A Place for You to Be: Shambhala Aspirations on Diversity, Accessibility and Compassionate Conduct

imageEvery Center posts this aspiration in a prominent place — we have located it on the bulletin board outside the Main Meditation Hall. In case you haven’t had a chance to read it:

The teachings held by the Shambhala mandala challenge us as individuals to recognize and dissolve barriers that separate us from others. As a community of practitioners, we strongly encourage understanding of and respect for the basic goodness inherent in all individuals, social groups and cultures.

At this center, we are committed to the teachings of our lineages, to the practice of meditation and meditation-in-action, and to genuine communication, As part of our intention to create enlightened society, these also help us gain insight into others’ realities, appreciate diversity and work with conflict.

We strive to foster a welcoming atmosphere free of prejudice and to develop an inclusive and enlightened society with facilities fully accessible to all persons. Although some of our programs and events are open only to those who have fulfilled certain prerequisites, everyone is welcome at our center regardless of religion, spiritual tradition or teachers, path of practice, opinions, class, nationality, culture, ethnicity, race, language, age, gender, sexual orientation, or physical, perceptual or mental abilities.

Our center is committed to creating a practice, study, and work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. In addition to being bound individually and as a community to basic Shambhala and Buddhist standards of conduct, we are also citizens of the larger societies in which our centers are located worldwide and, therefore, must abide by public laws. These include, but are not limited to, laws pertaining to alcohol, drugs and sexual conduct. Each individual has the right to practice, study and work in an atmosphere that is free from discrimination.

As with all intentions, personal or collective, these aspirations chart our way forward, and it is our mutual responsibility to work together with each other to respect them. If any individual wishes to make recommendations to Shambhala, or is concerned that the actions of a member of Shambala, including any of its office-holders, may not have been in accordance with these aspirations, please contact the Director of this Center, the Rusung of the Dorje Kasung, or any appropriate person in the local leadership.

Concerns about the behaviour of office-holders will be handled in accordance with the procedures set down in Shambhala Care and Conduct, a copy of which is available at this center.

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