The Coordinating Body would like to welcome a new member. Ivan Troescher of the governance working group is taking the Governance seat. We look forward to working with him to move forward the aims of the process team. A thank you to all who helped with the interview process so that it was a more arms length and inclusive process of selection.

We would also like to welcome Barbara Wolkowitz of Chicago to the finance legal group WG. With the loss of Greg Lubkin that group had no legal support for the legal questions that arise. We Welcome Barbara’s experience and willingness to be involved in the consultation questions from the Board and the community that come to the Process Team.

Appreciating all of the process team in all that you do to deep thinking and connecting.

The Coordinating Body of the process team,
Catherine Eveillard, Jim Fladmark, Kristine McCutcheon, Janet Bronstein, Nora Wiser, Shel Sampa Fisher

Thank you to members leaving the Process Team

The Coordinating Body would like to thank the following members for their activity on the PT and service to the community.  For the past two years these people have been active in their own locals and when they could added to the PT discussion.   We wish them all the best in their further activities.   

Jan Lamoc, Diane Whitcomb, Michael Carpenter, Fred Van Welsan, Ellen Napodano

Fred worked on Ulab and moved that forward.  Jan added stability and insight to the Governance discussions.  Micheal helped with the Journey document put together of the Process Teams work.  We would like to also thank Diane Whitcomb for her work on the Code of Conduct, the Protection working group, the Governance Working Group and the Coordinating Body and moved conversations forward artfully.  It was wonderful to work with all of them.   

Thank you for your service,    

Process Team, Year Two – In Progress (September) – A Short Version

Spring 2020 – Spring 2021

In May 2020, a new Coordinating Body was established to succeed the initial Steering Committee.  The idea for moving to a ‘Coordinating Body’ was to emphasize the need for  ‘platform’ to better integrate and support the work of the Process Team, and to link emerging community initiatives with the Pillars of Shambhala, and with the Shambhala Board.

The Coordinating Body adheres to the Code of Conduct and its Principles.  The Coordinating Body aspires to be an example for practising these Principles, to restore and sustain trust through principles of care, accountability, transparency and inclusivity.

The Coordinating Body is NOT a representational body for the Process Team.

The six members of the CB are: Catherine Éveillard, Janet Bronstein, Jim Fladmark, Kristine McCutcheon, Nora Wiser, Shel Sampa Fisher.. Like the rest of the Process Team they are volunteers from all across the mandala who have committed to serve for a year to :

design, recommend, and facilitate processes by which the community can heal from past harm, re-envision itself, and foster a safe, inclusive, and participatory culture and governance structure.

Steps taken to date this year include :

  • July 2020, the results of the first 3 of 4 portions of the Sense of Shambhala Survey were formally released July 2020.  The goal of this community-wide survey effort was to describe where we are right now as a Shambhala community through listening deeply to all segments of Shambhala, mapping the ground and understand how experiences and issues in Shambhala are understood by those who took the time and had the interest to respond.  More than 3000 people participated in this survey.
  • August 2020, the Board released the proposed Code of Conduct policies to the community for feedback.  A series of Community Engagement activities being planned for this, being led by both the Process Team and by certain Centres in Europe.
  • August 2020, the Process Team launches a Community Engagement Initiative, see below.

Process Team, Year One – A Short Version

Winter 2018 – Spring 2019

Initially, a Steering Committee was appointed by the Transition Task Force to harness the energy of the volunteers and provide ways to integrate their work in various Working Groups:  Healing Learning & Protection, Path Teachings & Practice, Community Building, Governance, Finance & Legal, Governance Models.

For better and for worse, the PT was given a blank slate with respect to self-organising in order to ensure that it would be perceived as being at arm’s length from the Interim Board and from any former hierarchy.  This gave rise to a very intense, internal experiment of searching for self-organizing means and tools.  Consequently, the Year-One PT’s ability to reach out to the community was limited.

Nevertheless, there were a number steps taken:

  • In Sept. 2019, the Steering Committee introduced MIT’s Theory U framework for conscious change, via U.Lab, and promoted it to the whole community to provide tools and pathways to work on a large scale with intentions and shared understandings.  The U.Lab programs have an audience of more than 10 000 people around the world, and are based on values similar to those of Shambhala.  About 400 people in the Shambhala community participated in 2019’s U.Lab 1 and 2 programs, formed groups, and have appreciated the widening of scope that these U.Lab spaces have provided.  Although these U.Lab groups evolved from the PT, they now have a separate existence from the PT and have a hub led by a committed group of people working on Shambhala projects, and dedicated to gathering the energy generated by this initiative.
  • In December 2019, the Code of Conduct Task Force’s draft for a new Shambhala Code of Conduct was approved by the board.  Starting with a view of acknowledging that abuses and lack of transparency have occurred in our community, and that trust has been broken, the Code of Conduct seeks to answer the questions :
    * What is the path one has to come back from being harmed or harming others ?
    * How can I become a more responsible engaged and awake member of the world.
  • Some Working Groups created fruitful connections with the Shambhala Board – namely the Survey Working Group, the Code of Conduct Working Group, and the Governance Models Subgroup.  These groups have been able to add expertise and community connections to on-going Board activities.
  • Other Working Groups are ongoing in their efforts to integrate with existing Shambhala structures.
  • By February 2020, the Charter Working Group had successfully led the PT to its first Charter document, including Vision and Mission statements adopted by the PT, and Aims from each of the active Working Groups.

Origins of the Process Team – A Short Version

What is the Process Team ?

The Process Team is a group of volunteers that was originally gathered by the Transition Task Force at the end of 2018.  Its members are a diverse group of people from the international sangha, from all dharmic streams held by the community, and from many backgrounds, including  people from North America, Europe, and New Zealand.

The Process Team is a Shambhala body independent from the Board, the Shambhala Global Services, and the Sakyong, and has its own mandate.

The Process Team’s original job description was – To consult with the entire Shambhala community and propose how Shambhala can restructure itself and its leadership.

The Transition Task Force recommended 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 PT was further charged with the task of – creating a path to freshness, trust and transparency for Shambhala as a worldwide organization.

By the end of its first year, the Process Team formulated its Mission Statement as – To facilitate a community-wide process that engages the Sangha through dialogue while honouring the fundamental nature of basic goodness and abiding in accord with the Dharma, thereby identifying a path forward for the community that nurtures healing and learning, and respects diversity, inclusion, and cultural differences.

Legal Structure of Shambhala

The Transition Task force put the following information on the legal structure of Shambhala together.


What we usually call “Shambhala” or “Shambhala International” is, legally speaking, several related nonprofit or not-for-profit organizations (or corporate entities).


As not-for-profit or nonprofit entities, there are some general restrictions.

  • When they were formed, we had to specify their “purpose”, and that purpose had to be approved as suitable for tax-exempt, charitable nonprofits by the government of the country where they were formed.
  • In the case of the Shambhala organizations, the purposes are written around the theme of propagating the teachings of the lineage of Sakyongs.
  • These organizations are legally required to be led by a board of directors.
  • Those directors are legally required to act in accordance with the stated purpose of the organization.
  • The organization’s assets cannot usually be transferred to private individuals other than through payments of compensation or reimbursement of expenses, which are scrutinized by tax authorities.

Because of these restrictions, these organizations are able to protect the Shambhala community’s and the Shambhala Lineage’s assets. These assets include money, real-estate, teachings, art, ritual implements, trademarks, names, and so on.

The structure of Shambhala has evolved over time. The current structure has two main levels: the Sakyong Potrang and the Shambhala organizations.


The Sakyong Potrangs are the legal organizations of the lineage. “Lineage” here specifically means the current Sakyong and future Sakyongs. There is one Potrang in Canada, and one in the USA. Plans for a Potrang in Europe have not been completed.

The Potrangs hold the donations that have been made specifically to the lineage (instead of to Shambhala generally, or gifts to the Sakyong personally) as well as copyright of the Sakyong’s teachings, and also ritual implements used for abhishekas and so on. The current Sakyong appoints the board of the Sakyong Potrangs, which includes the Sakyong himself, the Sakyong Wangmo, and Landy Mallory.


Shambhala USA and Shambhala Canada are the legal organizations of the Shambhala community in North America. They hold the city centers and land centers, and employ people who manage international programs, support the Shambhala Centers, do publicity, fundraise, and so on. The boards of Shambhala USA and Shambhala Canada are appointed by the respective Sakyong Potrang.

Shambhala Europe, gGmbh, is the legal organization for Shambhala in Europe. It holds the Dechen Choling real estate, as well as European trademarks and logos, and usually has its own set of employees who provide services in Europe. There is no Potrang in Europe. Instead, Shambhala USA is the sole shareholder of Shambhala Europe, and as such has the power to appoint the managing director of Shambhala Europe.


Shambhala Centers elsewhere the world are usually legally independent, but have an agreement with one of these three (USA, Canada, or Europe) about using the names, logos, and other intellectual property of Shambhala.


In general, boards are required to follow the stated purpose of their organization, and operate in accordance with the bylaws (included below). But they are also expected to exercise their good judgement in responding to the actual situation. The Transition Task Force is trying to find interim board members who will represent and consider the full breadth of the Shambhala Community.

The Sakyong Potrang is formally waiving its right to appoint and remove the board members of Shambhala Canada and Shambhala USA for a period of one year starting when the Interim Board is seated. During this year, the Interim Board will have full legal authority over the affairs of Shambhala USA, Shambhala Canada, and indirectly over Shambhala Europe, with one major exception. They will not be able to change the legal structure or the bylaws of the organizations, or dissolve the organizations. These actions will still require the approval of the Sakyong Potrang.


As the Process Team considers the future of Shambhala, they are free to envision anything, including changing the structures of these organizations and even the bylaws.

We hope that the Interim Board will help the Process Team experiment and prototype and respect the Process Team’s recommendations, but that needs to take place within the existing bounds of the purpose and bylaws (included below). Success for the Process Team will thus take more than just convincing the members of the Interim Board – it will probably come from a sangha-wide conversation that includes the membership and the lineage.





  • Most centers in the USA and Canada use this charter

Process Team Update – September 03, 2020

The Coordinating Body intends to have frequent short communications from the Coordinating Body of what the Process team is working on. This communication is about the Code of Conduct.

Recently the Shambhala Code of Conduct policies were released. The new Shambhala Code of Conduct has two main parts: Part I – The Policies; and Part II – The Process. All of Part I – the Policies can now be viewed on the new Shambhala Code of Conduct Hub at https://code-of-conduct.shambhala.org/.  Part II – the Process, Guidelines and Procedures – is still being reviewed and finalized, and will be released before the end of this year.  The entire new Shambhala Code of Conduct Policies and Process will go into effect on Shambhala Day, February 12, 2021.

The overall Code of Conduct is about how we treat each other. In Shambhala this is influenced by how we understand the Shambhala teachings and bring our awareness and experience of meditation into our daily relationships. Although much care has been written to express ‘conduct in everyday life’ in language that is easy for anyone to understand, and that is easy to translate into the many languages of people practicing in Shambhala, the new Code of Conduct policies can only be as valuable as the people who work with them. The policies are intended to invite reflection and a community discussion on our behavior according to the view and practice of our Shambhala teachings, as well as to define misconduct and express our intention to be inclusive, responsible and caring. 

In all societies misconduct, mistakes and misunderstandings occur. For Part II of the Code of Conduct, the Process, the core question guiding the procedures is: How do we in Shambhala respond when misconduct happens? In general, the new Shambhala Code of Conduct process includes acknowledging the misconduct and mistakes to enable us to learn from them, and if at all possible restore harmony with those involved, as well as in the community in which this occurs. Just like the Policies in Part I, the Process in Part II also depends on how  people understand the view and practice of our Shambhala teaching, and the process will also depend on how we develop our skills to work with the processes and the people involved. The principles in the Code are living principles and are a basis for forming a good human society. This is a starting point, rather than a final word on how we exist together.  

The Code of Conduct Hub has several supporting documents in addition to the five new policies, including a ‘Board Introduction to the Shambhala Code of Conduct’, which offers a practical context for the Code of Conduct policies. You are encouraged to take some time to visit the Code of Conduct hub at https://code-of-conduct.shambhala.org/ and to send us your feedback.

Sense of Shambhala Survey: The Results are Here!

The 2020 Sense of Shambhala Survey was organized by an independent working group of the Shambhala Process Team.  The goal of the survey was to describe where we are right now as a Shambhala community.  The survey was not intended as an opinion poll or as an exercise in identifying the consensus way forward for Shambhala.  Instead our intention was to listen deeply to all segments of Shambhala, to map the ground and understand how experiences and issues in Shambhala are understood by those who took the time and had the interest to respond.

Email invitations to respond to the survey  were sent to 11,666 individuals who were currently members of Shambhala, who have been members of Shambhala, who have completed through Level III of Shambhala Training or engaged in an advanced assembly program. The purpose of this broad invitation was to understand the experiences of the many people who feel connected to Shambhala, no matter their current membership status.   



Here are some questions that you can find answers to in the Sense of Shambhala Survey findings:

  • What is the mix of practice and study paths represented in our community?  (Answer in Part 1)
  • How have local Shambhala Centres and Groups been affected by the crisis in Shambhala? (Answer in Part 2)
  • Is there consensus or disagreement about key issues facing Shambhala going forward?  (Answer in Part 3)
  • What are our aspirations for Shambhala going forward in terms of Practice and Study, Relationships with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, structure of the Shambhala organization and relationships within our communities? (Answers in Part 4)

Here are links to the results of the Sense of Shambhala Survey.  Each report includes a summary and also a set of detailed tables presenting the findings.  


Part 1 presents quantitative results from the questions describing individual respondents, their characteristics, practices, challenges, feelings of marginalization and responses to the current Shambhala crisis. Part 1 Sense of Shambhala Survey


Part 2 presents quantitative results from the questions describing respondent’s experience with local Centres and Groups in Shambhala. Part 2 Sense of Shambhala Survey


Part 3 presents quantitative results from the questions describing respondent’s experience with the larger Shambhala Mandala. Part 3 Sense of Shambhala Survey

Part 4 presents a detailed qualitative analysis of the many open ended questions included in the Sense of Shambhala Survey. The report is divided into 3 sections: one section that describes inspirations and disappointments in Shambhala, one section that describes respondents’ decision-making around leaving or staying in the community, and one section that describes aspirations for Shambhala as we look ahead.  The Executive Summary of this report gives a very brief overview of the findings.  Part 4 Sense of Shambhala Survey  Qualitative Findings


At this link you can find a copy of the questionnaire used for the Sense of Shambhala Survey.  Questionnaire

In the reports, you will find simply the results of the surveys with minimal interpretation.  Contemplating, exploring and interpreting the results, and deciding what they mean for the future of Shambhala is up to us.

  • If you would like to join conversations with fellow community members about the survey findings and related topics affecting us all, please sign up for the Community Conversation Contact List.  The Process Team will be organizing these conversations, and we will keep you up-to-date on when and how they will occur.


  • If you are part of a group within the Shambhala community that would like a closer, customized look at the survey findings, relevant to your issues of interest, please sign up for the Group Customized Analysis Request

These survey findings are available to the entire community, and are a powerful support for informing how to shape our initiatives moving forward. To find out more about current initiatives in Shambhala  intended to repair harm and address findings of misuse and abuse of power, as well as  restore trust through inclusivity, transparency, accountability, and care, please click here https://communitycare.shambhala.org/





The next year – Introducing the Coordinating Body of the Process Team

What is the Coordinating Body of the Process Team? 


The Coordinating Body (CB) are 7 people chosen from the current membership of the Process Team (PT) to facilitate communication among the various working groups and the community at large.  CB members do not represent specific working groups but are all in at least one.   We aspire to create an open   communication channel between  the community, the Process Team and the Board. 

The mandate of the CB is:

  • To provide support to and facilitating synergy between PT Workgroups.
  • To hold the Vision and Mission of the PT

The Coordinating Body was developed from an iterative process of feedback and input from the Process Team, at the conclusion of the first year of work.  The structure and current roles of the Coordinating Body can be found here  (most current version)    

Our role isn’t to make decisions for the working groups, but simply to communicate their activity and work.   We want to help the community and the process team connect to the working groups and projects that are happening in Shambhala.   

If you have a project that you are working on and would like to connect it to a Process Team working group, or if you would like to join an existing project anywhere in the PT mandala please let us know.  We will be opening opportunities for new members to join the Process Team soon.   

In addition to the current array of PT groups, there is more room.  New working groups may be created through the Process Team that align with our mission.  The Coordinating Body is your link to the Process Team and to how you can help.  

Regardless of our individual paths, we recognize that the sangha ‘is’ shifting.  Who we are as a community ‘is’ shifting.  We are also all at different stages of our personal and societal path.  Our expectations can’t be the same as they were yesterday, three years ago, or 40 years ago.  This is the nature of impermanence.  It makes each interaction more poignant knowing there may not be another one.  

Sane Goodbyes  – One area of learning  over the past two years (and longer) is that we haven’t always been able to say good-bye with love and respect to those who have left shared communities.  We have lost decorum and we have all contributed to creating a space where it is uncomfortable to respectfully disagree and have difficult conversations.   From this pain has come recommendations for Sane Goodbyes.

At this time, with the international Covid-19 epidemic, we can’t get together and raise a toast.  However, we would like to acknowledge all those who said yes to the Process Team, who wanted to help out in whatever way they could, and to say thank you and goodbye to those who have stepped down..   

Thank you to all who have contributed to the process of figuring out the process in the first year;   Alex Day, Alexandra Landstra-Kalinine, Betsy Railla, Carolyn Kanjuro, David Marshall, Deborah Marshall, Dr. Dean Nelson, Fred van Welsem, Gerda Jansonius, Gernot Landschein, Henri Bouissou, Joanna Francis, Katy Klutznick, Konstanze Brockstedt, Laura Chenoweth, Linda Markowitz, Lisa Piemont, Margaret Hughes, Michael Stephens, Otto Pichlhöfer, Paul Kelway, Peter Nowak, Ruby Stocklin-Weinburg, Sofija Terzic, Steve Jewell, Sybren Post, Tai Pimputkar, Tanja Duda, Tessa Racine, Tillie Perks, Tracy Suchocki, Ute Steiner, Voula Kereklidou, Please prosper in all your activities.  

Thank you also to the people who have graciously volunteered another year of service for the community process.    

Thank you to the Steering Committee of the initial year of the Process Team.  Your work is much appreciated and your wisdom will continue to penetrate.  Thank you for your generosity of time and effort and may your involvement continue to bear fruit.  Jim Fladmark, LaDawn Haglund, Dian Marie Hosking, Paul Kelway, David Marshall, Deborah Marshall, Frederick Meyer, Lisa Piedmont, Martin Ramstedt, Susan Skjei.  We would also refer you to their debrief of the initial year of the Process Team.  

Our gratitude for the organisational skill, support and care of the Year 2 Transition Team who assumed the responsibility for facilitating the design process, and seating of the current CB.  

Teri Rowe, Nancy KapLon, Fred Meyer, Shel Sampa Fisher, Jim Fladmark.  

We look forward to connecting with you, 

Signed by the Coordinating Body of the Process Team


Janet Bronstein

Catherine Eveillard

Jim Fladmark

Shel Sampa Fisher

Kristine McCutcheon

Nora Wiser

Diane Whitcomb

PTSC Letter to the Community (5 September 2019)

Dear Shambhala Community,

Just over six months ago, on Shambhala Day, the Process Team took its seat. Those of us on the Steering Committee now find ourselves reflecting on the journey we have taken thus far. We would like to take this moment to share some of our thoughts, and reiterate our invitation for you to join us as we move forward.

When our community was thrown into crisis a little over a year ago, we were faced with a sudden leadership vacuum. The Transition Task Force acted to fill this void, first by selecting and appointing an Interim Board to manage the legal and fiduciary needs of Shambhala, and second by assembling a Process Team and Steering Committee to help the community discover what was needed at this confusing time. The Process Team attracted volunteers with an aspiration to help, and we have since worked together to explore ways of supporting the community.

It has been difficult to know how to be helpful. However, in recent months, we have discovered an approach that we believe can fully engage us as a global community in working together toward positive change. As difficult as this past year has been, we also feel the process of falling apart has created an opportunity for us to learn to manifest in a healthier way.

Viewed from this perspective, we are in the middle of a hopeful process of learning to collaborate, a practice of co-creation and empowerment. The results are still unknown; but what is most important at this time is how we proceed. Here, the path is very much the goal. It is in this spirit that our last community letter included an invitation for the community to join us in an exploration of the future of Shambhala, grounded in a process of awareness-based social change using the methodology of Theory U.

We would like to reiterate the invitation for members of the community to join the upcoming “u.lab,” a free online course that begins September 12. [Even if you cannot make all sessions, they will be recorded for later viewing. Please note: the introductory 90-minute course is no longer a prerequisite.]

Beyond introducing us to the Theory U framework, u.lab provides “hubs” for those with common interests, regions, and/or languages to share experiences and practice together. We have created a Shambhala “Maha Hub,” hosted by Process Team members Dian Marie Hosking, Nancy KapLon, David Marshall, and Fred van Welsem. This Maha Hub is intended for the sangha as a whole to gather online and communicate during and after the course. Anyone who signs up for hub access can also create their own topical hub, and several smaller Shambhala-related hubs are already forming.

If you missed the “Question and Answer” sessions on Theory U, you may view them in their entirety here. Our PT website contains other useful information on Theory U, as well. A note on language for our non-English speaking sangha: though the course materials for u.lab are in English, according to the u.lab course site, video transcripts are available in Español, Français, עברית, Indonesian, Italiano, 日本語, Português, and Türkçe. In addition, sharing circles and hubs can be in any language, as decided by participants.

We know many of you are already learning, teaching, and facilitating kinder, more inclusive ways of being and working together, and manifesting as community from a space of warmth and collective wisdom. Please keep doing what you are doing. If you already have experience with Theory U, you are also warmly welcomed to join the Shambhala hub to share your stories, images, or methods of engagement with u.lab participants. We are very pleased to be working with PT member Nancy Kaplon who has generously and skillfully taken on the role of Theory U Coordinator. Please contact her for questions about the u.lab or hubs, or if you need assistance enrolling in either (NancyKapLonPT@gmail.com).

Finally, please check our website to see the latest updates from the PT Working Groups.

With love,

The Shambhala Process Team Steering Committee

Jim Fladmark

LaDawn Haglund

Dian Marie Hosking

Paul Kelway

David Marshall

Deborah Marshall

Fred Meyer

Lisa Piemont

Martin Ramstedt

Susan Skjei