The San Francisco Shambhala Center Director Search

The San Francisco Shambhala Center is the local aspect of “Sharchen Dzong”, a regional capital center located in the heart of San Francisco and serving the greater Northern California Shambhala community.

The Center is currently in the process of developing into a fully fledged cultural center, offering a myriad of programs, events and offerings that reflect the values of Basic Goodness and the vision of Enlightened Society.

The next three years are an essential period as the center begins to realize it’s full potential, and consider major possibilities such as relocating to a new space when our lease ends in 2016.

Director Position
The Shambhala Center Director leads the Shambhala community and disseminates the vision of the Sakyong. As the Chief Executive of the Shambhala Center, s/he propagates the vision and manifestation of Shambhala society, and cultivates a culture of profound kindness and generosity in the community. S/he represents the Shambhala community to the municipality, region and the broader Shambhala mandala. This is a part time position with salary.

The director is appointed by and responsible to the Sakyong. The Hiring Committee of the Shambhala Center nominates an appropriate candidate for the position of Center Director to the Kalapa Court. (The Hiring Committee includes both members of the San Francisco Center and the NCS Regional Director.) The nomination is sent to the Office of the Kalapa Court. It is supported by a letter of reference outlining the attributes and experience of the candidate and stating the grounds on which the Committee is putting forward this nomination to the Sakyong. The nomination is presented to the Sakyong who has the final authority to appoint the director.

The Path of Governance
The Center Director pledges to propagate the vision and culture of Shambhala, and to act with dignity and respect towards everyone who is connected to Shambhala through our community. S/he undertakes to fulfill this commitment with complete integrity in accordance with the principles of Shambhala governance.

The position of director is rooted in the vows of the three yanas of the excellent Great Eastern Sun, and personal commitment to the constant discipline of hearing, contemplating and meditating. On the path of governance, we rest our minds upon the basic goodness of others, all of whom have been our personal drala. Transcending self-centered concerns, we vow to manifest the golden dharma of Shambhala to the best of our ability. We enter into the practice of governance as the training ground of humbleness and complete openness, so that we may develop unconditional compassion on this profound path of service.

The director is one of the principal figures at the Shambhala Center responsible for cultivating the practice of Secular Sacred Governance and bringing The Six Ways of Ruling fully into the life of the center, as well as other guiding principles of the mandala such as those contained in The Tenets of Shambhala Governance.

The Three Pillars of Shambhala
The director takes his or her seat within the framework of the Three Pillars of the Kingdom of Shambhala: the Pillar of Government, the Pillar of Practice and Education, and the Pillar of Protection (the Dorje Kasung).

Each pillar is responsible for its specific area within the kingdom. Each pillar embodies and represents a facet of enlightened society. Each holds a body of teachings and practice and is responsible for applying that wisdom and skilful means in the life of the kingdom. The roles of the pillars, as well as other key responsibilities in the governance of the Shambhala Center, are described briefly at the end of this job description.

The Pillar of Government and the Role of the Center Director
The Pillar of Government serves to integrate all three pillars, so that there is good communication between leaders, cohesion, and forward movement in the activities of the mandala. The Center Director is the head of the government pillar at the Shambhala Center and therefore the principal office-holder responsible for ensure this overall integration, cohesion and forward movement.

The exercise of governmental authority in the mandala is rooted in the principles of Shambhala governance. It is the responsibility of the leaders of the government to study, manifest and communicate the inseparability of the sacred and the secular in governance, thereby creating the space in which the society of Shambhala can blossom. This includes providing genuine leadership and mentorship in meetings, decision-making processes, and conflicts; nurturing the balance of feminine and masculine principles through the mandala; and encouraging broad-minded and inclusive communication at all levels.

Center Governance Structure
The Sakyong’s wish is that the Center have a Governing Council, chaired by the Center Director, on which the three pillars and other key functions are represented. This body would also hold any legal and fiduciary responsibilities required by law.  A brief description of the composition of the governing council is provided at the end of this job description.

The Center Director as Chair of the Governing Council
As Chair of the Governing Council, the Director is responsible for leading meetings of the council. This is done with a view to reaching “broad agreement” as set out in the decision-making principles established by the governing bodies of the mandala. Where it is not possible to find “broad agreement” on any matter, the view of the director shall prevail.

As chair of the Governing Council, s/he is responsible for spearheading policies that put into practice the lineage view of Shambhala as a training ground for the development of enlightened society and for ensuring   that the center’s activities are in accordance with mandala principle and the values inherent in Shambhala Vision.

S/he ensures that the Governing Council and community develop long-range plans in accordance with the vision of the Sakyong, and that the center is governed in accordance with the mandala-wide policies. This includes compliance with the laws of the applicable jurisdictions in which the Shambhala Center functions.

S/he recommends Council members to the Kalapa Court, following consultation with the existing Council members.

The Center Director as Chief Executive
As Chief Executive of the center, the director is responsible for ensuring that Shambhala Vision radiates throughout all the practices, activities and community life of the center. Thus s/he fosters a harmonious, sane and compassionate society, leading by example in the practice and study of Shambhala Buddhism.

As Chief Executive, the Director is responsible for integrating the work of the three pillars, respecting the diverse lines of command and accountability, so that all the various aspects of the life of the center function coherently. S/he guides the implementation of the policies, plans and decisions of the center’s Governing Council in a way that helps bind the community together in all its activities.

Governance and Three Pillars

  1. Chairs Governing Council.
    1.  Plans regular meetings/ sets agendas.
  2. Spearheads policies that develop enlightened society/ are in line with Shambhala Vision.
    1. introduces/ prioritizes council agenda items
  3. Guides the implementation of plans/policies/decisions of the Governing Council.
    1. leads the council in process of broad agreement/ development of policies and strategic plans
  4. Ensures that the Council develops long range plans.
  5. Ensures that the center is governed according to mandala-wide policies/ the law.
  6. Ensures communication and cohesion between center leaders/ integration of three pillars.
  7. Ensures communication between council/community
  8. Recommends Council Members to the Kalapa Court

The Director works collaboratively with the Director of Practice and Education, (who may frequently be advised by a local shastri and/or acharya) to cultivate the practice and education mandala within the center. Thus, s/he helps to ensure high quality program planning consistent with Shambhala vision. The aspiration is to ensure that all individuals, at all stages of the path, are receiving guidance, inspiration and support in their practice and study.

Practice and Education

  1. Supports the Director of Practice and Education to cultivate the practice and education mandala within the center.


  1. Works collaboratively with all program generating departments in the development of center programming.  (Practice and Education, Health and Wellbeing, Culture and Decorum, Chagdzo, Rusung, Arts)
  2. Ensures high quality overall programing for the center.
    1. Sets programming vision based on guidance/inspiration of central mandala/ Sakyong.
    2. Oversees center program plan, integrating the needs of the various departments.
    3. Organizes regular program planning meeting.
    4. Supports/oversees Programs Director to create a full and vibrant program calendar.

S/he works closely with the senior member of the Dorje Kasung assigned to represent the Pillar of Protection at the local center to support fully the essential role of the Dorje Kasung and the practice of protector principle in the life of the center.

Dorje Kasung

  1. Supports the Dorje Kasung.
  2. Works collaboratively with the Rusung to make sure Kasung events are adequately communicated to greater Sangha.
  3. Supports representation of Kasung events/trainings in the annual schedule.
  4. Includes Rusung in high level center governance/policy/ decision making.

S/he is the principal spokesperson of the center to program participants, other community members, and to residents and officials from the local government and community.


  1. Spokesman for the community.
  2. Meets with and introduces major visiting teachers.
  3. Meets with representatives of other organizations/ government on behalf of the center.
  4. Develops friendships and connections with leaders from other organizations.
  5. Works with Regional Shastris and Acharyas to develop outreach..

S/he leads and supports the rest of the leadership, staff and volunteers of the center, is responsible for appointments to positions in the center (apart from those, such as those within the Dorje Kasung, the Director of Practice and Education, the Chagdzö, the Representative of the Office of Culture and Decorum, for which there are specific procedures) and establishes and maintains an effective management structure and procedure.

Hiring/ Management

  1. Leads and supports leadership/staff/volunteers.
    1. Chairs Governing Council.
    2. Meets regularly with center leaders.
    3. Chairs operations meetings.
  2. Nominates major council position appointments to the Governing Council.
  3. Hires paid staff.
    1. Seeks approval for paid position from the Governing Council
    2. Outlines hiring process with Governing Council
    3. Leads hiring committee
    4. Communicates paid position opportunities/ hires to the community.
  4. Manages paid staff/ volunteers.
    1. Oversees and supports Programs Director in developing events schedule
    2. Oversees and supports Communications Director in Communicating Events.
    3. Oversees and supports center manager in cultivating and supporting volunteers, developing community events schedule and developing center membership.
  5. Oversees/Manages bi-annual internship program.
    1. Develops curriculum
    2. Is present at most bi-weekly meetings
  6. Oversees/Supports New Projects/Developments in Conjunction with Governing Council/ Staff

S/he works closely with the Chagdzö (to be appointed by the Chagdzö Kyi Khyap) and others in the finance sphere to ensure the financial well-being of the Center, and promote fiscal clarity regarding the flow of financial resources, within a view of abundance and generosity. S/he ensures that there is a properly monitored annual budget and that the financial management of the center is in accordance with the principles and policies set forth by the governing bodies of the mandala.


  1. Works closely with the Chagdzo to ensure financial well-being of the center.
  2. Promotes fiscal clarity and accountability.
  3. Works closely with the Chagdzo to ensure properly monitored annual budget.
    1. Approves major budget changes with the Governing Council.
  4. Develops annual fundraising plan in conjunction with Chagdzo/ Development Director:
    1. Cultivates relationships with major and mid-level donors.
    2. Oversees and/or supports upgrades and renewals in giving.
    3. Oversees and/or timing of fundraising campaigns.

S/he has particular responsibility for the cultivation of community life at the Center. Communication in such a large community is vital, as is continual involvement of the membership in the activities and vision of the Center, through community meetings, social gatherings, nyida day celebrations and Shambhala holidays.  Community leadership includes cultivation of volunteers as well as developing leaders now and for the future. In fulfilling this responsibility, the Director works closely with other key leaders in the center including the Representatives of the Office of Culture and Decorum and the Office of Societal Health and Well-being.

Cultivation of Community

  1. Communicates regularly with the community on behalf of the central mandala and governing council.
    1. Sends out monthly/quarterly director’s letter.
    2. Organizes regular community meetings.
    3. Sends out regular Governing Council Reports regarding finances/center policy/ paid positions.
  2. Works with center manager/ Culture and Decorum Representative/ Director of Societal Health and Wellbeing to organize social gatherings/ community days/ members events.
    1. Ensures there are regular opportunities for community connection.
    2. Ensures that Nyida days are celebrated.
    3. Ensures ongoing development of Deleks.
  3.  Cultivates Membership in conjunction with Membership Coordinator
    1. Ensures clear communication of center membership and benefits.
    2. Develops engagement of members and leadership through members dinners/teas.
  4. Works to cultivate volunteers and leaders.
    1. Recruits and supports volunteers.
    2. Develops training opportunities for volunteers and leadership.

S/he supervises those responsible for the maintenance of the Shambhala Center property, and supports the Dorje Kasung in ensuring that the physical structure and sacredness of the environment is well protected.


  1. Supervises facilities manager.
  2. Supports Dorje Kasung in protection of property.
  3. Makes key environmental decisions in conjunction with Norcal Director and in consultation with Director of Culture and Decorum.
    1. Approves minor environmental expenses in conjunction with Norcal Director.
    2. Presents major environmental expenses to the Governing Council.

S/he encourages the community to bring Shambhala Vision into society at large, in whatever ways are appropriate in the local environment. Where possible s/he develops and maintains constructive relationships with governmental, non-governmental, and other spiritual and social service organizations in the surrounding society.


  1. Cultivates neighborhood relationships.
    1. Attends occasional neighborhood meetings.
    2. Develops neighborhood outreach events
  2. Cultivates relationships with other organizations.
    1. Meets with leaders from various organizations.
    2. Invites leaders to Enlightened Society Night
    3. Initiates collaborative projects.
  3. Cultivates External Center Projects in Line with Vision of Enlightened Society.

In fulfilling these executive functions, the Director may establish an Executive Committee or other similar team, or groupings, and consult professional or other advisors who can assist or assume delegated responsibilities for specific executive functions under the supervision of the Director.

Executive Team

  1. Leads bi-weekly executive team meetings.
  2. Supports activities of volunteer department heads.
  3. Recruits and supports volunteers for leadership positions.
  4. Works with executive team to create strategic plan.

Relationship to the Center of the Mandala
The Director is responsible for presenting reports and inquiries to the Sakyong and the Kalapa Council on behalf of the center and providing the Governing Council and community with the views and advice of the Sakyong and Kalapa Council. In this way the Director serves as the principal link between the center and the higher governing bodies of the mandala.

The Director represents the center on the Mandala Council, and together with any other representatives of the center, attends the Shambhala Congress.

Responsibilities to Central Mandala

  1. Provides council and community with views and advice of the Sakyong and Kalapa Council.
  2. Presents reports and inquiries to Sakong and Kalapa Council on behalf of the center.
  3. Attends the Shambhala Council.
  4. Attends Mandala Council Meetings.
  5. Implements mandala wide policy.
  6. Supports Mandala wide fundraising.

Relationship to the Northern California Regional Structure
The Director is the principal link, on behalf of the center, with the Regional Director. The regional director may act on behalf of the Kalapa Court to provide direct instructions, supervision or guidance to the Center Director, and act on behalf of the court in ensuring regular assessment of the work of the Director and Shambhala Center.

The Director is responsible for fostering strong, collaborative relationships with other centers, groups and entities in the region. In order to ensure maximum cohesion of the different aspects of the mandala, s/he works closely with the Regional Director on matters that include visits of important teachers and other dignitaries, major financial initiatives, the planning of large-scale, major programs or other initiatives to be hosted by the center or held in the region. The Director will also work with the Regional Director on planning and fundraising for the eventual purchase of a new building.

Regional Responsibilities

  1. Principle link on behalf of the center to the Regional Director.
  2. Develops relationships with other directors in the region.
  3. Attends Regional Directors Council meetings.
  4. Works closely with Regional Director regarding teacher visits, major programs, major fiscal initiatives.
  5. Works with Regional Director/ Regional Center Directors in developing programming and events of benefit to the region.
  6. Sits on Regional Governing Council as representative of Sharchen Dzong.

Skills and Abilities
It is important that the Center Director have a regular personal practice and a strong commitment to Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Shambhala Vision. S/he will be called upon to manifest the inseparability of the openness and gentleness of the mother lineage and the fearlessness and skillful means of the father lineage.

Applicants will benefit from having:

  1. An understanding of what it means to act in accordance with the principles of Shambhala governance and, in particular, undertake the practice of the Six Ways of Ruling.
  2.  Aminimum of four years’ experience as a practitioner of the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, have attended advanced Shambhala programs such as Enlightened Society Assembly and Sacred World Assemblies and be familiar with the cultural forms held in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition.
  3. The proven ability to translate Shambhala vision into actions and practices that support the workings of the Governance Council and community.
  4. A strong background in leadership, including excellent group work and decision-making skills, well-developed interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to work with conflict high quality written and spoken communication skills, including the  ability to use electronic media effectively.
  5. The ability to motivate others and to work well in a volunteer culture. To recognize members’ contributions, and work well with diverse team members. This includes the ability to listen and collect input from the community and make decisions based on this input.
  6. The capacity to lead and manage projects, organize people, events and programs the ability to set goals, establish priorities and achieve outcomes within a designated timeframe a background in working with finances and adhering to budgets (this includes the ability to read and understand financial statements, and to use them in planning and making decisions for community and programming needs)
  7. Experience with publicity, marketing, fundraising and development (optional but preferred)


  1. Flexible work hours
  2. Requires both daytime and evening participation
  3. Participate in teachings and gatherings specific to governance as path.
  4. Requires travel to events, regional center or activities (where appropriate) and to international meetings such as the Shambhala Congress and Mandala Council meetings.
  5. Requires attendance of special occasions when appropriate (teacher visits, ceremonies, teacher greetings etc.)

Salary and Benefits

  1. The stipend for the director is currently $2,000 per month for this part time position.
  2. The Center is committed to the director becoming a salaried, full-time paid position in 2015.
  3. Center Directors are the beneficiaries of attending all programs for free at the Center (and programs that fall within the region).
  4. Program fees at land centers are reduced or waived for Center Directors.
  5. The Center will assist in paying for travel expenses to mandala council meetings.

It is our intention that there will be a training period of 1-2 months for the incoming Director with the current Director.

There will be a regular process of assessment to assist Directors and Governing Councils in establishing goals and getting a range of responses to their performance. The process will be established through consultation with the Director, Governing Council and the Kalapa Envoy or Regional Director.

Term Limit
The initial contract is for three years with the possibility of extension for one term by mutual agreement.

Please submit a resume and cover letter describing your interest and qualifications for this position to [email protected]

Application deadline is January 15, 2014

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