Coordinating Body Meeting Minutes of 2020.11.12

Shambhala Process Team – Coordinating Body  Minutes  Meeting of 2020.11.12

Attendees : Catherine Éveillard, Ivan Tröscher, Janet Bronstein, Jim Fladmark, Kristine McCutcheon, Nora Wiser, Shel Sampa Fisher  Absent :  

Roles – Facilitator : CE Minutes : NW  Speakers List : [name] Time Keeper : JB Well-Being : [name] Call Host : JF

1. Meditation
2. Opening
2.A. Opening Touch-In (brief transition: “what is alive in me now”)
2.B. Review/ Assign Meeting Roles
2.C. Approval of Minutes of Last Meeting
2.D. Approval of Agenda of Current Meeting
2.E Make copies of this document for approved Agenda, and for taking Minutes.
2.F. Confirm Date of Next Meeting
2.G. Confirm Call Connection Info for Next Meeting
2.H. Upcoming Events (dates related to PT or CB)

Open conversation 11-14 at 3 PM Eastern with KM, NW, JB will be present. WGs invited to share updates at beginning of call.

All-PT call 11-28 at 3 PM Eastern. WGs invited to share updates at beginning of call.

3. Status Updates

3.A. Completed Action Item Evaluations

3.B. Action Item Status Updates

Open conversation 2020-11-14, who?

JF, CE – Plan for Forgiveness & Reconciliation Pilot gathering on Nov 15th. Communication ongoing with scheduled participants.

SSF, JB – Membership All-PT Call Feedback Need to review the recording of the September call. Will create a transcript, extract meaningful nuggets. Need help to look at file and form, to consolidate and summarize for PT, and pull out actions items. JB will attempt using new transcript software. IT and NW to help.
Transcript (will be in Recordings folder)
Summary Document

KM – CB selection announcement (move to next time)

JB – CE TF Update. Fred Meyer and Janet B. presenting via SO on Nov 15th. Anticipating trial CE conversations in near future.

JB – Survey Part IV goes live on Nov 13th. Sent to PT first, then community.

CE – Inclusivity grant update (N/A)

KM, JF – Centers and Groups update. Consensus to continue with regular meetings. “Western” US meeting went well. Chain of communications within Shambhala erratic – a theme. Request from JB from participants not to have call scheduled late on a Friday.
4. Proposal for a European mandala gathering

Complex communications among European centers as well as with Shambhala Europe make this a challenge. Noted that recent experience with North American centers engaging in horizontal communication with SGS and Centers & Groups WG has been helpful for NA. Question posed: Could this be effort be part of Center & Group WG rather than CB?
Body Break
5. Brainstorming CB Evaluation Measures
Catherine and Janet have produced a draft report to be sent by Janet CB Report

Are we ready to share a draft with the PT? May need some refinement to make it more visually accessible to PT. (SSF)
Suggestion: release in several parts? Or summarize 6 months of activity month by month. Who is audience?
Could we have a quantified of our progress?
Missing Governance Models input.
Suggestion: Share a summary with PT with link to full doc on PT website. (SSF)

How it will link into November All-PT Themed Call (2020.11.28)
Report of status. Call could be evaluation of report as well progress of PT in general. To be continued next week.
6. PT web page. Fred M is updating with CE information.
7. New and Recent PT Members. No action this week.
Needed steps: Which WG do potential members want to join? Review PT job description and commitments. Explain interview process, Revisit next week.
Flex Time
– A Time for Empathetic Conversations ? (N/A)
Debrief and Closing
A. Brief Meeting Evaluation (thumb gestures and, or a quick round of liked & did not like, deeper discussion would be scheduled for another time)
B. Closing Touch-In
C. Dedication of Merit
D. Bow

Action Items


Date Due Date Lead Action Item Details
2020.11.12 JF Decide on regular time for Centers and Groups
2020.11.12 SSF, IT, NW Summarize PT Membership Feedback (All-PT Call 2020.09.26)

2020.11.12 SSF, IT Share a Summary of CB Report – 2020.11 with PT with link to full doc on PT website. (SSF)

Theory U coaching circle brought to San Antonio

Our San Antonio coaching circle, including a person from Houston, presented this program for a community meeting. Only one person came but we did it anyway, since it was good practice. We did this to draw interest in Theory U.

San Antonio Shambhala Gathering using Theory U – 12/07/2019

10:30 Facilitators meet at center

11:00 Gather for potluck lunch

Noon Gather in shrine room

Brief statement of Theory U and today’s use of Coaching Circle as one of the tools

(I think each of us should make a brief statement, which shows our work together)

Linda: Brief explanation of Theory U using throwing a stick to a Dog and Lion example (we are Lions!)

Betsy: Intro to Theory U (pg. 9) based on Open Mind/Heart/Will connecting with the emerging future

Celeste: Brief introduction to presencing: awareness of what wants to emerge (3 min.)

Teresa: Introduction to prototyping (2 min)

Paul: Four levels of listening

Dena: what attracted me to theory U and coaching circles was a combination of connecting with the future (aushpishesness), Presencing, sensing it

12:20 Dyad (5 minutes each as a Talk-Listen)

Dyad including reflection questions:

        1. Reflect on your early days of being on this path—what brought you, how it felt to be here.
        2. Reflect on how you experienced the disruption of the news of sexual misconduct.

What do you notice about your inner response?

Moment of silence.

12:30 Form Coaching Circles (2 per group with one of us as facilitators)

(Any facilitators without a group will form their own)

12:35 Intention statement by case giver

(Each case giver will give their intention statement on the spot)

Take a moment to imagine what you would like to see/feel/experience in a place (the center) that nurtures your spiritual path.

        1. What key challenge or question are you up against?
        2. How might others view this situation?
        3. Intention: What future are you trying to create?
        4. Learning threshold: What do you need to let go of–and what do you need to learn?
        5. Help: Where do you need input or help?

12:43 Stillness

        1. Listen to your heart: Connect with your heart to what you heard/said
        2. Listen to what resonates: What images, metaphors, feelings and gestures come up for you that capture the essence of what you said/heard?

12:45 Mirroring of Images, feelings and gestures

Images (Open Mind), Feelings (Open Heart), Gestures (Open Will)

Each coach shares the images/metaphors, feelings and gestures that came up in the silence or while listening to the case story.

2 min

Having listened to all coaches, the case giver reflects back on what s/he heard.

12:55 Generative Dialogue

Reflect on remarks by case giver—notice any new perspectives

Case giver: Insights, what can you do to move toward the emerging future you imagined

Yourself and for the center?

1:00 Intention statement by case giver 2

1:08 Stillness

1:10 Mirroring of Images, feelings and gestures

1:20 Generative Dialogue

1:30 Individual journaling to capture insights from both cases

1:32 Large group sharing of what each person experienced (intro by Paul)

IF TIME, there will be a guided imagery, as follows:

What would the center look like…feel like…. who would be there… would it feel that just thinking of going to the center…

1:55 Closing remarks-

Imagining the next step…If we can set something up, you will be sent a link to post your thoughts on envisioning our future

Let it haunt you for the next few weeks. (Thank you! And just let this set in for the next few weeks. And if you want to share we are going to have a Facebook group) Private group.

Invite participants to write on poster paper:

Since only one person came, we put the paper on the wall and meditators who came on Sunday already began to add to it

Pittsburgh Exploring Its Future

The Pittsburgh Shambhala Center has formed a community working group to take up the following questions:

What is our essence as a spiritual community? What are our values? What ethics (should) drive us? What is our mission? Who do we (want to) serve? How can we become a more inclusive, accessible, and equitable community? Do we want to continue affiliation with the Shambhala International organization? What should we carry forward with us and what do we want to emerge? (How) should we offer programming in this interim time? And arising out of and underlying all of these: How should we govern ourselves and make decisions, both in the short and long term?

For results of the first meeting and more information on their ongoing exploration, visit: Pittsburgh Community Working Group

Experiments from Portland

The Portland Shambhala Center has experimented with two new forms of communication and self-reflection:

Report from the First European Shambhala Forum

From Thursday May 29 until Saturday June 1 2019, European Shambhalians from all directions gathered in Dechen Chöling for the First European Forum. The seeds for this meeting came from various conversations at the Kalapa Garchen in 2017 and the German regional meeting in 2018. They were further developed in the conversations of the European Regional Directors and Co-ordinators (ERDC). The designers and facilitators of the Forum, Konstanze Brockstedt, Dian-Marie Hosking, Grit Turnowsky and Fred van Welsem, wanted to create a process in which participants: felt empowered and able to talk about whatever topics they wanted, could connect with each other, and could (re)connect with their inspiration, lungta and the magic of Shambhala.  This website shares something of what we did and how we did it, along with the emerging ideas and projects. It will be constantly updated as participants use the blog page to share how they have further developed and actioned emergent projects. We hope that others in Shambhala can find something of benefit in the practices and processes described, as well as some of the ideas discussed. Please interact with the material through the blog, or you can send a message on the Process Team website (contact us)… helping us all to learn together. 

Portland, Oregon (USA) Sangha Gathers in a New Way

From John David Smith, March 2019

As Co-director of the Portland Shambhala Center, I’ve been thinking about how to get the Portland sangha to cheer up, get more engaged, and break some of the habits we have around excessive deference to authority.  I think that talking about talking in a different way is not as good as just jumping in and having community conversations in a very different way than we’ve had until now.  The challenges we face as a community are different and somewhat daunting. (We’ve lost about a fourth of our members in the last year.)

One tactic I’m exploring is the use of “liberating structures” as a disciplined and purposeful way of distributing responsibility and authority among those who are present in a meeting:  I’ve found that the book and the app that the folks in this large community offer have been very valuable.  I feel like I’m pretty much of an amateur even though I’m trying it in Council Meetings, in Town Hall meetings, and in teacher meetings.  So I’m going to a 3 day conference and a 2 day immersion workshop next week.  
In the meantime I wanted to share the agenda that we used for last Saturday’s Community Town Hall (and a video of some of it: )
Here is our agenda (planning document), with some links describing the structures that we used:
    • @10:00 am – Welcome – Purpose, invitation – ZOOM (JDS text David)
    • @10:05 – Shamatha Practice (10 minutes)
      • John or Janie on Umdze stand
      • Seating set-up as for regular sitting practice
    • @10:15 – Dyads
      • Turn to your neighbor… and take turns speaking about 3 minutes each
        • How have you been?
        • Why did you come to this Town Hall?
      • Popcorn report out (3 minutes) – ZOOM (JDS text David)
      • Note taking: Jennifer on a Google Doc shown in the TV
    • @10:25 – Loosen everyone up — this is going to be fun. 20 mins: sentences to complete in 30 seconds
      • Instructions: Participants form two circles, one inside the other. Each person faces one other person and completes an open-ended sentence in less than thirty seconds. When time is up, participants are invited to move to their right so that they are in front of someone else to complete the next sentence, and so on. Sound the Rin once to take turns and sound the Rin two times for everyone to move to their right.
      • Complete the following sentences (two times):
        • What I have found most inspiring about Shambhala is…
        • What I find most challenging in our current situation is…
        • Something we must learn to live with in Shambhala is…
        • The most important thing for us to talk about today is…
      • Sentences read out loud and projected on the TV
    • @10:45 – Give new Directors some airtime to challenge our thinking & pose questions. 30 mins:
      • Co-directors are “celebrities” each in a chair at the western end of the shrine room
      • Two chairs on either side for “interviewers”
      • The rules:
        • Sit in one of the interviewer chairs to ask one or more questions
        • Answers are spontaneous, from the heart, not necessarily the final word
        • Allow one empty chair (when the second chair is occupied, step down to leave room for the next person to step up)
        • Mark Douglass (or someone else?) will kick it off
      • Record on ZOOM (JDS text David)
    • @11:15 – BREAK – 10 min
    • @11:25 – Open Space to dig into the question: “What’s next for our center?” (4-5 locations: Shrine room I, Shrine room II, Community Room, Library, VY shrine room) 45 mins
      • Parts:
        • Intro & rules & supplies – 5 mins
        • Breakouts – 30 mins
        • 3 minute report & 5 minutes for questions and discussion
          • Who was there
          • What was discussed (what not discussed)
          • What did your group recommend for the future? Were there action items?
          • Record via ZOOM
        • Breaks interleaved
    • @12:10 pm – 20 mins: Wrap up and call to action in a circle: Record via ZOOM (JDS text David)
          • Each person says, going around circle: “What did you notice? What does that mean?”
          • Facilitated group now what and what if?
          • Check outs recorded on the TV?
    • @12:30 pm – Dedication of merit, clean-up, and hang-out
          • Stop ZOOM recording

By all reports it was very successful — and it was a lot more fun being together in this way than we’ve had as a community in a long, long time.  It opened up a lot of very important topics that we will be following up on in the future.  Clearly there is a long way to go but we need to keep our energy up for the long haul.