Above image: the old thangka at the Boulder Shambhala Center.
Shambhala: Supporting Growth of Mission; Celebrating New, Honoring Time-Tested.
Carolyn Mandelker, the Executive Director of Shambhala, emailed me a few days ago re doing an interview re my blog Shambhala in Crisis. If you read that, and have constructive, forward-looking but tradition-respecting, genuine questions, please leave them in the comments section below and I’ll pass them along.
This interview should not be about me and my questions, merely, but represent a give-and-take opportunity for all who love Shambhala, the Sakyong, and Trungpa Rinpoche.
I’m sending my questions to her ahead of time as a courtesy and to allow for thorough, not general responses. Here’s what I have so far:
I think my questions would be
(off the top of my head)
First of all, I’d love for there to be a big giving campaign link, we could fundraise as part of the interview. So the first question would be, basically,
What are the challenges facing Shambhala, specifically? Is Shambhala losing money? Are some of the big rural centers losing money? If so, why, and how can we help generally? Why is fundraising, communication & social media so seemingly weak?
And then some followups, depending on what you say, and don’t say!
And then: how can we help, specifically?
Is there a possibility of continuing to offer the classic courses? Can we allow Open House teachers to teach in the old style? Can we find room for Trungpa Rinpoche’s videos? Are staff overwhelmed, underpaid? If so, how can we help, both practically and materially? Are the centers doing okay? How can they do better? Why didn’t the Sakyong’s amazing book have a professional team supporting? How can we help it get out there more? Are we paying for some things that we could cut back on? Do we need money for other things and what are they that could benefit the sangha’s mission rapidly? How can we better connect volunteer energy?
Can we reach out to reasonable, constructive elders and get them more involved as teachers and magnetizing forces for Shambhala and meditation? I know many, specifically, who’ve faded off, many of us do.
Can there be a stronger sangha communication effort? Can we offer a link here for folks to subscribe to the new sangha talk, etc? Can folks share blogs?
Some Shambhalians are now meeting on their own to study various teachers, including the Sakyong. How can we make the Centers more “big umbrella,” again, Rime, confident enough to include other teachers? Why the policy change?
Is Shambhala no longer Buddhist? I mean, where are all the old Kagyu Nyingma practices, trainings, and even photos?
And any questions you want asked, I can ask. I will also ask anything relevant from comments in the article, so read those over if you can, again.
And again huge thanks for your service and devotion and being so sweet generally and to my mom specifically.