Portland News Magazine

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September 15th, 2009 by

This blog is community bulletin board for members of the Portland Shambhala community to share anything of interest such as:

  • An invitation to a party or performance
  • Announcements about significant life events such as births, marriages or deaths
  • A members writing…
  • Job, Sale or Ride announcements
  • Center news
  • Letters from the Directors

August 28, 2009 Director’s Letter: Way of Shambhala & Other Updates

September 15th, 2009 by

Dear Sangha,

Over thirty years ago, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche introduced the Shambhala teachings to the West. In the subsequent decades, these teachings, which emphasize our natural wakefulness, and the practices of gentleness and fearlessness in our everyday lives, have spread throughout the world.  For much of that time, the Shambhala Training path has been the primary vehicle through which students are introduced to and then offered an opportunity to deepen their experience and understanding of the Shambhala teachings.

In 2000, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the son and Shambhala heir of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, began to actively unfold, propagate and complete the lineage of Shambhala terma initiated by his father. Over the next several years he taught the Shambhala Vajrayana community the highest view of our three seemingly separate wisdom lineages as inseparable – that of the Shambhala, the Kagyu and the Nyingma Buddhist lineages. With the introduction of the Primordial Rigden Ngondro in 2004, the unfolding of this unified view in both our Vajrayana and Sutrayana path of practice and study continued. The Shambhala Vajrayana path has come to fruition with the opening, last year, of the Scoprion Seal, the highest teaching in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage. The next evolution in our Sutrayana path has now also come to frution…

Beginning this fall, we are delighted to inaugurate our new path of practice and study, The Way of Shambhala . Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has been directly involved in the development of this new curriculum, which gathers the potency of our three lineage streams into a unified and clear path of practice and study. The new program commences Sept. 25 with Shambhala Training Level I .

The Way of Shambhala is a two-part sequential program, open to people of all traditions. The first part, Way of Shambhala I , encompasses Shambhala Training Levels 1-5 plus a series of weeknight courses incorporating corresponding core Buddhist teachings. The primary emphasis of Way of Shambhala I is intended to expand and deepen the opportunities for contemplative mixing of practice and daily life. Part one occurs over the course of 1 ½ years culminating in the Rigden Weekend. Way of Shambhala II, which will begin in 2011, will include the teachings that currently take place in Shambhala Training Sacred Path and as well as more in depth Buddhist study. The Way of Shambhala thus replaces the Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies as our core curriculum .  It also becomes the prerequisite to attend Sutrayana Seminary and Warrior Assembly, starting in 2012.

We understand that with change there is inevitably confusion and often concern, and invite anyone who has questions or concerns, or is just curious, to attend one of our Director’s Teas , where we will be discussing the program and answering questions about it and the changes in the Shambhala path of practice and study. The first Directors Tea will be held on Monday, August 31 at 7pm ,  and the second one on Sunday, September 27 at 1pm . Both will take place at the Shambhala Center. Please RSVP which tea you’d like to attend so we can plan to host you properly. Also, let us know if neither of these dates will work for you and you’d like to speak to one of us individually.

Community Updates

  • Congratulations to Ann Cason & Jack Bodner , who were married on July 26th; and to Trime Persinger & Steve Reedy who were married on June 12th.
  • Kudo’s to Maya Crone who completed Sutrayana Seminary at Shambhala Mountain Center; to Diane Pallas who completed Vajrayana Seminary at Dechen Choling; and to Willa Rabinovitch, Amy Acrigg, Chris Rempel, Alice Price, Annie Popkin, David Parker, Corey Haine, Susan Shaffer , and Sarah Root , who completed Sangha Retreat with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche at Shambhala Mountain Center.
  • John Light and Dan Rubin both deserve congratulations and a thank you for becoming our most recent Shambhala Guides.
  • A sad goodbye and heartfelt thanks to Davee Evans who has just returned to live in San Franscisco. For the past two years, Davee served the Portland Shambhala community as Teacher, Meditation Instructor and Webmaster;  and was Assistant Director for countless Shambhala Training levels, all the while supporting the local Interdependence Project as their Meditation Instructor. He will be sorely missed and we just hope the San Francisco Shambhala community appreciates him as much as we did!
  • New Volunteers: A hearty thank you to Melissa Mead who has just added Calendar Manager to her volunteer activity along with acting as editor for our "This Week at Portland Shambhala" email bulletins.


  • The Shambhala Kids Club starts Sunday, October 18th ! Children of all ages are invited every third Sunday of the month from 10am to Noon to attend a program which will focus on Dharma Art based creativity projects. Parents are of course invited to tag along to the Shambhala Center and practice with the Sunday Nyinthun. The program is being led by Corrine Nakamura, our Shambhala Arts Coordinator. Corrine holds a Masters Degree in Indo-Tibetan Studies from Naropa and has taught in both the Visual Arts and Psychology Departments there. She is a certified Shambhala Art Assistant Teacher and has taught contemplative art to children through the Portland Art Museum. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator if you’re interested in helping with her with this program.
  • The Fourth Shambhala Congress, Nov. 9-11, 2009 , will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The theme for this Congress is "Exploring Community" . It is open to any member, and occurs every two years in different locations around the world. The Shambhala Congress, first convened in 2003, is the principal community-wide gathering for discussion and consultation on matters of concern to the entire international community. Part of the global governance of the Shambhala Mandala, it is a forum for practice, communication, and celebration that aims to engage the mandala as a whole in a consultative process and provides a structure of exchange with Shambhala’s central leadership. The Congress process begins with consultation in each Shambhala Center, leads into the gathering of participants at the Congress itself, and then unfolds afterwards as the governing bodies of the mandala work on the issues raised in the discussions. Thus, it is an opportunity at many levels to explore major topics relevant to the entire mandala, ask difficult questions, and work together to chart the future of Shambhala. Stay tuned for how we’ll participate locally. Read more….

Coming Up Soon

  • Acharya Gaylon Ferguson arrives in Portland in less than two weeks on a book tour for his new book "Natural Wakefulness: Discovering the Wisdom We Were Born With" – now available in our bookstore. He’ll be making three visits to the Portland Shambhala Center. There’s something for everyone, so don’t miss the opportunity:

Thursday, Sept. 10, 7:00 pm: Book signing at Powell’s on Hawthorne.
Friday, Sept. 11, 6:00 pm: He joins us for Werma Feast (restricted to those who do that feast practice).
Saturday, Sept 12, 8:30 am – 1:30 pm: He joins our Fall Meditation Instructors/Shambhala Guides meeting.
Sunday, Sept. 13, 9:00 am- 4:00 pm: He teaches a public one day workshop "Natural Wakefulness: Discovering The Widsom We Were Born With". Read more and register here.

  • Harvest of Peace, Sept. 20th . This annual fall Nyidya Day is celebrated in conjunction with the Autumn Equinox. This day, during which we express the richness of our community, will of course include community practice; our traditional address by the Sakyong; the practice of enjoying good potluck etc. But this year, we’d like to enrich the celebration. We are inviting people to share their richness with the community by make performance or participatory offerings. Please contact us  to contribute. Look for more details coming soon.
  • Our new Website is about to go live! Look for the email announcement before Harvest of Peace. It is a work of art, not only in its elegance but also in its functionality. Thanks to its integration with the Shambhala Database, it will significantly streamline our calendar maintenance and our registration system; and will facilitate greater communication and community interaction through a members’ community blog, contact pages for many of our volunteer positions, and online membership enrollment. This has been made possible through the tremendous exertion, generosity and expertise of Davee Evans, our retiring webmaster. He began work on it last year and has completed it with a recent generous dose of support from Chis Rempel. With Davee moving back to California, however, we are now in great and pressing need for a new Website Manager – membership is a requirement. Please send notes of interest along with relevant experience to our Volunteer Coordinator, Willa Rabinovitch.

That’s it for the moment!

As the summer winds down, we’re looking forward to an Autumn of abundant opportunities for engaged community as well as deepening our practice and study.

Yours in the Vision of Shambhala,

Lesa & Evan

Lesa Ricci & Evan Trimble
Center Co-Directors