July 2017 Denver Monthly Newsletter

Sangha News

We are pleased to announce that Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche will be visiting Denver on October 20th and 21st. This event is the first of three on the North American Tour supporting his new book, The Lost Art of Good Conversation: A Mindful Way to Connect with Others and Enrich Everyday Life. The weekend will include a public talk on Friday night and a day-long retreat on Saturday led by the Sakyong, Lodro Rinzler and Susan Piver.

In this latest book, the Sakyong uses the basic principles of the Shambhala tradition — meditation and a sincere belief in the inherent wisdom, compassion, and courage of all beings — to help readers to listen and speak more mindfully with loved ones, co-workers, strangers, and even ourselves.

In this easy to understand and helpful book, Sakyong Mipham provides inspiring ideas and practical tips on how to be more present in your day-to-day life, helping to communicate in ways that elevate the dignity of everyone involved.

Denver Sakyong Visit – Call for Volunteers

We’re looking for support before and during the event – street marketing teams, culture and decorum teams, setting up, take down, ushers, registration, AV assistants, runners.

Discounted tickets will be offered to 45 volunteers spanning the many roles from Kasung to decor, to ushers, to registration and more. If you are in need of a discounted ticket, volunteering is the way. However, if you are able to pay full price and would still like to volunteer, by all means do so, and free up the discounted tickets for those who need them.

Volunteering for the Book Tour will be loads of fun! Most volunteer shifts are relatively low bandwidth and will only take a few hours of time. All volunteers will be able to participate in the event. (Kasungs holding kasung posts during talks or practice periods are considered to be actively practicing and therefore participating.)

We cannot guarantee that all applicants will be placed with their first choice for volunteering, but we will do our best. Whatever team you find yourself on, please give it your all and don’t take it too seriously – this is about camaraderie, heart, lungta, and hospitality – nothing too serious here!

So are you ready?! Fill out this form and we will get back to you!

Learn to Meditate with Martha Hildreth on August 5th

The Center is pleased to announce that we’re holding a one day meditation workshop that is suitable for those who want to begin a practice with in-depth instruction, as well as those who just want to refresh their practice and view. There will be an explanation of why precision is important, discovering the best posture for you, and mindfulness and contemplation practice. Lots of opportunity for questions, discussion and practice. We will draw from Turning the Mind into an Ally, the best-selling book by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver welcomes people of all religious traditions as well as those who do not follow a particular spiritual path. This workshop is recommended for new meditators, as well as for those looking to enrich their existing spiritual tradition. Learn more and Register.

A Social Meditation Retreat with Shastri Nick Kranz on August 18 – 20

Co-create a culture built on authenticity where we can be exactly who we are, right now.
Bear witness.
Cultivate fearless leadership.
Practice unifying body, speech, and mind.

This weekend intensive will be an exploration in creating a culture of authenticity and nowness by listening and speaking from our present moment experience. The foundation of good society is being unashamed of who we are. Empowering this quality in ourselves and others creates a culture of sanity and well-being. Social Meditation is an evolving way to experience meditation as a form of cultural interaction, which allows us to experience both our individual and collective goodness. We will explore how we can use this recognition to promote more authenticity, acceptance, and well-being in our communities and work with difficult situations as they arise.

This program is open to all – no prior meditation experience is necessary.

Friday night’s talk will be open to the public.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

About Shastri Nick Krantz:
Nick Kranz was appointed Shastri by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in 2013. Shastri Kranz has worked with youth development in the Shambhala sangha for the last decade. After 20 years of deep training in the practice of meditation, he has a profound belief in everyone’s potential to explore and benefit from the practice, and is devoted to guiding people along the path with friendliness and skill.

Shambhala Families and Children

Playful in the Present

Sunday, August 27th
10am – 12pm
Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver
Children’s and Families Programming
is hosting a gathering at a local park (location TBD)
This is a great opportunity for current families
participating in programming to come and hang out
and play with other Shambhala Families as well
as an opportunity to invite friends and families
that are curious about Shambhala to come explore
some fun play in the park with some mindfulness
activities, creative projects and yoga.
Stay tuned to the August newsletter for more details.

Fall Children and Families Programming is Expanding!

Sunday, September 3rd
SMCD will kick off the new season of Children and
Family Programming:
1st and 3rd Sundays
10am – 12pm

Shambhala Kids
ages 4 – 8
Come explore mindfulness, movement and creativity
through the lens of the paramitas
Dragon Club
ages 9 – 12
Come slow down and explore the possibilities of
the present moment through discussion and reflection
*$10 drop-in fee per child, free for Family Members of SMCD

Also, 1st Sunday of the month:

Parenting as Path
10am – 12pm
Join other parents to explore and discuss Shambhala
and Parenting. The role that parenting can serve as practice
and create some space for yourself on the path.
*Program details and registration to follow

How can I help at the Denver Center?

The Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver relies on and greatly appreciates the inspiration, energy, and talents of many volunteers who share in making our offerings available in Denver and beyond. These contributions are part of what is known in the Shambhala community as “creating enlightened society.”

If you would like to volunteer for any of the following areas, please contact the Membership & Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected]. We particularly need help with the following:

  • Head Housekeeper
  • Kitchen Coordinator
  • Audio Visual
  • Special Events Support
  • Grounds Upkeep
  • Facilities Upkeep
  • Host

We welcome members and non-members alike to volunteer according to their interests. This includes staffing meditation practice, weekly classes, weekend retreats, and ongoing support and leadership positions. Outlined below are some of the ways you can contribute as a volunteer and also deepen your practice and connection. Please feel free to contact us if they have a skill to offer that they don’t see listed.

SMCD Wish list: We could use your help!

Can you donate a sandwich board sign for the Center? It would generally look like this sandwich board sign, but advertise our free meditation instruction on Sunday mornings and be placed outside on the sidewalk in front of the Center. If you can help, please contact Glenn Austin, Center Director at [email protected] or 303.369.2807.

Kasung Contemplations

Wind, Horizon and Container: Orderly Chaos

How does a Shambhala practitioner protect the dharma as a Dorje Kasung? Using three jewel-like inspirations: wind, horizon and container. The duty of the Dorje Kasung is to be the wind which clears the skys of clouds, so that the rays of the sun can be felt by all. This is best done by simple gestures that remove obstacles without leaving a residue or producing further confusion. In terms of the teaching environment, a proper horizon helps practitioners orient themselves and open further to the teachings presented. The way the Dorje Kasung set up and organize an event can quickly orient practitioners who enter the space, cutting down on unnecessary confusion. Lastly, the container principle is widely used to describe the overall function of the Dorje Kasung. In the teaching environment, the container often provides the initial orientation, preparing the mind of the student before contact and interaction with the teacher takes place. This results in the student having respect for the atmosphere in which the teachings are being given, so they approach with more care. In the Vajrayana tradition, the container tunes the student into the sacredness of all that is taking place, inspiring devotion to the teacher, which invokes a further experience of wakefulness. Such a container can create a powerful, open ground where confusion can be clarified–not by control but by an appreciation of what is.

Excerpt from “True Command: The Teachings of the Dorje Kasung” by Chogyam Trungpa

Dorje Kasung are trained in protecting the space in which practitioners are able to hear and practice the teachings. The protection extends to the teacher who presents the teachings and the community. Learn more about the Dorje Kasung.

Rocky Mountain Region News

Featured Regional Programs

Nyingma Summer Seminar with Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, Dungse Jampal Norbu, Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel, and Pema Chödrön
July 8–16 @ Mangala Shri Bhuti, Ward

The Heart of Wisdom and Compassion with Pema Chödrön
July 11, 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m. @ Mangala Shri Bhuti, Ward or Online

Sacred Path: Golden Key with Melissa Robinson
August 8–11 @ Shambhala Mountain Center

Volunteer at Shambhala Mountain Center

Dear Front Range Shambhala Sangha,

Come up to Shambhala Mountain Center for a few days or a week this July.

We are preparing for Scorpion Seal Assemblies 2, 3, 4, & 5 with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and need extra help. We’re looking for people to help prepare the shrine room spaces: sowing and hanging curtains, painting and cleaning shrines, stocking the shrine rooms with supplies, ironing, and working with the Practice & Education team.

SMC offers great food, fresh mountain air, practice and miles of hiking trails, The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya and much more.

If you’re interested and can help please email me, David Cushman, Director of Practice, at [email protected].

Warm regards and appreciation,

David Cushman
Director, Practice & Education

Can you help?

International Cultural Exchange Services works to place high school age foreign exchange students with Host families. Right now we need homes for a number of students from Thailand who are practicing Buddhists. Host families provide room, board, and a family for students while they are here, students are responsible for all other expenses. If you are interested please call or email Sara Roberts (570) 460-9799, [email protected].

If you have any questions or comments about the newsletter, please contact the Newsletter Editor, Arleen Garcia-Herbst, at [email protected]. Submissions for the newsletter are due to the Editor by 5:00 pm on the last Friday of each month for publication on the first Monday of the following month.