Reporting on the PSMC Council Retreat

For the Portland Shambhala Meditation Center’s first Council retreat this year, we decided to not emphasize note-taking and a tight agenda (agendas and minutes are a hallmark of how we work month-to-month).  So in this 7 minute video Janie and I attempt to reflect on what was important and useful in our retreat.  Obviously we couldn’t cover it all in 7 minutes, but that’s our self-imposed rule for these videos.

The questions that we discussed are lifted from one of Otto Scharmer’s books.  In a way the very positive experience we had as a Council are encouraging the whole idea of having a community wide engagement with Theory U, the Presencing Institute, and the Leading from the Future class that everyone in Shambhala has been invited to join this fall.

Here is the video with our reflections:

Here are the questions we used in our retreat:

  1. Introduce your personal story with one or two formative experiences that shaped the person you are.
  2. Where do you experience a world that is ending/dying, and where do you experience a world that is beginning/wanting to be born?
  3. What do you consider to be the root causes and issues of our current crisis and the divides inside PSMC, in Shambhala and between Shambhala and the world?
  4. What do you personally feel is going to happen over the next ten to twenty years?
  5. What would you like to do right now in order to make a difference going forward?

We got some feedback that our 7 minutes of reflection felt like a cliff-hanger, so we invited other Council members to join us. Mark Douglass was able to join for a bit more discussion:


2 thoughts on “Reporting on the PSMC Council Retreat

  1. Thank you, Janie, John, and Mark,for candidly admitting our collective confusion, uncertainty, and not knowing. From there comes wisdom, right? However painful, the situation calls for honesty and patience.


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