Portland News Magazine

Life.Art.Being: Integrative Arts Summer Festival

June 21st, 2013 by Caitlin_Bargenquast

Hello Dear Sangha and Friends

Today I get to wear my Arts Council Chair cap (we’ve decided it is glittery and a crown and definitely has garuda feathers sprouting out at jaunty angles) and spread the news about a fantastic arts opportunity coming up July 15-20, 2013!  I am so excited to announce the inaugural Life.Art.Being: Integrative Arts Summer Festival.  This is also the first official collaboration between the Portland Shambhala Center and the Be Space movement + expressive arts studio.

This week-long immersion is intended to be a retreat from the body+mind that speeds through summer all too quickly.  The container will be dedicated to creating beauty and practicing presence with the self, the body, the other, and the mystery.  Movement artist and Naropa alum Elizabeth Russell (with whom we all fell in love at our Spring 2013 Shambhala Arts Festival) has curated an incredible line up of artists to contribute.  Feast your eyes on the rich schedule here and dive in for all or part of the week.

The lineup includes Dharma Art, Authentic Movement, Contemplative Dance Practice, a Warrior Artistry panel and more inspiring community events. The week will include not only practice but also exploration of the personal and social context for our creative practices.
   Tuesday and Thursday evenings will be held at the Portland Shambhala Center, with Lisa Stanley starting the week off with a Dharma Arts Talk.  I am thrilled to be participating as moderator for the Thursday night panel of local artists discussing contemplative movement practices and their applications to diverse fields of work.

I will also be facilitating the Wednesday night writing practice at Be Space.  For those of you who got a taste of “Action Writing” at our Spring Arts Fest (read some of the amazing poems generated here )  we will again relate to our streams of consciousness through the body and let it directly inform our written words.  We will get wild with huge pieces of paper, “shovel” with lines, and play with feedback.  This is a perfect opportunity for dancers and movers who fear the line, and for writers interested in loosening up habit and hesitation.

Of course, mine is just one of many offerings!

I look forward to exploring, playing, and cultivating beauty with all of you!

Many Blessings,
Caitlin Bargenquast

Shambhala Center is open and closed

April 22nd, 2013 by John David Smith

For most of us, the Shambhala Center will be completely closed from Saturday April 27 to Friday May 3rd!  There will be no sitting, no classes, no office hours, no groups, no meetings, no anything.

But for a group of hardy meditators who have registered for the week-long Spring Meditation retreat (or Weekthun), the Shambhala Center will be completely open in several senses.  Open because participants they will be there for fairly long days (from 8:30 in the morning until 9 pm at night) for a  fairly long week.  But also open in the sense that a Weekthun requires some real effort to be open full time —  to our  own experience, to what comes up in meditation, to a schedule that is full of discipline.  At this point there are 15 people registered for the program so, according to Shastri Rayna Jacobson (who is leading the program), registration is still open.  In addition to the participants, there are many others who have been recruited over the past several weeks to help out as staff, as meditation instructors, and as helpers of various sorts.  There are still some open positions on the roster.

Putting on a program like this requires a participation from a whole community and a lot of improvisation.  There are many elements of a Weekthun that are very traditional.  Shastri Jacobson, for example, has her talks mostly worked out, but still needs time before it starts up.  If you are interested in preparing a meal for the group, for example, you can still contact Nora Nichols, who is the program coordinator, and who is still seeking volunteers to help in several different capacities.  Nora is open to your offerings as to menu, or how and when you might contribute the meal.

For everyone who isn’t in the program or on the staff, my question is: while  the Shambhala Center is closed what will you do?   How will you be open? Please leave a comment here or on our Facebook page.


Welcoming our new director Lisa Stanley

January 25th, 2013 by John David Smith

Lisa Stanley has moved to Portland, arriving on January 20.

Lisa has been the personnel director at Karme Cholling for the past 3 years and has taught Ikebana here in Portland and had been wanting to move here for years!  After interviews with the search committee and the Governing Council, the Sakyong appointed her and she quit her job to move here.  Someone in our community had just decided to move back to the east coast so at the last minute an apartment became available for Lisa to move into (sight unseen).  In a continuing series of auspicious coincidences, a small welcome party showed up at the Portland Airport at the designated time:

Welcoming committee arises from space

Even though we had never met, apart from a few Google Hangout meetings, there were hugs all around when Lisa arrived:

Hi we've never met before but it's GREAT to see you!

Further auspiciousness was revealed when we arrived at Lisa’s new apartment with  temporary bedding, a chair and a table hoping that the apartment would not be completely bare.  Lo and behold, someone had provided a few groceries!

The miracle of groceries

The next morning included bright sunshine and a friendly barista welcomed her with Portland style brightness.

Portland Welcome YOU

Portland Shambhala Fall Membership Drive

October 21st, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

Our center’s I-Ching reading for this Year of the Water Dragon evoked the image of a gentle consistent breeze.

In keeping with that spirit, we are asking our wonderful members to offer just a little bit more monthly to sustain the financial health of our local center.

This will allow us to keep the gentle breeze of basic goodness radiating from our center steady.

The wonderful news is that at and since our Harvest of Peace Community Celebration, we’ve raised $4660, more than 2/3 of our goal! We still need your support to close the final gap and ensure that our center moves into 2013 on stable footing. We need to raise another $230 a month in increased dues or new memberships ($200 of which is to cover our 2013 rent increase of which we were just recently notified).

If you are already a member, look into your heart and see if you could raise your monthly commitment by $15, $10 or just $5 a month. If you’ve been thinking of becoming a member, now is a great time to act on that generous impulse! Click here to read about membership and the various membership donation levels.

If 23 more members raise their dues by $10 a month we are there! When you’ve felt in your heart the amount that feels right, please email us and let us know how much you’d like to increase your dues. And if you find that you are already giving at your full capacity to give, please consider making and sending us an aspiration for the center.

We thank you for your generosity!

With Gratitude,

Melanya Helene & Marc Otto

Membership Coordinators

Nov. 3-4 Portland Shambhala Meditation Marathon Fundraiser Needs Your Pledges!

October 21st, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

Proceeds will support our core offerings and other initiatives that make the benefits of meditation accessible to more people including the PSC prison dharma program at Oregon State Penitentiary, retreat scholarships, the program tuition generosity policy and ecumenical community events such as the Portland City Sit.

How It Will Work:

From 9am Saturday, November 3rd until 9am Sunday, November 4th, we’ll be sitting at the Shambhala Center for 30 min. sessions of mindfulness meditation, interspersed with 10 minutes of walking meditation. Although the event has been designed to allow meditators to “lean in” if they choose to, there is no minimum amount of sitting time required. We will be maintaining functional silence throughout the marathon. Food will be provided for meditators every 3-4 hours.

How You Can Help:

1) Participate as a Meditator/Fundraiser: We are looking for 10 – 15 meditators/ fundraisers!

Before Nov. 3rd, you’ll reach out to sangha members, friends and family for pledges, then be responsible for collecting your raised funds by Nov. 18th. While we encourage fundraisers to target $100 – $500 in pledges, the minimum amount of fundraising required to participate as a meditator is $50. You’ll be increasing public awareness of the benefits of meditation, long term, through supporting the Portland Shambhala Center and immediately, through conversations with sponsors. Register on-line at www. portland.shambhala.org

2) At This Point What We Need Are Sponsors — Make a Pledge To Donate: Please consider sponsoring someone’s sit, at any level! 

Pledges may be made by the hour or as a flat amount. You may be asked to pledge by multiple people, so don’t be shy to say “no” if you’ve already done so. And just in case you’re not asked, we’d appreciate your proactive support for this community fundraising effort: Contact one of the Meditators listed on the bulletin board at the Center, and let them know you’d like to pledge to support their Marathon. 

3) Join Us During the Marathon: We are looking for people to make/serve tea and snacks during the Meditation Marathon, and/ or to take a turn as Umdze!

Visit/serve/clean-up one meal, or join us for multiple meal periods. Your services and the energy you bring will be deeply appreciated. And you may get to see Marathon Meditators actually falling over!

To help or ask questions, contact Kim Crossman at 503-477-9442

Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo Expecting Second Child !!!

September 24th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci
Shambhala News ServiceSeptember 23,  2012 –

During this weekend’s celebration of Shambhala’s annual Harvest of Peace, the Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche, announced that he and the Sakyong Wangmo are expecting the birth of their second child.

“I’m happy to say the Sakyong Wangmo is in good health and we are all delighted. Jetsun Drukmo seems very pleased and cheerful. As our family grows, so does the possibility of Shambhala.”

The formal announcement from the Kalapa Court follows:

“The Kalapa Court is delighted to announce that the Kongma Sakyong, Jampal Thrinly Dradul, and the Sakyong Wangmo, Dechen Choying Sangmo are expecting the birth of their second child in the Spring of 2013.

May all beings enjoy Profound, Brilliant Glory. KI KI SO SO!


The Books of Esther by Willa Schneburg

September 17th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

An Interdisciplinary Exhibit of the Life of One Woman Who “Talked” Through Writing 

September 12, 2012 – November 25, 2012

Oregon Jewish Museum

1953 NW Kearney Street, Portland

Website: ojm.org

Willa Schneberg’s mother, a first generation American, was a survivor of larynx cancer. Thus out of necessity she wrote what she would normally speak. In this body of work Schneberg utilizes ceramic sculpture, photographs, audio clips and personal objects to explore how memory, language, Jewish identity, work, disability and aging, shape people’s lives. Schneberg has created the echo of the voice no longer there, the contour of the hand that held the pen. This exhibit is about the artifacts of our lives, and how we infuse them with meaning. The Books of Esther also embodies the essential contribution of written language, and it demonstrates how one woman’s need to communicate allowed her to overcome adversity.

Dharma Practitioner wanted to rent one bedroom in Vancouver…

September 10th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

To all Shambala practitioners and friends,

I am looking for a  dharma practitioner to rent my lovely one bedroom apartment in Vancouver, WA.

I have a charming apartment for rent, separate from but attached to my home on a quiet cul-de-sac very near the Columbia River in East Vancouver. See attached photos. It is very close to Portland: only a five minute drive to both the I-5 and I-205 bridges. Freshly painted and looking like new, this cozy cottage is located on a 10,000 square foot lot surrounded by grass, trees, shrubs and flowers. It has it’s own entrance and a parking space in the front of the house, and a private deck out to the backyard. As a dharma practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, I am hoping to find a person or persons to rent this space who are also on a spiritual journey and who will enjoy this quiet and peaceful oasis. Rent is $700/mo. and includes water, sewer, garbage and cable T.V. access.

It is move in ready so if you are interested or know someone who might be interested, please contact me as soon as possible at 503-939-9298 or by email at [email protected] to arrange a time to view this lovely property.


Judy Abel

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

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,