Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver Launches Search for a New Executive Director

The Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver is seeking its first paid Executive Director.

The Executive Director is a dynamic position for the candidate who is ready to lead the thriving and growing Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver through its next phase of development.

Please send your resume, references, and a cover letter that clearly relates specific examples of how you fit the Qualities, Skills, and Experience section of the job description. Also, include information about your practice experience; where you are and what your aspirations are on the Shambhala Path.

References will be checked during the final stage of the hiring process for qualified candidates.

Applications may be e-mailed or mailed to the addresses below. You may also drop your application in the secure Donation Box at the Center.

We look forward to hearing from all interested candidates by Friday, December 28, 2012.

In the Vision of the Great Eastern Sun,

The Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver Executive Director Search Committee

Contact Us:

Executive Director Search Committee e-mail: [email protected]

Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver
2305 S. Syracuse Way, Suite 214
Denver, CO 80231
(303) 369-2807

Full text of the position description is below. Also, download the position description and find application instructions by visiting the Executive Director Search page (HERE) on the SMCD web site.


Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver
Executive Director Position Description

The Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver (SMCD) seeks an Executive Director loyal to the Shambhala Vision developed by Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, as expressed in his view and activity and those of the Sakyong, Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche. We are looking for a leader with excellent communication, leadership and administrative skills, to direct and foster a thriving organization of teachings, practices and community life, as well as promote and lead the Center into its next dynamic phase. With the Leadership, the Executive Director will have the opportunity to plan, strategize, and make decisions to expand the space facility. Concurrently, the Executive Director will assist the Leadership in formulating plans and implementing strategies to ensure the Center’s financial sustainability.

SMCD is a dynamic and growing community of approximately 200 members and friends, comprised of both seasoned practitioners and newer students, situated within an easy drive to the Kalapa Court, the Boulder Center, SMC and the retreat center at Dorje Kyung Dzong. SMCD offers great opportunities for the right candidate to grow Enlightened Society in a metropolitan area. The Center was founded in the mid-Seventies and is currently located in the southeast area of Denver.

SMCD is active in Rocky Mountain Shambhala, a regional group comprised of leaders from Boulder, Fort Collins, Shambhala Mountain Center (SMC), Marpa House, Longmont Group, Dorje Khyung Dzong, Laramie and Albuquerque. This ongoing community is becoming increasingly important to the health and inspiration of each center.

Note: Refer to the Shambhala document “Role and Appointment of the Director of a Shambhala Center” for additional information about the guidelines for this position.


The Executive Director is responsible for five areas: planning, operations, communications, community and leadership. Specific responsibilities are outlined below.

I. Planning

The Executive Director works with:

• SMCD Leadership and Operations Councils to develop and implement the Center’s strategic goals and priorities;

• the Chagdzö /Finance Director and Leadership Council to ensure the financial well being of the Denver Center;

• the Finance Committee to support growth through fundraising and development to increase membership, donations and dues;

• the Practice and Education Director(s) to create the annual calendar; and

• Leaders in other organizations to plan and implement activities that support the Shambhala vision.

II. Operations

The Executive Director manages day-to-day activities at the Shambhala Center by:

• Providing training and ongoing support for SMCD leadership;

• Hiring and managing any paid staff, such as an Administrator;

• Training and mentoring volunteers where there is not formal leadership;

• Supervising those responsible for maintaining and developing Center property;

• Overseeing negotiation of any changes to the lease, purchase of property, or development of a satellite center; and

• Planning, organizing, and overseeing local implementation of mandala-wide events, such as Shambhala Day, Harvest of Peace, and Lineage Festivals.

III. Communications

Clear, consistent, visible communication is vital to the flourishing of a community of this size. Therefore, the Executive Director will:

• Act as the principal spokesperson for the Shambhala Center to the broader community, the Rocky Mountain Shambhala Region and the wider Shambhala mandala;

• Work collaboratively with the Communications Director to provide regular updates to the Shambhala community, keep information current on the website and other media, produce quality publicity materials, work with the appropriate Leaders to ensure the Shambhala Database is updated regularly;

• Communicate effectively when conflict arises in the community in ways that are fair, collaborative, and nonjudgmental with skills that bind the community together.

IV. Community

The Executive Director fosters a culture of profound kindness and generosity based on the foundation of practice and study by:

• Encouraging the community to bring Shambhala Vision into society at large in whatever ways are appropriate in the local environment;

• Supporting the Practice and Education leaders to ensure sufficient practice and education opportunities for all kinds of practitioners;

• Working closely with other key Center leaders, including the Desung, Kasung and the Director of Societal Health and Well-being, to cultivate a harmonious and engaged community life;

• Working with the Development Director and/or Membership Coordinator to increase a sense of meaningful community engagement in the form of membership;

• Modeling community engagement by participating in major community events; and

• Modeling generosity and kindness by being available to and approachable for all community members.

V. Leadership

The Executive Director supports the rest of the leadership, staff, volunteers and members of the Center through:

• Ongoing development of the local mandala structure, including new positions; consulting with the Denver Leadership Council as appropriate;

• Establishing and maintaining effective management structure and procedures;

• Cultivating volunteers as well as developing leaders; and

• Providing general oversight to all Denver Center initiatives.

Qualities, Skills and Experience

A suitable candidate will:

• Demonstrate a strong commitment to the path and practices of Shambhala Buddhism, the vision of Enlightened Society, and the lineage of Sakyongs;

• Be willing to act in accordance with the principles of Shambhala governance and, in particular, undertake the practice of the Six Ways of Ruling;

• Be people-oriented, organized, and able to listen, delegate and make hard decisions;

• Respect and encourage diversity within SMCD governance and throughout the community;

• Commit to personal meditation practice and participation in community practice;

• Have the ability to translate Shambhala Vision into actions and practices that support the workings of the Leadership Council and community;

• Lead teams based on genuine consultation and collaboration;

• Be able to work effectively with conflict in ways that inspire others;

• Have experience with training, inspiring and appreciating volunteers;

• Possess the capacity for original thinking, problem solving and creativity;

• Have excellent written and spoken communication skills, including computer literacy;

• Be able to lead and manage projects, organize people, events and programs.


• Completion of a minimum of five years’ experience as a practitioner on the Shambhala path;

• Familiarity with cultural forms held in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition.

• Professional experience with demonstrated managerial, project management, fiscal accountability and collaborative/conflict resolution skills.


• Completion of Sacred World Assembly (formerly Vajrayana Seminary), and willingness to attend Scorpion Seal Assembly within the term of this appointment;

• Meditation Instructor Certification;

• Kasung experience;

• Strong experience in recruiting and managing volunteer and paid staff;

• Experience with organizational development;

• Excellent administrative skills, including time management and prioritization;

• Experience with publicity, marketing, and fundraising; and

• Experience working with non-profit organizations.

 Employment Relationship

Hours of Work:

• 30 hours/week performing Executive Director responsibilities.

• Flexible work schedule requiring daytime, evening and weekend participation.

• Travel and attendance at Shambhala Governance events, such as Kalapa Governance trainings and regional meetings. Such events may require travel out of state/country and overnight stays.

Pay and Benefits:

• Annual salary of $32,000, commensurate with experience.

• Reimbursement of travel expenses to Shambhala Governance events.

• Two weeks of paid vacation per year.

• Three weeks of personal time for retreat, illness, and family matters.

• Reimbursement of up to $175/month for health/dental insurance premium.