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.