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!

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About Richard Reoch

Richard Reoch was appointed by the Sakyong, Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche, as the President of Shambhala in 2002 — a position he holds to this day. He heads the Government of Shambhala and chairs the highest governing body of the mandala, the Kalapa Council. Prior to his position in Shambhala, he was the global media chief of the human rights organization, Amnesty International, and continues as a trustee of the Rainforest Foundation and Chair of the International Working Group on Sri Lanka, a network of diplomats and major agencies devoted to peace making.

4 thoughts on “Your questions and comments — continuing the dialogue

  1. It has been very helpful to view the recent information on Shambhala International staff and finances. I have a suggestion related to this article.

    When I first read this article on the Shambhala TImes, it was not clear where to add one’s comments. The article states “Please post your comments and suggestions below!”, but it is closed for comments. Following a link to the Kalapa Council blog, I see that this version of the article is setup to allow comments. (This comment is one of them! 🙂

    My suggestion is to clarify this in the article as displayed on the Shambhala TImes ( ) People may not realize where to add their comments.

    Thank you for encouraging further dialogue on these important issues.

  2. I read through the short statements about the staff who are paid through Shambhala International. It was really quite helpful to get a sense of the size and range of staff (I had no idea!), but I actually found myself wanting additional information. I was curious for a bit more info on the nature of the work they do/key projects, and it would be lovely if there was a brief bio for each staff member to give us a sense of their backgrounds and experience. An organizational chart would also be helpful.

    It would be great if there were a Shambhala International brochure that each center was expected to make available. It would give a brief overview of what Shambhala International is, the work that’s done, and perhaps a brief note from President Reoch about our vision for the future. Perhaps this brochure already exists, but I don’t think I’ve seen it.

    A related question — I know the Sakyong has an ambitious fundraising vision for the center of the mandala. What would that look like in terms of specific staffing and projects? Might it be worth a one-page sign/flyer discussing the Sakyong’s vision (both the grand vision and the practical steps that we need to take to get there) that can be posted in centers, perhaps near a Shambhala International brochure?

    Any sort of materials that can give Shambhala International a more visible presence on the ground in each center — not just online — would be really helpful.

    Thank you for the opportunity to share our thoughts!

  3. It’s taken me too long to respond and I apologize for that.

    The biographies and photos are fantastic! I was especially happy to put a face to Tashi Longthorp who has been very kind indeed to me via our emails. I think it’s very important to note that this international organization is running with a staff far smaller than an average grocery store!

    It is a challenge to feel the “absolute” and “relative” experiences of a world-wide mandala. Analogously, I mean my direct experiences in Milwaukee are the more direct and personal (the absolute) and those via email, video conference, and other electronic means (the relative). Without the richness of my local and direct experiences, I don’t know that I’d have a capacity to build an honest sense of connection on the broader scale.

    So I appreciate very much everyone’s willingness to pose for a picture and try to squeeze all they do into a couple of sentences. I am very grateful for this generous, continually generous effort. Wishing you all the best,
    Paul Shinkle (Milwaukee)

    P.S. If I may be bold enough to make a suggestion: would involving volunteers via “virtual offices” warrant investigation?

  4. This is very moving. To put a face to the action that is taken for the benefit of all is very heartfelt. I feel that this could be expanded. Many people work together as a team for a certain action or goal. It would help if we knew these connections. That could easily be solved by grouping people together and proclaiming who they report to (Heaven) , and something about what they do in the team. Do they report to the Kasung or the Sakyong or the President?
    I love the expression of each person (Earth) That really resonates with who they are. For example I will always remember the smile of Coleen who is “sometimes known as cheerful for no good reason”. We also should not be afraid to state our financial status in our society. Are we a volunteer, or receiving or are a volunteer?
    Finally, who do we serve? (Humanity) Ultimately we dedicate the merit to all beings. But our specific purpose may be to serve the attendees of a program, or serving the Mandala with a budget. Our day to day work can lose energy when we don’t know who we report to, what are we doing, and who do we serve.
    Our Mandala is growing and people are coming and going and teams and committees are changing. Let’s acknowledge each other by communicating clearly with a virtual bow. Each person who leaves a position should let everyone else know and also introduce the new person. Let’s bow to those who are leaving and let them introduce the new person who will inform us of their Heaven,Earth and Humanity that we could bow to. (This could be done on paper on UTube or any other social mediat outlet.) This could stop confusion about who is doing what and why and what happened to so and so and now I don’t know who to turn to- type chatter, and help deepen our culture and clarify our structure.
    My experience is that people understand how the numbers support the Sacred Society when there are visuals. (Perhaps an artistic webpage with links to more info?) For example, a cloud could represent a team that is connected the a Centre, a Household, a Program, etc. Each cloud has people that proclaim their Heaven, Earth and Humanity. Together the team can share vision, action, and results. This could be a very dynamic piece that we all have access to and that we all take responsibility for as we change and grow.
    “So it is very important that we make decisions based on seeing situations clearly, on seeing the truth of the situation, not based on what’s just best for maintaining our own comfort, or wanting to stay curled up in what Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche described as our own cocoons. This is the opposite of bravery. It is cowardly.”-Pema
    Yours In Enlightened Society,

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