Home / Blog / Karmê Chöling 2019: A Year In Review, Part 1

Before we raise our gaze to the 2020 horizon, we invite you to take a moment to look back at the year that was. 2019 was a season of profound practice, vibrant events and, of course, some terrific food!

Please CLICK HERE for a colorful timeline of program and project photos and highlights!

In addition to powerful programs, 2019 has also been a year of heartbreak and change for the Shambhala community. In the wake of more reports of sexual misconduct within our sangha, the Karmê Chöling community continued asking the hard questions:

What do we do now?  
What, if anything, can we do to better support those who’ve been hurt? 
How do we create a safer environment for study, practice, and community events now and going forward?  

Creating a Culture of Safety and Inclusivity
In fall of 2018, we undertook a review of Karmê Chöling’s Code of Conduct, a document which clarifies our expectations of each other as a household and visitors, staff and guests alike. It lays out procedures for addressing conflict and serves as a vital reference point for our standards of behavior. We were inspired by the proposed Code of Ethics for Shambhala offered by An Olive Branch. We shared ‘best practices’ among our peer dharma centers and the wider world. The process came to fruition in August with the acceptance of a new Code of Conduct, ratified by the staff. 

In the spring of 2019, our staff and volunteers began an ongoing education effort, training in how to relate to persons often marginalized by race, gender and sexuality. We added well-researched trauma awareness information to the standard process of preparing each program. In response to recent events in New England and elsewhere, ALICE training helped us better understand what to do should gun violence occur at Karmê Chöling. 

For memory, …. 
can, in the living head, create and make 
new the sometimes appallingly ancient present
and sting the sleeping thing
to a sudden seeing.

~ From “Remembering” by P. K. Page  (excerpt)

Adapting to Change
In March, we announced the decision to transition to a seasonal program model. This decision was inspired by reduced program attendance in late 2018 and early 2019, as well as a desire to spend some time preparing Karmê Chöling to serve the Shambhala sangha through what will likely be several years of radical renewal. If you would like to learn more background about our decision, please click here.

While we remain OPEN for individual, self-created group and cabin retreats, our public programming is pausing from November of 2019 until April of 2020. 

In Part 2 of our Year in Review, we’ll revisit the second half of the year. You’ll find that Karmê Chöling is ‘finishing strong’ in 2019, with plenty of lungta as we look ahead. 

In Part 3, we’ll preview plans for our Golden Anniversary year.  What’s the staff up to this winter? What’s coming? Will we be sharing more recipes from the kitchen?  

Stay tuned….
“so I, remembering from now to then,
can know and see and feel again, 
as jewels must when held in a brilliant branch of sun.” 

~ From “Remembering” by P. K. Page  (excerpt)

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