Unraveling oppression and white privilege starts here

“But all our phrasing—race relations, racial chasm, racial justice, racial profiling, white privilege, even white supremacy—serves to obscure that racism is a visceral experience, that it dislodges brains, blocks airways, rips muscle, extracts organs, cracks bones, breaks teeth. You must never look away from this. You must always remember that the sociology, the history, the … Continue 

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Finding Love in a Hopeless Place

Last week was a week lost. We lost an election; I lost a week in time. I did not work. I did not make progress on any of my projects. I didn’t even cook. All of my energy was consumed with feeling and trying to escape feeling. It was a full-time effort. I went to … Continue 

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Regional Incorporation and Financial Unification

Over the last year, Northern California Shambhala has faced significant economic challenges due to rising rents in the Bay Area. The Silicon Valley Center is looking for a new space. Likewise, Sharchen Dzong in San Francisco has given up its downstairs space and Berkeley’s rent is quadrupling between 2015 and 2021. Against that backdrop, a team of … Continue 

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Harvest of Peace 2016

Dear Sangha, On Sunday, September 25th, we held our annual Harvest of Peace at the Berkeley Shambhala Center. About forty community members gathered to mark the end of summer, celebrate what we have accomplished, and look ahead to the coming months. The Sakyong addressed us in a short talk, which you can watch here. We … Continue 

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Rising to the Challenge: Race and Inclusivity in the Sangha

This article originally appeared in The Arrow on June, 27, 2016 Last summer I traveled from my home in Berkeley, California to Pátzcuaro, Mexico for a weeklong “young” sangha meditation retreat. I say “young” because in our group of roughly 20, though we varied in age from early 20s to 40s, chronological years didn’t matter. … Continue 

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Berkeley Shambhala Signs a Five-Year Lease

After several months of negotiations with our landlords, the International Order of Odd Fellows Berkeley Lodge #270, Berkeley Shambhala has signed a five-year lease. Since the mid-1990s our rental situation has been month-to-month. During that time, our rent slipped far below market value, to the point that in 2015 we were paying about 20% of … Continue 

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Hello, heartbreak

This week I returned from 30 days of volunteering at a meditation retreat in the Rockies. What happened? I cried. At times it felt that my heart was replaced by an insatiable hole. I imagined packing my bags and leaving not long after I arrived. This was not the blissful, om shanti, cucumber water, chenille-robe … Continue 

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Practice of Practices

Practice of Practices

What you practice is what you have. -Cheri Huber This simple yet profound statement makes me wonder: What is my practice? What are my practices? In the middle of the night I abruptly awaken, eyes wide in the darkness. Mind races. I practice: Notice breath. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, … Continue 

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State of the Center: Funding a Director of Social Engagement

Cheerful Autumn! On September 20th Shambhala centers around the world gathered for Harvest of Peace, our annual celebration of autumn. Locally we also marked forty years at 2288 Fulton Street. The day included the Shambhala Sadhana, an oath ceremony for our new Treasurer, Scott Tracy, an update on Center finances, a talk by the Sakyong, … Continue 

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Social Presencing Theater

Social Presencing Theater – A Shambhala Art Form for Social Change

Save the date! There will be a Social Presencing Theater workshop offered in Berkeley on November 7th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. See here for details. A look at the training offered by Acharya Arawana Hayashi. This article, by Maria Patten with Shastri Sandra Ladley, originally appeared in Shambhala Times on July 27, 2015. … Continue 

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