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Jun 03
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Final Fantasy

This is BraveryShambhala Times Updates from the Inside Out
Editor’s Column

by Sarah Lipton
Shambhala Times Editor-in-Chief

It’s sunny in London, where it’s usually raining. I’m sipping a gorgeous latte at a beautiful little coffee shop by the Balham tube stop. My cousin’s wedding the other day was perfect, replete with a rousing rendition of Summer Nights. Two nights before that, we sat through soaring, crashing symphonic sounds. The final chords of the Final Symphony as performed by my uncle (on french horn) and over 100 others in the London Symphony Orchestra were tantalizing. We soaked in the rush of violins, the sonic boom of a large gong and the timpani, the gentle peal of a harp and triangle, and the ethereal harmonies of a full ensemble of brass and woodwinds. Though knowing nothing about the Final Fantasy game, we were just as delighted by the music as the rest of the crowd who were obviously big fans with their chicken and wizard costumes to prove it. Seated on one side of me was my beautiful husband and on the other side, President Richard Reoch and Lady Jane Ward. It was a treat of an evening.

That’s right, the Shambhala Times has gone on the road again. Not being tied to an office is helpful at times like these, so I thought it would be fun to share a little slice of my life. A little bird’s-eye-view of a month in the life of your Shambhala Times Editor-in-Chief.

I believe in living as ferociously as possible. So let’s start with today and work backwards. We came to London to celebrate my cousin’s marriage, and later today I will be engaging with meetings at the London Shambhala Center to begin to build a team of reporters so that all of you can feel that you are part of the big Awake in the World festival happening here in September. After our meetings, we’ll gather to celebrate together this evening, London-style.

Sarah as an officiant for the wedding of friends Sarah and James; here - tossing rose petals in the final blessing

Sarah as an officiant for the wedding of friends Sarah and James; here – tossing rose petals in the final blessing

June 1st was the Lipton wedding, and would have been my mother’s 70th birthday if she hadn’t died 9 years ago. Last weekend, I officiated at the Vermont wedding of two dear friends from Boston. It was a superb new experience for me, and strangely felt very comfortable (once I got through the jitters). Everyone told me I should hang out my shingle as an officiant…but I’m not quite ready to do that yet. In between the two weddings you could find me working furtively at coffee shops between Vermont, Boston and London to get the following articles up for you to read: Snapshots of Basic Goodness: May, Kitchen Wisdom Begins Outdoors, Birth of Shambhala Publications, Conflict in Enlightened Society, and Ordinary and Extra-ordinary Magic.

The week prior to that, found us at Karme Choling where we were hosting the Sakyong and the Leadership Team for a very rousing weekend of leadership strengthening and visioning with over 200 Shambhala leaders. See Dan Glenn’s article: Invitation to Co-Creation. My role was Secretary to the Leadership Team, so I was kept rather busy serving 6 people all weekend (and on rest-breaks, catching up on emails and skyping with people about future articles). It was a blast, and the Sakyong’s 500-mile-high vision was brought a little closer to earth for all of us. One of the big delights of that weekend was that in one place, I had my two new main editors present. Which brings me around to a big shout of out thanks. I could not be doing what I am doing right now (which is running the Shambhala Times and embarking on 5 months of journeying with my husband) without the enthusiastic, cheerful, competent help of these two editors: Ms. Jayne Sutton, of Washington D.C., and Ani Dawa Chotso, of Saint Johnsbury, VT. The Shambhala Times Team is growing, and growing strong! Join us! Visit the Shambhala Times Team on the Shambhala Network to find out how.

Screen shot 2013-06-03 at 11.30.12 AMLet’s see, where were we…oh, right, at Karme Choling celebrating the completion of my husband’s two year tenure there as the Director of Development. This celebration was marked with a very rousing karaoke party. And was followed by a couple days of moving out of our wee room at Ashoka Bhavan and waving goodbye-for-now to everyone. Meanwhile, members of the Shambhala Times Team were hard at work creating new advertisements for the Shambhala Times, as well as little snippet-posts about The Shambhala Principle (see the top photo of this article).

Articles being posted around this time included: The Shape of Awake, Reborn in Tibet, part 4, Warrior Tribute to Susan Shaw, Reborn in Tibet, part 3 and Not Just Nincompoops. Just before this, in mid-May, while I was visiting another cousin at her goat farm in central Vermont, articles were streaming in from the California Bay Area, chronicling the many events that were part of the Creating Enlightened Society Festival. Thanks to the great team on the ground there for sending these in: President Reoch, Josh Silberstein, Larry Barnett, Leslie Gossett and Alex Van Gils. Click here to see all the articles that came in around that time on Creating Enlightened Society.

Earlier in May found me in Halifax where I participated in the Meditation Instructor’s Gathering, soaking up the teachings on Shambhala Meditation, and strengthening my own practice in this powerful, embodied realm. Articles from this period included: Life in Orissa, Profound Treasury Tour Nears Completion in Halifax , Stories of Who We Are , Book Release: The Shambhala Principle, Shambhala Principle Book Signing, Basic Goodness Day, Discovering Sound, The Wisdom of Illness, and Message 4 Boston.

Also around this time, I was engaging in a series of large-scale conversations about the Shambhala Times, its role in the Shambhala mandala and the wider world, and new directions that we can go in. A lot of my job is about listening. Listening to you, the readers, and listening to the wider world as well – this is a large part of how I make content decisions.

Screen shot 2013-06-03 at 11.30.35 AMThese conversations have been wide-ranging and deep, propelling changes for the Shambhala Times that will begin to roll out over the coming months. The essence is this: the Shambhala Times has become the central communications hub for the Shambhala community, and to support that even more fully, we are working on three big projects. The first project is occurring in Europe – we are looking for a European Shambhala Times Editor and support staff to round out the reporting coming in from the European mandala. Send us an email if you are interested: [email protected] The second project will be a redesign of the Shambhala Times to further reflect our changes, and thirdly we will be launching funding projects so that the Shambhala Times can become a viable organization. It takes a surprising amount of energy to run a news organization, and as we work to build the structure of the organization into something sustainable for the future, it is imperative to broaden the base of support.

So, dear readers, thank you for your support, past, present, and future. The small but growing team of us behind the scenes thank you. We need you, and we are working for you. Your readership and support is, in fact, the Shambhala Times’ “final fantasy”.

Now, time for me to dust off my werma sadhana, and then go for a run on those sunny streets!

Screen shot 2013-06-03 at 11.48.32 AMSarah Lipton has been the Shambhala Times Editor-in-Chief for two years. At present, she plans to continue in this role for another bunch of years, even while traveling the world, attempting to write some books, pursuing the Shambhala path, and enjoying her beautiful marriage. See previous editorials here.

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2 responses to “ Final Fantasy ”
  1. Suzanne Trahey
    Jun 4, 2013

    Thank you Sarah! What a lovely article. Wish you lots of continued joy in your journeying.

  2. Paula Bickford
    Jun 3, 2013

    Thank you for this exciting update. I have followed your suggestion given at the Leadership gathering and have made the Shambhala times my homepage. Thanks to you and your team I feel more connected to the Shambhala community!

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