications and Marketing Director and is moving on to a new development role for an environmental non-profit. While Rose has expressed her appreciation for working for Shambhala, the environmental field is her true passion, and we are delighted she has found this new position. Rose was a huge asset to the Shambhala Global Services Team and we wish her all the best in her upcoming endeavors.
Natasha West has moved from her role as the Communications and Marketing Associate and is our new Communications and Marketing Director. Her responsibilities include: managing and developing effective messaging around Shambhala’s plans, offerings, activities, and accomplishments, coordinating responses to press inquiries, oversight and management of organization-wide communications and communications platforms, managing Shambhala’s communication content creation, oversight of branding, imagery, logo usage and “voice” of organization, creation of internal and external marketing plans to improve programming visibility across Shambhala paths of study. Natasha brings a tremendous amount of experience to this role and we are delighted that she will be supporting the Shambhala community in this way.
Claudia Arnau has started a new role as a Community Care Consultant. Claudia works with the Office of Community Care and Conduct in the areas of leadership support, diversity and inclusion, community grants, recruitment of new Code of Conduct team members, and support for translation efforts within the Shambhala global community. She has been a Shambhala practitioner for seven years, has had several leadership roles in the Madrid Shambhala Centre, and was part of the Code of Conduct Support Group for the Shambhala Board in the development of the new Code of Conduct Policies and Procedures. As a Safeguarding professional in the International Humanitarian Sector, Claudia has lived and worked in five continents. Originally from Madrid, Spain, she now lives with her partner in Bend, Oregon (USA). Welcome to the Shambhala Global Services Team, Claudia!
Nina Migliari, who currently holds the position of Care and Conduct Associate for the Office of Community Care and Conduct, will be taking on an additional role as Translation Coordinator for Shambhala Online. Nina is a professional translator and editor and her new responsibilities include: captioning the courses in English, translating the captions, getting the course content translated, translating the required readings for the course and arranging permissions from Kalapa Publications or other publishing houses, translating the registration documents, auto-responders and welcome letters, and any marketing content, providing interpretation for live events, or talks, finding interpreters and getting them set up with the event’s coordination team, recruiting and training translators to work with captions, and recruiting and training English captioners (to transcribe, create captions and synch them). Congratulations on taking on this new role Nina and for your commitment to inclusivity and improving access to course content for all members of our global sangha!
Counseling and Therapy Offering Continue
If you, or someone you know, has experienced harm due to aggression, failings on the part of the organization, or actions within the Shambhala community, you are invited to access the counseling and therapy offering. If you live in Europe or know someone who would benefit from the European Counseling and Therapy Offering, click here.
Shambhala Board FAQs – ongoing and updated responses to questions being asked of the Shambhala Board
Moving Forward As A Community Post Mediation – sent on Feb 20th to the Shambhala community by the Shambhala Board