Why are people mumbling more these days?

Did you know that I am also an audiologist? I just wrote an article on hearing loss for our community magazine, The Shambhala Times - click here to read it.

I’d love to hear your comments and questions either here (click here to leave a comment) or on the Shambhala Times article!

Very poignant photo from riots in the Ukraine

Linus Bewley, a member of the London Shambhala Centre, shared this photo with a friend of mine in January, who then shared it with me. 

When the world is filled with evil, transform all mishaps onto the path of the bodhi

When the world is filled with evil, transform all mishaps onto the path of bodhi

It came from the BBC news website, with the caption “Saxophonist plays in front of burning fires in Central Kiev” (22nd January 2014). This Saxophonist seemed unfazed by the chaos surrounding him.”   Linus said, “I am a saxophonist myself, and  this Bodhi slogan instantly came to mind for me looking at this.”

To me, it is such a deep expression of this musician’s broken heart and, if I may say, the unconditionality of basic goodness.   Thank you so much, Linus.

The Ukraine situation is daily more desperate and dangerous. Please hold the Ukrainian people in your hearts and practice—we have a centre in Kiev with 24 members/friends, and beyond that, all of the Ukrainian people who are suffering in their country right now.

Can you suggest films for Shambhala Film Soirées?

I am inspired to start a Shambhala Film Soirée tradition in my home over the winter, inviting people to eat and drink together, and watch films that spark conversation about Shambhala vision. They can either communicate Shambhala principles directly, or sometimes expose setting sun mentality in an insightful way.  I would love it if you could suggest movies that you have been particularly impressed by!

I’ll start us off with a few of my favourites. Please add to the list by posting in the comments field below.

The Lives of Others (German: “Das Leben der Anderen” with English subtitles):  This movie does both.  It illustrates, very powerfully, the transformation that human beings are capable of when basic goodness is experienced.  Set in East Berlin.
Bagdad Café (also known as Out of Rosenheim) is a 1987 German film directed by Percy Adlon.
Babette’s Feast (DanishBabettes gæstebud) is a 1987 Danish drama film directed by Gabriel Axel.

Dynamic new video of the Sakyong

Karen Yaeger, of the New York Shambhala Centre, produced this dynamic little video of the Sakyong in order to advertise his upcoming teaching event in November. I think it is really fresh and inspiring!

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche: Enlightened Society from Shambhala New York City on Vimeo.

“When you sat in meditation, you taught the mountains stillness…”

I was so moved to watch this video of Francesca Fremantle, offering one of the poems she wrote about Trungpa Rinpoche. She offered it at the recent Awake in the World festival in London—marking fifty years since Trungpa Rinpoche came to the West.  For those of you who don’t know her, Francesca is a very early student of Trungpa Rinpoche, who worked with him on translating The Tibetan Book of the Dead.  Enjoy…

(Video courtesy of President Reoch)


Inspiration and Mentorship with Trish Barbato

Trish Barbato is an invaluable resource in our community – not only as director of the Mississauga Shambhala Centre, not only as a key member of an affinity circle working on bringing the Shambhala Principle into healthcare, not only as a successful professional running her own company, not only as a blackbelt in kung fu kickboxing…well, the list is simply too long! Instead, have a look at this short interview with Trish herself, conducted by our reporter-on-the-web, Anna Weinstein.

Trish has offered her immense experience and coaching to our Maha Auction, to help one young person or recent grad get their career started in the best possible way. It is such a wonderful gift, not only to the one person she will mentor on this occasion, but to have Trish’s experience and professionalism in our Shambhala community.

Sally Larrick – Goodness Woven Right In

Another community artist is Sally Larrick – some of you may know her as the administrative assistant at the Atlanta Shambhala Center, but she is also a professional textile designer, artist, and weaver. She talked to Anna Weinstein about her passion for textiles and weaving, in this short video interview:

Basic Goodness ShawlAs she says in the video, she always offers a handwoven meditation shawl for the annual Family Camp auction at Karme Choling, and I’m delighted that she has also offered one for our Shambhala Maha Auction. With each pass of the shuttle, she recited the Proclamation of Goodness, line by line. So it really has goodness woven into the fabric!!!

Dan Glenn and a musical WORLD PREMIERE!

Cover art by Shambhalian Jeff Wigman.

Cover art by Shambhalian Jeff Wigman.

Another of the amazing jewels shining in the Shambhala Maha Auction is none other than the Executive Director of the Boston Shambhala Center, Dan Glenn. He’s not only a full-time centre director – he’s also a fantastic musician and songwriter on the verge of releasing his second album of original music, You Dream of Kingdoms. I had the opportunity to interview him today – if you listen carefully, you might get special insider hints on where to compose music if you live at a land centre! Listen here:


Dan is releasing “Strange Good World”, the first single from his new album, You Dream of Kingdoms, this month and is sharing it with you, Shambhala, first!  I am honoured that my blog can host such a special event! Click below to enjoy this never-before-heard recording and stay tuned for the release of the album in early 2014.


And if you live within four hours of Boston, you could have Dan as the featured entertainment for your very own party – he has generously offered an evening of his live musical stylings as an item that you can bid on in the Maha Auction. Don’t miss the opportunity to host your friends for an unforgettable evening. Make sure to visit his personal website for more information about his music and inspiration!

The Art and Calligraphy of Yeachin Tsai

I am always amazed to discover that the Shambhalians I have known for years have a wealth of talents that I somehow have never encountered. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about the Shambhala Maha Auction - it’s a real showcase of the talents and richness within our community.

Yeachin TsaiOne of these fabulously multi-talented Shambhalians is Yeachin Tsai, who not only translates our Shambhala teachings and communications into Chinese for our Chinese-speaking sangha but is also a gifted artist and calligrapher. I had the opportunity to interview her this afternoon about her art, and her life – you can listen to it here:


Middle Way

She has generously donated a beautiful original calligraphy to our auction, of the Chinese semi-cursive for “Middle Way.” This signed calligraphy is on auction until Sunday evening!

yeachin.net has Yeachin’s paintings and everydayink.com focuses more on her calligraphies. You can also email her directly if you’d like to communicate with her personally.

Coming back after a summer (winter) hiatus!

Hello everyone! While I have enjoyed summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and our communities in the Southern hemisphere have experienced winter, this blog has been inactive! I’ve also been having trouble with my twitter account, and hope to get it up and running again soon.

It’s been very quiet in the Halifax offices of Shambhala over July and August.  We have few staff, and when 2 or 3 people take vacations, go on retreat, or work out of the office at the same time, it feels almost completely empty.  Anna Weinstein, Director of Centre and Group Support has moved to Toronto for 10 months, and will be working from there.  Maggie Colby, our International Program Manager, has been away at land centres supporting large international programs, and David Brown, the Director of the Office of the Kalapa Court has been supporting the Sakyong while at land centre programs. I have taken some time off to move house.  I believe that has left only Jill Scott (Office of Practice and Education) and Tim Watkins and his finance team in the building most recently!

For you Star Trekkies, here is a photo of Anna Weinstein and me, held over in Romulus (Michigan) on our way home from the Shambhala Mountain Centre Leadership gathering!

For you Star Trekkies, here is a photo of Anna Weinstein and me, held over in Romulus (Michigan) on our way home from the Shambhala Mountain Centre Leadership gathering!

There are plans afoot, and we are all resuming our activity, so please stay tuned for more blog activity and twitter feeds pretty soon! As always, I would love to hear from you.