Governance

The San Francisco Shambhala Community Council is the chief governing body responsible for ensuring that the center is in line with Shambhala Vision, long-term planning, overseeing the wellbeing of the center and community, and providing financial oversight. The community gathers for monthly meetings, usually at 1 PM on the first Sunday of the month. If you wish to be involved in the council, it is as simple as attending one of these open meetings.

If you would like to reach the SF Shambhala Steering Committee, please send an email to steeringcommittee [at] sfshambhala [dot] org.

Overview of Shambhala Governance

The San Francisco Shambhala Center is governed by a self-appointed Council of community members. The Governing Council aspires to develop and put into practice forms of governance that reflect and uphold the view, values, and vision of Shambhala. The Council’s work is guided by the general principles of policy governance in keeping with the unique characteristics and tenets of Shambhala as a consultative social monarchy.

The Council seeks to govern in a manner that ensures transparency and communication with the community. Minutes of Council proceedings are available to community members on request.

For a description of the structure, role, and function of the San Francisco Shambhala Center Governing Council, click here.

Council/Community Connection and Reporting

The SF Shambhala Governing Council is committed to serving the needs of the SF Shambhala Community and maintaining healthy communication around center policies, strategies, finances and major capital campaigns.  The Council works to maintain strong communication with the community through email and open participation in our monthly meetings.

Community Care and Conduct Policy

Like all Shambhala Centers, Sharchen Dzong seeks to create a supportive and safe environment for all people interested in exploring meditation, the study of the Shambhala teachings, and other contemplative and social activities that support and sustain the expression of enlightened society.  Toward that end, it is natural for conflicts and problems to arise.  We try to work with these directly in accordance with our values.  Thus it is helpful to have the following guidelines for addressing them.Here is a link to Shambhala’s international Care and Conduct Policy and a brief summary on how the policy works at our center:

1. Conflict Resolution between community members
At any time community members can request mediation from a teacher, office holder or our Center “Desung” Alice Tarkeshi.  The Desung is a special position in the Dorje Kasung who is responsible for promoting harmony within the community.  Mediation is one of the best ways to address interpersonal conflict in a safe and protected way, with one or two third-party people helping to create a space for compassionate exchange and greater understanding.

2. Complaints about practitioners
If a community member should ever be concerned about the potentially harmful behavior of another practitioner, he or she should feel free to make a confidential informal or formal complaint to any member of the Governing Council or the Center Desung, Alice Tarkeshi.   Governing Council members and contacts are listed above.

3. Complaints about office holders
If a community member should ever be concerned about the potentially harmful behavior of an office holder, teacher,  or meditation instructor he or she should feel free to contact any member of the Governing Council.

In order make a formal complaint about a council member, you can either contact another council member for local action, or one of three regional representatives including our Regional Director, Joanne Martin Braun, Acharya Alan Schwartz or Acharya Melissa Moore.

Either a council representative or one of the regional representatives will then investigate the complaint and try to bring harmony and well-being to both parties involved.  This may include mediation or corrective actions including temporary suspension of a position.

Contact information for care and conduct:
Rebekka Martorano, Regional Interim Director of Northern California Shambhala, rebekkamartorano [at] gmail [dot] com