A Letter from Our Regional Director, Cody McGough
Dear Members of the SF Shambhala Center,
After our community meeting on November 27th and governing council meeting last night I would like to share a few of the latest initiatives related to the SF Shambhala Center.
I will be leading the Shambhala Sadhana feast this Thursday, at 7pm, and there will be time for community sharing. I am also happy to have a conversation about people’s concerns and aspirations within this context.
If you are unable to make it, the next Shambhala Sadhana feast will be on January 12th led by Susan Arnesen and Director Alex Van Gils.
Please join me in this opportunity for community practice discussion.
Yours in service,
Northern California Shambhala
1. SF Shambhala Approval of Legal Incorporation
The SF Shambhala Governing Council approved regional legal incorporation along with the six other regional Shambhala Centers to form Northern California Shambhala Inc, a sole member corporation owned by Shambhala USA. The view is that consolidating ourselves legally will provide greater regional unity, support and the ability to invest in property as a region. NCSI will be formally created in the new year along with a new regional board with formal center representation.
2. SF Shambhala Approval of Financial Unification
The SF Shambhala Governing Council gave preliminary approval for the financial unification of Northern California Shambhala, San Francisco Shambhala and Berkeley Shambhala into a single bank account structure.
Based on the Los Angeles model, this will help us unify resources and operations across all three entities creating a more efficient and financially stable organization. Both NCS and Berkeley have also approved unification, laying the ground for work on this process to begin in the new year.
3. Northern California Shambhala Signs New Dzong Lease
On December 1st Northern California Shambhala signed a new four-year lease for our upstairs 1231 Stevenson Street at $4,165 a month. SF Shambhala will pay half of this new rent at just over $2,000 a month. The aspiration is that this new more affordable rent will allow the center to be more community oriented without the same programming pressures of the past that sometimes led to burn out and administrative over-extension. Building strength in this new location may also lay the ground for purchasing regional property in SF in the next four years.
4. Center Strategy: Focusing on Sunday, Wednesday and Shambhala Sadhana
The immediate strategy for the SF Shambhala Center presented at the community meeting is to invite community members to participate in Sunday and Wednesday open houses as well as the Shambhala Sadhana as our main ongoing community events. Although we will still make other offerings including parts of the “Way of Shambhala,”and more classes and social engagement can be developed in the near future, for now this a way to regroup as a community in the new space.
A complete list of volunteer opportunities will be sent out in the coming weeks. For now, please contact Brooke Griffin at this address to help staff Wednesdays, Sundays or our upcoming MIEL class and Shambhala Training Levels.
5. The Shambhala Sadhana
Members of the Governing Council are committed to leading the Shambhala Sadhana on a monthly basis, possibly alternating weekend and week nights as a way to include as many members as possible. The next dates for the Sadhana will be tomorrow, December 15th, and January 12th.
6. New Director Search Process
In January NCS will form a new Center Director search committee based on nominations from the SF Shambhala Governing Council. The job description will be informed both by guidelines from the Sakyong’s minister Government, as well as suggestions from the SF Shambhala Community. The ideal appointment time would be March or April of 2017 before Mr. Van Gils retires in May.
7. Center Director Alex Van Gils Returns in January
In January Director Van Gils will return as Center Director after his three month PHD dissertation sabbatical. Alex will resume leadership of the SF Shambhala Center until May of 2017, working at half the hours as before in line with the Center’s current financial health.
The Center will continue to be supported by Deputy Director Brooke Griffin until May of 2017, at which point the new Center Director will be in place as the sole part time Center staff member.