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Mar 03
Arts and Poetry
Reopening Poetry Space

Noble Sangha—

After much heart searching, we have decided to reopen the Poetry Space column on the Shambhala Times. This is not a decision we take lightly. We are all broken hearted. We are all feeling lost as to how to “simply be” at this point. We’ve trained for years to hold our seats when groundlessness arises, and here we are.

I don’t know what a vajrayana lineage is when the guru is troubled. But I do sense the emergence of a new, authentic heart of Shambhala that resonates from the mandala of the sangha itself. Leaving is always the easiest answer, but from the Interim Board, to the Process Committee, to the local leadership groups and others, I see my dharma brothers and sisters holding their ground, not giving up. And I feel that within that holding, we preserve the possibility that Shambhala might finally “grow up.” Perhaps the “Monarch” wasn’t ever intended to be a single man (or woman), but instead each of us manifesting as the Rigden king and queen that is our own true nature. Then the Shambhala mandala can truly be without center or fringe. Then the Great Eastern Sun can arise.

So let’s go forward. In the past, our focus was on selectivity; for the time being, it will be on inclusivity. We invite poems of all stripes. Our “editing” will be to temper only those things that we judge to be malicious (or, of necessity, overly long…) We will look to publish as often as we have sufficient material and when there is room for an article in the Times.

Our aspiration is that Poetry Space might become a place to express heartbreak, anger, betrayal, joy and inspiration in a good way. This isn’t a chat board, so we won’t be hosting comments and responses- there are already many venues for that. Rather, show us your heart, and we will do our best to share that in an elevated space. Soon, we will have a companion Instagram account ready to go – we love how words and images inform one another. Stay tuned for that.

So join us. Bring what you feel. Process that feeling with the alchemy of poetry and image. We all need to hear from you.

With tears,

Jeff Fink
Coordinator of Poetry Space

To submit- email your work to: [email protected] Include your poems in the body of the email, and please include your name and where you live; if you prefer to submit anonymously, that’s perfectly fine…


Since 2013, Poetry Space has provided readers of the Shambhala Times a venue to submit their poems for publication in the Times. We have a small team of anonymous editors who review all submissions on a blinded basis from which we select those we would like to publish. We publish as the level of submissions warrant and are always looking for new, previously unpublished work.
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1 response to “ Reopening Poetry Space ”
  1. Michelle Hale
    Mar 8, 2019

    To: Jeff Fink

    Hello, Mr. Fink,

    I want to thank you for holding your seat and the space during this terribly difficult time. I appreciate you and our acharyas and my own local governance group and sangha. Very, very much.

    I did want to provide one comment, though, on your statement that “leaving is always the easiest answer.” I am guessing if you peel back the layers on this statement you might see many cases where leaving is not at all easy and not at all the easiest answer.

    Thanks again,

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