Wake up Boston!
August 15th, 2012 by Dan Glenn
It has been a wonderful summer for the Boston Shambhala Center. Summer tends to be the “slow” time of year for us, as many people are away or doing retreats. We had some healthy space this summer, which I think is really important to have in the rhythm of life at a center like ours. We also had our share of activity!
Community members carry flags through the Midsummer Day lhasang
We kicked off the summer with our annual Midsummer Day celebration, which took place at Rocky Woods Reservation in Medfield for the second straight year. We had a lovely, relaxed afternoon on a surprisingly cool Saturday afternoon in mid-June.
Following that, we had a delightful weekend visit from Acharya Eric Spiegel, who hosted an evening gathering with the LGBT community and then directed Rigden Weekend, the culmination of the first year of Way of Shambhala. Several community members participated in the program – we send them a big congratulations for completing Year One!
President Reoch gazes at the Rigden thangkas at the MFA
One of the most delightful parts of the summer was our visit with Shambhala’s President, Richard Reoch, in mid-July. President Reoch spent a whirlwind two days with the Boston community, sharing a lively lunch with young leaders one day and another lunch with people in key leadership positions the next. The new Shambhala Boston Council dined with the President as well, before he hosted a public gathering to discuss the question, “Is Enlightened Society Possible?” in what turned out to be a very engaging and moving evening. The crowning glory of the visit was a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts to see the “Seeking Shambhala” exhibition. President Reoch was very inspired by the exhibition – we could barely drag him away – and was very interested in deepening Shambhala’s connection with both the Museum and these powerful thangkas of the Rigden Kings, who are the essence of our lineage.
One of the most exciting aspects of our summer hasn’t taken place here – it’s taken place all around North America. Members of the community have been going to core Shambhala path programs since the late spring, beginning with the large contingent that attended the Shambhala Retreat with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche at Karmê Chöling in Vermont. We also had several people attend part of all of the recent summer dathün there as well – a remarkable (non)achievement! There are eighteen community members from Boston heading to Warrior Assembly at Karmê Chöling in a few days, which is incredibly inspiring. We also had people from Boston attending each Scorpion Seal Assembly (Year
Bryan Mendiola rings the outer gong during the summer dathün at Karmê Chöling
2, 3, and 4) this summer (with representation at every single land center), three new teachers attend Shambhala Buddhist Teacher Training, as well as many people doing various other retreats, including solitary retreats, a Vajrayogini practice intensive at Gampo Abbey and the Authentic Leadership in Action (ALIA) Institute in Halifax.
Our summer endeavors also included a service day during which nearly thirty people gathered to make the Shambhala Center more eco-friendly. See Ashley’s forthcoming blog post for more about this wonderful day!
We had several programs and classes here this summer that many people enjoyed, including two Shambhala Art programs, a series featuring video from the “Being Brave” retreat from 2011, Vajrayana practice weekends, and the debut of our new Learn to Meditate class. The summer’s not over yet, and we still have exciting things happening in the next two weeks. You can check out our full slate of programs and community gatherings here.
I also encourage everyone to take a look at Karmê Chöling’s program calendar for the fall and winter. There is a wealth of opportunity for amazing training and exploration just three hours away in an absolutely beautiful location. I feel that the more members of our community experience the depth and wonder of our retreat centers like Karmê Chöling, Dorje Denma Ling and Shambhala Mountain Center, the stronger everything we do here will be.
It has been a rich summer and the fall promises to be even more abundant. We look forward to seeing you all around the center!
Dan Glenn, Executive Director
May 3rd, 2012 by Dan Glenn
Last week, Boston University hosted an Earth Week service at Marsh Chapel, with environmentalist Bill McKibben giving the sermon. Shastri Carolyn Krusinski joined five other leaders from various spiritual and faith traditions around the city of Boston in offering an aspiration for our wounded planet.
Shastri Krusinski shared that “2500 years ago Buddha sat down and realized what it meant to be fully human endowed with Basic Goodness. He made the gesture to touch the Earth as his witness.” She went on to say, “Now it is time for all human beings to contemplate together as one global society, who are we as humanity and how can we live in harmony with the earth and protect it.”
Closing the aspiration, Carolyn invoked the Sakyong’s key phrase from his 2011 Shambhala Day address: “May the great society of humanity find the goodness, wisdom, and bravery to act to restore harmony with the Earth. May we be All-Victorious and make the impossible possible!”
Mr. McKibben, who is well known for his tireless work in service of the environment, said in his sermon that it is vital for spiritual traditions of the world not to stand on the sidelines but be active players in the environmental movement. He likened this work to a more “conservative” approach while deeming those whose work, behavior or activity negatively affects the environment in extreme ways “radical.”
More information on Bill McKibben can be found at www.billmckibben.com or the website for the non-profit he founded, www.350.org.
March 16th, 2012 by Ashley_Hodson
By Jill Blagsvedt
I was recently invited by Jennifer Lacy, Head of Family Life at the Shambhala Center of Boston, to present some of the Shambhala Art teachings and exercises to the Mindfulness for Children program. First I worked with a group of about ten children, ages 6-10, then a group of about eight tweens and teens. I was supported by colleagues Dan Melish and Esther Seibold who led various meditations.
I had so much fun that I wanted to share what we did and some of the spontaneous poetry that we created. We focused on the Shambhala Art exercises that help us to awaken our senses, and then create from that experience.
We talked about simply experiencing our senses versus thinking about them or thinking we already know what something is like because we see it. We then focused on the sense of touch by feeling objects in paper bags that I had prepared. They felt different objects in the bags, without looking (this was very hard!), with textures of smooth, pokey, sandy, squishy, soft and more. Then we experienced the senses of taste and again touch, over our snack break. Finally we came back together, sat in our meditation postures and in that space allowed our experiences of the felt sense to arise in words.
Those who were brave – adults and children – were then asked to share their poems! Here is a sampling of what arose:
the cracker was salty and crunchy
the carrots were hard to bite and had a crunch
the juice was cold
soothing to the touch
something was squishy and cool
It made me cold
It felt like ice
like “spiky” straws
from a summer barn…
I poke my
boiling in a pot
my scarf went in the pot
sticky, sharp and smooth
grains of rice flowing through fingers
impatience and curiosity
sense and sensibilitysquishy
Interested in exploring Shambhala Arts for yourself?
March 8th, 2012 by Dan Glenn
Shastri Diana Evans leading meditation
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts opened its exhibit, Seeking Shambhala early past Monday morning. The exhibition features a set of newly-conserved 17th century thangka paintings of the Rigden (or Kalki) Kings of Shambhala and is on display from March 6 through September 30. Shastri Diana Evans of the Shambhala Meditation Center of Boston gave meditation instruction at the opening with over forty people, primarily museum staff and members of the media. The assembled sat on cushions on the floor of the exhibit hall and engaged in what Museum Director Malcolm Rogers called, “the first ever meditation session in the museum.”
Twenty-two of the thirty-two Rigden Kings are displayed, including the first, Dawa Sangpo or “Suchandra,” who received the Kalachakra teachings from the Buddha. Also on view are works by Japanese graphic artist Tadanori Yokoo, including his SHAMBALA series of prints produced in 1974, and work by the contemporary Tibetan artist Gonkar Gyatso, whose collage titled The Shambala in Modern Times was shown at the 53rd Venice Biennial. Mr. Gyatso spoke at the opening as well.
Artist Gonkar Gyatso, left and curator Jacki Elgar right
It is an incredible auspicious connection for the Shambhala Center of Boston, which is just a few minutes down the road from the MFA. The center is working with the museum on another collaborative effort which will feature curator Jacki Elgar, the museum’s Head of Asian Conservation and Head of International Projects (Asia) at the Shambhala Center. We also plan to gather and take group trips to the museum to see the exhibition. There are a number of members of the Shambhala community who are also members of the museum.
First Meditation of the MFA's History
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche had the opportunity to have a private showing of the thangkas, which reside at the museum, in 2005 when he was in Boston to run the marathon. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche also viewed these thangkas in 1974 and felt that they were truly remarkable. President Richard Reoch plans to visit Boston this summer to see the exhibition.
Click here for more information about the exhibition, including a visual tour. You can also check out the Press Release and Fun Facts!
Also, see the coverage from the Boston Globe here!
February 20th, 2012 by Dan Glenn
I would like to take this opportunity as we transition into the new year to look back at the Year of the Iron Hare and reflect on it, as well as to offer some thoughts on what’s ahead for us as center and a community in the Year of the Water Dragon.
Reflecting on the Past Year
The Year of the Iron Hare was quite full for the Boston Shambhala Center, and considerable changes occurred. The full time staff of the center is now a completely different team than it was at the start of the year. In the late spring, we had the departure of long-time Center Coordinator Sarah Lipton, beloved for her warmth and nurturing energy and her diligent efforts on the half of the center for over three years. We then saw Executive Director Jill Blagsvedt step down at the end of the summer, also after over three years of serving the sangha with tremendous kindness, insight and vision. The leadership and community went through a process and decided to add a full time Head of Practice and Education position, which Barbara Hopcroft was hired for in May after serving in that role in an interim capacity following her time as Resident Director of Shambhala Training. Also in May, Ashley Hodson (now Goodwin – even her name is different than it was at the start of last year!) was brought on board to fill the revamped role of Head of Communications and Operations, and I stepped into the Executive Director role at the end of September.
The center’s expansion process was a major focus of the Year of the Iron Hare. In April, the leadership identified 338 Newbury Street as a prime location for an auxiliary space, with a plan to increase membership and double the operating budget over five years to then put us in a strong position to move to a more vibrant and magnetizing location in Boston. We came very close to making this our second home before obstacles hit and the situation ended up not panning out. This was a definite disappointment for many as we headed into the winter and dön season. At the same time, the work done as the center leadership planned for the space was invaluable, both in terms of financial preparation for the future auxiliary space as well as architectural drawings from Greg Smith, in conjunction with Eva Wong and Steve Vosper.
We also saw some exciting opportunities emerge for the center to shine in the spotlight in the local community. In November, Shastri Carolyn Krusinski represented Buddhism in Boston at the 48th Annual Rotary Club Governor’s Prayer Breakfast with almost the entire Board present. A week later, the Shambhala Center hosted a screening of Crazy Wisdom, Johanna Demetrakis’ new film about Chögyam Trungpa, at the historic Coolidge Corner Theatre.
A large contingent from Boston participated in the Kalapa Governance Gathering at Karmê Chöling in September and many also attend the Sakyong’s teachings on governance and leadership in October in Halifax. We also enjoyed a visit from President Richard Reoch in October for our Center Director oath ceremonies.
Other key developments from the year included our “Mindfulness for Children” program, thanks to our Head of Families and Children, Jennifer Lacy, a revitalization of Nyida Days (community celebrations such as Midsummer’s Day, Children’s Day, and Shambhala Day), and a multitude of sangha members attending key path programs, including Warrior Assembly and the first-ever Enlightened Society Assembly (formerly Sutrayana Seminary), which just wrapped up at Karmê Chöling.
As we look ahead at the Year of the Water Dragon, we see first and foremost a very full and exciting spring that includes four online addresses from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in the span of five weeks! After this week’s Shambhala Day address, we have a March 10 address to Meditation Instructors, Assistant Directors, and Shambhala Guides. Following that, on March 17-18 we have our first ever Shambhala Sadhana Retreat, which will be led by Acharya Emily Bower, include online teachings from the Sakyong, and introduce a new practice to people who have taken the Enlightened Society Vow. Lastly, on April 1, the Sakyong will address the community as part of the 25th Anniversary of the Vidyadhara, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s Parinirvana.
Additionally, the spring lineup includes a seven-week video class called “Celebrating the Life of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche” which is also part of our 25th Anniversary celebration, a visit from Ikebana teacher Marcia Shibata, a very special visit from Lady Diana Mukpo to teach Golden Key, and Acharya Suzann Duquette teaching the Rigden Weekend.
Also in the realm of programming, the Shastris, Ms. Hopcroft and myself are looking at ways to continue to develop and strengthen our “gateway” level programs and offer meditation instruction and present the teachings to newcomers in an accessible way that is relevant to everyday life.
This year will see us continue our expansion process, now with the aforementioned benefit of having done a lot of legwork that puts us in a good position to succeed with an auxiliary space. The Drala Spot committee, headed by John Ranco, is back on the beat looking at possible new locations for this space, and will be asking the community for help with ideas and leads. Stay tuned!
Another development is that the leadership (Shastris, Board of Trustees, and Shambhala Council) will be spending time with our very own Joe Inskeep, who serves as the Chair of the Mandala Structure and Governance Working Group for Shambhala, to explore whether Boston is ready to take on the new governance model that the Sakyong and President Richard Reoch are encouraging centers to put in place. Information about the Kalapa Governance model can be found here. We will keep you posted on any further developments in this area!
In April, the Sakyong’s new book, Running with the Mind of Meditation, will be released April 10, and the team of Running Meditation Instructors have been working with Barbara and myself to plan some events out in the community this spring in support of this book and offering these teachings. This will be one of many increased opportunities that are arising for us to get involved in the local community and offer programs and participate in events in the Greater Boston area.
We are also thrilled to be partnering with the Museum of Fine Arts and exploring our auspicious connection to their Seeking Shambhala exhibit of 17th century paintings of the Rigden Kings. Shastri Diana Evans will give meditation instruction at the exhibit opening and we are working with the museum on putting together a program at the center, as well.
We will also be paying close attention to a recent Shambhala News Service announcement about the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo’s meeting with the Kalapa Council, their senior leadership team, about moving forward with our “2020 Vision.” In 2010, the Sakyong wrote in his Letter of the Morning Sun:
If Shambhala as a vision, a lineage, and a community is to have any real effect on the world, the next ten years are essential. We must now begin to organize, train, and develop ourselves with greater commitment and determination. Therefore, I ask all Shambhalians to see the next ten years as a time to truly challenge ourselves. If we can make substantial progress over this time, I believe we will have shifted the momentum of the lineage and vision toward being able to fulfill the Dorje Dradül’s intentions.
You can read the full document about the gathering with the Kalapa Council here – it’s quite inspiring! There are a number of ways we are already working with these areas here in Boston, and we will continue make them an increased focus.
As you can see, the months ahead are exciting and full. I am looking forward to continuing the journey with all of you and stepping into my first full year in this role. I offer you all a humble and heartfelt thank you for everything you do – from offering financially, to coordinating programs, serving on committees, teaching programs, Kasung service, holding posts, housekeeping and cleaning – all of your offerings of service and support are innumerable.
As the new “Aspiration of Shambhala” chant says:
May the Shambhala Centres radiate kindness and inspiration. May they continue to expand, allowing a multitude of warriors to train.
Yours in the Shambhala Vision,
February 2nd, 2012 by Ashley_Hodson
Hi! I’m Jiray Avedisian and I am currently serving as a full-time intern at the Shambhala Meditation Center of Boston for seven weeks this winter. I just recently moved to Boston. About a month ago, give or take a few days. I’m here almost solely because of the center.
I go to a really odd school (called Bennington College), and at this odd school each student is required to pursue and then complete a seven-week internship. These seven weeks are dubbed Field Work Term (or FWT) and they are called so because the job or internship we get should be one that aligns nicely with and compliments our intended course of study. And so when I set out to find this year’s FWT position, I felt a rather keen pull towards something… Buddhist.
At Bennington, we don’t have majors. Instead we have concentrations. I am concentrating in literature, and I’m also really interested in conflict resolution. I often get inquisitive looks when I mention the latter; so let me explain a little. I’m perturbed by the proclivity of human history for violence and aggression in the face of conflict. I want to understand why non-violence and compassion are not the go-to method of conflict resolution, and why they have been used so infrequently so as to become obscure, even abstract ideas. In the course of my studies, I’ve examined various schools of thought, philosophy, or spirituality that align themselves particularly with the ideas of compassion and non-violence. It may come as no surprise that I encountered Buddhism on a number of occasions. In high school I was introduced to Buddhism and began to take a real interest in its precepts and teachings. And I found it only natural that when I bumped into it again in college, I was excited to be reacquainted.
Which brings me to this FWT (I started here at the center in the very early days of January). Bennington doesn’t have much in the way of religion classes. So I found it a bit difficult to find any sort of formal instruction in Buddhist history, literature, etc. When confronted with the task of finding a fitting FWT position, I was most appropriately struck with the desire to find something that would allow me to experience Buddhism in one way or another. I was lucky enough to come across a listing for an internship at the Shambhala Meditation center of Boston. I had no idea what Shambhala meant at the time. But upon further investigation, it became apparent that the center had a strong foundation in Buddhism and Buddhist practice. The internship was in the Communications and Operations office, but the listing said, there would be plenty of time for meditation instruction. I was thrilled.
So naturally, I now find myself in Ashley Goodwin’s office, near the back door of the center. And having been at the job a month, I have experienced an immersion in the center’s spirit of practice and teaching. Now I pause for a bit of reflection. I came to the center having a rough understanding of Buddhism; it’s origins, the vocabulary, stuff like that. But in terms of practice, I’d had no training, and any of the sitting meditation that I actually had done was more like an imitation of what I’d read in Hesse’s Siddhartha, or what I gathered from 12th grade World Religions class. Now I’ve had the opportunity to explore my practice on a daily basis, with an entire community of individuals dedicated to cultivating their own.
And that’s what I have found to be most profound about my experience at the center thus far. Community.
Working in the communications department, I’ve been scouring Shambhala Boston’s website, Facebook, and Twitter, trying to analyze the information that’s there. In so doing I’ve found a thread, a theme that’s been woven throughout everything I’ve come across. Social media serves the larger purpose of widening and deepening the community we’ve built here at the center itself. We share the common experience that is the Shambhala Meditation Center of Boston. Whether it’s our meditation practice or our education, it is something that has grown out of this strong sense of community. Sitting meditation is as much about waking oneself up, as it is waking each other up. I mean, one of the basic and most important goals we have in Shambhala is garnering an enlightened society. So, I would say, community is at the very core of what we do here. I’ve felt it so strongly myself, at Under 30 and Meditation in Everyday life, and as I’ve watched other groups come and grow.
The body of this community is ever-changing. It is a transient entity whose shape is amorphous in a lot of ways. But what stands irrevocably true is the compassion and excitement that each individual brings to it. Whether you’re coming or going, taking a single class or dedicating your entire life to Shambhala and meditation practice, you help build this community. You are instrumental in its formation and sustenance. This is what I’ve felt so strongly and persistently in the short time that I’ve been here. One month is hardly a drop in the bucket compared to the relationship some of you share with the center. But so far that month has been enough to show me, in a huge way, what this place is all about. I’ve had the opportunity to take part, learn from, and contribute to a community that is truly unique and immeasurably wonderful.
So this is my present trajectory for the work I’ll be doing here in the next few weeks: to do the Shambhala Boston community justice and do my part in helping it grow. I may only have a month left here, but I know that I’ll continue to learn and benefit in ways I can’t yet imagine from the people I have had the pleasure to meet and work with. I hope you all feel the same, and I wish you the best of luck with your practice and your life as Shambhala Day and the New Year comes to a head.
January 21st, 2012 by Ashley_Hodson
After careful deliberation, the Shambhala Center Board recently approved a number of changes to our Program Pricing Policy. This blog article is to inform you about them, and a copy of it can also be found on our website: click here. Our intention in making these changes has been to simplify our policy and to make it more consistent with our view and our mission. The changes are as follow:
1. We will be ending the Work/Study Program that has enabled students to volunteer services to the Center in lieu of tuition payments for programs. While this program has helped many sangha members in recent years, it has been difficult to track, and more importantly, it has sent a very mixed, quid pro quo message about the nature of volunteering at the Center. This unfortunate but inevitable message has been clearly at odds with our mahayana perspective on volunteering, and we need to correct it. Of course, we also need to cultivate the Mahayana perspective even further with regard to volunteering, and we are confident that we will be able
to do this.
2. The Pay What You Can Policy will be replaced with a Generosity Policy.
Although this change may appear to be rather subtle, the intention behind it is to shift the focus away from one of “payments” to one of “offerings.” While the monetary outcome in a given situation might not be changed at all by this shift, the view behind it will change from one of ‘saving money for oneself’ to one of ‘being generous to the Center.’ Generosity, furthermore, is a critical part of the mahayana path, and we want to encourage each other to practice it.
3. Tiered Pricing will be introduced for most programs, and in general, prices will be slightly increased. We will be rolling out this change in pricing structure over the next month and appreciate your patience while we finalize all of the changes. The tiers are as follow:
Patron Level-approximately 25% higher than the normal price.
Sustaining Level-the normal price that keeps us running.
Supporting Level-approximately 65% of the normal price.
Generosity Policy-always available if the Supporting Level is too high.
Registration and prepayments via the web will become the norm for most programs, and use of the Generosity Policy will generally need to be negotiated with a member of the Shambhala Center Staff prior to the program in question.
4. Member Discounts will be discontinued. This change mirrors the Generosity Policy by shifting the view of membership away from what one receives as a member to the mahayana view of what one gives.
5. Volunteer Training Programs will continue to be offered as part of our commitment to the path of service.
The changes that we are making to the pricing policy are intended fundamentally to clarify the view that we take toward finances. Because of the important Generosity Policy element, they should also not entail additional hardship for anyone. At the same time, they should also help us to raise slightly more revenue as well as a lot more lungta.
If you have any questions about these changes, please feel free to contact Caitlin Cianflone, our finance manager or me, Charles Styron.
In the Vision of the Great Eastern Sun,
Charles W. Styron, Chagdzo
Boston Shambhala Center
December 22nd, 2011 by Ashley_Hodson
In the summer of 2008, our Sakyong Wangmo, Dechen Choying Sangmo, began to undertake projects for the benefit of the Shambhala sangha and its extended community. The first of these projects involved sponsorship of monks at the monastery of her father, His Eminence Terton Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, in Pharping, Nepal, outside of Kathmandu. The Sakyong Wangmo has been involved with the care of the monks at the monastery, and wrote a letter to the Shambhala sangha explaining the importance and the benefits of monk sponsorship, a tradition since the time of the Buddha.
To view the letter of the Sakyong Wangmo click here.
Over the past several years, the Boston Shambhala sangha has supported two monks at Rigon Tashi Choeling.
As of early December 2011, there is $128 in the monk support fund. To continue to support two monks, the fund goal is $600.
Each monk lives on a mere $300 per year, which provides their basic necessities: food, housing, clothing, study materials, and health care. Your gift would not only support an individual dedicating his life to the Dharma, but the progress of our tradition as a whole.
To help us sponsor our two monks you can make a donation via Paypal:
Tolearn more about where the funds are going, Click Here to see the Ripa Ladrang website.
Or send a check to: Boston Shambhala Center, Ripa Monk Foundation, 646 Brookline Ave, Brookline, MA 02445
May all have a cheerful winter solstice!
December 8th, 2011 by Dan Glenn
What do Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Kevin Garnett have in common? They both believe that anything is possible. The Celtics’ emotional leader and quintessential warrior is well-known for his proclamation after Boston won the 2008 NBA Championship, its first in twenty-two years. I have also heard Sakyong Mipham make this same proclamation (albeit in a bit more subdued fashion) at multiple gatherings in the past few years. As ecstatic as I am about NBA basketball returning after a prolonged lockout, my job description doesn’t include writing blogs about professional sports, so I’m going to primarily focus here on the vision of creating enlightened society.
At his Shambhala Day address this year, the Sakyong said, “We are in the profession of making the impossible possible.” What is it that we are making possible? It is the vision of creating a society that is based on the principles of basic goodness, profound kindness, and a sustainable future for the planet and the beings that live on it. It does sound like a tall order, and a lot of times I feel at a loss for how to proceed with such a vast mission. But when we really look at how to begin, the steps are simple and the path laid out by those who have gone before.
Through our meditation practice, we can begin to get a taste of contentment. When our mind rests and we begin to see that we do not necessarily need to cling to or grasp after every fleeting thought, emotion or pleasure, we can began to relax into a sense of appreciation of our life. It is from that place that we can begin to turn our mind toward others and exert ourselves in working for the benefit and well-being of others, which is the source of joy. The inspiration and lightness of this joyful discipline propels us towards being able to expand our mind beyond conventional thinking and recognize reality as it is. This is what we call being fearless. As we open further and are willing to go even further beyond habitual mind, we taste the intuitive ability to relate with any situation that arises and the innate power to do so, which is inherent wisdom.
This is how Sakyong Mipham describes it from here: “With the selflessness and wisdom of the dragon, we are in a stable, open space, no longer derailed by the delusion of duality. We become sensitive to the subtle energies of the environment, and they become sensitive to us. As we take in the suffering of others, we join the intuitive wisdom of prajna with the practicality of compassion. Our windhorse is strong; we are drinking ziji [brilliant confidence] for breakfast. Now we are able to judge conditions and time decisions properly in order to give new endeavors the greatest possible advantage for success” (Ruling Your World, page 158).
When we trust in basic goodness, trust in the process, lean in to the discipline of meditation practice, and open ourselves to others and the world, we are able to tune into our innate nature. We feel healthy and we actually physically begin to glow and radiate splendidness. At the Dignity leadership program this fall, the Sakyong said that, “When a person feels that way, they feel that anything is possible” (you can read a Shambhala Times article about the teachings from that program here).
It is from this empowered state of being that we can act with clarity, precision, and inspiration to begin to turn the tide of humanity toward goodness, kindness, and wakefulness once again. We can engage with one another to discuss ways to bring about social change (the Sakyong said that we can bring about enlightened society “one conversation at a time”). We could go out into the community to serve and make connections with other organizations doing great work to benefit humanity. We can engage in meaningful meditation practice from a place of strong intention. And we can simply enjoy one another’s company, and celebrate being alive.
The great thing is that Shambhala has no copyright on authentic presence, dignity, inner strength, or the inspiration of windhorse. We need look no further than the TD Garden for that. Mr. Garnett is one of many examples of athletes, artists, or professionals who approach their trade with inspiration and passion that seems almost superhuman. The world needs more of this. Let us live with blazing passion and channel that energy into being of great benefit. And let’s utilize whatever it is that inspires us to get there.
For the record – the two official NBA teams of Shambhala? The Warriors and the Magic.
And don’t forget to pick up your “Making the Impossible Possible” t-shirt!
November 23rd, 2011 by Ashley_Hodson
We are writing with an update on “Offering Shambhala to Greater Boston”. As you know, we have been pursuing a second center above the Trident Bookstore at 338 Newbury Street for quite some time now.
We have reached a point where the Board has determined we need to walk away from negotiations at the Newbury Street location. This is a result of several factors, primarily: a) being offered a smaller loan from the bank than we had requested, b) a lack of flexibility on the part of the landlords to work with us on a deal, and c) the escalating cost of the rent and build-out as the project became a reality.
While this is a disappointing development, we remain optimistic and inspired to continue to go forward with our plan to offer Shambhala more broadly and seeking additional space. Going through this process with the Newbury Street location has been incredibly valuable; we now have a brilliant set of drawings from our architect, Greg Smith, that allows us to really envision what such an ancillary space would be like, along with our previous financial plan for programming and membership at a new space, and a much stronger understanding of what this expansion entails. For example, as a result of applying for the bank loan, we now have the necessary financial documents in hand for any further or new negotiations with a different landlord on a different space, and a clearer fiscal understanding of how we look to the business world.
“Offering Shambhala to Greater Boston” continues to be at the forefront of the vision of the center; this expansion is one piece of that. Sharing the incredibly powerful teachings of Shambhala in these difficult times in the world is, as the Sakyong has said, “what can turn the tide of humanity.”The board will meet soon to discuss our next steps, based on reflection and contemplation around what we’ve learned and how best to move forward. We will continue to keep the community apprised and welcome your input. Please feel free to contact any board member if you have questions.
Dan Glenn, Executive Director
Mary Coonan, Chair of the Board of Trustees
John Ranco, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees