To get involved or to follow the action, please see our NEW Vision to Action (V2A) web site at this link: and view the next meetings on the calendar or team page there or read the information on the team pages. Your team leader may not have had the time to get information up yet so you can contact him or her directly.  Their contact information can be found at



by Susan Skjei (pronounced “shay”)

Vision-to-Action (V2A) is a three month planning process the Shambhala Center of Denver is
implementing to prepare itself for the growth and expansion that is anticipated over the next few years. All community members are invited to participate (please go to the V2A website for team meeting times and other details).


Over 50 people attended the first community meeting which was held on Saturday, November 5.
We began with chants and sitting practice and then Fred Jaben, Center Director welcomed everyone and
gave a brief history of the Shambhala Governance Gatherings and why the Center is engaging in this
process (please see the proposal posted on the V2A website). He outlined the 4 outcomes for the process:

  • Develop a clear vision and strategic priorities for the center
  • Implement a governance structure and decision making process based on the 3 pillars model
  • Select the next center director
  • Increase the capacity of the community to manifest a “culture of kindness”

Fred asked everyone to introduce themselves and then he introduced me, (Susan Skjei, primary
facilitator) and Janet Solyntjes (assistant facilitator). I described the overall process and the agenda for the day and said that the process would be “chaordic,” meaning it would include both chaos and order because we using forms to create something new. I also said that the process could at times be “messy” but that we would actively integrate the work that had been done by Shambhala International with what is useful and relevant for the Denver Center.

Community Building:

Next I asked people to practice listening to one another while they each stated their aspiration for the V2A process. We cleared the cushions and made a human “map” of the world and stood in the place where we were born. We then stood in the place in the world where we have a personal connection and talked briefly about this. Next participants paired up and Janet led us in a conversation about a time when we had been in a healthy community and what that experience had been like for us. The debrief was heartfelt and poignant and insights were shared about what it takes to become a culture of kindness.


Excerpts were read from the Sakyong’s “Letter of the Morning Sun” which provided the context
for the visioning exercise. Shastri Jeffrey Stevens encouraged us to view the work we are doing together as a practice, and to be brave enough to be genuine as we go through this process. Then I led the group through a visualization exercise of what the center would look like in 2015 if it were flourishing and manifesting enlightened society. Each person wrote down their vision and the small groups collected themes and reported them out to the large group. We asked people to look back from 2015 and identify the strategic priorities that had enabled us to get to that fruition. These were written down on sticky notes and the notes were clustered during lunch to see what larger topic and themes were emerging.

Team Formation:

After lunch, we reviewed the topics and themes and then divided up into 11 small groups. These
groups identified the current state of their topic, their desired future state and the questions that would need to be answered in order to move forward. Janet facilitated the group report outs and we were all impressed with how much work had already been accomplished. The groups then reconvened (some people shifted to other groups or joined multiple groups) selected a leader for the next 6 weeks and identified their first meeting time. We concluded with the dedication of merit and an energetic rendition of the Shambhala anthem led by Fred Jaben.

Next Steps:

Over the next 6 weeks the teams will meet 3 times. Everyone is invited to join a group, even if
you missed the community meeting. Please look at the V2A website and calendar to determine the time and location for the group you are interested in joining. The next community meeting will be held on December 17 from 9-5. During this meeting the teams will have an opportunity to report on their progress and to receive more training in the “Six Ways of Ruling” and other practical approaches to working with their topics. After that the teams will meet 3 more times and then reconvene with another community meeting on January 28 where the final project recommendations will be shared. The whole process will be complete by Shambhala Day, 2012.

More Information:

For more information please go on to the V2A website and contact team leaders of teams you are most interested in or contact Fred Jaben at [email protected] or Susan Skjei at [email protected]


We are also inviting any feedback from our mailing list on Communications from the Denver Shambhala Center. You can find that survey here:

A Message for Team Leaders, Dan got in through the sign in portal at the bottom of the page but there is another way if you already have a gmail acct. Sign into gmail the way you normally do. If you go up to the left-hand top you will find both calendars and sites. Sites might be under “more.” If you go to your calendar then the lists of calendars (the menu is up in the right hand corner under calendar settings), the calendar will be there. If you go to “sites,” the site will be listed. Everyone needs a gmail acct to get in.

May we all be kind through the confidence of the Great Eastern Sun in our hearts!