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Oct 10
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Responding to the Flood

photo courtesy of CNN

photo courtesy of CNN

Letter from Steve Jewell

For a number of years, I have thought about the role of the Dorje Kasung in emergency response and disaster recovery. I was offered the opportunity to work with this “hands on” after the recent flooding in Colorado and in the same week received an email from an experienced Kasung saying that Shambhala should take its place among other churches and communities, starting with the Kasung. In response, I sent out an invitation excerpted here:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dorje Kasung:
The recent flood has brought many opportunities for offering from our hearts along with the challenges of shock and survival. It seems at this time, we do not have a clear Kasung form for disaster response. I feel strongly that we should begin to work on this.

As a way of fueling the conversation, I am inviting you to consider helping with a particular activity – helping to distribute food to residents of Jamestown. This opportunity is still forming as I write this message, so some of the details may change and some are not yet determined.

The location of this activity will be the Boulder Shambhala Center. We will need 2-4 people for several shifts of about 3 hours. The tasks may include helping with traffic/crowd flow, backing up the person checking ID’s, moving crates, and having steady presence for people who are in great difficulty. One should be able to do moderate lifting and have the stamina to be mostly on one’s feet for about 3 hours. Dress is no uniform, clean decent work clothes.
I will be helping to develop this action and if conditions permit us to have a commanding officer for each shift, we will gather for a briefing and debriefing. If the action does not develop that formally, your activity will be as an individual and we will have a combined debriefing after the distribution is over.

This small action seems to have been an initial victory in what will likely be a long campaign. While it is important to note that all Shambhala members could consider organizing to be of service to communities in need, I believe the Dorje Kasung have a lot to offer in this context as vanguard and presenters of the best of military discipline and culture.

In the Basic Goodness of Society,
Steve Jewell, Rupon
Dragon Region Commander

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