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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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SMC by KB

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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Going Beyond Denial

Going Beyond Denial

                      By Shastri Charlene Leung. This article originally appeared in Shambhala Times on July 3rd. FACING REALITY: BEGINNING CONVERSATIONS As the Chairperson of the Diversity Working Group for Shambhala International, I am familiar with our collective avoidance of challenging topics like racism and oppression. And, … Continue 

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Shambhala Level I

Way of Shambhala Level I: What the Heck Am I Doing Here?

My relationship with meditation is akin to that of a couple that’s in love, but where the two are quite often at odds with each other. I have been into the idea of meditation for a while now. The feeling of being at least spiritually awake, if not quite up and off the bed, has … Continue 

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Email as Meditation Practice

Email as a Meditation Practice: Sending and Taking

What does it look like to put meditation into action? I’ve been pondering this ever since I took a class at the Berkeley Shambhala Meditation Center last year on the lojong slogans, which are about different ways to train the mind in wisdom and compassion. One of my favorite slogans is “When everything goes wrong, … Continue 

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Buddha Ears

True Listening by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

It is said that when the Buddha first taught, two deer approached, knelt down, and raised their ears. They symbolize the act of listening, a sublime way of being present in the moment. Their perked-up ears represent keen attentiveness. Their bodies kneeling down represent relaxation and respect. The receptive state of listening is a way … Continue 

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