A Message from Our Director

Dear SF Shambhala Community,

Almost a year and a half ago, I was asked to “manage” the center. I was hesitant to agree. I had just finished coordinating Mamo Chants, Shambhala Day, and a Level I, and while I really liked coordinating Mamo Chants & Shambhala Day, it took a lot of time. I like to spend my free time exploring the area, often drawn to small community arts events. I liked to experience my surroundings through a Shambhala lens. I am inspired to invite the greater community to offer to Shambhala, and to offer Shambhala to the greater community. I was afraid of being consumed by Shambhala. I was also trying to cultivate qualities within myself that I hadn’t been able to manifest in leadership positions in the past. But, I shifted my perspective and viewed the offer as an opportunity to support the center as an offering to the greater community. I agreed to two brief trial periods, one from mid-March to June, the second from June through August.

The first trial period I had to adjust to the new demands being placed on me, seeing as my full-time job is a remote one and I had a lot of freedom to travel. Magnetizing the community at the center meant being around, being present and visible. I actually was going to check in at the end of the first trial period and say that it wasn’t working because of the time demands on top of my full-time job. The first trial period was extended into June due to scheduling. The day I was going to say that I could not continue, Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 2 was released. I did not feel I could quit during that time. So, I continued.

At the end of the 2nd trial period is when the center fundraising became an issue. I was incredibly inspired by that. I was inspired by the belief that if we could just buy ourselves a little bit more time, this community was amazing and the center could do amazing things in the future. At the same time, a few of us were planning programs. I did not have the time to promote those programs and magnetize volunteers, and so the programs were canceled.

When we successfully completed our fundraising goal, I was both inspired and exhausted. I knew that I did not want to plan a single program until I knew the community wanted it and would help with it. Therefore, we scheduled a community meeting.

After that meeting, it seemed like you all were contributing and that I could step away. Also, I was reminded that our lease is up at the end of 2020 and that that needed to be addressed. I decided I could not be responsible for the lease on top of my full-time job, and that therefore, I must resign.

I am heartbroken. While the job was hard, I built such a community, at the very least for myself. I was immensely inspired by the newcomers who came on Sunday mornings. I was also very inspired by the existing SF sangha’s contributions to our fall fundraising. But, after that, I realized that the trial period was essentially not working, due to my having a couple full-time jobs on top of this very-full-time job. Building community takes time.

I would like to continue contributing to the community in the form of helping coordinate volunteers; prioritizing being present and visible as an example to the entire community that it takes all of us consistently attending to welcome and establish relationships with newcomers and each other. And, therefore benefiting the center and our community by:

  1. building community
  2. building our volunteer base
  3. inspiring people to contribute financially
  4. and paying attention to the finances of the center

The Steering Committee has scheduled a community Meeting on Sunday, August 4th, from 2-4 PM to discuss this.

Thank you for welcoming and inspiring me, I love all of you very much,

Kelsey

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