Community Care

Resources for Helping our Sangha to Understand Current Events in Shambhala

The role of Shambhala community care (known as Societal Health and Wellbeing) is to safeguard the view that the community that enjoys being together, celebrating together and taking care of one another is an integral part of our practice and is as important as meditation and studying together.  The purpose is to foster what the Sakyong has called a culture of profound kindness at our center.

Departments under the umbrella of Societal Health and Wellbeing include Aging, Accessibility and Disability, Diversity, Membership, Family and Children’s Programs, Leadership as Path, and Outreach which includes coordinating care for those in need for physical and emotional reasons.

There are a variety of initiatives by the community to lower barriers to entry into our community.  These include: our Center’s Generosity Policy, our Scholarship Fund, our Emergency Support Fund, and our community room food basket.

Anyone who has an interest in any of these activities, please contact Deb Curry, Director of Societal Health and Wellbeing.

The following statement is intended to provide the emerging Shambhala society with an initial set of principles upon which to contemplate and build an enlightened response to the inevitable process of aging.  This statement has been developed by the Shambhala Working Group on Aging.
Statement on Aging in Shambhala
  1. The inherent nature of mind, basic goodness, being unconditional, does not change with age.  No matter how old or infirmed we may become, basic goodness remains fully intact.
  2. Rather than viewing aging as leading to the fixation of longstanding habitual patterns, with mind training (meditation practice), as we grow older there is the opportunity for mind to become more open and less fixed.
  3. Physical and mental capacities inevitably change with increasing age.
  4. In Shambhala we can simultaneously recognize both the opportunity to be more openly engaged with the world as we grow older, and the inevitable changes in physical and mental capacities, culminating in death.
  5. In this context, “conventional” retirement is a misguided myth.  The idea that as we age we can “retire” from the world and become less engaged is not consistent with Shambhala vision.  Quite to the contrary, as our responsibilities and time commitment for family and livelihood decrease, we can devote more time and energy to building enlightened society, as well as to our personal practices.  This is “enlightened” retirement.
  6. As we age many of us will, at some point, experience physical ailments that will make it difficult, or perhaps impossible, for us to care for ourselves.  At those times, other members of Shambhala society need to be positioned to come forward to be sure that what we are unable to do for ourselves is done.