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Six Principles of Leadership

SVsaturdayprepCOLUMN: Living Shambhala Culture

by Allison Pepper, New York City

Over the weekend of November 8th through 10th, the Shambhala Center of New York was honored to host Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and share his teachings on gathering goodness. The Sakyong spoke three times: on Friday night, in a large public talk at the New York Society for Ethical Culture; during a daylong retreat on Saturday alongside teachers like Acharya Adam Lobel, Shastri Ethan Nichtern and Marguerite Drescher; and to a small group of regional members at the Shambhala Center on Sunday, as part of a resilient leadership day of food, conversation, and practice.

SVworkinggroupTo make a three-day multi-venue visit of this size happen many hands and hearts were needed. What started as regular phone conference calls of six people in the summer grew over time to be monthly meetings with well over fifty people involved.

Culture and decorum obviously plays a large role in any visit by the Sakyong. Manifesting the court and preparing spaces for the many teachings was an enormous task that involved vans, banners, flowers, a throne, boxes, cushions, people, and more people. When we started asking local, and then out of town sangha to get involved with the visit, we realized how important it would be to create a container of inspired and uplifted work together. The visit was indeed called Gathering Goodness and it was important to leadership that the preparation for this visit did not overwhelm and tax our local resources but grown them in a new way.

SV6principalsWe worked therefore with the six principles of leadership. These are: learning, relationship, participation, appreciation, culture, and manifestation. These principles were contemplated at most, if not all, meetings. Food was also a big part of our regular gatherings. At times people couldn’t make it to meetings or people would change roles and take on other new areas. Sometimes these surprises were disappointing or wonderful but they were all workable.

The six principles and a strong desire to help make every volunteer’s experience one of practice, service, and devotion was a major part of the culture for the Sakyong’s November visit in New York City.

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To read more about that visit, please click here.

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1 response to “ Six Principles of Leadership ”
  1. Thank you Alison! This brings back all the wonderful memories of the visit. And an excellent reminder of all that we learned about applying our principles to working together.


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