Shambhala Day Panorama

Dear Berkeley Shambhala Community,

It was a real pleasure to gather with you all over the long Shambhala Day Weekend: Thursday  morning at the Center, Thursday evening at our delek gatherings, and Saturday evening at the grand Shambhala Ball. Many thanks to the more than thirty people who made all of these events a success!

Marking the twenty years since his empowerment as “Earth Protector,” the Sakyong said that there is cause for celebration: “What was planted twenty years ago is the lineage of Shambhala, which is now coming into fruition and determining how we go into the future.” He also set a strong theme for the coming year, with a focus on home as a means to stabilize what we have learned and accomplished: “The ability for Shambhala to continue resides not only in the Shambhala centres, but also on these teachings actually landing in our homes and lives…By emphasizing the home, we are establishing the basis of ethics, communication, and how we can live and survive as people.” I invite you to read the transcript of the address: or watch the recording here: (this link also includes the Year in Review video).

An important international fundraising effort followed the Sakyong’s address. After raising nearly $108,000 in the weeks leading up to the celebration, Shambhala International is seeking to raise a further $150,000 in the coming weeks. I applaud the Berkeley community for already contributing $4,600. If you were unable to donate on Shambhala Day itself and would like to, please fill out one of the pledge cards available at the Center or make a donation online:

In keeping with the theme of celebration, I would like to thank the hard work of the Culture and Decorum team, and in particular Odessa Spore for leading the charge, in uplifting the Center’s Post Meditation Hall and Atrium. If you haven’t seen the Center lately, please stop by. We also marked the appointment of Evelyn Borchert to the position of Societal Health and Wellbeing. In this role, Evelyn will support the Center’s aspirations on diversity and accessibility.

I heartily congratulate Berkeley’s own Charlie Goetzl for his auspicious and much deserved appointment to the position of Director of Practice & Education for the global mandala: Ki Ki So So, Charlie!

I am also delighted to share the vision for the coming year for the Berkeley Shambhala Center that the Governing Council has developed. In September of this year we are celebrating our fortieth anniversary of moving into the Odd Fellows space, so it feels like an auspicious time to consider our future. To build on the process of community visioning from the past few years, we will hold three membership meetings this spring and fall (March 22nd, May 3rd, and October 4th) with the intention of creating a five-year strategic plan to guide us towards 2020. As part of this process, the Center is having a membership drive over the coming six months. If you’re not yet a member, now is a great time to become one! If we raise over $1000 in additional monthly dues, then we can hire a Director of Practice & Education for the Center.

Finally, I am very excited to announce that members are currently looking into starting an Oakland Shambhala Satellite Center, a joint project between the Berkeley and San Francisco Shambhala Centers, Northern California Shambhala, and the Ziji Collective. If you are interested in learning more about this process or becoming involved, please contact Kelsey Blackwell.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Center in the months ahead. It is a precious thing to be on this journey together.

Best Wishes for the Year of the Wood Sheep,