Let’s talk about reconciliation

Dear Portland Sangha, Can we talk? I have had several fruitful conversations with various members in the past 10 days. It’s difficult to talk about sexual misconduct and the Sakyong, but I am heartened at the depth of listening and communication from the heart that I have experienced in just a handful of individual meetings. … Continue 

Theory U 2x project: Discerning obstacles and raising lungta

A small group of us have applied to be part of the Presencing Institute’s Spring 2020 2x program.  Here is what we said in our application (which had to be compressed into a ONE MINUTE VIDEO!): Title: Discerning obstacles and raising lungta in the Portland Shambhala community As a community we have not reached our … Continue 

Have you heard about the Center relocation discussions?

On Sunday Sept. 8 about 20 of us engaged in a lively exploration of the options open to our Center either for renewing our lease or leasing another space. Our lease for $3,000/month ends on Jan. 31, 2020. We have new landlords and are in discussions with them about a new, affordable lease. Affordability is … Continue 

Community Conversation Summary: Actions from An Olive Branch

Ten members and two guests attended our Community Conversation this past Sunday reviewing proposals for helping build safety and trust in our organization. There are six specific, interrelated proposals, some drawn directly from the Olive Branch report to the Shambhala organization, some inspired by them, all reflective of individual and group conversations we’ve had to … Continue 

Community Conversation: Shambhala Global Services

Ten people gathered for a conversation on Sunday, May 5, regarding Shambhala Global Services (SGS) and the Portland Shambhala Center’s relationship to it. What follows is a brief summary of information shared by John Smith and Jack Bodner, as well as questions that were answered at this conversation. About SGS: Shambhala is the global organization … Continue 

Community Conversation: Abuses of Power in Our Community

On Sunday, April 28, 18 people attended our Community Conversation focused on the topic of abuses of power in our community. Aspirations for this conversation included “getting to know one another at a deeper level,” “healing,” “understanding what happened and how to address it,” “learning to hold, express, and feel pain along with love,” “development … Continue 

Community Conversation: Reports from An Olive Branch

On Sunday, April 20, seventeen of us gathered to review and discuss the reports from An Olive Branch, the third-party organization investigating misconduct within our Shambhala international organization. We reflected on the following questions: What can our community learn from these reports? How do we hold these stories in our hearts without becoming overwhelmed or triggered? … Continue 

Community Conversation: Diversity and Inclusion

Meeting Summary, Sunday, April 14 By Mark Douglass Twelve people attended our conversation on diversity and inclusion. We began by listening to one another’s stories of marginalization and exclusion, then discussed in small groups the categories of people who are not at the Portland Shambhala Center.  We identified categories of race, age (young people), socioeconomic … Continue 

Community Conversation: Lineage Portraits

Meeting Summary, Sunday, April 7 by Mark Douglass On Sunday 4/7, eight of us gathered to discuss the following questions: What do the lineage portraits at our center mean to you personally? Where should the lineage portraits be located in our center (or should they be removed permanently)? Personal connection to the lineage portraits – and to our lineage holders – … Continue 

Community Conversation: Decision-making

Meeting Summary, Sunday, March 31, 2019 by Mark Douglass Thirteen of us gathered at noon on Sunday, March 31, to discuss our community decision-making process. A brief summary follows. What decisions need to be made as a community? Three categories of decisions: Our existence as a community. We have undergone some significant changes in the … Continue