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Sep 11
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Seattle offers their Center to the Sakyong

Seattle Shambhala Center, photo by Tom Gaylord

Seattle Shambhala Center, photo by Tom Gaylord

The Seattle Shambhala Center has formally offered their building, land, and Center assets to the Sakyong and the Sakyong Potrang.

by Larry Steele and the Seattle Shambhala Center Governing Council

Anniversary of the Enthronement of the Sakyong
Earlier this Spring, when the Seattle Governing Council was contemplating the 20th Anniversary of the Enthronement of the Sakyong, they wondered what they might do to commemorate the event. The idea that Seattle could give a gift to the Sakyong arose, but what would be an appropriate offering?

The Council came upon the idea of presenting their most coveted possession, their actual Center, the land, the building, the gardens, the shrine rooms, everything, to the Sakyong. The idea of offering the actual Seattle Shambhala Center to the Sakyong was further strengthened when the Council was reminded of the establishment of the Sakyong Potrang, which took place just before Shambhala Day earlier this year.

“The idea that Seattle could in some way contribute to the unification and strengthening of the centralized Shambhala lineage-holding body, the Sakyong Potrang, was attractive and empowering. It led to further discussions of what the Sakyong Potrang might achieve as its legacy becomes increasingly brilliant and strong. It might have museums and libraries. It might have Universities. It might have banks and lending institutions. It will manifest as a unified, interconnected mandala of kindness and strength,” wrote Center Director, Tom Gaylord.

The Sakyong Potrang
In January, 2015 The Sakyong sent a letter to the community announcing the formation of the Sakyong Potrang. As he explained in that letter (click to view), “the Sakyong Potrang holds all the practices, sacred texts, and lineage properties of the Sakyong lineage”. The Potrang would hold all of Shambhala, the entire lineage in a broad generous mandala. If the Seattle Shambhala Center could be part of that mandala, it might contribute to enlightened society in a new and important way.

“At first it seemed almost silly to offer the Lineage something that already belonged, at least on the mortgage papers, to Shambhala International. There were also legal questions that naturally arose, but the real meaning was in the heart connection of making this kind of an offering to the newly formed Potrang,” said Mr. Gaylord.

A Heart Offering to the Sakyong
The Seattle Governing Council composed a letter (click to view) that offered their Center, and their hearts, to the Sakyong and the Sakyong Potrang. The Council knew the Sakyong would be traveling to Chicago in May and it was decided that Center Director, Gaylord, should visit Chicago and present the letter to Rinpoche. Tom Adducci, Center Director in Chicago, was contacted and arrangements were made for an audience with the Sakyong.

presenting the letter to the Sakyong, photo by BHH Studios

presenting the letter to the Sakyong, photo by BHH Studios

In Chicago, after two days of teachings, events, and community programs with Rinpoche, Tom Gaylord, along with Tom Adducci, and Melanie Klein (Center Director in Boulder) were able to meet with the Sakyong. Center Director Gaylord read the letter and presented Rinpoche with a copy. He silently read the letter and names of all the Seattle Governing Council members, and noted some familiar names. Rinpoche was clearly moved. He said that this “is very good news”. He went on to say that he hoped to visit Seattle and to send his love to the Council and the entire Seattle community.

The Sakyong followed up with a thank you letter to the Seattle community, (click to view) which expressed his gratitude.

Why Make this Offering? Body, Speech, and Mind
When asked further, the Seattle Governing Council clarified why they chose to offer their Center to the Sakyong Potrang.

“In the last decade we have seen profound changes in our global community. The ‘mind’ of the Sakyongs is manifesting powerfully through the Scorpion Seal Path and the broad practice of the Shambhala Sadhana. The ‘speech’ or communication of the Sakyong Lineage is seen in new administrative councils and governing bodies, new leadership practices like the Monarch Retreat, The Unified Giving Model, and the steady unification of our regions. In the spirit of this profound manifestation, Seattle wanted to make an offering to the ‘body’ of the Sakyongs, the physical element of the Lineage. In doing so, the Seattle Shambhala Center hopes to encourage others to do so as well.”

The Governing Council continued by saying, “If the assets of the lineage could be brought together under one management structure, the result could be powerful. For example, we might be able to extend low-interest loans Centers wishing to buy buildings. We might accomplish ambitious community or global projects we’ve never been able to conceive of before.”

Land Centers to follow
The movement to bring Shambhala lineage treasures into alignment with the Shambhala Potrang seems to be growing. According to Jane Arthur, Director of Land Centers, similar offerings have been made by Shambhala Mountain Center and Dorje Denma Ling.

The Shambhala Times hopes to publish articles about the Land Centers’s offering in the coming month.

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2 responses to “ Seattle offers their Center to the Sakyong ”
  1. mieke corts
    Sep 14, 2015

    wonderfull gesture!!!

  2. This appears to be a symbolic transfer — without an actual transfer of title that would jeopardize tax exempt status or violate state laws related to disposition of assets of non-profit entities.

    Nevertheless, symbols are powerful. Best wishes to giver and receiver (and the inseparability of the two)!

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