On the Mediation Results
We will have a meeting of our executive committee next week. We didn’t have so much discussion so far. Lots of questions, People coming to me and asking what happened and why and how do we interpret such and such document and I basically say, I don’t know. And so we will see. There are many people who have not really been so aware of the whole process, or they just come to the center and sit practice and having little discussions about the experience of sitting meditation.
The shrine is still there, and there has been no discussion about the pictures, what to leave and what to take down so far. I can see maybe a problem in the next weeks. Some people asked to use the center in order to gather and to follow together the Sakyong’s teachings. And so other people say well, how do we arrange that – should we ask Sakyong students to pay rent for coming and using the Shambala center? So, that might be a hot topic in the next week in the next future but yes, so far again just questions lingering about.
I’m really really looking forward to the conversation next week, and hopefully it will be more like this conversation than our conversation, which really, as somebody said, is the Republicans and the monarchs trying to fight together.
We didn’t talk about the agreement yet. There was what I found a strange decision to put up the pictures in early February. The Shambhala Council decided to put them up; they had some interviews with the members and talked with everyone, and then they decided to put them up again. And then afterwards the agreement came and was made available. So I found it strange not to wait and do it afterwards and have a discussion about it again. The Council is always, in my opinion, accidentally strange.
We are big center or we have been a big center with about 100 members and we lost 40 or so during the crisis. We are coming together all in the center, just starting to come together again and the different groups practicing different practices.
What I’ve noticed is there’s a subtle line where I want to keep the form. And I’m holding it on the basis of the Shambala Buddhist teachings. There’s a certain subtle, psychic spiritual limit for me.
I feel there’s the new members or new people coming again, and asking a little bit more about what is the situation on the Sakyong, and I feel that we need some guidance on that, if we should put up the pictures and add some strong settings on that again. So until then, we’ll just have more like the flag and incense and the shrine.
At our center we are basically back to the situation we had before the crisis. When the crisis began we had a big discussion about the pictures and in an extraordinary general assembly, we decided by voting to take them down. But in the next general assembly, we realized that the procedure by which we came to that decision was not legally correct. So, the pictures went back and we had new voting and the pictures stayed then there, but we we put a big stone on the shrine to have a sign that we are processing something and only the youth group practicing on a Wednesday evening covered the pictures while they were meditating and after they are sitting they took the covers away again.
And now we really feel fresh energy is there. And the whole group reacts to that. So we can celebrate, we really feel like a family and, okay, we have some dark edges in our community, but so what.
We lost our rooms and I think the the long term of the center went down over a few years. It was not just because of the Sakyong. We just got too old, and the same people kept the center going for almost decades, it really has been the same people. And all those people are very tired. They don’t want to make it go on.
We decided to meet in person after Covid was over to look at the situation and decide if we want to go on at all or if we just dissolve the legal structure that’s that’s keeping the center. I would rather expect that to happen, and maybe that would be a good thing. Then maybe because some people want to sit together, maybe then we could have a really fresh start, from scratch. But it’s totally unclear. I don’t think my hope is that people come back after the result of the mediation.
Now that this mediation has has happened, I feel now’s the time to actually have to talk about it with the people that are coming, and just acknowledge, like we’ve been doing today, our differences.
What arises for me now that’s a sort of insight that this conversation brought up for me is that there’s a new Sangha arising for me, not so much centered on the local center. But I have these conversations, I have practice sessions through Zoom with other people. I participate in a Zen meditation group just because they’re very serious meditators with a good meditation instructor. So for me, there’s a new sort of sangha coming into real life. And, well, that might be a very good outcome of all this.
For me, this conversation changed my perspective. I’ve been worrying for a long time about how to create a sort of breakthrough in in my local center. Because, you know, it was up and down and down again and up again. And we didn’t make any progress. And this conversation has made it clear to me that we need this kind of conversation first, before we get to all the stuff about statutes and regulations and curriculum and bylaws, which on one hand, is a very good insight. On the other hand, I find that there are very few people that can really facilitate this kind of conversation. So indeed, any suggestion of how to train people to facilitate these conversations, that will be very welcome. For me, and I will be willing to invest time and energy in that because this could generate the breakthrough we need, I feel.