Council Meeting – 5/5/20

The Portland Shambhala Center Council met on Tuesday, May 5. The general themes of the meeting were our current financial situation, potential future scenarios, and the first steps we need to do to move forward.

We are currently paying rent for a space we can not use. To add more to the overall picture we do not know when COVID-19 will end or the stay-at-home mandates and social distancing will be lifted. Will people want to come to our center for a class or event once the state allows it to be reopened? Will people feel safe in a building that is not so well ventilated? In addition to all of that, enrollments have been low in the past two years.

The discussion also included potential future scenarios. If we go centerless and virtual, how will that look? How would we do it? What offerings could we offer? What about future teachers? One council member said they were ready to let go of “the sangha that existed when they connected with Shambhala”. They felt it was time to embrace the sangha as it exists now. Is it time to look forward and explore what is emerging instead of reminiscing about what once was? Theory U was something some Shambhala members explored. The sub-title of Otto Scharmer’s Theory U book was Leading from the Future as It Emerges. In that book, Otto Scharmer told a story about what his grandfather said to his father when the family’s farmhouse burned down: 

“He did not even once turn his head to the smoking ruins. Without seeming to notice the small fires still burning around the property, he went up to my father, took his hand, and said, ‘Kopf hoch, mein Junge, blick nach vorn!’ ‘Keep your head up, my boy, look forward!’ “

The Council also discussed having a Town Hall to talk about our future. The decisions we make today will affect our future. One council member felt it was important for the Council and Relo Team to put together well-developed options for members to consider at a Town Hall. The council is hoping to have a Town Hall in 3 to 4 weeks.

If you have any thoughts, ideas, questions, or opinions you would like the council to hear, I will make sure your voice is heard. You can contact me at [email protected]

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