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

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

December 2019

December 2019 Updates from the Shambhala Process Team

The Process Team Steering Committee (SC)

The PTSC is in the process of developing a summary of PT work carried out in 2019, which will also include recommendations for the next year. Several PTSC members are expected to step down and new structures will be needed in order to continue the work of the PT. We are gathering information to determine what has worked well, as well as lessons learned, for any potential Year 2 iteration of the PT. Our aspiration is that this will guide the Board and PT toward establishing structures, roles, and activities to meet our strategic aims, which include:

    • To guide the Shambhala community toward creating a healthy culture and to help repair and restore trust.
    • To offer a process that facilitates the implementation of the code of conduct in a way that benefits the whole community
    • To harvest and report back to the Shambhala community, including Shambhala leadership, the themes and learnings that emerge from surveys and other methods, to help set future priorities for community process
    • To offer spaces, processes, and other skillful means that support deep listening and dialogue around topics of importance to the evolution of the Shambhala community.
    • To actively invite the voices of non-dominant cultures into ongoing dialogue about the future of the Shambhala community to ensure that all voices are included and heard.
    • To model an approach to governance that emphasizes dialogue and listening as a way to encourage this approach within the wider community

In December, the PTSC sent a letter to the Sakyong requesting to initiate a dialogue with him regarding the work of the PT, in particular in relation to his process of reconnection with the community. We asked him to consider joining us in a constructive, community-led process that could help all parties heal from past harm and repair the ground of trust together, so that we may transmute the difficulties of the past into a thriving Shambhala of the future. We believe it is part of our mandate as the Process Team to help design this process, in conjunction with the Board, the Sakyong Potrang, and the Shambhala community.

The Code of Conduct Task Force

The Code of Conduct Task Force is pleased to announce that the draft version of a new Code of Conduct policy and procedure for Shambhala has been accepted by the Board as a basis for community discussion, refinement, and implementation. In November, the Shambhala Board appointed CoC Task Force members to work as the Code of Conduct Support Group (CCSG) for one year. More information about the CCSG members can be found here.

The CCSG is tasked with developing a plan for community involvement and integration of the proposed Code of Conduct and setting up new Code of Conduct structures. The draft proposed includes:

    • Code of Conduct
    • Child Protection Policy
    • Policy to Address Sexual Misconduct
    • Anti-Discrimination Policy
    • And organizational complaint procedures for dealing with reporting and resolving misconduct locally, regionally and internationally.

Please click here for a full update, as well as translations into español, Nederlands, and français.

The Theory U Planning and Implementation Team

The Theory U u.Lab 1x course ended on December 12th, and now many of us who participated are moving into u.Lab 2x projects in February, where a variety of teams will be developing prototypes to benefit individual Centres and Groups and the wider sangha. Thank you to everyone who participated in 1x; to all who may be interested in joining in the future, we look forward to working with you!

The Survey Working Group (SWG)

The Survey Working Group spent the last several months working intensively with different parts of the Process Team to develop a major survey of the community. Different sections explore people’s individual situations, their relationship and experience with their local center, and their relationship and experience with the international Shambhala organization. All current and former community members will be invited to participate. We expect the survey will be open for most of the month of January, with preliminary results available to the community by Shambhala Day.

The Charter Working Group

The Charter Working Group has been focused on helping to facilitate the development of strategic aims (defined as an ongoing main activity in support of Mission and Vision) from active working groups across the PT. We are also helping to coordinate a process of developing defined working group objectives for a second year of proposed PT activity, based on these strategic aims as well as progress made to date. Our hope is that this strategic planning effort can help form the basis of a collectively agreed charter document for Year 2 to help ensure clarity and alignment in regard to the PT’s ongoing efforts and focus after Shambhala Day 2020 in support of a thriving global community.

The Governance Working Group: Finance and Legal Sub-Group (FLWG)

The FLWG has continued to meet biweekly. During this last quarter we established a goal of creating a manual of existing and new finance and legal documentation of policies and procedures and suggestions for Center/Group Leaders. In the coming months, we will begin forming sub-groups with subject matter experts throughout Shambhala to explore specific areas within finance and legal with the intention of developing proposals as they pertain to finance and legal matters.

October 2019

Below you will find updates on the work of the Process Team (PT) Working Groups (WGs). As you may note, some updates show more activity than others. This reflects the reality of the PT, where the work ebbs and flows, and the energy and availability of the WG volunteers change. As always, please feel free to contact us if you have questions or comments.

The Process Team Steering Committee (SC)

During the last two months, the Steering Committee has continued to monitor and support existing Process Team projects, including the Code of Conduct and the Shambhala community’s participation in the Presencing Institute’s u.lab online training course. We have also been ‘raising our gaze’ to reflect on the purpose, trajectory to date, and potential future activity of the PT through awareness-based deep listening and dialogues. We are now working on what we can and should aim to do before Shambhala Day 2020 (along with what we need to know in order for that to crystallize) together with consideration of what the longer-term focus and evolution of the Process Team and Steering Committee might look like after this point in time.

The Code of Conduct Task Force:

On September 20th, the Code of Conduct task force presented a ten-part draft of the Shambhala Code of Conduct to the Shambhala Board. Besides the core Code of Conduct document, the package included a child protection policy, a policy to address sexual misconduct, and an anti-discrimination policy. The Code of Conduct incorporated parameters for protecting space for all, with details on how to make and process a complaint so that people feel heard, responded to, and cared for. This policy and process would apply to everyone. Guided by a process of inclusivity, transparency and accountability, the task force aspired to construct a Code of Conduct that could renew a sense of health for our community as a whole.

The drafting of these policies and procedures included input from several sources, including teachings from Shambhala and Buddhist lineages on conduct and society, the current (2018) Shambhala Care and Conduct policy, the proposed An Olive Branch draft policy, and policies from other dharma communities. The documents reflect necessary legal requirements and are informed by human resources best practices from universities, national governments, and international organizations. The task force also benefited from thousands of comments and recommendations from the recent Care and Conduct survey that the Board sent to the Shambhala community. The initial documents were then sent to a review group, which included past and present members of the Care and Conduct Panel and several Process Team members. Their feedback was vital and resulted in several revisions which were integrated into the final draft documents before being presented to the Board.

Currently the Board is asking for clarification on several points before presenting the new Code of Conduct to the Shambhala community. The task force members have expressed a willingness to support the Board and work with the Process Team to introduce and have a community conversation around the Code of Conduct. This will still take some time, but it is moving forward.

The Theory U Planning and Implementation Team

Over the summer, the Process Team invited the Shambhala community to join us in learning about Theory U in a free online training course. We are pleased to report that an estimated 400 Shambhala practitioners worldwide are now enrolled, together with over 11,000 participants from 140+ countries! Many are practicing skills of deep listening and generative dialoguing together in “coaching circles,” as well as participating in topic- or region-focused “hubs.” These hubs – which to date include topics such as healing; centre and leader resilience; and curriculum, training, and path – can be found at the Presencing Institute website. Some PT working groups have moved their activities into hubs, and others are expected to emerge as people identify shared intentions. We are excited by the lungta this is raising, and by the ways the training is reorienting, reemphasizing, and sharpening our own community-based grounding in mindfulness, awareness, and skillful means.

It is not too late to join the free u.lab 1x training course! Enrollment is open through the end of the course on December 12th, and materials will continue to be accessible thereafter. If you do enroll and would like assistance in joining a hub with other Shambhalians, please email Nancy KapLon at NancyKapLonPT@gmail.com. Our hope is that some number participants in u.lab 1x will continue into the u.lab 2x course and begin to develop prototypes for social transformation that could be applied in Shambhala. This sense of movement is very exciting, and is balanced with our continuing sense of groundlessness as a worldwide community at this time.

The Community Building Working Group: Offerings Sub-Group

Offerings had a full meeting on October 13 to publish strategic aims. We’ve met in small groups since then on a set of projects and have a follow-up meeting on October 31. We’ve also created a hub (“Shambhala Curriculum, Training, and Path”) for u.lab participants interested in discussing our practice path using this methodology.

The Centre and Group Support Working Group

Centre and Group Support has created a hub within the Theory U u.lab course, where discussions are beginning on the topic of “Centre and Leader Resilience.” Anyone participating in the current u.lab course can join this Hub.

The Charter Working Group

Last month, the Charter Working Group reached out to all Process Team working groups to build a list of “strategic aims” for the PT. We believe that working collaboratively to develop this document will help clarify the purpose of each subgroup and help set the future direction of the Process Team as a whole. We also continue to invest the required time in developing a charter document with the goal of improving coherence amongst the PT’s varied activities and communicating these activities to the Shambhala Community.

The Survey Working Group (SWG)

The Survey Working Group is preparing a survey for late 2019 that will support the “sensing” phase of Theory U – in other words, acting as an input for making sense of our current situation in the Shambhala community. Stay tuned!

The Governance Working Group: Models Sub-Group

Over the past two months, the Government Models subgroup completed interviews with many current and former Shambhala leaders and is beginning to process the material we gained from that effort. We also submitted questions about members’ experiences of Shambhala’s governance to the Survey WG group for their upcoming member-wide survey. Beyond this, we have continued to gather writings on governance from within Shambhala and from other entities that may have useful and complementary ideas about governing structures. Finally, we have continued to reach out to the Shambhala Board to offer support, and they have welcomed our suggestions regarding the formation of a Mandala Nominating Committee, which will recruit and recommend future Board members.

The Governance Working Group: Finance and Legal Sub-Group (FLWG)

The Finance and Legal Working Group (FLWG) has been among the stakeholders asked to review a draft funding proposal relating to Shambhala Global Services. The FLWG has also been continuing to consider how best to learn from people who have held positions of financial responsibility at various levels in Shambhala.

The Healing, Learning, and Protection Working Group (HLPWG)

In our last Healing and Learning Working Group meeting, we worked to develop our group’s strategic aims. Here is what arose:

    1. To complete a proposal for sharing knowledge and recommendations for providing trauma-informed containers and trauma-trained staff at all kinds of Shambhala programs. This project will include information and recommendations for working with mental health issues that arise during programs.
    2. To develop a plan for disseminating information about Restorative Circles and providing trainings for anyone interested in learning to become a leader of this method.
    3. To continue to support the process of applying the Code of Conduct policies and procedures throughout the community and offer ourselves to the Governing Board and International Care & Conduct Panel as supports to this process.
    4. To develop, by listening to the experiences of our members and sanghas, an understanding of a community healing process that we can offer to other communities who are experiencing this type of crisis.

During the next few months, as the fall Theory U course unfolds, our group will not meet – but we plan to meet again in January. Some of the aims listed above will be worked on in smaller “task force” type groups. We will reconvene in January to take up these aims as a working group.

The HLPWG Dorje Kasung Sub-Group

The Dorje Kasung working group is preparing to open avenues for listening and connecting with our experiences of service and the Kasung Path. Please stay tuned for more information on these initiatives.

August 2019

The Process Team (PT) Working Groups (WGs) continue to evolve. In this update, several WGs share information on their progress. You may notice that not all WGs report every month; some groups are continuing to work on projects mentioned in the last update, as well as exploring ways to take these to the community; some groups are revisiting their objectives or dissolving; and many have shared their updates below. As always, please feel free to contact us if you have questions or comments.

The Process Team Steering Committee (SC)

The PTSC has been reflecting on the journey we embarked upon at the beginning of this year and clarifying where we hope the work of the PT will go. Much of our recent effort has focused on how best to help the work of the PT “land” (in other words, become useful for the community, in the real world). To this end, we have enlisted the help of people inside and beyond the PT to introduce Theory U to those unfamiliar with this social change methodology and to invite interested PT and community members to train alongside us. You may read more about Theory U, why we settled on this methodology, how to enroll, and much more on the PT website (Theory U links appear on the left menu).

The Survey Working Group (SWG)

The SWG administered the second major online survey of the Shambhala community since our last update. Nearly 3,000 people participated in this survey about experiences with the Care and Conduct policy. The Interim Board will report results to the community in the next few weeks. The SWG is working with the Process Team and the Interim Board to prepare several more surveys for late 2019.

The Community Building Working Group: Centre and Group Support Sub-Group

The Centre and Group Support Working Group has launched a Director’s Cafe series, consisting of zoom drop-in meetings, for anyone in Centre or Group leadership to share experiences and seek input. They have also implemented a system of Centre Liaisons, so that any Centre or Group can have one PT member as their channel for two-way communication. Please email NancyKapLonPT@gmail.com if you are in Centre leadership and wish to have more information about either of these initiatives.

The Charter Working Group (a combined Sub-Group from Governance and Processes)

The Charter Working Group collectively produced a short list of strategic aims linking our group’s mission and vision statements, then created a template which we distributed to other PT working groups, asking that they submit strategic aims as our next step in creating a Charter. At every step of the process, our group examined how key words are defined and used in many of the first languages spoken by Shambhala members.

The Governance Working Group: Models Sub-Group

Over the past few months, Government Models completed our Ground and Mission statements, and began:

    • Interviewing current and former leaders in Shambhala/Vajradhatu about their experiences of our organization’s governing structures
    • Developing questions to be sent to Acharyas and other teachers about their understanding of VCTR and SMR’s political teachings
    • Developing survey questions regarding Shambhala’s governance to be sent to all members, and
    • Organizing a library of writings from both within and outside of Shambhala about enlightened governance.

We are clearly in a “gathering” stage and are feeling very curious about the interview, questionnaire, and survey responses that will be coming our way!

The Governance Working Group: Finance and Legal Sub-Group (FLWG)

The Finance and Legal Working Group has been actively working toward gathering information more widely, using multiple approaches:

    1. Generating a list of people with official experience of financial and legal matters in Shambhala to interview “formally,” as well as questions to ask them
    2. Developing an informal network of people in Shambhala (with or without official positions) to have conversations with about their perspective on financial and legal matters; and
    3. Considering the possibility of offering some open zoom calls for discussion of Shambhala financial and legal matters.

We expect to move forward with these initiatives in September.

The Theory U Planning and Implementation Team

The Theory U Planning and Implementation Team invited the Shambhala community to participate in the Fall uLab and the Shambhala Hub. As of the end of August, over 200 Shambhalians have registered for the uLab and we are really looking forward to learning with everyone! The uLab starts on September 12th, and you can continue to enroll in it after that time and catch up. Please email PT Theory U Coordinator Nancy KapLon at NancyKapLonPT@gmail.com if you have enrolled in the uLab or have any questions. Instructions for signing up for the Shambhala Hub (after enrolling in the uLab or otherwise training in Theory U) can be found here.

June 2019

Please note: Because the work of the Process Team (PT) is dynamic and evolving, specific Working Groups (WGs) may arise or dissolve over time, and not every existing group will provide a monthly update. 

The Process Team Steering Committee (SC)

The PTSC facilitated a second full-PT gathering via Zoom on June 22. During this two-hour meeting, Theory U was introduced as an awareness-based change methodology to assist PT members in guiding difficult conversations throughout the community. PT members heard from Acharyas Arawana Hayashi and Susan Skjei, as well as surprise guest Otto Scharmer (founder of Theory U), about the promise of this approach in the Shambhala context. Participants also practiced “generative listening” in small groups in order to experience the methodology directly. 

The PTSC is also working with members of the PT on a long-term plan for training and implementation around Theory U while continuing to engage with IB, the PT Working Groups and sub-groups, and all initiatives underway. You may review our meeting minutes as they are approved and posted for further information.

The Healing, Learning and Protection Working Group (HLPWG)

The HealingandProtection@gmail.com Response Team continues to respond to messages. We encourage all present and former members of Shambhala to reach out for support. We hope that anyone in a position of local leadership will feel encouraged to reach out for support in holding their seat. Members of our team are available to listen and consult in working with challenging dynamics at the local level and can offer “office hours” on Zoom for individuals and groups when requested.

The Dorje Kasung (DK) Exploration Sub-Group is developing opportunities for dialogue that reflect the need to heal, develop good culture and governance, and build the community internally and its relationship to the civilian community in Shambhala. The group comprises Dorje Kasung experienced at every level, along with civilian participants.

The Code of Conduct Task Force

The Code of Conduct Task Force (which evolved from the Code of Ethics sub-group) is developing a new Code of Conduct based on several resources, including the existing Care and Conduct Policy, the Code of Ethics from An Olive Branch, and other examples from secular and faith-based communities. Additionally, this Task Force is developing a revised grievance procedure that will more closely reflect the needs of our organization today and in the future. We aspire to complete this work by mid-July.

The Survey Working Group (SWG)

The Survey Working Group used a short Interim Board online survey about communication to test the many processes and technologies involved in conducting online surveys in Shambhala. The test was successful, the team identified areas for improvement, and the SWG gave a summary of the responses from over 3,000 members of Shambhala to the IB. If you missed the recent message from the IB on the topic of the survey, members may log into Shambhala.org for more information here. You can expect a second survey from the IB and the SWG on the topic of Care and Conduct in July. You may want to add ShambhalaSurveys@gmail.com to your contacts so that it is not inadvertently delivered to your junk mail folder.

The Processes Working Group: Process Design Sub-Group

The Process Design group has been dissolved after recommending that the PT move forward in engaging the wider community through the social change methodology of Theory U. 

The Processes Working Group: Dialogic Methods Sub-Group

The Dialogic Methods group has concluded its work and has been dissolved. Ways of understanding “dialogue” and a few examples of how to practice this have been posted to the Process Team website.  Methods for using body movement to loosen conceptual mind and add some fun to Zoom or in-person meetings and for storytelling will be posted soon.

The Community Building Working Group: Centre and Group Support Sub-Group

The Centre and Group Support working group met to examine how we can feasibly create a network of support for centres and groups. We hope to create a system of liaisons so that each Centre or Group has one PT member as their channel for two-way communication.

The Community Building Working Group: Offerings Sub-Group

Offerings has finished three of our four draft framing documents and the other will be finished in July. These documents provide structure and key questions for a community-wide discussion on the Shambhala practice path in the future.

The Charter Working Group (a combined Sub-Group from Governance and Processes)

One of the ongoing priorities of the Charter Working Group is ensuring that we gather insight and feedback from the whole PT in a manner that is skillful, inclusive, and representative as we build the PT’s Charter document. We view the Charter as a living document, and as such it will need to be reviewed and updated periodically; the first review will be in October. To date, we have developed Mission and Vision Statements for the Process Team.

On the All-PT Zoom meeting of June 22nd we began to explore the Core Values of the PT by asking the attendees to list single words expressing these values in the chat while on the call. We are building on those suggestions, as well as focusing on articulating the PT’s Aims (individual strategies and the strategic directions that connects the Vision to the Mission). 

The Governance Working Group: Finance and Legal Sub-Group (FLWG)

The Finance and Legal Working Group (FLWG) has been gaining more members and advancing its efforts to gather the data needed to make practical recommendations supporting the Shambhala community’s vision.  We have continued to organize along lines of interest, specifically Legal Matters, Revenue Generation, Accounting Systems and Controls, and Historical Development (so we understand how Shambhala’s financial and legal arrangements came to be as they are). 

The Finance Committee of the Interim Board (IB) invited the FLWG to submit requests, and we asked four questions to start with, each reflecting one of our interest areas.  We understand that the IB has already considered these questions and will get back to us any time now. We recognize that the IB itself faces many legal and financial issues as it tries to ensure that Shambhala survives, and we continue to anticipate a mutually beneficial working relationship with them.

May 2019

The Shambhala Process Team (PT) work is in full swing, as the May updates demonstrate!

The Process Team Steering Committee (SC)

The Steering Committee facilitated a full-PT gathering via Zoom for the first time on April 27th (which you may remember from last month’s update). During this two-hour meeting, PT members engaged in the practice of Storytelling and generated a conversation and feedback about the proposed Code of Ethics developed by An Olive Branch. The PT was able to use this document as a way to experiment with relational methods for gathering community input. Please see the update from the Code of Ethics Sub-Group for details on results of this conversation.

In our weekly SC meetings, we continue to discuss developments in the Working Groups and sub-groups, and brainstorm strategies for coordinating the many initiatives that are underway. You may review our meeting minutes for further information. We are proud of all the good work that the PT is doing and grateful for the inspiration and exertion of PT members.

The Healing, Learning and Protection Working Group (HLPWG)

The HLPWG continues to meet bi-weekly while sub-groups meet in the interim. In our main working group meetings, we have been sharing updates on sub-group activities and developing a view of healing for our community. The sub-group updates are as follows:

    • The HealingandProtection@gmail.com Response Team has replied to several emails, as well as read and learned from emails that do not require a response but have been sent as an offering of view or experience within the community.
    • The Code of Ethics Sub-Group has met twice since receiving initial feedback from the wider PT about the Code of Ethics that was developed by An Olive Branch, and is evaluating all feedback while seeking input from a wide range of community groups. Please see below for their full sub-group update.
    • The European Healing and Learning Discussion Sub-Group continues to meet and refine its mission.
    • The Trauma-Informed Care Sub-Group is working on the development of professional guidelines for working within Shambhala programs with individuals who have experienced trauma. Additionally, sub-group members are discussing possible trainings for understanding and working with individuals who experience mental illness or experience emotional challenges during programs. They are also reviewing professional guidelines for trauma-informed care and developing ideas about how this training can be included in teacher/MI/Shambhala Guide trainings.
    • The Dorje Kasung (DK) Exploration Sub-Group formed in response to the interests of some HLPWG members to learn about the healing needs of the DK community. The group has met twice and is considering possible outreach to voices at all levels of the DK Pillar.

The Healing, Learning and Protection Group members are eager to hear from anyone through the HealingandProtection@gmail.com email address. We can listen, learn, and bring your voice into our conversations about skillful means for healing the community.

Code of Ethics Sub-Group

The Code of Ethics Sub-Group, following the full-PT call discussed above, proposed to the SC and the Interim Board that the Code of Ethics document be divided into two areas:

    • A Code of Ethics that clearly states the values and conduct of good civil Shambhala relationships, and
    • A Grievance Procedure that details a progressive process of how to hold people accountable for their actions when there is misconduct.

These documents have yet to be written, but as a sub-group, we have reviewed the existing Shambhala Care and Conduct policy, the proposed An Olive Branch Code of Ethics, and the Rigpa Buddhist Community Code of Conduct and Grievance Procedures. We continue to work toward developing a community-wide process of engagement around the Code of Ethics, in particular to invite community input on how we all can be accountable for our actions in order to support a healthy, trusting, safe, and vibrant society.

The Survey Working Group (SWG)

The goal of the SWG is to support the PT and the IB in using research-based tools, particularly surveys, to accurately gauge the views and interests of the Shambhala sangha as we move forward. Our aspiration for May 2019 was to take the request of the Interim Board for support in conducting a membership survey as an opportunity to pilot conceptual and technical issues. Many issues have been identified, and we are happy to report that the first brief, multilingual survey of the membership has just been distributed.

The SWG will shortly be sending a letter to other PT working groups introducing our capacity to conduct surveys and encouraging them to identify areas where survey-based member feedback could support their work. We have discussed ways to guide working groups and other entities in crafting good survey questions, as well as encouraging a positive reception and high response rates from sangha members. We have also identified a need for a shared task management system to keep our increasingly complex and ambitious undertaking moving along.

The Processes Working Group: Process Design Sub-Group

The Process Design Sub-Group is nearing adoption of a framework of methods for use by the PT and the Shambhala community. These methods will include ways of engaging in difficult conversations and community dialogues, a timeline/map of our shared journey of transformation, and a project design for information gathering and synthesis. We expect to communicate these methods, with links to resource and support contacts, through the PT website and other means in June. Facilitator training will also be finalized and begin in June.

The Processes Working Group: Dialogic Methods Sub-Group

The Dialogic Methods Sub-Group has completed work on a basic set of guidelines for conducting community dialogues, and will be posting them to the PT website in early June. Work is also in progress on the use of body movement exercises for in-person or Zoom meeting use, deep listening/feeling/focusing trainings, and storytelling methods for addressing deeply divisive issues. We expect to be releasing these on the PT website by the end of June.

The Communications and Technology Working Group (CTWG)

The CTWG carried out a number of activities in the month of May beyond our ongoing work responding to emails from the community, compiling working group updates, drafting communications from the Steering Committee to the PT and community, and maintaining the PT website. These include engaging in conversations with other PT working groups on developing “skillful means workshops” to support our work moving forward and co-developing an implementation plan for the processes that are being rolled out by the larger PT. Also note our new website feature, “Community Experiences,” where groups and centers can share ideas, experiments, and experiences that may be of benefit to the rest of us. If you have a community experience you’d like to share, please Contact Us!

The Culture Change Working Group (CCWG)

The CCWG continues to engage in contemplative processes to explore and navigate the many facets of Shambhala culture. Our personal reflections on Shambhala culture are influenced by how we define it, as well as experiences of what we believe comprises this culture. As one might expect, our experiences and interpretations of Shambhala culture are vastly different depending on our ethnicity, race, gender, abilities, geography, etc. We have now begun the process of determining the areas of cultural growth and change we wish to explore more deeply – for ourselves and the community – and of finding ways to engage in difficult conversations about how this growth and change might proceed.

The Community Building Working Group: Offerings Sub-Group

Offerings met as a full working group on May 18 and again on May 25. By June 1 we will have completed rough drafts of four “framing” documents designed to help structure and identify the key questions for a community-wide discussion on the Shambhala practice path. The four documents are:

    1. Identifying key questions around practice offerings
    2. Compiling a history of Shambhala practices and cataloguing them by category
    3. Determining “What we think we agree on,” and
    4. Identifying and cataloguing student groups

The Charter Working Group (a combined Sub-Group from Governance and Processes)

The Charter Working Group has just finalized proposed Mission and Vision statements for the PT, and are now sending them to the wider PT for review. We are also in the process of building a PT Charter that will clarify our purpose and direction while also establishing boundaries and work practices. Next, we plan to collaborate with other PT working groups to integrate their various aims and objectives into the charter. We are investing the time required to develop a charter that will reduce confusion about the objectives of the Shambhala Process Team. Once completed, we hope that the charter will serve as a guide for the PT in its important work, as well as a reference point for the wider community.

The Governance Working Group: Models Sub-Group

The Models Sub-Group is in the process of pulling together a Ground, Mission, and Plan about who we are, what we are tasked with, and how we will go about fulfilling our responsibilities, as well as gathering resources about governance and models. We are currently working on a second draft of the “Ground” statement, which we hope to complete by the end of June, along with a Mission draft and initial ideas for the Plan. At 15 members, we are the largest of the Governance Sub-Groups, which creates challenges for communication and coming to agreement. At the same time, the group represents a full and rich spectrum of views, questions and aspirations. We have worked to establish basic communication protocols, and aspire to continue developing relationships with each other and as a group. Our human relationships are critical to our work and we are recognizing that this takes time.

The Governance Working Group: Finance and Legal Sub-Group (FLWG)

The Finance and Legal Working Group (FLWG) has 12 members covering all four USA time zones, Quebec, Czechia, and Australia.  Our goal is to help the Shambhala community provide the earth with which we can join the heaven of our vision – the nuts and bolts of a heartfelt and potent global organization that carries high aspirations but operates in phenomenal reality.  Some of our people are professionals in legal and financial fields and others simply have a strong interest and concern; some have been involved with this community since the 1970s, while others only been active in the past decade or so.

The FLWG is currently gathering information about the status and configuration of finances and legal entities in Shambhala, focusing on four interest areas:

    • Historical development of Shambhala legal and financial arrangements,
    • Revenue generation (fundraising and product marketing),
    • Accounting systems and controls, and
    • Legal matters (including the nature of Shambhala entities and the workability of a Shambhala justice system).

In June, the FLWG seeks to gather enough information to provide a solid basis for understanding Shambhala’s current financial and legal status.  We also intend to strengthen our connection with the Interim Board and Shambhala central administration, in order to develop mutual support and assistance in the challenging task of maintaining the organization while looking to future forms that embody and express Shambhala vision the best way possible.

Although the nature of this undertaking may seem dry, it is actually engaging with the blood and bones of our global community.  Without establishing a strong sense of earth, there will be nothing with which to connect our heavenly aspirations.  The FLWG has a strong commitment to helping the community and the lineage find ways to establish and maintain financial and legal forms that foster transparency, sustainability, accountability, and windhorse in everything we do.