Process Team Introduction to the Community (6 March, 2019)

Dear Shambhala Community,

We are writing to introduce ourselves and to say a little about what we have been doing since Shambhala Day when we first convened as the Process Team Steering Committee.

In that short time, so much has happened in our community. In the midst of our own heartbreak, disappointment, and personal processing, we have been working steadily to establish solid foundations for our work: as a Steering Committee (SC), with the full Process Team (PT) and with the community as a whole. Many different and conflicting viewpoints are being expressed about what now needs to happen to transform our social relations, cultural practices, and structures to be in line with our Shambhala-Buddhist values. We don’t have the answers, nor is it our role to have them. Rather, we are here to help develop sane and supportive processes for collectively exploring needed changes.

To this end, we have created a number of working groups reflecting input from the Shambhala Community (collected and passed on by the Transition Task Force) and in discussions with the wider PT. We are committed to making our work as transparent as possible and to being in regular contact with the Shambhala community. We will soon send out a link for a website where we will post notes from Steering Committee meetings, important links and documents, and answers to frequently asked questions. We are also exploring better ways of opening lines of communication – by email and other means – and will be back in touch with details within the coming weeks.

We very much look forward to working with the PT and our community as a whole. We remain inspired and deeply committed to our journey together.

In the vision of enlightened society,

The Process Team Steering Committee

Jim Fladmark
LaDawn Haglund
Dian Marie Hosking
Paul Kelway
David Marshall
Deborah Marshall
Frederick Meyer
Lisa Piemont
Martin Ramstedt
Jose Tomas Ruano
Susan Skjei

Frequently Asked Questions About the Process Team

This document records FAQs about the Process Team as received and answered by the Transition Task Force, which was the body that convened the Process Team. It was originally posted on the Transition Task Force website. Thus, the pronouns “we” and “our” below refer to the TTF.

People have asked the following questions of the Transition Task Force via email, our Zoom calls, or on the Transition Task Force website. We are responding to the best of our ability and knowledge. We are checking for answers to the questions for which we do not know the answers. At the same time, there are no answers for some questions; they will need to be answered in time.

This FAQ is an evolving document. We have answered questions to best of our knowledge and tried to be clear, but we expect updates will happen.

Questions and Answers

Q: What exactly is the work of the Process Team? A: The Process Team’s job is to consult with the entire Shambhala community and propose how Shambhala can restructure itself and its leadership. The Transition Task Force currently envisions the scope and work of the PT to include, but not be limited to, four primary areas: 1) community healing and learning; 2) culture change; and 3) new governance structures and organizational development, and 4) community building.

Q: Do you have to have expertise in all of the above areas of qualifications? A: No. However, it would be good to have expertise or experience in at least one of these areas.

Q: What is the role of the Sakyong after one year with regard to the PT? A: It is unknown what the Sakyong will do after one year.

Q: Will the Task Force provide any structure to the PT, or will they figure it out on their own? A: The Task Force has recommended that the PT work with a four-fold approach to organizational development for Shambhala: community healing and learning, culture change, new governance structures and community building. The TTF will pass on recommendations we have received in order to spark the beginning of the team’s work together. As the PT continues its work, it may find other areas that need to be addressed, and the PT is fully empowered to adjust and adapt its work accordingly, and/or to invite others into the process as needed.

Q: How long will the Process Team’s work take? A: Several organizational experts say the work will take longer than one year.

Q: It seems like a long process for the PT to do its work. What will happen meanwhile with community healing and trust if the IB is only focusing on finance, legal matters, etc.? A: The listening, healing and learning process is already underway in many places and environments. The PT will build on this and foster communication with the community and also with the IB. The IB and PT are encouraged to work in tandem.

Please Note: The following Q&A is the last addition to this FAQ by the Transition Task Force.

Questions About the Following Statements by the TTF

The PT is not a mandala[-wide] decision-making body. Its job is to listen, sense, and explore, to prototype and eventually make recommendations.

The term of the PT is one year – Shambhala Day 2019 to Shambhala Day 2020.

The TTF is also creating a Mandala Linking Network to ensure ongoing communications between the PT and the leaders of key areas within the Shambhala mandala.

Summary of Key Points

  1. The PT is not an administrative body. It has no decision-making authority over any other part of Shambhala. Importantly, no other body has decision-making authority over the PT, including the IB. This is an unusual situation in Shambhala. But we believe this liberates the PT to be a voice for the wisdom of the community.

  2. While the TTF created the PTSC to coordinate the activity of the wider PT, and offer guidance, the overall PT will have to establish its processes, set its scope, and care for its own members.

  3. The role of the PT is to:

    1. be in conversation with the entire Shambhala community,
    2. amplify the wisdom of that conversation, and, based on that wisdom,
    3. make recommendations and collaborate with various parts of the whole mandala. The PT can and should work with center directors, regional directors, the Interim Board, acharyas, pillar leadership, the potrang, and/or any other groups within the worldwide Shambhala mandala.
  4. The Mandala Linking Network was designed to be a conduit for communication between the PT, as coordinated by the SC, and leaders around the mandala. The network was created in response to suggestions from PT applicants with experience in organizational change – that there should be formal communication links between the PT, leaders, and other constituencies in Shambhala. Creating such facilitating mechanisms was within the purview of TTF. The MLN does not supervise or otherwise direct the work the PT. Rather, it is a resource for engaging leaders and representatives of constituencies within Shambhala in the overall process of the PT. [Please note: the PTSC is still discussing how or whether to consult with a particular “Mandala Linking Network,” as suggested here. Updates will be posted.]

  5. The Sakyong has legally given up his authority to appoint and remove members of the board until the one-year term of the Interim Board ends. As far as the TTF knows, he has made no statement about what he plans after that. It is anticipated that at the conclusion of this year-long period whomever is designated to lead the Sakyong Potrang, will work with the Interim Board and the Process Team toward the result of a strong, healthy, and diverse organizational structure for Shambhala.

  6. The PT has decision-making power within its organizational work, which will arise from a collaborative process. It does not have decision-making power to implement or institute change at a mandala-wide level. The role of the PT is to identify and amplify the wisdom that exists in our community and to bring forward approaches that could be implemented. The PT will engage the community in a process of dialogue and exploration. From this, wisdom and models to prototype will arise. This will require cooperation within the PT, with the sangha, and with key leaders and other Shambhala voices. The more “Like a star in the sky” recommendations are, and the more the voices of the community and key leaders converge on any given recommendation, the more likely they will result in eventual implementation.

  7. Time Frame of PT. The one-year “term” of the PT indicates a time for review, not dissolution. In consultation with members of the SC and other organization change consultants, the TTF chose one year. Rather than have an open-ended term, the TTF determined it was important and kind to set some sort of time frame to ground the work of the PT. We recognize that some recommendations may be ready in less than a year, some in more than year. One year is a checkpoint for assessing where the PT is and what needs to happen going forward. In all likelihood, some of the work of the PT will need to continue beyond this time frame.

Specific Questions

Q: Why has the TTF decided that “mandala wide decisions” around changes to our culture and governance are not the purview of the PT? If they aren’t within the PT’s scope, than who is the decision making body? A: There is no decision-making body at this time for mandala-wide change in the topic areas of the PT: healing, culture change, governance structure, and community building. The IB is responsible for the fiduciary and legal oversight for Shambhala. The PT’s purpose is develop processes for listening, exploring, and discovering local, regional, and mandala-wide voices and needs toward effective change. The SC is about helping to coordinate these processes toward mutual agreements and recommendations and to help create the best possible conditions for implementing them.

Q: To whom do we make our recommendations? Without the Sakyong, and without a Council (The IB’s scope is limited) it is not clear where our work leads. A: This is a complex question. The PT can work immediately with the current institutions in Shambhala: the IB, the center directors, the acharyas and shastris, the Kasung, and directly with the community and the potrang. Moreover, through the process work of the PT, it is likely that certain ideas will become recommendations that are clearly helpful to implement. The SC is the coordinating body for these recommendations. Some may be mandala-wide, some regional, some local. It is anticipated that the steps needed to realize this will be through the PT’s work, the SC’s coordinating efforts, and ongoing open communication with sangha, key leaders and voices of Shambhala. It will require mutual effort.

Q: The Interim Board is in place until October of 2019. What then? A: The Sakyong has stepped back from the legal and financial decision-making now held by the Interim Board. It is unknown what will happen after the IB’s one-year term.

Simple Points about the Interim Board and the Process Team

This document was originally posted on the Transition Task Force website.

Some people have asked about the differences between the Interim Board and the Process Team, how they will work together and, specifically, what each is being asked to do. We have made these short lists of what we are asking each one to do.

Interim Board

  1. Keep the Shambhala organizations compliant with their legal obligations.
  2. Keep the Shambhala organizations financially solvent.
  3. Identify and skillfully utilize the resources available to you, including the training offered to the board by An Olive Branch and others.
  4. Support the work of the Process Team and collaborate with them when appropriate.
  5. Support Europe by approving an appropriate leadership team for Shambhala Europe, reflecting the wisdom and aspiration of the European Shambhala sangha.
  6. Support the regions and the centers around the world in continuing their work.
  7. Support the ongoing work of Shambhala central services, the various employees, and the ongoing work of the pillars.
  8. Be in communication with the community about important developments and decisions in Shambhala, for example:
    • Report to the community on the results of the collaboration with An Olive Branch, in particular the new Care and Conduct policy that was developed with An Olive Branch.
    • Release to the community as much of the Wickwire Holm report as is legally and ethically possible while respecting confidentiality.
  9. Keep the Sakyong apprised of your work even though he is not responding to any administrative aspects of Shambhala or the Interim Board.
  10. Work with Andrew Sacamano as an advisor for the first six weeks as a liaison from and link to the work of the Transition Task Force.
  11. Manifest the virtues of all yanas in your actions, as individuals and a group.

Process Team

  1. Organize yourselves as you see fit to harmoniously accomplish your tasks.
  2. Understand the resources that are available to you, and use them skillfully to further the team’s work.
  3. In that work, draw on the wisdom of the lineage and the community, and our nearly 50 years of practice since the 11th Trungpa Rinpoche came to the west.
  4. In particular, engage the full breadth of the Shambhala community in conversation to discover what is needed now.
  5. In communication with the lineage, the Interim Board, pillars, regional leadership, and center leadership, explore steps that could be taken now to help meet the immediate needs of the Shambhala community.
  6. Provide assistance to that leadership in implementing those steps, as you are asked, and as you feel is appropriate.
  7. Engage in the entire community and the lineage in a conversation about what a long-term model for community leadership could look like for Shambhala.
  8. Be extremely available to the Shambhala community throughout this process, maintaining a open ear, open mind, and an open heart.
  9. Be as transparent as possible in your work, inviting celebration of your successes, and honesty about your difficulties.
  10. Stay in touch with members of the Interim Board about your ongoing dialogue and work.
  11. Manifest gentleness, fearlessness, and intelligence in your actions, as individuals and as a group.

Update and Process Team Information

This document was originally posted on the Transition Task Force website.

Dear Worldwide Shambhala Community,

Thank you for your participation and for applying or nominating others to apply for the Interim Board and Process Team. We have appreciated your advice, questions, and insights. While we are not responding to individual communications, we are reading them and incorporating your advice and questions into our visioning and communications.

In response to your request for information about the applicants for the Interim Board, we received 39 applications. We are now reviewing applications and resumés and will be scheduling interviews soon. As we discern who to interview, we reaffirm our aspiration for finding the most qualified board members, and we reaffirm our aspiration for worldwide geographical representation; diversity (eg. gender, gender identity, race, nationality, cultural, age, physical ability, socio-economic status) among those selected; a mix of ages and generations; inviting former Shambhalians who are committed to the vision of Shambhala; considering non-Shambhalians, particularly those from institutions that share a strong resonance with the Shambhala view.

Today we are sharing more details about the view and qualifications needed for the Process Team (PT). We have received 50 applications. We encourage you to apply if you feel you have the qualifications, or contact those you think would be good applicants to apply.

Below are links to the PT Job Description & FAQ and a short application form. Please send these to anyone who you wish to nominate and encourage them to apply. The application deadline for the Process Team is Saturday, September 22.

If you feel inspired to apply but have questions, please attend one of our Zoom information sessions about the Process Team. These are scheduled as follows:

Saturday, September 15, **at 12:00 EDT **with Charlene Leung and Sharon Owyang at: https://zoom.us/j/5105599038 Telephone: US: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) Meeting ID: 510 559 9038 International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=_1XJPh_3DB46066X3WVaotLwhP2KSEoD

Monday, September 17, at 8:30a EDT with Arawana Hayashi and Suzann Duquette at: https://zoom.us/j/6539499859 Telephone: US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 876 9923 Meeting ID: 653 949 9859 International telephone numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/bVWCxL2XT

Tuesday, September 18, at 12:00p EDT with Andrew Sacamano and Katrin Stelzel at: https://zoom.us/j/105746145 or Telephone US: +1 646 876 9923, +1 408 638 0986 – ID 105 746 145. International telephone numbers available https://zoom.us/u/cDLmeghRi

Process Team Background and Qualifications for Candidates

Shambhalians and non-Shambhalian consultants have offered invaluable input over the past few weeks that has informed and evolved our view of the Process Team. As an international community impacted by allegations of clergy sexual misconduct and power abuse, we are faced with how to acknowledge and reconcile the discrepancy between Shambhala vision and the harms that have been experienced by some of our members. How is it that we were able to benefit from the brilliance of the Shambhala teachings while, at the same time, people were being harmed within our community? How can we take heed in the basic principles of Shambhala, so we can envision a healthy way forward? How can we be a worldwide community that embodies the principles of basic goodness and is just and truly inclusive? How can our organizational, financial and governance structures support and be reflective of such a just, virtuous, and inclusive society?

We envision that it will be the job of the Process Team to listen to and consult with the worldwide Shambhala community in exploring the above questions and eventually to propose to the community and Interim Board how Shambhala can restructure itself and its leadership. The Process Team is charged with the task of creating a path to freshness, trust, and transparency for Shambhala as a worldwide organization that adheres to the vision of Shambhala, the lineage of Sakyongs, the Shambhala teachings, and Mahayana and Vajrayana buddhadharma.

It has been brought to our attention that before new organizational structures can be envisioned, or healing can even begin, there needs to be some community alignment on the scope of the problems and the conditions that have led us to where we are today. We fully agree on the crucial importance of self-reflection and self-assessment, and recommend that the PT start its work by listening to and engaging with the community on this front. As the PT continues its work, it may well find other areas that need to be addressed, and the PT is fully empowered to adjust and adapt its work accordingly, and/or to invite others into the process as needed.

Members of the PT will be selected based on expertise, experience and interest in at least one of three areas: community healing, culture change, or governance structures. Expertise or experience in at least one of the following areas will be helpful:

  • Group process consultation/Group facilitation
  • Community/Social engagement
  • Individual/collective trauma and healing
  • Organizational culture change
  • Governance models
  • Leadership in Shambhala
  • Institutional collective learning and evolution

While the Interim Board is constrained by the existing legal structure of Shambhala, the Process Team is not bound by that structure in its envisioning. We are recommending that the PT fully explore what it means to manifest the vision of Shambhala and the teachings of our lineage, bounded only by their own heartfelt understanding of what Shambhala is. We expect the PT to bring fresh and open minds to this question. We believe that this is an extremely important conversation to have as a community, and hope that having this conversation will – collectively and as individuals – deepen our wisdom and be an important part of our healing processes.

We realize the work of the PT will be a unique creative process and do not want to limit the PT. Based on the feedback and suggestions we have received to date, we currently envision the scope and work of the PT to include, but not be limited to, three primary areas: 1) community healing and learning; 2) culture change; and 3) new governance structures and organizational development. More information on each can be found in the Process Team Job Description & FAQ.

FAQ

We appreciate that many of you may still have questions, and we are preparing a more general FAQ to answer the questions you have asked that we can answer. Some questions cannot be addressed until the Interim Board and/or Process Team are seated, some do not fall within our responsibilities or cannot be answered because of Task Force time constraints. We hope to expand the General FAQ on our website very shortly.

In the meantime, please visit our website at https://www.shambhala-transition.org for information, new developments, and discussion. You can contact us at transitiontaskforce@shambhala.org.

Sincerely,

Ani Pema Chödrön, Acharya
Arawana Hayashi, Acharya
Charlene Leung, Acharya
Suzann Duquette, Acharya
Katrin Stelzel, Treasury Council Europe, Member
Andrew Sacamano, Kasung Shastri
Sharon Owyang, Regional Director
Basia Solarz (facilitator)

Process Team Job Description

This document was originally posted on the Transition Task Force website.

Link to Application Form: Process Team Applications and Nominations (or fill out this Word doc and email it to us at transitiontaskforce@shambhala.org). Fill in your email address to proceed to the second page of the form.

This position is open for applications.

Application Deadline: September 22, 2018

VIEW OF PROCESS TEAM

The Process Team will be responsible for leading Shambhala forward during a time of organizational, ethical, and financial crisis through a process of listening, exploration, and resolution. The work of the PT will be a unique creative process. Enriched by the valuable input we have received from people both inside and outside of Shambhala, the Task Force will recommend that the Process Team engage the community in a process that results in community healing, culture change, and a governance structure relevant for Shambhala in these times and for the future.

THE JOB OF THE PROCESS TEAM

The Process Team is charged with the task of creating a path to freshness, trust, and transparency for Shambhala as a worldwide organization that adheres to the vision of Shambhala, the lineage of Sakyongs, and the Shambhala teachings, including Mahayana and Vajrayana buddhadharma. The work of the Process Team will address community healing, community building, social system dynamics, and a review of governance in the Shambhala through three main pathways of exploration. These are:

1. Community Healing and Learning
2. Cultural change in Shambhala
3. New governance structures/Organizational Development

1. Community Healing and Learning. We have heard from many people that healing is an important part of moving forward, and acknowledging problems that are present is the first step to healing.The PT will hold as an essential aspect the healing process for the Shambhala community. This might include listening, truth & reconciliation regarding sexual harms and power abuse, addressing trauma, and assessing what people need to continue with full engagement and heart. An Olive Branch is already a resource in this regard.

2. Cultural Change in Shambhala. Shambhala hosts broad and diverse cultures and lifestyles. Culture change might include an assessment of Shambhala culture that would lead to a path of growth at all levels of the organization. Shambhala requires change in order to remain true to the heart of Shambhala vision. Among other aspects, culture change fosters education and raising awareness regarding social system dynamics (i.e., patriarchy, choice in maintaining real estate assets over investing in human resources, racism, north american centrism, classism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, and able bodyism, etc). The integration of this kind of awareness is important to any process of culture change, especially as we create new models for governance.

3. New Governance Structures/Organizational Development. The PT will explore what it means to manifest the vision of Shambhala and the teachings of our lineage as a worldwide organization. There are no set parameters for this exploration. The PT will gather input from the community toward the design of a model for the organization, which includes spiritual leadership and organizational leadership. Tasks are likely to include research, design, and prototypes inspired by the vision of Shambhala and relevant for these times. It is recommended that the PT also look to the teachings of the Dorje Dradül on leadership, wealth, and power and, at the same time, maintain a sense of revolutionary change.

This work will be supported by the Interim Board, as needed, in terms of input, review, and feedback.

QUALITIES OF PROCESS TEAM APPLICANTS

Given the three key pathways of the Process Team, the combined membership will require a variety of skills and expertise. Overall qualities sought for PT members are the same as those for the Interim Board, which include commitment to the Shambhala vision of basic goodness and the lineage of enlightened society; ability and willingness to listen; open-minded without bias or fixed agenda; willingness and ability to evoke new ideas from the community; ability to collaborate with others (team player); ability to be innovative and draw ideas from different systems and processes – willingness to experiment; and an entrepreneurial spirit.** **

We are looking for a broad range of applicants: Of different ages, geographically diverse, diverse social identities, students of either or both Sakyongs, and/or friends of Shambhala, who have the necessary qualities, qualifications, and expertise.

QUALIFICATIONS

Candidates for the Process Team will have a love of Shambhala vision and community, and will be willing to offer their time, exertion, and wisdom**. They will have a variety of experience, including in community organizing, volunteering, and formal leadership. **Some will have senior leadership experience. Others will be consultants or have experience and skill in applying frameworks for self-organization, such as sociocracy, Theory U, “teal” organizations, or holacracy. Some will have experience working with real challenges in organizations around the globe and a track record of supporting organizational re-envisioning, re-design, re-engineering, and/or meaningful transformation. Yet others will know how to articulate, define, measure and govern for the desired impact. Expertise or experience in one or more of the following areas will be helpful:

  • Group process consultation/Group facilitation
  • Community/Social engagement
    • world wide community perspective
    • diversity and inclusion training or lived experience
    • communications
  • Individual/collective trauma and healing
    • individual trauma healing
    • group trauma healing
    • Restorative justice/transformative justice
  • Organizational culture change
    • design thinking
    • process consultation
    • organizational change management
    • community needs assessment
    • global systems change
    • organizational leadership/development at a global level
    • management and cultural change in organizations
    • organizational operations management
    • organizational finance leadership (including “innovative approaches to funding and providing financial leadership for an educational or religious non-profit”)
  • Governance models
    • Organizational design and development
    • Organizational turnaround, restructuring, and transformation (of which “change management” is just one component)
    • Risk management

Responsibilities and Time Commitment for the PT

The Process Team will listen to the community, receive feedback, and oversee the deeper and longer process for healing and inviting a new approach to community involvement in Shambhala leadership. Being a member of the PT is a volunteer appointment. There is no pre-established term for the PT as the work may take longer than a year. We also anticipate that the time commitment of PT members will vary. The PT will be encouraged to invite others in the community to assist and participate in the process of healing, re-assessing and re-envisioning. We encourage the PT to avail themselves of the wisdom and experience that are already in the community and in local centers and groups.

Number of Process Team Members: Not as yet determined.

Review Process: All candidates will go through the same defined review process. This will determine who will be interviewed and finally appointed.

More information available at the Process Team FAQ.

More information on the Interim Board and Process Team

This document was originally posted on the Transition Task Force website.

Dear Worldwide Shambhala Community,

We are writing to address a few key topics, each with links for more information, and to encourage you to apply, or contact those who you think would be good applicants to apply, for the Interim Board or Process Team. The Transition Task Force is extending its deadline for making appointments. The deadline for applications for the Interim Board is September 8; the deadline for applications for the Process Team is September 15.

We have heard from many people that healing is an important part of moving forward, and acknowledging the problems that are present is part of healing.  While it is not the role of the task force to do this, we will encourage the Process Team to include these activities as part of their work.

Nomination and application process and timelines

We’ve received a number of applications and nominations. It is great to hear from people willing to step forward into leadership positions in this challenging time. This is a landmark moment in the history of the Shambhala sangha, and we encourage you to take a moment now to contact anyone you think would be an effective leader in one of these positions and ask them to apply.

If you wish to nominate someone, including advisors, please contact them to be sure that they are interested. You may wish to send them the link below, which is a short form, and which also asks for a CV or qualifications for either the IB or PT. We will not have time to follow up with suggested nominations. Please confirm with people you wish to nominate that they are interested. Thank you for your support with this key step.

For both the IB and PT we are looking for a broad range of applicants: younger people and older people, people from all over the world, people from diverse backgrounds and social identities, students of both Sakyongs and friends of Shambhala. In transparency, we as individuals are asking people to apply who we think will be good candidates. All candidates will go through the same defined process that will determine who will be interviewed and finally selected. If you feel inspired, but are hesitating for any reason, please reach out to us at transitiontaskforce@shambhala.org

Interim Board Application Informational Zoom Calls

We will be hosting several informational Zoom calls for applicants and people considering applying to the Interim Board. You do not need to attend if you do not wish to, this is just to address questions people might have.

Questions about the role and authority of the TTF

We are here to offer a platform for the community to nominate or apply for a position on the IB and PT. We do understand that by choosing the IB and the PT we have a role in shaping what happens, and we are earnestly trying to listen to the wisdom of the community, and invite applications from a broad range of people. The broader the range of applications, the more we will be able to reflect that wisdom in our choices, finding people who are insightful, wise, farseeing, without fixed agendas, and creative.

We would like to clarify that we have no financial or legal authority over any Shambhala organization, nor any leadership role. Our sole task is to name the Interim Board and the Process Team. For more information about this, click here.

The legal framework in which the IB will be operating

The IB will be responsible for guiding the non-profit legal entities under the Shambhala umbrella. They will be a traditional board, required to make decisions consistent with the charitable purpose of Shambhala, and to do their best to keep the organization financially solvent and able to operate. Click here for more details about this role, what the scope of responsibilities will be, and what the Sakyong’s recusal means for the IB.

More about the PT

The Process Team will hold an important part of the healing process for our community – by consulting with the entire Shambhala community and proposing how Shambhala can restructure itself and its leadership. We expect the Process Team members to bring expertise and fresh and open minds to these questions. They should fully explore what it means to manifest the vision of Shambhala and the teachings of our lineage as a worldwide organization and prototype more participatory systems that include everyone inspired by that vision. There is no pre-established time commitment for the PT as they will determine how their work will unfold.  More details about the Process Team will be coming soon.

Questions about the meaning of “Lineage of Sakyongs”

We recognize that there are many ways to be loyal to the vision of Shambhala and the Shambhala lineage of Earth Protectors. Both individually and as a community we are being called to deeply contemplate this topic. The Transition Task Force is inviting people who have the required skills and will bring an open and living quality to their connection to Shambhala. We say a bit more about that here.

Timeline for applications

  • Final date for applications to the IB: Sept 8
  • Final date for application to the PT: Sept 15

The Transition Task Force will keep you informed of our ongoing work, discussions, and developments, on our website at https://www.shambhala-transition.org,  You can contact us at transitiontaskforce@shambhala.org.

Sincerely,

Ani Pema Chödrön, Acharya
Arawana Hayashi, Acharya
Charlene Leung, Acharya
Suzann Duquette, Acharya
Katrin Stelzel, Treasury Council Europe, Member
Andrew Sacamano, Kasung Shastri
Sharon Owyang, Regional Director
Basia Solarz (facilitator)

The Stated Purpose of Shambhala

This document was originally posted on the Transition Task Force website.

THE STATED PURPOSE OF SHAMBHALA AND THE INTERIM BOARD AND PROCESS TEAM

The legal purpose of the Shambhala organizations includes the phrase “a global community devoted to presenting, establishing, and advancing the wisdom, compassion, and skillful means of the lineage of the Sakyongs of Shambhala.”

Many people have asked what exactly “lineage of the Sakyongs of Shambhala” means. One’s relationship with the lineage is highly personal; however, we could inquire into this as it applies to those applying for roles on the Interim Board or the Process Team.

Based on our understanding of this purpose, the Transition Task Force welcomes qualified applicants to apply for the Interim Board or Process Team who have a commitment to the vision of a good human society on this earth, or to the vision of Shambhala, or to the Shambhala teachings and community, or to the Sakyong principle, or to the Lineage of Sakyongs, or to the Dorje Dradül, or to the Sakyong.

Ultimately, “the idea of lineage in Shambhala teachings relates to one’s connection with primordial wisdom.” The Druk Sakyong was the transmitter of these profound teachings on basic goodness and enlightened society, especially vital in this particular time. The teachings describe the Sakyong principle, which is the ability to join this profound vision with earthly challenges and limitations.

Sakyong means “Earth Protector,” and communicates that the role of leadership is to protect this earth and its inhabitants. Each of us can step into a role of leadership by recognizing the potential of our community and by joining the teachings with our everyday life and work contexts. The Sakyong Principle is embodied in each of us as well as the first Sakyong Trungpa Rinpoche and the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

Nomination Process for the Interim Board and Process Team

This document was originally posted on the Transition Task Force website.

Dear Worldwide Shambhala Community,

We acknowledge the groundlessness that the community continues to face and the need for ongoing space and healing. At the same time, we also perceive that we are, as a community,  turning a corner toward action. One member of our group noted feeling that this is a time of both danger and opportunity. As we remember what is at the heart of Shambhala — bravery, gentleness, and intelligence — we are moving forward with care and the confidence that a good outcome is possible.

Thank you for your responses to our first letter. We are considering your feedback, questions, and suggestions. We hear you, and will continue to listen, although we will not be able to respond to your emails individually.

We have met five times as a whole group, and several times in subgroups. Summary notes of our full group meetings are posted on our website. As we continue our work as the Transition Task Force, we would like to reiterate that we are not responsible for any financial or governance decisions for Shambhala. We are not the “new” Kalapa Council, we are not a leadership body, and we are not responsible for creating governance structures.

We are writing to share more detailed descriptions of the one-year Interim Board and Process Team, and the qualifications and criteria for nominees and applicants for these two key groups. Finding the members of the Interim Board and Process Team will be a live, dynamic process, which we invite you to participate in. With this in mind, we invite everyone interested within the Shambhala world-wide community to participate by applying, if you are qualified, or nominating someone you feel would be good for each of these two groups. You are also invited to offer to be an advisor to either of these groups. Use the Nomination Survey links below for either the Interim Board or the Process Team to submit your name as a potential advisor.

VIEW FOR THOSE SELECTED FOR BOTH INTERIM BOARD
AND PROCESS TEAM: WHAT THEY WILL FOSTER

We aspire to select and appoint people who will foster:

  • Shambhala as an international and diverse community
  • Financial transparency
  • Fiscal discipline and responsibility
  • Leadership accountability
  • Ongoing systems for broad community involvement and communication
  • Global awareness
  • Interdependency between the center and fringe of the mandala
  • Transparency, inclusivity, equity, and diversity in leadership and policies and procedures

OUR TASKS: SELECTING AN INTERIM BOARD
AND A PROCESS TEAM

In recruiting the most qualified and appropriate nominees and applicants to serve on the Interim Board and the Process Team, the Transition Task Force is committed to:

  • Worldwide geographical representation
  • Diversity (eg. gender, gender identity, race, nationality, cultural, age, physical ability, socio-economic status) among those selected
  • A mix of ages and generations
  • Inviting former Shambhalians who are committed to the vision of Shambhala to apply
  • Considering non-Shambhalians, particularly those from institutions that share a strong resonance with the Shambhala view

Overall Qualities for Interim Board and Process Team Members

  • A commitment to the integrity of the Shambhala lineage.
  • Congruence with the Shambhala teachings and vision of enlightened society.
  • Ability and willingness to listen.
  • Open-minded without bias or fixed agenda; willingness and ability to make space for things to emerge from the community.
  • Ability to collaborate with others (team player).
  • Ability to be innovative and not afraid to mix and match ideas from different systems and processes.
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, willingness to experiment.

INTERIM BOARD

Definition

The Interim Board will be acting as the Shambhala Board of Directors for one year. The powers and duties of the Board are defined in the bylaws of the non-profit organizations, Shambhala USA and Shambhala Canada. The stated purpose of Shambhala in the bylaws is to further the vision and propagate the teachings of the Kongma Sakyongs of Shambhala. (Shambhala Europe has the same stated purpose.) The Interim Board will hold the fiduciary and legal responsibilities for Shambhala USA and Shambhala Canada, previously held by the Kalapa Council; in other words, it will be legally required to act in good faith in furthering the stated purpose of the Shambhala organization. It will be the legal governing body for these non-profit organizations for one year.

Responsibilities

The Interim Board is ultimately responsible for all global services and activities of Shambhala, with an emphasis on finance and budget approval. The Board will relate with those people currently holding executive and management functions for Shambhala, for example, those in finance, practice and education, leadership, culture and decorum, and social engagement. Representatives in these areas will advise the Board with regard to sangha-wide activities of Shambhala.The Board also will make or delegate decisions about hiring, compensation, and termination of employees of Shambhala USA and Shambhala Canada. Members of the Interim Board will be volunteers and part-time.

Shambhala Europe is a German GMBH (corporation) and a subsidiary of Shambhala USA, managed by its own interim Managing Directors and Board. Because Europe is a subsidiary of Shambhala USA, the Transition Task Force aspires to appoint appropriate representation from Europe, not only for the Process Team but also to be on the Interim Board.

Although the Interim Board will have full authority over the legal organizations of Shambhala, their mandate will be to maintain the health of these organizations, and to not make any major changes or decisions while the Process Team does their work.

Qualifications

Ideally, nominees and applicants will have expertise in at least one of the following categories: corporate governance, board membership (profit or non-profit), non-profit management, finance, history of good financial and legal decisions, financial statements, budgets, real estate, human resources, law, and a history of successful collaborative accomplishments.

PROCESS TEAM

Definition

Working in tandem with the Interim Board, the Process Team will be responsible for a process to engage the community in healing, culture change and designing and implementing an ongoing participatory governance structure that is appropriate and relevant. The Process Team will comprise a broad range of individuals skilled in process, governance, and facilitation methodologies.

Responsibilities The Process Team will listen to the community, receive feedback, and oversee the deeper and longer process for healing and inviting a new approach to community involvement in Shambhala leadership.

Qualifications Expertise or experience in at least one of the following areas:

  • organizational culture change
  • organizational change management
  • governance models
  • design thinking
  • community/social engagement
  • communications
  • process consultation
  • group facilitation
  • transformative justice
  • diversity and inclusion training or lived experience
  • global systems change
  • individual/collective trauma and healing

HOW TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS OR NOMINATIONS FOR THE INTERIM BOARD AND PROCESS TEAM

Above are the preliminary qualifications for nominees and applicants. Next week, we will send you final qualifications, more information about the process, and timelines. For now, please use the above definitions and initial qualifications when considering your own application or recommendations for nominees. Please confirm the interest of any nominee you recommend before making your recommendation.

If you are interested in being an applicant or are suggesting a nominee, please note the following steps: For those who are interested in being considered for or making recommendations for the Interim Board or Process Team and who meet the above initial qualifications, please fill out a short survey for INTERIM BOARD NOMINATIONS (closed) and PROCESS TEAM NOMINATIONS.  In each survey there is a place to indicate interest in serving as an advisor for either.

The Transition Task Force will keep you informed of our ongoing work, discussions, and developments, on our website at  https://www.shambhala-transition.org,  You can contact us at transitiontaskforce@shambhala.org

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM US

The Transitional Task Force will

  • Review all emails sent to us. If requests and suggestions fall within our mandate, we will assess how we can address them and/or incorporate them.
  • Publish notes from our weekly meetings, available on our website.
  • Be transparent and seek community input regarding potential Interim Board and Process Team members.
  • Develop and share methods with the community for receiving input about and recommendations for Interim Board and Process Team nominees and applicants.
  • Receive recommendations of interested nominees.
  • Receive applications from interested individuals.
  • Review applications.
  • Interview potential candidates.
  • Make final appointments of Interim Board and Process Team members.

Please note that translations of this letter and our communications to the community are happening as quickly as possible.  International participation in this process is important to us.  In addition, if you would like to learn more about the Transitional Task Force members, please visit our website.

We hope that our work will benefit the Shambhala lineage and community worldwide. The time to make these appointments is brief. The Transition Task Force wishes to honor the process and we are working to meet our six-week deadline; however it is possible we may need to extend it.  We will keep you informed.

Please help us find the best candidates so that the appointments can be made with confidence, and the members of the Interim Board and Process Team will serve with vision, expertise, and humanity.

Sincerely,

Transition Task Force of Shambhala

Ani Pema Chödrön, Acharya
Arawana Hayashi, Acharya
Charlene Leung, Acharya
Suzann Duquette, Acharya
Katrin Stelzel, Treasury Council Europe, Member
Andrew Sacamano, Kasung Shastri
Sharon Owyang, Regional Director
Basia Solarz (facilitator)