What Makes a Deleg Work?

It’s the evening of Shambhala Day, and nine people are gathered around the dining table of Dekyong Barbara Creech in Walnut Creek. She asks each of us to share, one by one, our aspirations for the Year of the Fire Bird. There are a couple of typically Western resolutions, such as working out more, but … Continue 

Dancing with Self-doubt Uncovered a Valuable Audience

My body and I have not always been on the best of terms. For most of my life, ignoring the anxiety, fear and self-doubt that I faced in my day-to-day was a second full-time job. I constantly looked to my colleagues to determine which face to put forward in different settings. Work meeting? That’s confident, … Continue 

I-Ching Reading for 2017 – Year of the Firebird

I-Ching reading for the Berkeley Shambhala Center, 2017, year of the Firebird Following Sakyong Mipham’s Shambhala Day address, March 27, 2017, eight of us walked from Inspiration Point in Tilden Park to Wildcat Peak for the annual I-Ching reading for the Berkeley Shambhala Center: BSC Director Rees Sweeny-Taylor, Shastri Charlene Leung, Andrea Roth, Christine Nesbitt, … Continue 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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