Portland News Magazine

Tonglen Request for Pat Maurer

December 31st, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

Please include Pat Maurer in your tonglen practice as she is currently undergoing radiation treatments for lymphoma.

Newsletter from Shambhala Archives & The Chögyam Trungpa Legacy Project

December 31st, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

VCTR-white-sunglassesThe Shambhala Archives and the Chögyam Trungpa Legacy Project are working together to preserve the teachings and the legacy of the Vidyadhara, the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and the Shambhala Lineage. Read the most recent newsletter:  http://chogyamtrungpa.com/join-newsletter-v1.html

Shambhala Mountain Center is inviting applications for the following Core Staff positions:

December 31st, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

•Director of Development: Develops and executes SMC’s annual fundraising activities. Key goals include increasing the current base of donor support, cultivating and creating new avenues of donor income, creating a communication system with existing donors and initiating grant development. Position could be located either at SMC on in one of the cities along the Colorado Front Range.

•Food Services Manager: Manages a commercial dining operation including a main kitchen, smaller satellite kitchen and 3 dining facilities capable of seating approximately 225 people.

•Food Services Assistant Manager: Assists in the management of a commercial dining operation including meal planning, food preparation, purchasing and inventory as directed by the manager.

•Housekeeping Assistant: Maintains the cleanliness of program, lodging and community spaces.

•IT Manager: Develops and manages all aspects of computer and telephone systems including hardware and software for the organization.

•Assistant Manager of IT: Assists with the maintenance of the organization’s computer and telephone systems including 50 PC’s running through heterogeneous small business network systems.

•Prep Cook: Prepares menu ingredients, sets up buffet, prepares salad bar, assists with cleaning kitchen, etc. Vegetarian, vegan, meat and gluten free meals served. Opportunity for creativity and learning.

What we are seeking: (1) related job knowledge and skills, (2) commitment to a process of personal growth, (3) an interest in integrating meditation and service as well as the willingness to meditate for at least 30 minutes per day, (4) an interest in living and working in community without a pet, (5) flexibility and team orientation and, (5) a willingness to make a 1-3 year service commitment dependent on position level.

What we offer:  Housing and meals, stipend based on position, health insurance, time off benefits, practice and study opportunities and the ability to attend programs without cost. In addition Shambhala Mountain Center offers endless growth opportunities through meditation training and practice, community living and relationships, job related training and experience, and staff programs and events designed to enrich life and build a sense of community.

For additional information and to apply: Please visit our website at www.shambhalamountain.org. Please complete the Core Staff application form located there and send it along with your resume to the Director of Human Resources at [email protected]. If you are unable to submit an online application, please contact our Human Resource department by calling 970.881.2184 X237.”

NW Dharma Association Winter Newsletter

December 31st, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

Announcing the Winter Issue of Northwest Dharma Association News
Learn about events and people of interest to the Buddhist community throughout the region. See the full issue on their website at http://northwestdharma.org/nw-dharma-news-wp/

Northwest Dharma Association Streamlines, to Better Use Donors’ Gifts
Steady Small Donations Make All the Difference

Dharma In Canada 
Ajahn Sona, Founder of Birken Monastery, to Enter One-Year Retreat 

Dharma Education 
Retreatants Explore Aging, and Bringing it into Buddhist Practice 
Maitripa College Offers Buddhist Master of Divinity Degree
College Course Explores Links Between Buddhism and Psychology

Compassionate Action
Forty Five Buddhists Walk to Feed Malnourished and Hungry
Ven. Pannavati Reaches Out to Untouchables, Homeless Youth
Buddhist Meditators Bear Witness at Coal Export Hearings

Sangha News
Chenrezig Hall Rising at Sravasti Abbey
His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Visit Portland for Environmental Summit
Buddhist Crematorium Proposed for Edmonds Land
Tibetan Nuns Project Settles into New Home, with New Operations Manager 
Taiwanese Pure Land Temple Growing in Renton
Former State Buddhist Prison Chaplain Takes Robes

Announcing 2013 Way of Shambhala Curriculum Changes & Schedule

December 31st, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

4 Dignities squareShambhala continues to offer an extensive structured path of training in authentic meditation practices and teachings for people who are interested in pursuing such a path. The name of this path is The Way of Shambhala.

Way of Shambhala Program Overview: Open to people of any spiritual tradition, the Way of Shambhala program is designed for people living in the modern world, and is suitable for both beginning and experienced meditators alike, as well as those looking to enrich their personal spiritual path and social action in the world. It provides a strong foundation in mindfulness-awareness meditation, wisdom teachings, contemplative arts and physical disciplines rooted in the ancient traditions of Shambhala and Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism.

The Way of Shambhala is now comprised of four sequential series of contemplative weekend retreats and weeknight courses:

  1. Heart of Warriorship Series: Weekend Retreats
  2. Everyday Life Series: Weeknight Classes
  3. Basic Goodness Series: Weeknight Classes (this series is new for 2013)
  4. Sacred Path Series: Advanced Weekend Retreats

The weekend retreats are opportunities to deepen one’s practice of meditation in a powerful environment that meets the needs of a work-week and family life.  Rather than having to go away for meditation experience, we provide this training in local communities.

The weeknight courses are interactive, communal, and create a learning environment where the teachings are intimate and relevant. We train in meditation, and use inquiry, dialogue, and contemplative arts throughout the classes.

Read about the full Way of Shambhala program for series descriptions, individual course descriptions, prerequisites, 2013 dates and course prices.

Look at the newly updated illustration of the Shambhala path.

Read about the new Basic Goodness Series in a Shambhala Times article by Shastri Benoît Côté; Listen to a recording by Acharya Adam Lobel about the new Basic Goodness Series.

If after reviewing these descriptions, you find you still have questions, the following FAQ’s should help:

Q: I’m interested, where should I begin?

A: You may choose among any of four introductory courses:

  1. Shambhala Training Level I (begins the Heart of Warriorship Weekend Retreat Series)
  2. Meditation in Everyday Life (begins the Everyday Life Weeknight Series)
  3. Contentment in Everyday Life (second course in the Everyday Life Weeknight Series)
  4. Who Am I? The Basic Goodness of Being Human (begins the Basic Goodness Weeknight Series)

If you still have questions, contact Abbey Pleviak, Registrar

 Q: What happened to last year’s Way of Shambhala II weeknight courses?

A: They have been replaced by the new Basic Goodness Series. Additionally, the Lojong: Training the Mind & Cultivating Loving Kindness course will be offered as a stand-alone course in the spring and will be open to anyone who has been practicing meditation for at least 6 months and is especially recommended for those who have taken the Bodhisattva Vow.

Q: I’ve done some of these classes already – how should I continue?

A: The most straightforward thing to do is to continue with whichever series you have started but it would be best to talk with your individual Meditation Instructor or if you don’t have one, you may contact the Practice & Education Director to get personalized advice.

Q: What do I do if I have to miss the next Shambhala Training Level in the series?  Does it mean I really have to wait a year to continue?

A: That depends. If you must miss a Level I or II, we offer more than one of these a year. If you must miss a Level III-V, it may be possible to arrange a make-up. Contact our registrar to see how to find out what options might be available. You could also see if the Level is being offered anywhere in the region by looking here.

 Q: I have already or will soon complete the Rigden Weekend, what should I do next?

A: You may want to take the spring Lojong course especially if you recently took the Bodhisattva Vow. And/or the next series of classes for you would be the new Basic Goodness Series. For 2013 only, you may also take the Sacred Path series prior to completing the Basic Goodness Series. Beginning in 2014 you will need to complete the Basic Goodness Series prior to the Sacred Path Series. If you still have questions, contact your individual Meditation Instructor or if you don’t have one, contact the Practice & Education Director.

Q: What if I can’t afford the course tuition? What does the generosity policy mean? How does it work?  Can I really pay what I think I can afford?

A: If at any time the tuition for a program would prohibit you from attending, for most programs you may utilize our Generosity Policy which allows you to set tuition at a level that will work for you. All one needs to do is contact our registrar ahead of time and let them know how much you will be offering for the program. So yes, you really can pay what you can afford. Conversely, if you are able to offer a higher tuition, your generosity helps us continue to offer the dharma to everyone. There are occasionally programs for which there is a minimum tuition required. For 2013, this will include the Rigden Weekend and the City Weekthun. If you are interested in helping sponsor someone who is unable to afford the minimum tuition for these two programs, please contact our registrar. Read our full generosity policy.

 Q: Why are 2013 program prices higher than in 2012?

A: The Portland Shambhala Center has deliberately not raised program prices in many years in order to make the Shambhala dharma as accessible as possible. With our Generosity Policy now well established, we felt able to raise our tuitions in order to join all the other local Shambhala Centers who are offering increased support to Shambhala.

Shambhala is an international community of over 200 meditation and retreat centers and is organized like a mandala (imagine it like a wheel) in which there is a center of people (kind of like the hub) who support the rest of the mandala (the rest, including our local center, are like the spokes,). At the center of this mandala is Shambhala’s lineage holder, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, who radiates the vision of Shambhala and guides us in manifesting it through his teaching; out from him is our central governing body, the Kalapa Council, who act as Shambhala’s Board of Directors, providing leadership and policy that cultivate both ongoing development as well as constancy across the mandala; and the outermost layer of the center of the mandala is the Kalapa Executive,  the central staff who direct and integrate the core activities and services providing resources and support for our local activity.

Our 2013 tuition increase will allow us to raise our annual contribution to Shambhala from 3% of our gross revenue to 6%. This higher contribution is part of us phasing into a new financial model that is being developed in which support for Shambhala will come through the local Centers rather than Shambhala having to rely on annual fundraising for it’s operating budget. Read more about Shambhala’s funding model (present & future).

Members may view the Portland Shambhala 2013 operating budget by logging in to our Members Only section.

Q: I’ve completed the Sacred Path Series, what do I need to do to go to Warrior Assembly?

A: Enlightened Society Assembly is now a prerequisite for Warrior Assembly. Enlightened Society Assembly prerequisites include: Heart of Warriorship Series; Everyday Life Series; Basic Goodness Series; One Week of Dathun; Shambhala Vow; Shambhala Membership. However, if you have completed the old Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies classes you should speak with your personal Meditation Instructor to get guidance as some of these prerequisites may be waived. If you have not completed the old Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies classes, then you would need to complete both the Everyday Life Series and the Basic Goodness Series in addition to the other requirements listed above.

Q: I’ve completed the old Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies program, how would I continue now?

A: There are many options! It would be best to speak with your personal Meditation Instructor, or if you don’t have one contact the Practice & Education Director for personal guidance.




John David Smith is new Communications Director

December 23rd, 2012 by John David Smith
New Communications Director at Portland Shambhala CenterHi! I’m new Communications Director for Portland Shambhala Center. I took this job because I realized that at our Center this is a time when a lot of us will have to step forward and take a more active role in the functioning of our Center and our community.  My role on the Governing Council for the last seven years has mainly been an advisory one. Recently I’ve been working on for the transition that’s occurring as Lesa Ricci steps down from her role as Center Director (as well as roles as director of Communications and director of Practice and Education!).  In our discussions about the transition, the Governing Council recognized that we had to take a more active role in managing the whole transition process.  Initially I worked on the practice and education transition but then I realized that I actually needed to jump in and get a job!  So I put my name forward for the Communications director and the Governing Council made the appointment at the meeting on December 13th.
I see the communications role as being a really important to get the word out about what Shambhala has to offer.  But to enable that we also have to attend to communications at an administrative level and actually work to make our community more visible to itself — to celebrate our community.
The skills and the perspective I bring to this job have to do with my work with communities of practice during the past 15 years.  I’ve helped organizations and community leaders develop and support communities — both face-to-face and online, often in an international context. To take this job at the Portland Shambhala Center, I’ve had to curtail another volunteer position that I’ve held for the last 10 years.  I’ve been the community steward for CPsquare (partly as a volunteer and partly paid for my work).  CPsquare is  an international community of people who are involved in communities of practice as leaders, researchers, or consultants.  But for the next phase, I am making an effort to focus and commit to supporting the Portland Shambhala Meditation Center.
I’ve been involved in Shambhala since 1975, mostly in my time in Boulder, Colorado.  In the 1980’s I was chair of the Dekyong Council which involved getting community leaders together to talk about the community and how it was faring in a particularly difficult time.  Here in Portland I was the “Warrior of the Center” with my wife Nancy for 3 years, which led to being on the Governing Council for all this time.  I’ve been a meditation instructor and an authorized teacher as well.
So I’m really excited to be taking on these new responsibilities and working with people in a new way.  I have to say that one of the first steps after figuring out how things work to announce classes, do registration, and the get weekly calendar out, will be to recruit some people to help by posting to this blog about what’s happening in our community — as individuals and collectively.  Only if we’re connected with each other can we become a resource to the rest of Portland.

Melayna & Marc of Brooklyn Bay Have A New Show! Finally…

December 10th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

Things always take so much longer than I expect.

 Marc and I started working on a new show about relationships at least two years ago, maybe three. We started thinking we’d do a show based on an article called ‘Anatomy of a Bad Mood’ by Robert Sapolsky. It was a funny article, kind of a gender dynamics thing he wrote for a men’s magazine. But when we started working on it, it fell flat. It just wasn’t right. We had to let it go…

We tried again a few more times from different angles but it always felt forced. We were trying too hard. Again and again we had to let it go…
We wanted to create a performance that would offer something truly valuable. A piece that would not just satirize relationships but really offer understanding and a way to transform difficulties. 

And we were creating this piece about relationship together…and all our difficulties have come up.

And much has been transformed between us – and continues to in surprising and mysterious ways.

For the past three or more years, we’ve been studying experiencially the neurobiology of relationships using our own relationship as fertile ground for discovery. And now we’ve created a piece about it. 


But I have to say, I believe it is worth the wait. 

One thing I’ve come to appreciate about this project, is that you can’t rush a process like this. When a project really has integrity and something valuable is emerging, it takes the time it takes. And rushing it just creates frustration. When this piece was ready to come, it came in a big rush – seemingly out of nowhere.

I’m telling you all this not only to invite you to come experience this new performance piece yourself (See below for details). But I also wanted to share a bit about our process in case it’s helpful.

 Maybe you have a project, or an intention that seems to be taking too long. Maybe you are coming up against blocks and needing to let things go again and again. Don’t lose heart. And if you do lose heart, be kind to yourself. These things take time.

Warmly, Melanya


The Eternally Present Past

How Implicit Memory Shapes Us

Have you ever wondered why you feel the way you do? Or why you keep falling into the same patterns of relationships again and again?

You are invited on a journey to explore our inner landscape. Below our conscious awareness, bodily sensations, surges of feeling, behavioral impulses and perceptual biases continuously influence our relationships.

This transformative performance piece inquires into the neurobiology of relationship through story, poetry, movement and sound.

January 11 & 12


The Brooklyn Bay

$20 / ticket

Tickets Available Now


Jay Stewart shows work in “Little Things 12” show

December 10th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci
Please consider visiting the “Little Things 12” show at Guardino Gallery, 2939 NE Alberta.  This annual show makes it affordable to give original art as a gift to someone special or for your own home.
I am fortunate to be one of the many artists in this show of small, modestly priced art.   My work is a series of small paintings entitled “Maple Seeds Illuminated.”    I hope you’ll have a chance to see them.
Thank you.
L. Jay Stewart

Shastri Rayna Jacobson oath ceremony

December 3rd, 2012 by John David Smith

On November 8th, 2012, Acharya Allyn Lyon administered the shastri oath to Rayna Jacobson at the Portland Shambhala Center.  Center Director Lesa Ricci welcomed friends, family, and Acharya Allyn Lyon to the ceremony.

The oath ceremony was the first of several events where Acharya Lyon taught or presided. In her brief remarks, Acharya Lyon explained the meaning of the vow and the Shastri role as it has evolved so far.

The oath was said three times and was sealed with a bow to the lineage and to the teachings.

We ended the evening with toasts, snacks, and good cheer.