Portland News Magazine

Position Opening for Portland Shambhala Center Director

July 31st, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

July 30, 2012

Dear Shambhala Community,

After four years of skillful and dedicated service, Lesa Ricci is retiring as the Director of the Portland Shambhala Meditation Center. On behalf of Shambhala, a Director Search Committee has been formed in order to find a candidate to take the position of Director for the Portland sangha.

We warmly invite interested members of the worldwide Shambhala community to apply to serve as the new Director of the Portland Center.

The Portland Shambhala Center began in the basement of one of its members in the mid-1990s, and has occupied its current location for 17 years – a beautiful, historic brick building once housing a library, now providing office space to tenants such as an Eastern medicine clinic, a workers’ union and a public involvement firm. Located in the heart of Southeast Portland, the Center is close to richly creative neighborhoods, lush parks, bike paths, farmers’ markets and bustling nightlife.

The Portland Center plays an active role in the larger Pacific Northwest Shambhala community, and is aided by the wisdom of one regional Acharya and two regional Shastris. There is a full complement of Shambhala Buddhist teachings offered regularly at the Center, along with many special-interest programs. The Sakyong has visited Portland three times, and he and his staff enjoyed our running paths, the sense of friendliness, and sangha-wide hospitality.

In preparation for the search for a new Director, the Center has undertaken a “20/20 Vision” process, in which people meet at each others’ homes or the Center to join in conversation about what they envision for the Center in the coming years. The Center has recently re-established a Young Meditators’ night, and the Kids’ Club meets monthly on Sunday mornings where children of all ages have supervised play, leaving parents free to practice. The Ikebana Guild is very active, as is the entire Shambhala Arts program, offering imaginative and fun events for the sangha to enjoy. We look forward to realizing the vision of owning our own Center in the not-too-distant future.

Portland is a vibrant city of just over half a million people, located in the lush Willamette Valley at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. It is home to several world-class research institutions and the start-up companies that sprout up around them. It has a flourishing tech sector led by Intel, and is an open source software development center. Amidst stately old growth forests, snow-capped mountains and fertile farmland, Portland also provides a home to many artists and musicians, dedicated small-business owners, thriving urban farmers, doctors, scientists and teachers, among the many passionate, creative and intelligent people who call Portland home.

The Center Director plays a critical role in the life and health of our community, providing leadership and cohesiveness for the Center, and disseminating the Sakyong’s vision of Enlightened Society and basic goodness. The Center Director chairs the Governing Council for the Portland Center, and stewards its financial, spiritual and physical health. S/he represents the Shambhala community to the municipality, region and the broader Shambhala mandala.

This post is a three-year position with the possibility of extension. Benefits include a stipend and retreat benefits. For further information please see the full job description at: http://portland.shambhala.org/PortlandShambhalaCenterDirector.php

Interested individuals are warmly invited to submit (1) a statement of interest, and (2) a resume to the Search Committee at [email protected]The Search Committee will receive applications until August 30, 2012. The Director is appointed by, and responsible to, the Sakyong, who actively engages with and supports those on the path of governance. We look forward to the new Director to begin serving by Shambhala Day of 2013.

Thank you for your interest in this vital role at our Center!

In the vision of the Great Eastern Sun,

Nancy Smith, Marc Otto and Rebecca Jamieson – Portland Shambhala Director Search Committee

Housemate Wanted (Woodstock Neighborhood)

July 30th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

Clean & Quiet seeks the same.

House is near Trader Joe’s and Reed College.

Rent is $550 (utilities & internet included).

The room has two big windows and hardwood floors.

Not much storage space but some.

The house has a washer/dryer, and central A/C

There is a large backyard and garden space.

Shared bathroom.

It is one block from #17 bus.

The ideal housemate:

  • Vegetarian or vegan (or willing to keep the home meat-free)
  • Is conscious of environmental concerns (i.e. chemical free, energy conservative, recycles)
  • Communicates effectively (not passive aggressive)
  • Has no cats, dogs or other companion animals (Sorry animal lovers)
  • Is only one person (Sorry, no couples)
  • Has a passion that keeps them busy (school, work, creative project)
  • Does not smoke or use drugs
  • Believes in keeping a kitchen tidy (very important)

It is available now. First and last months rent and a refundable $200 security deposit to move in. Call (503) 706-5597


New Director of Shambhala Mountain Center

July 30th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

The Kalapa Court announces the appointment of Mr Michael Gayner as the new Executive Director of Shambhala Mountain Center. Michael has served as the Director of Guest Services and Chief Operating Officer at Shambhala Mountain Center since October 2010, and been the Head of Protocol in the Shambhala Office of International Relations since 2007.

The outgoing Director, Mr Jon Barbieri, has served the mandala in this role since January 2008 during which time he spearheaded the introduction of new cultural and economic objectives for Shambhala Mountain Center as well as the huge water treatment project, essential infrastructure for future development. He will continue to serve Shambhala Mountain Center until the end of August with responsibility for ongoing relations with financial and other institutions with which the centre has long-standing relations.

Michael Gayner was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1961. He was educated at the University of Toronto and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He served in the Canadian Armed Forces as a reserve infantry officer and was, until joining the staff at Shambhala Mountain Center, joint director of a private health insurance company in Canada. From 1999 to 2000, he served as a Continuity Kusung and Secretary to the Sakyong, and in 2001 he was part of the team that organized the consecration of the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya. He holds the rank of Rupon in the Dorje Kasung, and from 2001 to 2007, served as the Denma Corps Officer, responsible for training the Close Protection Teams that serve the Sakyong.

The appointment of the new director follows an open recruitment process initiated in February this year by the board of directors of Shambhala Mountain Center, in accordance with the Kalapa Court Appointment Procedure. The search for the new director took place within the context of adopting the new Kalapa Governance Model that the Sakyong has asked be put in place at all Shambhala Centres. The new director will chair a Governing Council including senior representatives of the Three Pillars and others appointed by the Kalapa Court. The new structure will come into effect over the coming months.

In making this appointment, with the blessings of the Sakyong, Richard Reoch, the President of Shambhala, said: “Shambhala Mountain Center has played a unique role in the life of our mandala. The recent High Park Fire has heightened everyone’s awareness of what it means to so many of us on our path. It is important to recall and honour the dedicated warriors who have served on its board over the years, served as its directors and co-directors, been its generous patrons and donors, and given their energy to live and work on the land, as well as the many thousands who continue to hold this sacred land in their hearts as a place where profound transformation has taken place in their lives. We are now entering a new phase, as we contemplate how best Shambhala Mountain Center can serve the unfolding vision of our lineage with its focus on the inseparability of personal awakenment and social transformation.”

(This announcement was from the Shambhala News Service)

Buddhist Co-housing Community planned: “Householder Refuge”

July 16th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci
Hello Portland-Area Sanghas,
As you may know, Dharma Rain Zen Center is getting squeezed out of our current location and is in the process of purchasing a large build-to-suit parcel in NE Portland.  A potion of our plan is to create a co-housing community for Buddhist practitioners.  We are still early in the process, but expect units to be sold well in advance of occupancy. Click here to read  a 5 page prospectus describing the development – “Householder Refuge.”  If you have members in your group who might be interested, please forward this to them, to your distribution list, and/or post it on a display board.  This is a wonderful opportunity for nourishing the inter-sangha jewel.
With hands palm to palm,

Mid-Summer Day Report

July 9th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

Forty or so people enjoyed Midsummer’s Day this year, augmented by a interactive pageant offered up by the creative wisdom of our Shambhala Arts Council members.  The Ayatana Gate and two travellers who didn’t know how to get through it gave us all a chance to wonder what we might surrender this year for our own awakening.  Balloons reminded us of releasing the mind dulling burdens we carry into this timeless moment.  Next all made a parade and soundscape, taking turns to pass into the gate of the senses.  And before this, we had also enjoyed a tasty potluck of side dishes, lots of grilling, adorable dogs, active kids, lawn games, baby ducks–and of course the sometimes moist but warmish weather that always seems to companion Midsummer’s Day.

Karuna Meditation Supplies Now Has A Website

July 9th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

A new website has just launched for sangha member Anandi Gefroh’s meditation supply business: http://www.karunastore.com/

Karuna Meditation Supplies is your local source for mediation cushions. The cushions are also available through sangha member Anita Bermont’s store Dava Bead.

Shambhala Community YouTube Channel Launched

July 9th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

A Shambhala Community YouTube Channel has been created to showcase our community and community members:http://www.youtube.com/user/shambhalavideos The inspiration behind this channel is to enhance our global Shambhala community through an online forum in which Shambhala practitioners from all over the world can post and view uplifted videos.
Videos can reflect the richness of the global community that we are creating on a daily basis. This meeting place allows us to connect with the larger world of Shambhala, beyond our local situations, and to use technology to touch our hearts and wake us up. For specific instructions about how to submit videos, please visit this article in the Shambhala Times:http://shambhalatimes.org/2012/05/20/submit-your-videos /

Note that other channels for official videos already exist, including the Official Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/officialsakyong?feature=watch and the Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/TrungpaRinpoche?feature=watch

We greatly hope that the new Shambhala Community Channel will be a source of inspiration, enjoyment and connectedness throughout the Shambhala mandala and beyond. If you have any questions, contact us at:[email protected]http://shambhalatimes.org/2012/05/20/submit-your-videos /

(This announcement was from the Shambhala News Service)

Migration of Sangha-Announce, Sangha-Talk (and other email lists) to the Shambhala Network

July 9th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci
Over the last two years the Shambhala team that provides us with our online communications services began developing a new email system that would  (among many things) migrate Sangha Announce, Sangha Talk and other email groups to the Shambhala Network. We know that many of you have heard about this transition, and we are writing to help with the concerns you have already expressed, and to invite further dialogue.

Why this transition is taking place

This process began with a sangha-wide consultation which resulted in hundreds of people sending into their suggestions and preferences. Work then got underway and led to what is known as a “beta test” of the new model by over 3,500 of our members. In order to be as responsive as possible to people’s needs, individualized messages were sent to people who, according to our records, most frequently use the current system to encourage them to be part of this testing process. Feedback and responses have been taken into account as far as possible, and the new network will continue to be improved and refined in the months and years ahead.

As the change-over has drawn near, some Shambhala members have expressed conccrns about the new Network and the difficulty they have in using it for the first time. Many do not understand the reasons for changing over, and what benefits the new system will offer.

In recognition of these concerns and to enable our team to make further improvements to the new network, our team — the Communications and Technology Steering Committee is going to postpone the planned transition for at least another month.

Q: Why is this transition happening?

A: Our current system has served us for more than 10 years, which is a testament to those who created it. We are tremendously appreciative to the people and the functionality that we have benefitted from for all this time. At the same time, the needs of our community have grown beyond what the current system can provide. As such, Shambhala IT Services set out to create a new system that could address these needs:

1) many members tell us they receive “too much email” – the Network allows you to adjust your email setting to get daily- or weekly-digests (“summaries”) of the messages in the Groups you subscribe to. You can scan digests quickly to see if there’s anything you want to read.

2) working groups want a way to communicate easily – planning and other groups were bogged down by cc’ing people on emails, getting the wrong address, losing attachments, etc. The Shambhala Network allows working groups to collaborate with documents and images, and hold small discussions without involving the larger sangha.

3) people want to be able to create groups for smaller discussion topics – there were requests to be able to discuss the details of topics without involving everyone. For example, “Dharma and Sobriety” or “Sitting and Body Pain.” Anyone can create a group for a discussion. Click to see how.

4) practice groups where people are joined automatically – the Shambhala Network automatically joins members to the practice groups they’re authorized for. There’s no need for a separate authorization process.

5) automatic coordination between systems – When you change your email in the Shambhala Database, it updates on the Network (unlike the old email lists, where you’d have to update your email address manually).

6) technology changes – in the world at large, technology has changed hugely since the -announce lists were created years ago. While many enjoy the old system, we received many requests to update our communication technology in a way that will continue to work for the next generation of practitioners — the generation who will join in and continue to build our community. We neglect the needs of this younger community at the risk of alienating them. The IT Steering Committee felt this generational change was an important reason to develop modern communication technologies.

7) security concerns – the -announce and -talk email lists are hosted on the original server (the computer that holds the website’s files). Shambhala IT is currently working to move sites away from this server, due to concerns about security.

8) ease of upgrading and modification – because the Shambhala Network is built on a common type of software, it’s not difficult to find programmers to work on the site. The helps us avoid situations where the one programmer who can operate or modify a system goes on extended retreat or becomes unavailable. Also, the software the Network is built on is popular, “open source” (free) and includes upgrades without further cost into the future. This saves Shambhala IT Services money and time.

9) reducing the use of the old username/password – the Unified Login Project aimed to eliminate additional username/password combinations, as password confusion is the most common support request we receive. One of the last places where the old username/password was used was in adjusting one’s -announce and -talk email list subscriptions, when updating one’s email address, etc. The Shambhala Network uses the standard Shambhala Account for login. This means 95% of users will never have to use another username/password combination again! (Trouble logging in? See this article.)

HELP:  Q&A, contact info

Recognizing this shift will not be easy for all members, we’re committed to doing everything we can to help members become confident and comfortable with using the Shambhala Network. This help includes the creation of a “help page” formatted as questions and answers. This includes questions such as:

  • “Can I use the Shambhala Network exactly like the old email lists?”
  • “How do I send a message/announcement so that everyone will see it?”
  • “How can I get the messages from the Network in my email inBox?”
  • “Would it be possible to keep the old Sangha Announce and Sangha Talk lists for those of us who wish to continue using them, and offer the Network for those who wish to use that?”
  • “I have heard you have to be a member to participate in the Network.”

Please visit the article HERE.

If you are someone with questions that this help page does not answer, please feel free to ask your own questions. You can do that by using the question feature on that page (under the title). Or, if you prefer, Greg Heffron, Head of IT Support, will do his best to personally respond to your questions.

I hope this is helpful to everyone. If you would like to write to me personally, you can do that as well. Or I could try to put you in touch with one of the many people who has made the transition in the course of the last year so that you could have a buddy to help you become familiar with the possibilities that our new network offers.

In the vision of the Great Eastern Sun,

Larry Barnett,
Communications Director
Chair of the Communications and Technology Steering Committee

Cantos de Realización (Songs of Realization) to support an aspiring 3 year retreatant

July 9th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

Opportunity for supporting Cecilia Amador to attend the Three Year Retreat at Sopa Chöling 

Cantos de Realización (Songs of Realization by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso) translated into Spanish and beautifully sung and accompanied on guitar by Cecilia

Make a donation to support Cecilia’s retreat, ($30 or more) at The Offering Bowl: http://theofferingbowl.com/index.php/petitioners/134-cecilia-amador and Cecilia will send you a ‘yousendit’ link to the songs. At the end of the Offering Bowl page you will find a link to a sample of the beautiful songs. Please donate to help support the Mexican Sangha, it will be greatly appreciated.

Also, Cecilia’s lovely home near Cuernavaca will be available for rent during the retreat. Please contact her if you are interested in a 10 month rental and she will send detailed information. Contact info: Cecilia Amador: [email protected] vtel/fax: + 52-777-381-0246

Generosity is the virtue which produces peace.

The Under 35 Project…

July 9th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

….is the digital hub for a new generation of meditators.

This is a place for young meditators to share what it’s like to try to live mindfully, every day. Shambhala Publications, one of the world’s pre-eminent publishers of books on enlightened living, is hosting this conversation on what it means to bring mindfulness and compassion to every aspect of our lives. Each month we’ll contemplate a different topic—be it relationships, work, parenting, or social action—and invite you to share your experience. We have quite a few contributors from the Porltand Shambhala sangha. Check it out at: http://www.under35project.com/ 

This is a site for you: We want your personal essays, poems, screenplays, short stories, art, photography, and video, because we value your voice and want it to be heard.