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Jun 10
Mandala Projects
Living Peace Message
Photo by Mark Eoin O'Donoghue

Photo by Mark Eoin O'Donoghue

“Our precious planet and the innumerable beings who dwell here face an unprecedented crisis … This tragedy affects us in so many ways, but at its
heart, it is a crisis of the spirit.”

– Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

By Jon Barbieri

When I read these words of the Sakyong in his recent call for contemplation and action on climate change, I felt fresh inspiration – not just as the director of Shambhala Mountain Center, but also as a practitioner to whom he was speaking in a very direct way. Read the Sakyong’s message on Earth Day.

This is exactly what his father, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, warned us about: “When human beings lose their connection to nature, to heaven and earth,” he told us, “then they do not know how to nurture their environment or how to rule their world. Healing our society goes hand in hand with healing our personal, elemental connection with the phenomenal world.”

Photo courtesy of the Sakyong Foundation

Photo courtesy of the Sakyong Foundation

Healing that connection is the sacred mission of Shambhala. I believe it is both personal and societal – how we can create a decent human society on this earth.

It’s the mission we put our hearts into at Shambhala Mountain Center: offering the core teachings of the Shambhala Buddhist path, and increasing our efforts to work collaboratively with other wisdom traditions to reach out to a world in crisis.

The Sakyong calls this vision “Living Peace.” He first described this on that memorable morning when he presented the first Living Peace Award to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He talked of a way of living that offers a deep transformation of our lives so that we are able to:

• be at peace with ourselves,
• live in peace with each other,
• dwell in peace with our world.

He wants us to begin Living Peace programming now so that we can reach out to leaders and concerned citizens who are searching for the profound change needed in our world. In short, he wants Shambhala Mountain Center to fulfill its destiny as a power spot on planet earth for training in enlightened leadership.

A New Approach

To accomplish this, we have to get out of the endless cycle of crises that have all too often sapped our energy. I am determined to do this, and I believe we can. And for that, I need your help.

We are working on a new strategic plan that will lead to financial and organizational stability. This will involve new methods of internal organization, and a new model for financial planning. I think we can realistically accomplish this within the next three years.

Photo by Mark Eoin O'Donoghue

Photo by Mark Eoin O'Donoghue

We need to improve our infrastructure. The county and state authorities are insisting on that. We are installing new water supply and sewage systems (at a total cost of $2,200,000). We need to completely upgrade our communications system (this is likely to cost $200,000). We are also laying plans for a new dining hall and for the long-needed staff housing.

Please take a moment to read our annual report on our website – it goes into greater depth about our planning and some of the difficult issues we face. View the 2008 Annual Report.

At the same time, with the global recession, our overall attendance is down, scholarship requests have increased and some of our major donors have been hard hit. In order to pull through this year we need to raise $1.3 million. We are confident we can do this if each and every person who has made a connection to Shambhala Mountain rises to the occasion in a way that is appropriate to their means and commitment. View our Financial Picture.

We are making deep cuts to reduce our costs as much as possible. But that alone will not get us through the year. We need a major infusion of life-sustaining support right now. If together we can do that, we will have laid the basis for a far more sustainable future, and the foundation for accomplishing the mission of bringing wisdom teachings to the world. Monthly donations are very helpful in establishing a solid foundation of support, but at the same time one-time donations are very welcome. No gift is too small or too large.

The Sakyong has been working hard. He has succeeded in magnetizing nearly $500,000 in commitments to the “Living Peace” vision for this first year. That will go toward creating the infrastructure for the future. What we need to do is to secure the funds to see us through this difficult year.

Please feel free to call me to talk over any questions you have or make any suggestions you want. My number is: (970) 881 2184 ext 211. Or you can email me: [email protected]

To make a donation, visit the Shambhala Mountain Center website.
Or contact the Office of Development:

Shambhala Mountain Center, Office of Development
4921 County Road 68C
Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545

(970) 881-2184 ext 384

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