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





Dialogic Methods: Resources for Strengthening Community

Dialogue is a mindfulness/awareness practice of mutual deep listening and exchange that unfolds through conversation to reveal collective insight. It allows participants to examine how thought can construct reality and also may create separation between self and other, themes central to the Shambhala teachings. Dialogue is especially helpful when there are strong differences of opinion, high emotional energy, and uncertainty or ambiguity about the future.

A Shambhala Introduction to Dialogue

Dialogue as Collective Skillful Means

Bringing the process to the path

For further training, consultation, or information on dialogic methods, you may contact the following specialists (available for free online consultation; limited availability for in-person workshops; fees and expenses negotiable):

dian marie hosking (Europe):

David Rome (North America):

Are you experienced in dialogic methods and willing to offer your expertise to the community? Please contact us so we can learn more about you and explore how you might be able to help. In your message, please include a brief overview of your experience, geographical region, general availability, usual fees (if any), and contact information. Thank you!

Body Movement for Zoom Meetings

Loosen up and bring joy to your Zoom meetings with Dr. Dean Nelson’s simple set of body movements. We discovered that expressing ourselves through movement really helped in getting to know each other, relaxing, and building trust. For those of us training in Theory U, its transformational framework uses movement as a core methodology in the “Presencing” phase of tapping into collective wisdom. Dean’s body movements also function as a gentle and playful introduction to the embodied aspects of presencing.

Video: Body Movement for Zoom Meetings


Social Presencing Exercises for Community Meetings

Liz Korabek-Emerson is trained in Social Presencing and is offering the attached Theory U-related exercises that she has used for her Brunswick, Maine sangha. Liz is happy to consult with you if you would like to explore them – clicking on her name below will connect you via email. In Liz’s own words:

“I created these exercises from listening to what I heard from sangha members and leaning into what I sensed could help, drawing on my experience with dharma art, social presencing and embodied leadership. While they were specific to the gatherings for which they were created, I share them with the hope that they can serve as a model of how to apply our embodied practices to our community life and inspire others to create what is needed for their own sangha. In my view the sangha has become the primary teacher for our time. And it is a good one.”   Contact:  Liz Korabek-Emerson

SPT Exercises for Community Meetings