Follow Your Inspiration Day

with Acharya Alan Schwartz

September 28th (2013)

Date details +
  • $20 Program Price
Room: Main Shrine Room

Co-sponsored by Creating Enlightened Society Presents and the Ziji Collective.

Presenters include: Alex Van Gils, Larry Barnett, Katrin Welch, Tom Joyce and more

Follow your inspiration, and help create enlightened society. Join us for a day for discovering possibilities, networks, and tools for enlightened social action and work in the world from a perspective of basic goodness.

This is the first of three Follow Your Inspiration days, scheduled throughout the year. They can be attended separately or as ongoing inspiration and support.

In the morning you will attend short presentations and discussions with people who are active in the fields of social entrepreneurship, music, non-profit organizations, working with underprivileged populations, Grass Roots Political Organizing and more.

The afternoon will be an opportunity to go deeper into your own inspiration with yourself and others.

The day will conclude with a celebration! Please join us.

List of Speakers
Empower First, Do More: Organizing our Shambhala Community for Collective Action and Impact
With Alex Van Gils
People want to feel truly connected to each other, that their lives have meaning, and that their actions are part of some great purpose or vision. There is an emphasis in the current zeitgeist around collectivity and the need to work towards social change within and with our communities. How can we truly galvanize each other to bring about the world we envision?

Alex is a composer, musician, and the founder of the Ziji Collective, a community inspired by the Shambhala vision of an uplifted human society and dedicated to manifesting that vision in the world through the transformative power of collective action.

The Basic Goodness of Grass Roots Political Organizing
With Larry Barnett
It's been said "all politics is local" but "all politics is internal" comes closer to the truth. Though politics involves the external experience of building and working with community, it also provides an unparalleled opportunity for internal transformation and growth, the experience of selflessness and letting go of expectations. As such, it is high-voltage version ordinary life.

Larry has been practicing political organizing for decades in former positions such as Mayor of Sonoma, Director of the Sonoma Shambhala Center, and currently a columnist and organizer of a large grassroots movement to slow local hotel development and create an uplifted future for all members of the community.

The Practice of Capturing Impermenence
With Tom Joyce
Photography in the digital age has been commoditized as everyone begins to snap candid moments on iPhones and Androids, filter them through Instagram, and post them to their Facebook or Picasa accounts. But the practice of capturing an image of “reality” can also be experienced as a lesson in the impermanence of all material existence.

Tom Joyce is a creative director, graphic designer, photographer and writer and managing partner of Creativewerks, a marketing communications company in Tiburon, California [] He has published photos and accounts of his journeys and interviews in national magazines, literary journals and anthologies. Tom has written a full-length memoir called Heretic about three pilgrimages: to Mount Kailash, Mount Athos, and Mecca.

Ending Global Poverty: A Disruptive Entrepreneurial Approach
With Alan Schwartz
Alan Schwartz works with Paul Polak, an 80-years-young visionary and pioneer, who is a world-class expert in implementing practical strategies for poverty alleviation among Bottom-of-Pyramid populations (generally defined as < $1 per day and < $2 per day incomes). Learn more about Paul and his meek, perky, and outrageous strategies and successes for dealing practically with one of the world's most intractable problems, and an unendurable, unsustainable planetary scourge. You can see more about Paul’s work at

Alan is an businessman, entrepreneur ,and senior teacher for Shambhala

Finding Basic Goodness in Difficult Environments
Katrin Welch
Shabby couches and baggy jeans: How non-judgment fosters inspiration and joy where you'd never find it otherwise.

Katrin Welch works with traumatized and drug-addicted youth at a residential treatment program in Oakland. Her experiences offering them outdoor and meditation based interventions has reinforced her commitment to making these modalities as accessible as possible, for the benefit of all.

Save the Date
And save the date for the next two FYI days January 11 and April 12.

Suggested Donation: $20
No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Visit the Northern California Shambhala website to register. 






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