Community Council Nominations

Dear Community,

One of our Five Initiatives in response to the current situation, particularly around questions regarding hierarchy, monarchy, and the Court, is to establish a Community Council. This 5-7 member body will be established through self-nomination and voting by BSC members. The view is to increase the level of community input into BSC’s governance. Following nomination and voting, the Community Council will be installed on Shambhala Day 2020. In its first year, the Community Council will advise the Governing Council through regular attendance at Council meetings and develop approaches for more a formal role in governance to be effected in February 2021.

Please consider nominating yourself or encouraging someone you value to do so! It’s a great way to help Shambhala make the most of this pivotal time in our history.
Scope

The BSC Community Council is responsible for

1. Understanding the BSC community (members, former members, potential members) and its major concerns, questions, and ideas;

2. Advising the Executive Director and Governing Council on matters pertaining to community concerns;

3. Attending bi-monthly Governing Council meetings (rotating Community Council delegates as appropriate);

4. Investigating and proposing various governance approaches, in consultation with the Shambhala Process Team and elsewhere, one of which BSC will adopt by February 2021. These approaches will address how an Executive, a Board (Governing Council), and community representation (Community Council) share power in decision-making processes. The investigation will include not only best practices in the corporate world and the non-profit world, but also the Shambhala teachings on enlightened society and mandala principle. This effort will include leading a process for community review and feedback on the final list of potential approaches. The winning approach will be selected by consensus of the ED, Governing Council and Community Council. If consensus isn’t realized, a vote by these three bodies will establish the winning selection.

5. Participating in annual feedback regarding the Executive Director’s performance (forwarded to the Shambhala Director of Operations);

6. Serving 1- 3 years with replacements voted in annually to maintain 5-7 delegates in service. Delegates may serve additional terms after a one year gap in service.

7. Attending free of charge any BSC program, not including external rentals, materials fees, or heart gifts.

Nomination Process

Any member of BSC may apply. This means being listed in the Shambhala database as a member and being current on monthly contributions at whatever level was established or having made new arrangements going forward. The deadline is November 30th.

To self-nominate: Send to Travis at [email protected] 1) a short bio of your personal history as is relevant; 2) a statement about why you seek to be a Community Council delegate; and 3) a photo if you wish.

The nomination materials for each candidate will be displayed here on our website for the community to review. If you need help or have any questions, please contact Tracy at 303-444-0190 x125 or at at [email protected]

Voting

All BSC members will be able to vote in an online survey. The top 7 candidates will be selected (with a minimum vote of 5% of total respondents required for each candidate). If fewer than 7 candidates self-nominate or are voted in, 5 candidates will be selected.

The results will be announced in December.


The Nominees:

Lainie Logan

I discovered Trungpa Rinpoche and meditation in 1980–39 yrs ago! I am Meditation Instructor–mainly at Shambhala Training–since 1986. Authorized director since 2000–directing since 2016.

My American daughter lives in NYC. She recently got engaged and… “She’s an artist. She don’t look back!”

My dog Whitney is saving my life. No day is complete without walking, or even better, hiking

In my day job, I’m a project manager/writer at Seagate Technology.

In our community, I see myself as part of the welcoming force at Boulder Shambhala Center, teaching Shambhala, giving introductory talks. I love to interact with new meditators. Each person brings their wisdom and their dreams and their various backgrounds. When I talk to newcomers at the center, I hear a lot of the same things, “I like it here because it’s welcoming and it’s a place I can come and talk about my life. People are open.”

When I attend programs, I ask the questions no one wants to ask, and people come up later and say, “Thanks for your question. I feel you were speaking for me.” Doesn’t matter if it’s Lady Diana Mukpo, or Ponlop Rinpoche, or Acharya Dale Asreal, or Shastri Andrew Sacamano. I want to bring it back to human experience, “Here’s my experience. How does this teaching work in my life? How does it work in your life?”

I’m a Vajrayana practitioner. I completed Vajrayogini and Chakrasamvara practices and I attend feast practices. Nothing pops my projections like chanting, meditating, reciting mantra, and visualizing for six hours.

In short, the Boulder Shambhala Center is my second home. I don’t live in Scotland any more, so I can’t go to the local pub. The Boulder Shambhala Center is my local pub now!

Why I want to be a Community Council delegate:

1. I love how our community welcomes newcomers. We make people feel at home.

We encourage people to be themselves. We encourage them to talk about how they feel about what’s going on in their lives. How do they feel about what’s going on in the world and in their community? That inspires me.

Some new folk want the basics of meditation, and some want to explore deeper Hinayana and Mahayana practices.

I want to encourage this welcoming energy as the public face of the Boulder Shambhala Center. I want to see us present more introductory, and Hinayana and Mahayana talks, classes, and courses.

2. I wish we could magnetize back some of the teachers who were early students of Trungpa Rinpoche.

3. I want to see more group Vajrayana practices. Perhaps we can do a city Druppa some time. It is nice too, when the Chakrasamvara practitioners can do feast in the main shrine room.

4. I take a strong stance that sexual assault of any kind and drunken misconduct are not acceptable by any person and in any situation. I want the Boulder Shambhala to make that “zero -tolerance” part of how we present who we are to the public–the larger community. Sakyong Mipham said, “Be famous for your love.” I want us to be famous for our integrity. I don’t think we have to wait for Shambhala International to set that tone for us with their longer term approach to Shambhala policies as a whole. I want to see Boulder Shambhala Center be “famous for our integrity.”


Brent Welty

Good Day,

I would appreciate your consideration for a position on the Community Council. I believe having someone who is relatively new to Shambhala, who sees the value and beauty of the core teachings, and who has a record of public service would be helpful in pointing out obvious problems and finding solutions that further the way of benefitting others.

I ran a business for many years and retired three years ago. I was an elected school board member in Indiana for 16 1/2 years. I also served on a conservancy board for two years. I have always tried to represent the constituencies by listening to varied voices and learning from them. My input has always been based on what I believed was in the best interest of the organization and the people we served.

The most important virtue that an organization and a governing body must have is honor. Honor begets trust. With trust, messages of truth can be received. If the core mission of Shambhala is to help people awaken and create a society based on truth with a higher mission to serve all, we must first restore honor by owning up to our mistakes, apologize sufficiently where needed, look honestly into a culture that inexplicably has allowed harm –  then make the difficult changes.  And make those changes with authority and conviction.

There is great clarity in the Shambhala teachings and much goodness at the Boulder Shambhala Center. I am grateful to those who have held this container for us who have come along later.

Thank you.

Brent Welty


Burl Amsbury
 

1)  At my Rigden Weekend in the summer of 2018, I was given the name Good Auspicious River. My fiancée and her two young children were there to witness. A couple of months later, I started a PhD program in Economics at CU Boulder, and I got married. If you assume from the story so far that I’m in my 20s or maybe 30s, you would certainly be forgiven. But no, I’m 54, with all the decades of ups, downs, and sideways lurches implied. 

My spiritual journey wasn’t much of a journey at all, really, until, in my early 40s, I got talked into an ayahuasca package deal in Peru. I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say it kicked off a process to find a spiritual community focused more on deep truths than the veneer of stories and myths many religions tend to slather over the top of those truths. The search was casually done, so took a few years with a bit of extra time spent with the Quakers. There was a brief stint with Zen Buddhism as well. At some point, I wandered into the Boulder Shambhala building and signed up for Warrior Training I.  

The notion of Basic Goodness aligned perfectly with my pre-existing convictions, and from there, I was hooked. That said, though, throughout my training, I kept a cautious eye on Shambhala member’s near worship of the lineage.  (In the interest of transparency, I found, and still find, that practice quite troubling.)  About the time I attended the Rigden Weekend, the egregiousness of Shambhala’s leadership missteps was becoming more public.  Strong leadership is something I value a great deal, and leadership sometimes involves holding those in positions of leadership accountable. After all, most true leaders are people without impressive titles inspiring and empowering others. And quite a few people with impressive titles in positions of leadership cannot rightly be called leaders.Given all that and the high demands of my PhD program and my new family, I found it made sense to temporarily step back from Shambhala. Furthermore, I was one whose email address somehow fell through the cracks, so although I continued to receive Shambhala marketing emails, I did not receive updates of any kind regarding the “Shambhacolypse.” I found the lack of transparency and responsible communication altogether disenchanting; as far as I was concerned, it was validation of my decision to step back from Shambhala, as disappointing as that was to me. During my training, I had thought I found a place there.

2)  So why do I want to be on the Shambhala Community Council, then? Well, precisely because I’m not satisfied with the status quo.  I believe that organizational health is extremely important. Shambhala the Organization is a structural base from which Shambhala the Community delivers Shambhala the Philosophy and Practice. How do you feel about the reliability of our Base? Personally, I think it needs work. I’m no Buddhism expert; not by a long shot. But I know a few things about organizations and change management. I was a consultant for global, geographically disparate organizations looking to break out of their patterns of dysfunction. Operational excellence (or lack thereof) is rooted in cultural habit patterns. And culture is established and reinforced by leaders throughout the organization, particularly “front line” leaders—more so than executive leaders, although executive leaders are essential in terms of program support.

My clients were worried about failures along the lines of Deep Water Horizon, which may at first glance seem like a far cry from the sorts of disasters Shambhala might spawn if things spiral out of control. But is it, really?  

I’d like to contribute to reestablishing Shambhala as a reliable, clean organizational base from which frontline leaders—Shambhala “warriors”—can deliver their best work.


Barbara Leaf

I am applying to become a member of the BSC Community Council. I have been a member of the Boulder Shambhala Center (previously Karma Dzong) for more than 35 years and completed all the Shambhala Training levels, graduate levels, Warrior Assembly (with Jeremy Hayward), and post-graduate levels before 2000. I took refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha with H.E. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche at SMC (at that time Rocky Mountain Dharma Center) in the summer of 1979. I took my bodhisattva vow in December of 1993 with the Sakyong, Mipham Rinpoche and retook it with Judith Lief in fall of 2018. When delegs were active, I participated regularly in them and found them to have an efficient structure that includes all BSC members and develops a sense of community in the Dharma. I completed Shambhala Guide Training in 2010 and participated in many Dharma classes, trainings, and retreats over the past 39 years. After retiring in 2015 from teaching students with special needs at Boulder High School, I began volunteering regularly at the BSC and currently coordinate and schedule volunteers for the BSC front desk and umdzes for the regularly scheduled public meditation practices.

Gathering the concerns, questions, and ideas that our sangha has about our community will help the community council advise the director and governing council about our sangha. This, along with exploration of corporate and nonprofit governance models and guidance of Dharma teachings and Shambhala teachings of enlightened society (including mandala principle), will help the community council assess the best governance structure for the BSC to adopt going forward that allows for transparency, inclusivity, and shared power in decision making. I am fully committed to the BSC and its mission to relieve suffering in our world through the exceptional Dharma and Shambhala teachings of the Vidyadhara.


David Takahashi

David and his wife Emily live in Boulder CO and are members of the Shambhala community. Having lost their home in the wildfire of 2010, they are somewhat Climate Refugees. Starting in 2015, they have reduced their carbon footprints from 17 MT (Metric Tons GHG) to 2 MT, an 87% reduction over four years. They did this with a 60-year-old home. Their efforts are applaudable, and a model for us all, since the carrying capacity of the Earth is 3 MT per person.

David is involved in sustainability organizations at the neighborhood level, the city level, as we as the regional, state, national, and global levels. He is a steward for the Boulder.Earth information clearing house. At the neighborhood level, he is active with Accelerate Neighborhood Climate Action, a Denver non-profit he is trying to land in Boulder. He is working with the City of Boulder to help achieve its Climate Action goals. He is helping found a Bio-regional Regenerative Economic Hub as well as joining Faith Communities to Regional Disaster Readiness programs and regional Energy Efficiency initiatives and volunteers with the local Right Relationship organization. At the state level, he is working with Together Colorado, an interfaith advocacy organization seeking just legislation. He is also the Agriculture Sector lead for the Business Climate Leadership group of Citizen’s Climate Lobby. David is also a GreenFaith Fellow, which is a global interfaith non-profit actively joining worldwide faith communities to activate universal creation care concerns.

2) a statement about why you seek to be a Community Council delegate

The day the current situation hit the NYTimes I was at the front desk in the Center when an older man and a visiting young family friend wandered into the Center. The man mentioned that he had been sitting at Trident reading the paper when he noticed the article on Shambhala’s leadership. He decided to wander over to see how things were. I thanked the man and the teenager for coming in. I mentioned to them that we have been training for moments like these for nearly 50 years and that we are looking at this as an opportunity to show the world just what this community is made of. I still believe this is an opportunity to build community character. As a delegate, I would endeavor to meet with all community members young and old and take a community pulse. I am fearless with respect to the future, but do fear repeating the mistakes of the past. You will be able to count on me to look far into the future as a reference point, and consider sustaining this community for generations to come. I believe teams with diverse perspectives create the best results!


Jessie Friedman

Hello,

It would be my great honor, meaningful and fulfilling, to serve the BSC Community Council. I believe I have the experience, skills, temperament, devotion, and love of both the Buddha and Shambhala Dharmas, as well as our sangha, to fulfill this role with kindness, insight, expertise, and compassion.

I have spent my entire adult life in the role of healing deep psychological and emotional wounds, specializing in sexual abuse, lost voices, marginalization, and women’s empowerment. As a practicing psychotherapist, of course I am a mandatory reporter and also highly sensitized to sexual abuse, to sexual harassment, to power differentials, and structural: racism and white privilege, gender exclusivity, women’s disempowerment. For 30 years, trauma and sexual abuse have been a focus of my work, with 5 years employed as a psychotherapist on the Sexual Abuse Team of Boulder County Social Services.

I met the Vidyadhara in 1971 while I was living at the San Francisco Zen Center as a student of Suzuki Roshi. Upon Roshi’s passing, like a number of other Zen students, I became a devoted student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and remain so to this day as a devoted Buddhist and Scorpion Seal practitioner. I clearly recognize the egregious and heart-wrenching behaviors of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. I fervently and tenderly hope he can do what is necessary to heal what needs to be healed.

For many decades, I also have grieved and been deeply cognizant of the repellant arrogance in our sangha and the heartbreaking 50 year history of marginalization, discounting, and silencing of many sincere and earnest practitioners, as well as the sickening misinterpretations of Vajrayana and/or the supposed mimicking of the Vidyadhara’s behavior. Somehow I have remained unfailingly steadfast in my devotion to my teachers and community, while hurt, confused, and sharply aware of the misuse of power, deaf ears, aggression, and inappropriate and confused actions of so many. I am intent on contributing to the healing and correction of this in our sangha and wherever my work leads me.

In the early 2000’s I achieved 2 additional graduate degrees to my psychology degree, an MA in Art History and an MS in Museum Studies, focusing on non-western cultures and how the Western world’s hegemonic narrative of white, European patriarchy which has been embedded and naturalized for hundreds of millions of people and also subjugated, annihilated, and suppressed hundreds of millions of others around the globe. I am passionate about uncovering and disassembling the invisible and often naturalized narratives of power and marginalization that have become institutionalized and inform so much of the world’s daily operations. This is work that excites me.

As you see in my resume, I have significant management experience over the course of 35 years. In the past five years I have had the astonishing pleasure of annually bringing the renowned Jaipur Literature Festival to Boulder, CO. JLF is the largest literature festival in the world, provides free access for all, and is focused on diversity and creating safe platforms for writers of divergent backgrounds and/or perspectives to be in conversation with one another about the pressing issues of our time, as well as the process of creativity. In my role as Executive Director, I have managed diverse teams of people addressing the manifold aspects and details of arts production, as well as deep cross-cultural, economical, and political divides. The Festival has been embraced by Boulder with passion and fervor.

As the Director of Financial Aid in a one person office at Naropa for five years, I managed the financial support of hundreds of students; hundreds of thousands of dollars from the US government; and ever changing laws, regulatory statutes, and legalese covering hundreds of pages. I also brought Naropa from a solely manual system to its first computerized system; first for financial aid and then as a consult to computerizing class schedules, registration, student accounts, and billing systems.

Additionally I served as the Executive Director of the Tibetan language translation group, Light of Berotsana, for 9 years, comprised of Jules Levinson, Lama Chönam, and Sangye Khandro. In this role, among many projects, I created and produced the Conference of Translators, held over 3 days at the Boulder Shambhala Center in 2008, which brought 115 Tibetan-English translators from around the world into conversation and much closer relationship with one another. This was the very first gathering of these translators, and the remarkable energy and benefits of this joyful event have now inspired the Tsadra group to produce a series of such conferences in order to continue to cultivate the translation of Buddhadharma into English as well as other languages.

To be able to contribute to the restructuring of our community into a healthy and safe environment with checks and balances and immeasurable kindness would mean a great deal to me. To have the honor of serving as on the Community Council of BSC would be a most fulfilling joy at this stage of my life.

With deepest appreciation,

Jessie

Jessie Friedman MA LPC CPCC

Executive Director JLF Colorado

Jlflitfest.org

Jlflitfest.org/colorado


Rose Sposito
 
Rose Sposito has been a member of the Shambhala Community since 1975.
I started my journey as a practitioner in NYC helping to co-create the NY Dharmadathu at the time. I was a full time active kasung since then until the late 90’s and have taken my kasung lifetime oath to the Shambhala Lineage, Teachings and Sangha. I’m actively a senior meditation and Shambhala teacher, on the Scorpion Seal Path and a practitioner of 5-element oriental medicine. I’m teacher and facilitator of Embodied Presence, the Focusing method. 
 
My intention in wanting to be part of this process is to: For Starters
 
*Support & facilitate constructive, meaningful, open and compassionate dialogue with our older and newer community to move forward with a sense of renewed purpose and connectedness. 
*Engage with the various areas of our mandala: health & well being, practice & study, governance and to our larger Colorado community. Outreach
 *Share mutual wisdom in bringing fresh perspectives and invite our community to co-create and do the same.
*To invite and bring wisdom and insight to co-create and collectively understand the power and needs of our diverse community around race, gender and disabilities. 
 *Simply to be of service in whatever way that I can
 
Warmly,
Rose Sposito
 

Dan Cooper

My connection with Shambhala began in 1974 while I was studying fine arts at CU boulder. My administrative roles included, in the 1970s, Assistant Director at Marpa House and then financial comptroller for Karma Dzong. In 1980, I worked with Charles Lief, helping to manage the family financial affairs for our teachers Trungpa Rinpoche and the Regent’s families concurrent with attending CU again, this time for an MBA in finance. In 1985, I moved to Halifax and then New York to establish a career while maintaining my practice and involvement with the New York Shambhala Center.
 
Returning to Boulder in 1991, I took on the role of Monday night umdze meditation instructor, a responsibility that I continue to enjoy to this very day. My more recent roles included a seat on the Boulder Strategic Planning Committee and Finance Committee. Currently, I am the Co-Chair of the Boulder Shambhala Community Trust and a board member of the Shambhala Credit Union. I have been an active Dorje Kusung since 1979 and currently represent the Sakyong as an A-Suite attendant. 
 
My activities in the arts include producing a documentary called Shambhala Boulder in 2007, and co-curating a show of Bob Del Tredici’s Trungpa photographs for Naropa University, and, following that, co-curating a show of of Buddhist themed Japanese scrolls ranging from ancient to modern times.
 
I attended Vajradhatu seminaries in 1979 and 1984 as well as a Kalapa Assembly in 1984. I am currently a Chakrasamvara and Scorpion Seal practitioner.
My professional life has been as an institutional bond trader and sales person followed by portfolio manager and trader of fixed income for a family office in Boulder. I am married to Graziela Cooper, an active Tai Chi practitioner and acupuncturist. We have a son at Colorado College and a daughter studying at Boulder High.
 
My aspiration as a council member is to find ways to incorporate students of Shambhala, including students of Trungpa Rinpoche, the Sakyong, and other interested people of all ages and levels of practice, to help them find a place and for the Shambhala center to be an open forum to accommodate aspiring practitioners of all ages to have a place together as one sangha.

 


 

Tamara Sell

Bio: I’ve been a member of the Shambhala community since 1987, when I entered Naropa University. I’ve held many roles in Shambhala since then, including Director of Societal Health and Well-Being and Co-Director of Marpa House. For many years I owned and ran a therapeutic counseling business for youth called Living Well Transitions here in Boulder. 
 
Statement of Interest:  I care deeply about the future of Shambhala and I would like to support the community in healing and finding a way forward through the current crisis. 

 

 

 


Kathleen Franco

I am a professional transformative mediator with 35 years’ experience in the legal field both as a lawyer and as a mediator. I work to help to resolve relationship conflict between individuals, to transform the health of families, partnerships and workplace environments. These disputes often involve power dynamics and cultural differences within hierarchical structures, organizations, and cultures. The process resolves strong, longstanding disagreements often involving highly charged situations that require effective action, care, and discretion.

I obtained successful verdicts for victims of harm in cases of first impression in the United States leading to changes in the law in the state of Colorado regarding sexual abuse. Additionally I obtained the first verdict for negligent supervision practices of a national nonprofit religious organization in Colorado.

I have a J.D./M.B.A. dual degree from the University of Denver College of Law and the Graduate School of Business and Public Management, and was invited to be a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honorary Society.

I have been a member of the Boulder Shambhala Center since 1996 and have been a meditation instructor as well as an assistant director for Shambhala Training levels for many years. I regularly presented at the Conversations for the Good program on Monday nights at the Shambhala Center and was on the BSC, Strategic Planning Board under the direction of Janet Solyntjes.

My participation in the council would be to invite the wisdom of all voices of our Shambhala community to become part of the decision making process, making it possible for a group mind to develop. It is important to help create an environment in which diverse views are acknowledged and represented. Feeling the loss of Marpa House, and the hopelessness of the situation, I had a dream in which Lady Konchok encouraged me to participate in the election process of community council members.

www.kathleenfranco.com


Anne Marie DiGiacomo, MSW, LCSW

Anne Marie is a Co-Owner of Windhorse Community Services in Boulder, CO. She received her MSW from the University of Denver in 1986 and spent the first 18 years of her career working in both community mental health and nonprofit settings.  In 1996, she relocated to Northampton, MA and began her work with Windhorse Associates. Anne Marie served as the Clinical Director from 2001-05 as well as the interim Co-Executive Director from 2002-03.  She returned to WCS, Inc. in 2006 as a senior clinician, and became Director of Admissions in fall 2007.  From 2011-2019, she was a Windhorse Co-Director/Qwner. Anne Marie retired as a Co-Director in March, 2019 and continues in her role as co-owner. Currently, she is the Co-Admissions Administrator and a Senior Clinician. Anne Marie was an adjunct faculty member from 2006-2013 for the MA contemplative Psychology Program at Naropa University and has co-authored a book chapter describing the Windhorse approach. In addition, she is a certified Maitri Space Awareness teacher through the Naropa Contemplative Education Department.

 
My interest in joining the Community Council is fundamentally inspired by my wish for the Boulder Shambhala community to move toward a more inclusive and diverse reality. I am deeply committed to offering my time and energy toward shifting the habits and patterns – policies and procedure that have been obstacles in the Boulder Shambhala Center truly embracing a fully open, safe and inclusive space for our sangha as well as the greater community at large to gather and practice together. I am currently a member of the Lu Collective and I believe it would be beneficial to have a Lu Collective member be represented on the Community Council. I humbly submit my request to be included.