Mandala News

Dear Friends,

Here are some developments and events within the wider Shambhala Mandala that I thought you may find of interest:

The Kongma Sakyong, head of our Shambhala lineage, just finished his European tour. After guiding students in Vajrayāna programmes (Sacred World Assembly, Scorpion Seal Assembly) at the European land centre of Dechen Chöling in France, he travelled to Austria for a three-day symposium on peace and social transformation, entitled “Peace Now! Creating Peace in Difficult Times.” This event was expertly hosted and organised by the Viennese Sangha. Recordings are available on Shambhala Online.

Afterwards, the Sakyong visited the Ukraine, for the first time, teaching a Shambhala Training Level One. London’s Debbie Coats Dapön and Khenchen (now also Shastri) Merlin Cox oversaw the Dorje Kasung presence. During his time in Ukraine, the Sakyong also composed a new lhasang (smoke offering, a ceremony for purification and connecting with sacred outlook) practice – another addition to the prolific and rich stream of teachings, practices, and commentaries he has been offering. One may remember news of a sādhana on kindness from earlier this year, and the new book The Lost Art of Good Conversation” that the Sakyong is currently introducing as part of a North American tour. Live streams and recordings for the latter are available here.

For next year, the Sakyong is scheduled to return to Europe, to bestow the Rigden Abhisheka (which empowers a new generation of sādhakas) and Kurukullā (for Vajrayāna students with sādhana experience), teach Scorpion Seal 9 (for the innermost teachings of the lineage), and, most likely, also to preside over Magyal Pomra Encampment, the outdoor camp of the Dorje Kasung or Pillar of Protection. In recent years, the Sakyong also annually offered teachings for a wider, public audience in European cities (e.g. Barcelona, Vienna, London) – this could happen again, too.

The Sakyong Wangmo was scheduled to give teachings on Yeshe Tsogyal and the Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism. Due to her uncle’s passing, this event has been postponed.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Mandala has been energised with fresh activity. The Pillar of Government has been reaching out and connecting with local and regional leaders: Minister Jane Arthur and Deputy Minister Jani Glavina (now based in London) visited the London Centre in early September to talk about Shambhala vision, the path of leadership, and regional cooperation.

Recently, the Kalāpa Court announced the creation of a new Office: the Shambala Office of Social Engagement (SOSE), led by Director Aarti Tejuja. Its inaugural think-tank meeting took place in mid-October. Furthermore, following an initiative earlier this year, a new Ministry of Health is forming. Likewise, a conference on families and children in Shambhala took place, with Kalāpa Acharya Lobel emphasising the view that this is a central focus of the teachings.

Lastly, from the Shambhala Office of Practice and Education we have the announcement about the launch of the second round of regional Shambhala Ritual Academies. Three have been scheduled so far (Baltimore, Karme Chöling, and Halifax), with plans for a gathering on the West Coast and in Europe being finalised. Faculty for the Academy is Rupa Acharya Suzann Duquette, Chöpön Corps Director Andrea Doukas, and Umdze Corps Director Timothy Quigley. All Tantrikas (having attended Vajrayāna Seminary or Sacred World Assembly) may apply for participation. Those who did not attend Ritual Academy 1 will be offered a preparatory online course and a practical hands-on training just before each respective Academy. Furthermore, in terms of the core curriculum, the Sacred Path weekends may transition to a new more societal format, called The Letter of the Black Ashe: Sacred Community, currently tested at Shambhala Boulder (and previously piloted in Vancouver).

 

 

 

Paul Gerstmayr looks after the newsletter and blog of the London Centre, and supports Council in terms of Membership. He studies and teaches Sanskrit, Pali, and Yoga.

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