Home / Blog / Aarti Tejuja joins “Brave Leadership: The Art of Hosting” teaching team

Aarti Tejuja, Director of the Shambhala Office of Social Engagement, has joined the teaching staff of “Brave Leadership: The Art of Hosting,” a three-day program offered at Karme Choling Nov. 16-19.

The aim of the program, also led by Marguerite Drescher and Gabrielle Donnelly, is to teach methods for holding meaningful conversations and organizing groups toward the creation of Enlightened Society.

Earlier this month, Aarti, in her new role as director of the Office of Social Engagement, joined other Shambhala leaders in condemning a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., where 32-year-old counter-protester Heather Heyer was killed when a truck rammed into the crowd. The suspected driver, charged with second-degree murder, has been linked to the “alt-right” rally.

The statement called on Shambalians “to step up as Warriors,” searching more deeply within themselves than ever before – and to act.

“It is important that we begin to engage in dialogue as much as possible using the wealth of forms we have in our community,” the statement said.

“Brave Leadership: The Art of Hosting,” gives participants the experience to bring that conversation, as well as organizing skills, back to their sanghas and communities.

Also know by the name “Hosting Conversations that Matter,” the program integrates Shambhala principles and practices with methods for engaging the collaborative potential of teams, communities and organizations.

In her role as director, Aarti works with more than 200 Shambhala Centers and groups worldwide to help shift the community’s culture from an insular style into a more outward, socially engaged approach. Part of her work will be to encourage communities to find spaces to offer the ancient tools and wisdom they’ve been trained in so that the world can benefit and emerge as a more mindful, caring society.

Aarti, a member of the Chicago Shambhala Meditation Center, sits on the board of a nonprofit called  Restored Hope, which advocates for under-served women and children. She participates in many interfaith efforts, and was invited by Pope Francis to participate in a Buddhist Catholic dialogue in Rome in 2015.

Aarti has been involved with several collaborative efforts in Chicago such as Thrive, Peace Hub, the Kenwood Interfaith Council, and the Buddhist-Catholic Dialogues. She has successfully co-led two youth summits and two large mindfulness conferences with other nonprofits and interfaith groups, and most recently, “Awaken Chicago,” a mindfulness based conference whose primary focus looked deeper into how to address violence plaguing marginalized communities.

The Sakyong formally initiated the Office of Social Engagement at Karme Choling in May, during the Shambhala Kalapa Garchen. The office explores systemic issues within Shambhala and wider society, investigates instituting sane systems that are based on inherent wisdom.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *