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Nov 12
Shambhala News Service
Leadership Changes in Shambhala

Shambhala Thangka fullThe lineage of Sakyongs, from which the brilliance of the Shambhala teachings streams, resides at the centre of the Shambhala mandala. This has always been true from a heart sense, and in order to increase clarity, unity, and heart connection in the governance of the mandala, the Sakyong has established the Sakyong Potrang as the highest leadership and coordinating body of Shambhala. As the Sakyong described it, “The Potrang is an essential step to clarify the structure of Shambhala, affecting everything — from organizing Shambhala Centres to creating a clear connection between each member and the lineage.”

In a January letter to the leadership the Sakyong wrote: “I feel a great sense of family with all of you. We are all working with our lives in order to make these teachings real…. When I took this mantel [as Sakyong] on, I felt very alone. But now I feel surrounded by friends, students, and comrades in this great adventure of warriorship. It is with deep gratitude and love that I share this vision with you. I invite you to participate and carry on.”

The Sakyong is working with the Kalapa Council to clarify how the Sakyong Potrang will manifest. On Shambhala Day the Sakyong began this process by reintegrating the President’s functions back into the Sakyong’s role as lineage holder, so that he holds more direct responsibility for the governance of our community. He has appointed Mr. Josh Silberstein, his Chief of Staff, to the position of Chair of the Kalapa Council, to act as his representative and liaison in the governance of the four pillars: Practice and Education, Government, Kasung, and Economy.

The Sakyong also is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Jane Arthur to the position of Head of the Pillar of Government for Shambhala. A former Director of Karmê Chöling and the Boulder Shambhala Center, Ms. Arthur currently serves on the Kalapa Council as the Kalapa Envoy for Leadership Development as well as the Director of Residential and Retreat Centers. She is also currently employed as Director of the Vermont Leadership Institute, a position she will hold until June, 2016. At that point, Ms. Arthur will assume her new full-time role for Shambhala.

In order to provide the space for the Sakyong and Ms. Arthur to restructure the Pillar of Government, Ms. Carolyn Mandelker and Ms. Anna Weinstein will be leaving their respective positions as Executive Director of Shambhala and Director of the Shambhala Office of Center and Group Support on 31 December 2015. Ms. Mandelker and Ms. Weinstein’s departure will be felt deeply, as they have been respected colleagues and friends to so many in Shambhala.

Ms. Mandelker was Shambhala’s Director of Practice and Education from 2003 to 2011, when she was appointed by the Sakyong to be the mandala’s Executive Director — a position she has held until now. Ms. Weinstein has been the director of the Shambhala Office of Center and Group Support since 2011, having played the same supportive role for centers and groups previously in Shambhala Europe. Their activities in these positions have been vital to bringing the global Shambhala community to its present level of international development, diversity, and organization.

The Sakyong has expressed his deep appreciation for the years of service that both Ms. Mandelker and Ms. Weinstein have offered to him and the larger mandala. They are exemplars of deep devotion, professional excellence, boundless exertion, and warm care for the Shambhala community. Under their guardianship, Shambhala has not only reached a profound level of strength and direction, but has also become a powerful beacon for the larger society.

Over the coming months, the Sakyong and the Kalapa Council will explore the next steps for this transition to the mandala’s new international structure and we have begun recruitment processes for new staff members to maintain essential central functions during this transition.
We warmly welcome Ms. Arthur to her new position. We wish Ms. Mandelker and Ms. Weinstein the very best, and very much look forward to serving with them both in different ways in the future.

Yours in the Great Eastern Sun,
The Kalapa Council

Jane Arthur, Connie Brock, David Brown, Wendy Friedman, Jesse Grimes, Mitchell Levy, Adam Lobel, Carolyn Mandelker, Robert Reichner, Christoph Schoenherr, Joshua Silberstein
12 November 2015

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4 responses to “ Leadership Changes in Shambhala ”
  1. I have to echo Mr. Wilton above.

    This communication is concerning.

    When I was Centre Director, Ms. Weinstein was so invaluable because she was very available and always responded to my questions. Before she was hired there was a sense that I never really knew who to approach with my concerns/inquiries. So in this light, I can’t help but notice the gap between December 31 and June when Ms. Arthur assumes her position. Also odd that there wasn’t a clearly communicated plan for how the “retired” roles will be assumed by Ms. Arthur or anyone else, but rather more the message of, “We’re figuring this out.”

    At the same time, I am very happy to see Ms. Arthur accepting a major leadership role in our greater mandala. It’s just too bad that we had to see two other strong kind ladies step down/away for whatever unknown reason. It wasn’t clear if this was their choice or if they were asked to “retire.”

    This announcement presented a seemingly murky situation and I truly hope it was done a way that everyone feels good about. In particular, I hope that Ms. Mandelker and Ms. Weinstein feel respected for all their tremendous hard work.

    Note: I have written to the Kalapa Council to express these concerns. Will be interesting to see what comes back…

  2. It seems an abrupt exit for Ms. Mandelker after 14 years of service, ending as Executive Director of Shambhala. The official announcement omits any mention of Ms. Mandelker’s future plans or any statement by Ms. Mandelker concerning the transition. And that is all that can be said — without speculating about what is not said in the announcement.

    I wish Ms. Mandelker and Ms. Weinstein the best (and Ms. Arthur, of course).

  3. Thanks for letting us what’s going on in Halifax. Governance is important in some ways but I hate to admit that these discussions about Shambhala bureaucracy don’t help me wake up which is what this organization is all about.

  4. Angela Pressburger
    Nov 13, 2015

    Perhaps The Kalapa Council could consider following Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau’s lead by supplicating the lineage to appoint more women so that they are on a 50/50 basis with male members. As Mr. Trudeau said in response to why he made his cabinet 50% women: “It is, after all, 2015” -:)

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