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Shambhala Community Care

Our Community Initiatives

The Shambhala Interim Board — the governing body of the Shambhala international community — is continuing efforts begun in March 2018 by the former Kalapa Council to address issues of past harm in our community. We aspire to refine and bolster existing policies and procedures to create safer environments for our members and program participants.

The intention of this ongoing effort is to:

  • Reach out to individuals who have shared serious allegations of past abuses and, if possible, work together to determine a path forward with investigating these claims.
  • Create safe spaces to listen to those who have experienced harm and who have not felt heard by Shambhala leadership in the past.
  • Create new strategies, policies, and procedures for working with sexual misconduct based these conversations, with input from the community and guidance from third-party organizations.
  • Create mandatory training for all leaders including the Board of Directors, Guides, Meditation Instructors, Teachers, Center Directors and other office holders.
  • Create support and training programs for regional and local leaders throughout our global community.
  • Create spaces for our community to heal by sharing personal experiences and asking questions to leadership.
  • Explore restorative and transformative justice methods.

Wickwire Holm Report

On February 3, 2019, the Shambhala Interim Board released the findings of the Wickwire Holm report to the Shambhala community. Please click the button below to download the report and supporting materials.

Key Dates

In late June 2018, allegations of sexual misconduct were raised against Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the leader of the global Shambhala community, as well as other leaders within the community. In response to these allegations, Shambhala initiated a formal, independent investigation to be conducted by a neutral third-party investigator.

On July 6, 2018, Shambhala’s governing body, the Kalapa Council, responded to community requests for new leadership and announced their intention to resign via a phased departure. The same day, the Sakyong announced that he will step back from administrative and teaching duties in Shambhala during the investigation into the claims raised against him. Further details of Council’s transition will be announced the week of July 23.

On July 20, Shambhala formally announced the beginning of the third-party investigation, to be conducted by Wickwire Holm. The investigators will receive claims from victims for a period of three months.

On October 17, 2018, the Shambhala Interim Board was seated.  To read about the board and their scope of work, visit their website.

On February 3, 2019, the Shambhala Interim Board released the results of the Wickwire Holm investigation to the Shambhala community.

This website will be maintained as an ongoing community resource for information, updates and support.

Third-Party Partners Involved in Our Efforts

Shambhala has engaged the help of two third-party organizations to assist in this work.
Please read on for details about the scope of work of each group.

Wickwire Holm Investigators

(External Third-Party Organization)

Shambhala contracted with Wickwire Holm, a full-service business law firm located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to serve as the investigator into claims of sexual misconduct raised to them during the period of July 20 to November 16, 2018 . Selina Bath was the primary contact and lead investigator. Selina is a Certified Workplace Investigator with extensive training in conducting investigations and is experienced in conducting fair, neutral and independent investigations. She has conducted numerous investigations within organizations of various sizes on matters relating to sexual harassment, bullying and disrespect in the workplace. She was assisted by Will Russell, a member of Wickwire Holm’s Labour and Employment group. Selina, Will and Wickwire Holm are not personally affiliated with the Shambhala organization.

The findings of the Wickwire Holm report will be made available to the Shambhala community in February 2019.

An Olive Branch

(External Third-Party Organization)

Shambhala has engaged the services of An Olive Branch, an independent third-party organization, to support the sangha’s healing and reconciliation in the wake of complaints raised about ethical misconduct on the part of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and others within the community. An Olive Branch was formed in 2011 as a project of the Zen Center of Pittsburgh. Growing out of the need for greater understanding and reduction of ethical misconduct on the part of religious leaders, they provide services to organizations in conflict after a beloved teacher has been accused of misconduct. They promote understanding and healing and work to strengthen organizations’ boards and policies to reduce the likelihood of future misconduct. They have expertise, knowledge of best practices, and standards of excellence for their services. Their consultants have complementary skills related to training, facilitation, governance, and intervention.  The directors of An Olive Branch practice Zen Buddhism, but are not personally affiliated with the Shambhala organization.

Click here to read about An Olive Branch’s scope of work and timeline.

Past Communications

Please use this button to access a folder of current communications from the Shambhala Interim Board. We will continue to update this folder with translations in as many languages as possible.

Please click here to access the archive folder of previous 2018 e-mails from the former Kalapa Council.

Questions?

If you have questions about this initiative, please use the button below to submit them via e-mail to the Shambhala Interim Board.

Please note that we are receiving a high volume of questions at this time, and will do our best to respond in a timely manner.

Statements from the Sakyong

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has issued several statements beginning in early 2018.  Please see the links at right to read those statements.

In summer 2018, the Sakyong announced that he would step back from teaching and administrative duties during the Wickwire Holm investigation.  We expect that he will communicate further with the community following the release of the Wickwire Holm investigation.

Process Team

On January 20, 2019, the Shambhala Transition Task Force announced the names of the Process Team (PT) and PT Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is the central sensing body of the PT, holding the view and helping facilitate the activities, processes, and communications of the PT. It is not a mandala-wide decision-making body. The following four topics have been requested by the Shambhala sangha for focused conversation and action: Healing and Learning, Culture Change, Governance Structures, and Community Building (including exploring with those students of the Vidyadhara who feel marginalized). The TTF is also creating a Mandala Linkage Group to ensure ongoing communications between the PT and the leaders of key areas within the Shambhala mandala. The PT took an oath in early February to work diligently to further the vision of enlightened society and basic goodness.

Please check back here for further updates from the Process Team.

The Shambhala Process Team Steering Committee

Jim Fladmark,  Boulder, CO, US-West, Governance Structures
LaDawn Haglund, Phoenix, AZ, US-West, Culture Change
Dian Marie Hosking, Bristol, Europe-UK, Governance Structure
Paul Kelway, Brussels, Europe-Belgium, Governance Structure
David Marshall, Kawartha, ON, Canada-East, Governance Structures
Deborah Marshall, Pioneer Valley, MA, USA-East, Culture Change
Frederick Meyer, New Orleans, LA, US-East, Culture Change
Lisa Piemont, New York, NY, US-East, Culture Change
Martin Ramstedt, Berlin, Europe-Germany, Healing and Learning
Jose Tomas Ruano, Santiago, Chile, South America, Governance Structures
Susan Skjei, Boulder, CO, US-West, Community Building

Shambhala Process Team

Dia Ballou, White River Junction, VT, US-East, Governance Structures
Jonathan Barbieri, Fort Collins, CO, US-West, Governance Structures
John Bel, Amsterdam, Europe-Netherlands, Governance Structures
Henri Bouissou, Marseille, Europe-France, Community Building
Konstanze Brockstedt, Dechen Chöling, Europe-France, Governance Structures
Janet Bronstein, Birmingham, AL, US-East, Governance Structures
Sarah Canfield, Boulder, CO, US-West, Healing and Learning
Michael Carpenter, Victoria,  BC, Canada-West, Culture Change
Laura Chenoweth, Halifax, NS, Canada-East, Governance Structures
Richard Chervenak, Boulder, CO, US-West, Governance Structures
Susie Cook, Sonoma, CA, US-West, Culture Change
Mark Curtin, Phoenix, AZ, US-West, Community Building
Rachel DeMotts, Seattle, WA, US-West, Governance Structures
Loppon Lodro Dorje, Halifax, NS, Canada-East, Community Building
Tanja Duda, Frankfurt, Europe-Germany, Healing and Learning, Culture Change
Lia Duggan, Dechen Chöling, Europe-France & Ireland, Community Building
Catherine Eveillard, Dechen Chöling, Europe-France, Community Building
Mary Fahrefort, Amsterdam, Europe-Netherlands, Governance Structures
Shel Sampa Fisher, Montreal, Canada-East, Governance Structures
Abbey Fox, Austin, TX, US-West, Healing and Learning
Joanna Francis, Vienna, Europe-Austria, Governance Structures
Jessica Gurvit, Palm Beach, FL, US-East, Community Building
Adam Hart, London, Europe-UK, Culture Change
Hans Henning Heide, Malaga, Europe-Spain, Governance Structures
Mathias Hofmann, Ticino, Europe-Switzerland, Culture Change, Governance Structures
Margaret Hughes, Northern Rivers, Australia, Governance Structures
Gerda Jansonius, Marburg, Europe-Germany
Steve Jewell, Boulder, CO, US-West, Healing and Learning
Nancy Kaplon, Washington, D.C., US-East, Community Building
Voula Kereklidou, Stockholm, Europe-Sweden, Governance Structures
Gernot Landschein, Marburg, Europe-Germany, Culture Change
Alexandra Landstra-Kalinine, Leiden, Europe-Netherlands & France, Healing and Learning
Gregory Lubkin, Los Angeles, CA, US-West, Governance Structures
Fleet Maull, US-East, Governance Structures
Brian McCorkle, Boston, MA, US-East, Governance Structures
Kristine McCutcheon, Sydney, Cape Breton, Canada-East, Community Building
Ellen Napodano, Boulder, CO, US-West, Healing and Learning
Dean Nelson, Hawaii, US-West, Governance Structures
Peter Nowak, Vienna, Europe-Austria, Governance Structures
Matilda Perks, Montreal/Halifax, Canada-East, Community Building
David Philbedge, Europe-UK, Community Building
Otto Pichlhoefer, Vienna, Europe-Austria, Culture Change
Sybren Post, Amsterdam, Europe-Nederland, Healing and Learning
Betsy Railla, Denver, CO, US-West, Governance Structures, Community Building
Janet Romaine, Boston, MA, US-East, Governance Structures
Teri Rowe, Eugene, OR, US-West, Culture Change
Robert Salskov, Seattle, WA, US-West, Governance Structures
Alexis Shotwell, Ottawa, Canada-East, Culture Change
John David Smith, Portland, OR, US-West, Governance Structures
Stephen Starkey, Chicago, IL, US-East, Governance Structures
Ute Steiner, Munich, Europe-Germany, Governance Structures, Community Building
Matthew Stephens, Austin, TX, US-West, Community Building
Michael Stephens, Pioneer Valley, MA, US-East, Governance Structures
Bob Stevens, New York, NY, US-East, Community Building
Ruby Stocklin-Weinberg, London, Europe-UK, Healing and Learning, Culture Change
Jan Frans Sturm, Dechen Chöling, Europe-Netherlands, Healing and Learning
Tracy Suchocki, Boulder, CO, US-West, Community Building
Ivan Tröscher, Cologne, Europe-Germany, Culture Change, Governance Structures
Fred van Welsem, Deventer, Europe-Netherlands, Governance Structures
Susanne Vincent, Auckland, New Zealand, Culture Change
Ronald Vine, Hamilton, Canada-East, Culture Change
Diane Whitcomb, Boulder, CO, US-West, Healing and Learning, Governance Structures
Nora Wiser, Gainesville, FL, US-East, Culture Change

Additional Resources

Press Inquiries

If you are a member of the media with inquiries or interview requests for Shambhala leadership or Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, please contact Ashley Dinges, Director of Communications, using the button below.

Support for Leaders

If you are a local leader who needs help relating to community issues, or if you have practice-related questions, please contact the Shambhala Helpdesk and we will do our best to direct your question to the appropriate person.

Local Events

Browse a list of upcoming regional events related to issues of community care.  If you are a Shambhala leader and would like to have an event listed here, please contact info@shambhala.org for instructions about how to list your event in the Shambhala Database.

2019-02-20, Portland, Talking Circle

We will be holding a talking circle with social meditation and an open discussion on how we feel about practicing Shambhala liturgy and practices written by the Sakyong. All are welcome.

 
2019-02-20, Edmonton, Community listening circle on harms in Shambhala

A facilitated circle process for regulars and members at our Centre who want to talk about harms in the Shambhala community and how our Centre can respond.

 
2019-02-21, Montpelier VT(US), A Community Gathering: Shambhala, the Sakyong, and You

A Community Gathering: Shambhala, the Sakyong, and You

 
2019-02-21, New York, Community Listening Evening

In our continuing efforts to create healing and care within practice environments we have reserved a space at the Church of the Village for this Thursday evening at 7pm.   Especially in light of new new revelations of abuses and activity within Shambha

 
2019-02-22, Victoria, Circle of Care: Monthly Meeting

 
2019-02-24, Atlanta, Community Meeting

Community Meeting to discuss what is happening in the Shambhala community.

 
2019-02-24, Brunswick/Portland, COMMUNITY MEETING IN PORTLAND

Community Meeting- Bring your ideas for moving forward

 
2019-02-24, Open Sky Eugene, Refuge Recovery Weekly Meeting

A Buddhist inspired approach to recovery from addiction.

 
2019-02-27, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-02-28, Vienna, Meditation bei Schmerzen und chronischen Krankheiten

...wie Meditation für Menschen mit Schmerzen und chronischen Erkrankungen hilfreich sein kann.

 
2019-03-03, Gainesville, (with: Ditte Ferrigan, Jeanie McCullough, ) Healing Harm

This group addresses harm through an exploration of breathing, Buddhist teachings, and meditation practice, along with the healing power of sangha (i.e. community).

 
2019-03-03, Seattle, Listening from the Heart Circle

All are invited to be together and to be with what’s coming up for each of us. This will be an opportunity to speak your truth as it arises in the present moment. Participants start with the willingness to be open and non judgmental towards each other and

 
2019-03-03, Open Sky Eugene, Refuge Recovery Weekly Meeting

A Buddhist inspired approach to recovery from addiction.

 
2019-03-05, Lexington, ∞ Attachment in Buddhism and Psychology

With Psychologist and Buddhist Practitioner Vincent Dummer, Psy.D.

 
2019-03-09, Albany, Care for Yourself With Jin Shin Jyutsu

Jin Shin Jyutsu is a Japanese healing art that releases stress and supports the body's natural immune and healing powers. Join us for a two (half) day workshop to learn easy and effective techniques to take charge of your wellness.

 
2019-03-09, Boston, Bystander Intervention Training

How do you respond if you see someone being harassed or made uncomfortable? For anyone who would like to know how to intervene and prevent sexual violence.

 
2019-03-10, Barcelona, Meeting de la comunitat

El Grup de Shambhala Barcelona es reuneix periòdicament en el que denominem ‘Meetings de la Comunitat’.

 
2019-03-10, Austin, Community Meeting

 
2019-03-10, Austin, Member's Community Gathering

 
2019-03-10, Open Sky Eugene, Refuge Recovery Weekly Meeting

A Buddhist inspired approach to recovery from addiction.

 
2019-03-13, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-03-16, White River, Social Engagement Meeting

Come together to discuss: Is it time to step up our involvement in our world? Let’s gather and see what rises up...diversity and anti-racism work, but maybe your interest is climate change, immigration issues, criminal justice reform, reproductive health

 
2019-03-17, Columbus, Community Circle

Please join our circle of community governance as we make decisions as a community. Your clear voices and fresh inspiration are welcomed. Open to new and experienced meditation practitioners, and everyone in between.

 
2019-03-17, Columbus, Community Circle

Please join our circle of community governance as we make decisions as a community. Your clear voices and fresh inspiration are welcomed. Open to new and experienced meditation practitioners, and everyone in between.

 
2019-03-17, Open Sky Eugene, Refuge Recovery Weekly Meeting

A Buddhist inspired approach to recovery from addiction.

 
2019-03-23, St. Petersburg, Death Cafe: Coffee, Cake, & Conversation

At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather together to engage in conversation, drink tea (or coffee) and eat cake! Our intention is 'to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives'.

 
2019-03-24, Open Sky Eugene, Refuge Recovery Weekly Meeting

A Buddhist inspired approach to recovery from addiction.

 
2019-03-27, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-03-29, Victoria, Circle of Care: Monthly Meeting

 
2019-03-31, Open Sky Eugene, Refuge Recovery Weekly Meeting

A Buddhist inspired approach to recovery from addiction.

 
2019-04-10, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-04-21, Columbus, Community Circle

Please join our circle of community governance as we make decisions as a community. Your clear voices and fresh inspiration are welcomed. Open to new and experienced meditation practitioners, and everyone in between.

 
2019-04-24, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-04-26, Victoria, Circle of Care: Monthly Meeting

 
2019-05-08, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-05-19, Columbus, Community Circle

Please join our circle of community governance as we make decisions as a community. Your clear voices and fresh inspiration are welcomed. Open to new and experienced meditation practitioners, and everyone in between.

 
2019-05-22, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-05-31, Victoria, Circle of Care: Monthly Meeting

 
2019-06-12, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-06-16, Columbus, Community Circle

Please join our circle of community governance as we make decisions as a community. Your clear voices and fresh inspiration are welcomed. Open to new and experienced meditation practitioners, and everyone in between.

 
2019-06-26, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-06-28, Victoria, Circle of Care: Monthly Meeting

 
2019-07-10, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-07-21, Columbus, Community Circle

Please join our circle of community governance as we make decisions as a community. Your clear voices and fresh inspiration are welcomed. Open to new and experienced meditation practitioners, and everyone in between.

 
2019-07-24, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-07-26, Victoria, Circle of Care: Monthly Meeting

 
2019-08-14, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-08-18, Columbus, Community Circle

Please join our circle of community governance as we make decisions as a community. Your clear voices and fresh inspiration are welcomed. Open to new and experienced meditation practitioners, and everyone in between.

 
2019-08-28, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-08-30, Victoria, Circle of Care: Monthly Meeting

 
2019-09-11, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-09-15, Columbus, Community Circle

Please join our circle of community governance as we make decisions as a community. Your clear voices and fresh inspiration are welcomed. Open to new and experienced meditation practitioners, and everyone in between.

 
2019-09-25, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-09-27, Victoria, Circle of Care: Monthly Meeting

 
2019-10-09, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-10-20, Columbus, Community Circle

Please join our circle of community governance as we make decisions as a community. Your clear voices and fresh inspiration are welcomed. Open to new and experienced meditation practitioners, and everyone in between.

 
2019-10-23, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-10-25, Victoria, Circle of Care: Monthly Meeting

 
2019-11-13, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-11-17, Columbus, Community Circle

Please join our circle of community governance as we make decisions as a community. Your clear voices and fresh inspiration are welcomed. Open to new and experienced meditation practitioners, and everyone in between.

 
2019-11-27, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-11-29, Victoria, Circle of Care: Monthly Meeting

 
2019-12-11, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-12-15, Columbus, Community Circle

Please join our circle of community governance as we make decisions as a community. Your clear voices and fresh inspiration are welcomed. Open to new and experienced meditation practitioners, and everyone in between.

 
2019-12-25, Denver, Mindfulness Meditation for Veterans

Join us every other Wednesday as we practice mindfulness meditation, participate in discussions, and offer friendly support.

 
2019-12-27, Victoria, Circle of Care: Monthly Meeting

 
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