Dear Shambhala Community,
Just over six months ago, on Shambhala Day, the Process Team took its seat. Those of us on the Steering Committee now find ourselves reflecting on the journey we have taken thus far. We would like to take this moment to share some of our thoughts, and reiterate our invitation for you to join us as we move forward.
When our community was thrown into crisis a little over a year ago, we were faced with a sudden leadership vacuum. The Transition Task Force acted to fill this void, first by selecting and appointing an Interim Board to manage the legal and fiduciary needs of Shambhala, and second by assembling a Process Team and Steering Committee to help the community discover what was needed at this confusing time. The Process Team attracted volunteers with an aspiration to help, and we have since worked together to explore ways of supporting the community.
It has been difficult to know how to be helpful. However, in recent months, we have discovered an approach that we believe can fully engage us as a global community in working together toward positive change. As difficult as this past year has been, we also feel the process of falling apart has created an opportunity for us to learn to manifest in a healthier way.
Viewed from this perspective, we are in the middle of a hopeful process of learning to collaborate, a practice of co-creation and empowerment. The results are still unknown; but what is most important at this time is how we proceed. Here, the path is very much the goal. It is in this spirit that our last community letter included an invitation for the community to join us in an exploration of the future of Shambhala, grounded in a process of awareness-based social change using the methodology of Theory U.
We would like to reiterate the invitation for members of the community to join the upcoming “u.lab,” a free online course that begins September 12. [Even if you cannot make all sessions, they will be recorded for later viewing. Please note: the introductory 90-minute course is no longer a prerequisite.]
Beyond introducing us to the Theory U framework, u.lab provides “hubs” for those with common interests, regions, and/or languages to share experiences and practice together. We have created a Shambhala “Maha Hub,” hosted by Process Team members Dian Marie Hosking, Nancy KapLon, David Marshall, and Fred van Welsem. This Maha Hub is intended for the sangha as a whole to gather online and communicate during and after the course. Anyone who signs up for hub access can also create their own topical hub, and several smaller Shambhala-related hubs are already forming.
If you missed the “Question and Answer” sessions on Theory U, you may view them in their entirety here. Our PT website contains other useful information on Theory U, as well. A note on language for our non-English speaking sangha: though the course materials for u.lab are in English, according to the u.lab course site, video transcripts are available in Español, Français, עברית, Indonesian, Italiano, 日本語, Português, and Türkçe. In addition, sharing circles and hubs can be in any language, as decided by participants.
We know many of you are already learning, teaching, and facilitating kinder, more inclusive ways of being and working together, and manifesting as community from a space of warmth and collective wisdom. Please keep doing what you are doing. If you already have experience with Theory U, you are also warmly welcomed to join the Shambhala hub to share your stories, images, or methods of engagement with u.lab participants. We are very pleased to be working with PT member Nancy Kaplon who has generously and skillfully taken on the role of Theory U Coordinator. Please contact her for questions about the u.lab or hubs, or if you need assistance enrolling in either (NancyKapLonPT@gmail.com).
Finally, please check our website to see the latest updates from the PT Working Groups.
The Shambhala Process Team Steering Committee
Dian Marie Hosking