Letter from Director Rhiannon Wells

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Dear Sangha,

 

The past Friday Shambhala International packed up their offices and moved out of the building. It was quite something to watch 30 years of their presence in the building dissolve. On Wednesday the first meeting of our newly formed Strategic Planning Committee will meet and already I’ve been hearing about possibilities of donations for what’s to come. It’s all very exciting. There is so much room for possibility, creativity, and fresh thinking.

 

All of this makes it all that much harder to tell you that I will be leaving my post on April 1st. In the three years that I held the post a lot has been accomplished and I feel ready to pass the leadership of the centre on to someone new, who has fresh energy to take it forward. In many ways, I wish I were starting now. However, this job is not built to be a long-term position and after three years, I’ve reached the end of my time.

 

During these last three years, we have made significant changes to the physical structure of the building, including the purchase of a new gas furnace and heating system. We solved a low-water pressure mystery that troubled the centre for over 25 years, by removing rocks from our pipes. We’ve replaced many windows in the building, including those in the Main Shrine Room. A new perma-culture garden and shed were installed this past summer. Best of all, we raised over $39 000 to renovate the kitchen. Overall our finances are strong and we have a funds to help us through hard times.

 

The centre has steadily grown to manifest more deeply the Sakyong’s vision for Shambhala. Our Taste of Shambhala weekly meal and open house has brought food and conversation more to the forefront of our community. In my first year, we doubled attendance at Way of Shambhala programs. The North End satellite was meeting once a week and being almost fully supported by the HSC, and it now has three offerings each week and continues to grow. I am pleased to report that the Practice and Education Pillar has strengthened, with more engagement from the shastris, and a Director of Path and Culture installed. The centre is feeling more and more like a community space, engaging groups inside and outside of our sangha. We have continued to strengthen our relationship with St. Andrews United Church, furthering our interfaith conversations on important topics for our time.

 

We’ve hosted many excellent teachings and empowerments, including the Sakyong giving the Sadhana of Mahamudra and Kurukulla empowerments, as well as his teaching at a Level One and leading the recent Shambhala Sadhana retreat. We’ve also had visits from Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Dzongsar Kheyntse Rinpoche, Khenpo Lhabu Rinpoche, and Jigme Rinpoche, as well as teachings from many other wonderful local and visiting teachers.

 

The Centre has just begun to embark on an important visioning process. We are exploring what we can offer the city of Halifax and beyond. A great team is being put in place to draw out these ideas and explore how best to make them a reality. There are exciting changes afoot, and I look forward to seeing where new, fresh leadership can take the centre. It will require an engaged team that takes on responsibility for making the centre function at its best, and I encourage everyone to jump in to help make this possible.

 

I would like to extend a very warm thank you to everyone that has served in roles at the centre, volunteered, sponsored, or worked with me in all the many capacities that are part of the Shambhala mandala. Thank you to the donors who have helped keep the HSC flourishing, and thank you to all of the members who have dedicated weekends, weeknights, afternoons, days, months, and years to the vision of Shambhala. It takes enormous generosity to do all of this. It has been an honour to serve as the Director of the Halifax Shambhala Centre.

 

Much love,
Rhiannon

2 thoughts on “Letter from Director Rhiannon Wells

  1. Congratulations dear Rhiannon on leading the way in all of these wonderful accomplishments!! Enjoy this last month in your post, and best wishes for whatever is next. Love you, Maggie xo

  2. Dear Rhi,

    Thank you so much for all of your work and now the Halifax center is humming with activity, renewed energy and very rich programming. Its a wonderful accomplishment.

    Many wishes that you continue to thrive and may your path lead to many further adventures in Shambhala warriorship.

    Warm regards,

    Dale Hinchey
    Shibata Meadows Retreat Center
    Green Hill ( Stanley), New Brunswick

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