Gathering Goodness in NYC
On a Weekend with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in New York City
by Naoko Kojima
This coming November, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche will be traveling to New York City for a special and long-anticipated weekend program.
The weekend event comes at a pivotal time as the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York goes through a transition marked by a move to a new location. The current lease expires in September, 2014. The original intent for the Sakyong’s visit was to plan a large event similar to the ones held earlier this year in Chicago and San Francisco. New York Center’s Executive Director Ericka Phillips, however, has mentioned that, “It became clear in the planning process that given where the community is today with the upcoming move next year, a different step needed to take place first. This involves gathering our energy and resources and bringing the regional community together.” She went on further to say that, “Moving to a new location in the city with a growing, diverse community creates a very potent situation for us. The Sakyong’s visit is timely and greatly sought after.”
Marguerite Drescher from the Halifax Shambhala Center is designing the New York program. She sees the weekend as a gathering that has both a social and healing quality – sharing our teachings, and building connections in a shared environment. “Turning inward and focusing on what it takes to come together as we go through a transition allows us to use a real and current situation to then learn and practice something that is relevant to our lives, communities and society for the greater purpose of creating enlightened society,” Marguerite explained.
The Shambhala Meditation Center of New York has been buzzing with excitement with the news of the Sakyong’s November visit. The planning for the event has been underway since July. A team of dedicated community members have been working on marketing to regional Shambhala members and the general public. Some of the work has been preparing New York as a host city by reaching out to community members who can accommodate out-of-town Shambhalians. Also ongoing is the development of a crew for production and stage management for the event. The team of volunteers is expected to grow as we get closer to November.
New York member Karen Yaeger, who created the promotional video for this event, spent many hours watching the Sakyong’s talks over the summer. She described that experience as something similar to receiving a transmission that energized her own practice tremendously. Karen also mentioned how she was struck by the simplicity and practicality of the Sakyong’s message, which touches on the most fundamental and universal aspects of humanity. This is what we hope New Yorkers, as well as fellow Shambhalians, will resonate with during the weekend.
The weekend kicks off with a public talk on Friday, November 8th at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. Friday’s talk, “Rising to the Challenge: Teachings from the Shambhala Principle” will offer a special opportunity to bring the Shambhala teachings to a new and wider audience in the greater New York region with the publication of the Sakyong’s latest book The Shambhala Principle. Friday’s talk will be followed by the Gathering Goodness event on Saturday, November 9th. Gathering Goodness is open to the public and features teachings by the Sakyong, Acharya Adam Lobel and Shastri Ethan Nichtern followed by a party celebrating over 40 years of Shambhala in New York City. The weekend will conclude with a special members-only leadership event on Sunday, November 10th.
If you would like to join us, please visit: www.sakyong2013.eventbrite.com for more information and registration.