Bhumi Pali Bhavan

The Tagtrug Mukpo Trust has just posted a message on its website about the continuing care of the Vidyadhara’s son, Tagtrug Mukpo (affectionately known as Taggie), and their decision to agree to the sale of the small house in Vermont, close to Karmê Chöling, known as Bhumi Pali Bhavan (BPB) which is no longer suitable as a residence. To view their message, please click here:http://taggiemukpo.org


To quote from the Trust message:

“About a year ago Tagtrug’s former caretaker, Erin Christie, noticed mold in the house’s wood frame. This was confirmed by an independent professional inspection. Based on this assessment, they moved to an alternative accommodation down the road from Karme Choling With the mold persisting, BPB is not suitable for habitation, and has been vacant and unused since discovery of the mold. Tagtrug currently lives with his present caretaker, Randie Fox, at her home in the St. Johnsbury area. Unfortunately, estimates of the cost of cleaning the mold problem were quite high, up to $50,000, and reflected a need to carry out extensive structural work to the building, which is quite old.

“After considerable reflection, a decision was made to sell the property. This decision was made only after a thorough consultation with the Support Team and Tagtrug’s care staff as to the potential impact of a sale on his health and circumstance. All are in agreement that Tagtrug’s care can be properly sustained in a positive, stable, and healthy manner without dependence on the BPB property. Indeed, at present he would not be living in BPB even if the house were in good shape, as his current caretaker prefers to keep him in her home with her husband and children. Tagtrug’s health and well-being remains strong, and he continues to exhibit clear signs of emotional stability and physical good health.”

This course of action has been discussed by the members of the Tagtrug Mukpo Trust, which is chaired by Ashoka Mukpo, and we are all in agreement that Taggie’s continuing care can be properly sustained in the positive way that is now happening without dependence on the BPB property. His continuing care is also described in the detailed message on the Trust website:http://taggiemukpo.org

The sale has been formally agreed by the Kalapa Council, the body with the legal and fiduciary responsibility in this matter.

We have yet to determine how the proceeds of the sale of this property, so close to the heart of our lineage, would be dispersed. We will address that once we have completed the full process of placing it on the market and concluding a sale. In its message, the Trust members state: “The property was meaningful to the Vidyadhara, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and is a part of our history. The ideal circumstance would be for someone within the sangha to purchase the property.” We fully share this aspiration. If anyone is interested, please make direct contact with the chair of the trust, Ashoka Mukpo.

Tagtrug, the second son of the Vidyadhara, is partially supported by gifts from Shambhala community members. These gifts support respite care and help the sangha and family maintain a connection to Tagtrug. To find out how you can support Tagtrug or to learn more about his situation, please write to tagtrug@gmail.com.

In service to the lineage,

The Kalapa Council

Our three-fold strategy

Following the Kalapa Council Update that we posted on this blog in April called “Strategic Directions”, there was an enthusiastic response from the Shambhala community. Many people posted comments, suggestions and questions. We took the many viewpoints into account, took a careful look at the options before us and presented a series of strategic recommendations to the Sakyong last month. With his agreement, we are now putting those recommendations into effect. To read our three-fold strategy and the detailed background to it, please click here.

Part of our three-fold strategy involves tightening our belt for this immediate period. As a result some of our services will need to be reduced over this coming period. To read about these changes in detail, described in a letter from Carolyn Mandelker, the Executive Director of Shambhala, please click here.

We encourage you to read and reflect on these two important documents and contribute to a community discussion on this blog!

We would also like to thank everyone who contributed so generously to our most recent appeal, which raised $120,000 in the months of May and June. It was thanks to everyone who wrote into the blog urging us to launch a further fund-raising appeal that we sent a follow-up appeal asking for support. Your gifts helped us close just over a third of the funding gap we were seeking to fill. We were deeply touched by the generosity of your responses and the many kind messages we received.

Your questions and comments — continuing the dialogue

To continue the community dialogue that has begun on this blog, we previously identified 12 major themes. Now we want to open up more discussion and inquiry around these.

One of the themes was the need to make Shambhala’s work more visible to our membership.

How do you think we can best do this?

We recently posted photos and short statements about the work of the staff who are paid from the international budget. You can see that here . Does this help?

What would you like to know about the central services we provide to the mandala?

How can we communicate all this in a far more meaningful way? What would feel most helpful to you? What do you feel would help others?

Please post your comments and suggestions below!

All your comments and suggestions — next steps

Members of the Kalapa Council met yesterday to review progress in our community consultation and take the next steps in moving forward on the challenges we are facing. This was just before joining the Sakyong and the acharyas for a retreat at Shambhala Mountain Center.

Several common themes and critical questions have emerged from all the comments and suggestions people have been posting on the blog. These can be roughly grouped into the following 12 topics:

1. We need better, sustainable financial planning by the centre of the mandala

2. We are all in this together

3. We want more financial transparency and communication

4. Be more specific about our needs and where the money is going

5. We want and feel we can achieve financial stability for this mandala

6. Immediately maintain current level of support if possible by repeated fund-raising appeals, possibly up to 4 times a year

7. As a community, study deeply the teachings on generosity/poverty/doubt and how that relates with gathering merit

8. There is a need to make Shambhala’s work more visible to the membership

9. Improve donor relations and service

10. Question the current manifestation of the lineage holder and the cost of providing services to our growing mandala

11. Explore local “taxation”, central funding connected to local membership dues, program fees, centre transfers

12.Identify those who have not given before, and appeal to them to broaden the base of donors

If you don’t see your particular question or comment reflected here, please be patient, as we are trying to work through the most prevalent themes first!

We aim to extend this constructive dialogue over the coming days by inviting people to focus on specific issues, which we will be highlighting. We will also be responding to individuals who have asked particular questions.

Looking at the overall pattern of people’s suggestions, we will initiate an immediate fund-raising appeal to fund the international budget and avoid making staff cuts if possible.

We are also supporting Shambhala Mountain Center in its forthcoming Spring appeal. Some individuals who regularly make donations both to the centre of the mandala and to Shambhala Mountain Center may receive requests from both. We will be writing separately to those individuals. We will be including an update our efforts to have a unified giving model as we move forward on this blog.

Where are Shambhala’s financial reports?

We’ve now received 127 responses to our post on Strategic Directions for our Mandala.  Thank you!  Over the weekend, we went through the responses and identified common themes, as well as individual questions and suggestions.  One question that we can respond to immediately, is the request for financial information.  Here are two links:  the first is an abbreviated 2012 budget summary, the second is for people who would like more detailed information, including budgets for past years.

Many of you have shared helpful suggestions about the kind of financial information you would like to see, and the format and method of communication—if after reviewing these, you have further suggestions, please continue the conversation on the blog. We are interested in anything that we can do to improve the clarity of our financial communication!  Please stay tuned to further posts from the Kalapa Council.

Abbreviated 2012 Budget summary:

http://kalapacouncil.shambhalatimes.org/2012/01/28/2012-budget-for-shambhala-day/

More detailed reports: http://www.shambhala.org/members/governancefinance.php

Warmly,   Carolyn Mandelker

Strategic Directions – Kalapa Council Update April 2012


Moving forward with the lineage vision and initiating deeper community dialogue

1. Introduction – the strategic decisions we face
2. The Sakyong’s 2020 Vision
3. What has our Shambhala community accomplished since the Sakyong’s retreat?
4. Our current financial challenges
5. How is the Kalapa Council working with the situation?
6. The decisions we face right now
7. Opening up communication with our community

1. Introduction – the strategic decisions we face

The Kalapa Council is faced with strategic decisions about moving forward. We must decide on a course of action within the coming two weeks. The strategic decision is about how to move forward with the Sakyong’s 2020 Vision after our Shambhala Day campaign. It was probably the most successful fund-raiser ever on a Shambhala Day, but since we were trying to raise the entire budget in one day (for the first time in our history), and we didn’t get all the way there, we now face a serious shortfall.

These decisions are important and will affect our entire community. For this reason, we want to share details of our current situation, and open an ongoing dialogue on the Kalapa Council blog about where we are headed and how we are going to make this journey financially sustainable.

2. The Sakyong’s 2020 Vision
The Sakyong was clear about the direction in which he was leading us when he came out of his year-long retreat, when we received his Letter of the Morning Sun:

If Shambhala as a vision, a lineage, and a community is to have any real effect on the world, the next ten years are essential. We must now begin to organize, train, and develop ourselves with greater commitment and determination. Therefore, I ask all Shambhalians to see the next ten years as a time to truly challenge ourselves. (For the full text of the letter, please click here.)

His challenge has reverberated throughout Shambhala. We in the Kalapa Council devoted ourselves fully to this objective. We invested heavily in new services to give far more support to our members, centres and groups. We introduced a new training program for leaders and engaged in a major reorganization of our central services and the leadership of the mandala. The idea was to create the best possible container for the teachings and practices the Sakyong wished to introduce to make Shambhala a socially transformative culture of “kindness, generosity and courage.”

3. What has our Shambhala community accomplished since the Sakyong’s retreat?

Celebration at the Shambhala Centre in Santiago, Chile

The Sakyong’s Activity
The Shambhala community has offered the Sakyong an environment in which he could introduce Shambhala and Enlightened Society vows, the Shambhala Sadhana, his forthcoming Treatise on Enlightened Society, and many more teachings on the way. Providing this environment for the unfolding and expression of these unique lineage teachings is integral to accomplishing the transformative vision of the Sakyongs.

A major outreach effort is connected with the Sakyong’s new book Running with the Mind of Meditation. More than 200 runners and Meditation Instructors are studying and practicing the running meditation instruction to assist newcomers interested in this approach. Many running Meditation Instructors are preparing to lead Running with the Mind of Meditation programs for running clubs and sports centres.

Last year we saw the public impact we could have with the Being Brave retreat in Halifax. This continued with the standing-room only event in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Now we are witnessing the crescendo of high-profile media attention being devoted to the Sakyong’s latest book.

Investment in leadership and services
The central services of the mandala have been considerably strengthened. We now have an Executive Director to lead our central services. We have been able to fund the Kalapa Acharya so that he can work full time on curriculum development, teacher training and the Shambhala path of societal transformation. We now have a Director of Centre and Group Support, to support our centres and groups during this period of intense change and growth. This investment in people is all aimed at providing far better and more responsive assistance and advice to our volunteers and members who fly the flag of Shambhala in their towns, cities and neighbourhoods!

We have invested in new communications technology. The new Shambhala News website, http://shambhalanews.com , just launched, is specifically designed for new visitors from the public searching for an introduction to Shambhala.

A growing mandala
The latest statistics show a ten percent overall increase in Shambhala Centre/Group membership over the last year. We believe this is due to the increased support we have been able to offer to the Sakyong and to our centres, the focus and dedication of our teachers, leaders and volunteers, and the new curriculum. Some centres report as much as 25% growth locally!

4. Our current financial challenges

In the midst of this good news, we face an immediate and significant financial challenge. This year, in addition to the money we collect from regular donations to the centre of the mandala, centre transfers and program revenue, we attempted to fundraise an additional one million dollars to fund our central service for 2012.

This funding would provide support to the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo, fund all the central services to our members, centres and groups, and new services and investments for further growth.

In an effort to respond to the many requests we have had for a more streamlined approach to fund-raising, we decided to put all our efforts into one single Shambhala Day campaign. Thanks to the generosity of just over 1,600 of our members, we received more than $300,000 (one of the highest totals on a Shambhala Day ever). But since we were aiming to raise $1,080,000, that left us with a shortfall of $780,000.

We have enough funds to last until the middle or end of May. After that, we will be unable to meet our monthly expenses unless we take other immediate measures.

5. How is the Kalapa Council working with this situation?

Abundance not scarcity

The Kalapa Council’s determination to move forward arose because of our certainty in the lineage vision and our willingness to invest heavily in services. The current money crunch has not occurred because of people’s lack of appreciation for the lineage vision or mistrust of the leadership. It is simply the result of not being able to generate in one single campaign the level of resources that previously we would raise over the whole year.

A strategic, rather than palliative, opportunity
We all feel that this current funding crunch also highlights the value of looking for the strategic, transformative possibilities – so that we come out of this with a stronger situation going forward. We feel we should be willing to envision the future and take the strategic steps now that will get us there.

Interdependence
We need to actively cultivate a new understanding in Shambhala as a whole – that we are “all in this together”. This will involve engaging with our local leaders and members in a different way. We need to see if there is a way we can work together with everyone to find a new way forward, not just financially, but as a growing global community with shared values, shared interests and shared commitments. This is one of the reasons for the new Unified Giving Model. When people join their local centre, they will realize that they are part of a vast Shambhala world that welcomes and supports them.

New Model of Financial Sustainability
We need a new model. We are actively exploring possibilities to enable us to diversify and stabilize the way we fund ourselves. In the Feeling the Heat of the Sun initiative, which began in the November 2011, we have been consulting with a diverse group of Shambhala members who have a lot of experience in finance, community development and the entrepreneurial world, to invite suggestions on how we can maximize our strengths in ways that will generate additional streams of revenue. We are actively exploring many interesting insights, tactics and strategies that have been shared in this initiative, as well as seeking outside experts who can help us re-structure our mandala so that it is better able to support our vision. We are open to all news ideas and willing to question old patterns that are in need of change!

6. The decisions we face right now

While we explore longer-term strategic opportunities, we are faced with an immediate financial shortfall. We do not have the funding to proceed with our plans. Thus, we face several questions: Until we have the funding to do this, we need to be prudent, but how far back should we pull back? Should we wait until we have all the funding in place again to continue moving forward? Should we admit that it was unrealistic to seek an entire year’s funding in one single campaign, and be willing to go back to the community one or more times to ask everyone to fund our central services?

Immediate funding needs
We want to preserve the existing services we have been able to provide to all centres and groups, particularly as a result of the improvements we have already introduced.
We are therefore seriously considering a further appeal, to take place as soon as possible, to raise a further $300,000. Our aim would be to sustain the services we are currently providing, and create a $25,000 scholarship fund for people who don’t have the resources to attend our summer programs.

7. Opening up communication with our community

While we contemplate these issues in the short space of time we have (two weeks), we have decided to share all this with everyone in Shambhala. If you have suggestions or ideas that you feel could help us grapple with these large issues, we very much welcome them. You can post your comments and suggestions below on our blog.

Here are the main points we are considering and that we invite you to contemplate with us:

• What should we do in the short term? Preserve our existing level of service by fundraising one more times in the next year? Cut back on existing services?

• What are the alternatives that could lead to a new and healthier model of financial sustainability for Shambhala altogether?

Strategic consultations
We are also proposing to open up a series of strategic consultations with local centres and groups and members. This initial message setting out our thinking process is the first step. We will be working on plan for holding discussions with centre leaders, likely involing the Mandala Council (on which all centres have a seat). We are thinking of a larger “strategic planning consultation” to which all centre directors and group coordinators would be invited some time in the autumn. All this would be part of laying the basis for the Fifth Shambhala Congress, provisionally planned to take place at Dechen Chöling in mid-September 2013.

We look forward to hearing from you!
Please post your comments and ideas in the comment box immediately below…

Shambhala Day Films


“This is not a time to close down or hold on…”
Please click below to view the President’s film that weaves together the themes of our global crisis, our lineage vision and Shambhala Day giving…
Once upon a time


Making the Impossible Possible
“Making the Impossible Possible — the Year in Review” was shown throughout the mandala at Shambhala Day events. Produced by Shambhala Media, edited by Ethan Neville, and narrated by Pascale Roger-Mckeever, the film shows highlights of the year from Shambhala locations and events around the world, previews the forthcoming film “An Uncommon King” and the Sakyong’s book, “Running with the Mind of Meditation”, to be published in April this year.

The Shambhala Day film is already available, thanks to the work of our international translators and Hamish Maclaren, in English French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian. Other languages will follow. For all languages, please click here .

Painting the Water Dragon

For those who have expressed interest in the making of the President’s film, “This is not a time to hold on or close down…”, a short film of the painting of the Water Dragon is posted on his column, “From our President”.

Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo lead planning for 2020 Vision

The Kalapa Council met with the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo over the course of three days at the end of January to contemplate the next steps that would move Shambhala forward in accomplishing 2020 Vision.

As the Sakyong wrote in his Letter of the Morning Sun:

If Shambhala as a vision, a lineage, and a community is to have any real effect on the world, the next ten years are essential. We must now begin to organize, train, and develop ourselves with greater commitment and determination. Therefore, I ask all Shambhalians to see the next ten years as a time to truly challenge ourselves. If we can make substantial progress over this time, I believe we will have shifted the momentum of the lineage and vision toward being able to fulfill the Dorje Dradül’s intentions.

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2012 budget for Shambhala Day

Provisional 2012 International Budget
Here is the way we plan to use the funds raised on Shambhala Day. It is set out in a way that we hope helps everyone see even more clearly than before what we will be investing in! Items introduced for the first time in 2011 and proposed for this coming year are marked NEW with the year.

1. Supporting the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo – $111,000
• Direct support to them throughout the year for their leadership, writing and teaching.

2. Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo staff and court support – $375,294
• Sakyong and Court Staff Salaries: Secretary, Editor, Editorial and Media Assistant, Travel Coordinator, Kusung, Attendants, Machen.
• Cost for travel, communications and related expenses for the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo and the court staff who travel with them.

3. Support for Lamas – $22,200
• Lady Konchok & Lama Pegyal

4. Kalapa Council and Executive Director – $113,730
• President, Chagdzö – reimbursement of volunteer expenses
NEW 2011: Full time Executive Director
NEW 2011: Part time administrative assistant for Executive Director
• Governance Meetings

5. Acharyas and Shamhala Office of Practice & Education – $205,730
NEW 2011: Full time salary and travel for the Kalapa Acharya
• Acharya meetings
• Full time salary for the Director of Practice and Education
• Two full time practice and education staff salaries
NEW 2012: administrative support for acharyas with specialized portfolios
in Practice and Education

6. Dorje Kasung – $91,160
• Part time salary for the Kasung Kyi Khyap,
NEW 2012:Full time salary for the Executive Officer
• Miscellaneous administrative expenses.
• Kasung Land loan at Dorje Denma Ling

7. Centre and Group Support, Communications, Publicity and Information Technology – $394,500
NEW 2011: Full time salary for the Director of Centre and Group Support
• Salaries for the equivalent of 6 full time staff to develop and maintain our database, websites, Shambhala Times, and the Shambhala network, and to support our global international communications and online services
• Computers, servers and networks for Shambhala’s communications worldwide
NEW 2012: International support for Multilingualism and Multiculturalism
NEW 2012: International support for Young Sangha Development

8. Centre of the Mandala Properties – $242,300
• Halifax Court – Taxes, Insurance, Utilities, Maintenance and Mortgage payments
• Kalapa Valley

9. Finance and Development – $254,810
• Salaries for 3 full time and 3 half time staff, and fundraising expenses

10. Administrative costs – $230,445
• Legal, Insurance, Building Costs, Bank & Credit Card Processing Charges

TOTAL: $2,041,169

What the International Budget means

Our provisional international budget for 2012 amounts to approximately 10% of our mandala’s total annual turnover (involving all centres, groups and major practice centres) of $19.1 million.

Half of our annual revenue comes in the form of regular monthly income. This includes monthly donations, revenue transfers from our land and city centres and Shambhala Europe, and revenue from international programs such as Warrior Assembly, Enlightened Society Assembly, Sacred World Assembly, and so on.

The other half comes from one-time donations from all our members around the world.

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Shambhala Day – Looking Ahead


Shambhala Day this year is on 22 February. The Sakyong will address our community starting at 2:00pm Atlantic Time.

A full message listing the schedule of events and recommendations for observing Shambhala Day is being sent to all Shambhala Centres and Groups.

This year’s Shambhala Day film is Making the Impossible Possible. It will feature the the Sakyong’s Shambhala Day command and his “Basic Goodness” campaign, glimpses of the mandala-wide Kalapa Governance Gatherings, a compassion-in-action documentary filmed in Chile, and news of two feature films, one released in 2011 and the other about to appear in 2012 — and the Sakyong’s new book, Running with the Mind of Meditation.

ONE YEAR, ONE DAY


This year we are going to do something we never have done before: raise our entire international budget in one single campaign, climaxing on Shambhala Day.

We also want to make it far more possible for everyone to make a contribution. So we are going to send everyone a personalized individual request, based on the gifts each person has given previously. We are going to make a special effort to include people who may have felt excluded by the way we did things before.

We are doing this with the aspiration that everyone will feel part of a collective community effort to reach our goal. 

To understand how fund-raising fits with the Sakyong’s vision for the relevance of Shambhala in these troubled times, please see President Reoch’s latest filmed message speaking about what our gifts mean. (If you were a donor in the second half of last year, you will have seen some of the material this short film already…)
January 2012 Vision your gift 720

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