It has been a wonderful summer for the Boston Shambhala Center. Summer tends to be the “slow” time of year for us, as many people are away or doing retreats. We had some healthy space this summer, which I think is really important to have in the rhythm of life at a center like ours. We also had our share of activity!
We kicked off the summer with our annual Midsummer Day celebration, which took place at Rocky Woods Reservation in Medfield for the second straight year. We had a lovely, relaxed afternoon on a surprisingly cool Saturday afternoon in mid-June.
Following that, we had a delightful weekend visit from Acharya Eric Spiegel, who hosted an evening gathering with the LGBT community and then directed Rigden Weekend, the culmination of the first year of Way of Shambhala. Several community members participated in the program – we send them a big congratulations for completing Year One!
One of the most delightful parts of the summer was our visit with Shambhala’s President, Richard Reoch, in mid-July. President Reoch spent a whirlwind two days with the Boston community, sharing a lively lunch with young leaders one day and another lunch with people in key leadership positions the next. The new Shambhala Boston Council dined with the President as well, before he hosted a public gathering to discuss the question, “Is Enlightened Society Possible?” in what turned out to be a very engaging and moving evening. The crowning glory of the visit was a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts to see the “Seeking Shambhala” exhibition. President Reoch was very inspired by the exhibition – we could barely drag him away – and was very interested in deepening Shambhala’s connection with both the Museum and these powerful thangkas of the Rigden Kings, who are the essence of our lineage.
One of the most exciting aspects of our summer hasn’t taken place here – it’s taken place all around North America. Members of the community have been going to core Shambhala path programs since the late spring, beginning with the large contingent that attended the Shambhala Retreat with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche at Karmê Chöling in Vermont. We also had several people attend part of all of the recent summer dathün there as well – a remarkable (non)achievement! There are eighteen community members from Boston heading to Warrior Assembly at Karmê Chöling in a few days, which is incredibly inspiring. We also had people from Boston attending each Scorpion Seal Assembly (Year
2, 3, and 4) this summer (with representation at every single land center), three new teachers attend Shambhala Buddhist Teacher Training, as well as many people doing various other retreats, including solitary retreats, a Vajrayogini practice intensive at Gampo Abbey and the Authentic Leadership in Action (ALIA) Institute in Halifax.
Our summer endeavors also included a service day during which nearly thirty people gathered to make the Shambhala Center more eco-friendly. See Ashley’s forthcoming blog post for more about this wonderful day!
We had several programs and classes here this summer that many people enjoyed, including two Shambhala Art programs, a series featuring video from the “Being Brave” retreat from 2011, Vajrayana practice weekends, and the debut of our new Learn to Meditate class. The summer’s not over yet, and we still have exciting things happening in the next two weeks. You can check out our full slate of programs and community gatherings here.
I also encourage everyone to take a look at Karmê Chöling’s program calendar for the fall and winter. There is a wealth of opportunity for amazing training and exploration just three hours away in an absolutely beautiful location. I feel that the more members of our community experience the depth and wonder of our retreat centers like Karmê Chöling, Dorje Denma Ling and Shambhala Mountain Center, the stronger everything we do here will be.
It has been a rich summer and the fall promises to be even more abundant. We look forward to seeing you all around the center!
Dan Glenn, Executive Director
From: Wake up Boston!