Autumn to Autumn

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Dear Halifax Shambhala Centre Members and Friends,

On Sunday September 22nd we will celebrate The Harvest of Peace. This is a time to come together and take delight in the seasons changing from summer to autumn. We will have activities for children, listen to the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo’s international address, recognize and thank new members and volunteers, enjoy hors’doeuvres and beverages and fundraise for the Halifax Shambhala Centre.

Reflecting on all that has taken place since our last Harvest of Peace and what we are planning for the coming year, I thought it would be helpful to share the highlights.

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The past year has been a full and exciting year at the centre. The Sakyong was in residence in Halifax for much of the year. We had our largest Level One on record with him in January, Shambhala Day in February, the birth of his daughter Jetsun Yudra in March, a week-long retreat with the acharyas and Kalapa Council in April, the launch and book signing of Shambhala Principle in May, and the Kurukulla Empowerment in July.       

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Way of Shambhala was a big success this year, with participant numbers more than doubling from last year. We had growth in the North End Meditation Space, adding a Wednesday sitting session and Sunday events. We redesigned our Open House as “Taste of Shambhala”, which launched this Wednesday with about 60 people attending. This year nearly 100 of us joined Acharya Lobel for a discussion on the under 40ish generation, we hosted Centre Directors from the largest Centres in North America for a week long retreat, and we held a gathering of 140 Meditation Instructors.

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Photo Credit: The Chronicle Herald

We participated in Switch Open Street Sundays, the Participatory Budgeting Process for District 7, and co-hosted the Mayoral Candidacy Forum at St. Andrews Church. We hosted Jigme Rinpoche, arts events, Robbie Burns Night, Chuck Leif, President of Naropa University, a panel on the Profound Treasury, playgroups, potlucks, weddings, and funerals.

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We also made big changes to the building, including getting a new natural gas furnace, painting the Main Shrine Room and Snow Lion Room, fixing the water pressure problem that has existed for years, and replacing 4 windows in the Main Shrine Room, with the other 8 on their way. And let’s not forget our brand new website.

It’s amazing to think of all that we accomplished, and we definitely could not have done it without the support of our members. Membership is the beating heart of the centre. The financial contributions and volunteer support is what makes it possible to provide a warm, welcoming, environment for people to walk off the street and meet their minds, to see their basic goodness and to find a community of people who are brave enough to face this crazy world and work towards creating enlightened society.

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This year we are beginning to roll out Unified Giving, a new funding model to support the core services of Shambhala’s global mandala. This is a based on the model used by many large non-profits with core services and local chapters. Since we are part of a global mandala supported by central services, this will simplify the fundraising in our mandala. The services provided by Shambhala are the backbone of our international community. Beginning in September Halifax will be increasing our funding of Shambhala from ~3% to ~9% of our gross revenue and will re-evaluate in January.

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We are working on new programs and events including the Profound Treasury Class, a visit of Khenpo Lhabu in early November, new children’s events and parenting classes, a recovery group for people with addictions, a queer dharma initiative, a series hosted by Societal Health and Wellbeing, the new Taste of Shambhala, and new arts events.

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At Harvest of Peace we will be fundraising to finish the windows in the Main Shrine Room, which includes painting the trim and buying new shades for the windows. The shades will provide much better insulation, helping to keep the heat in, but also making a big difference in keeping the room cool in hot weather. We have been talking about renovating the kitchen, getting a new dishwasher, new highly efficient toilets, washer, dryer and freezer. Stay tuned for these changes.

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Your support of the centre also provides the funds to pay our devoted team of staff : Bob Hastey, Fréderic Villemure, Angie Fenwick-Gibb, Melissa Howell, Dinah Brown, Dimitri Mastrodimitropolis, and Laura Evans (who is leaving and being replaced by Finn Timmons). Thank you for making all of this possible!

If you will not be able to join us for Harvest of Peace, please consider making a contribution to the Halifax Shambhala Centre online by clicking here. You can also increase your monthly donation by contacting Bob Hastey at bhastey@shambhala.org , or become a new member by clicking here.

Thank you for all of your support and I look forward to working with you in the year to come!

As you know, I’m yours,

Rhiannon

Halifax Shambhala Centre Director

3 thoughts on “Autumn to Autumn

  1. Thank you for all of the great pictures, Rhiannon – they make your letter very easy to read! And thank you for all of your amazing efforts over the year. xo Patricia Ullman Hayward

  2. Excellent and informative letter, Ms. Wells. I appreciate so much how you keep us informed in such a clear and succinct way. Thank you to you and the centre staff for such a successful year. I will definitely make a donation.
    Dearest regards to all,
    Theresa Barritt

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