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Buddhadharma : Winter 2009
57 winter 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly lives and train future generations of Zen teachers. We get our training, our room and board, a small stipend, and then after a period of time, we do get insurance, which was a huge innovation for us. There are also some short-term programs and we call the people who take part in them guest students, but everybody works, whether they’re long-term or short. We also have farm apprentices, mostly younger people wanting to learn organic farming and meditation. We have a long history of job rota- tion, which helps you to meet beginner’s mind, because when you enter into a new job, you fall into your habitual pat- terns. As you see them again and again—and when you live in community you get some feedback—you’re able to round yourself out better. However, we are considering having the top administration people and the top spiritual leadership stay in their positions a little bit longer, in the interest of continuity and stability. Buddhadharma: To what extent are your centers broadening their programming in order to reach a wider audience and increase program enrollment? JOn BarBieri: When people in our generation were first encoun- tering the buddhadharma, I don’t think we were necessarily looking for Buddhism per se, or to become Buddhists. We were searching for reality, for spirituality. There are a large number of people today looking to make a connection to their humanness, what we might call their buddhanature. We want to offer something to them, so we’ve been developing a wider variety of programs. We offer train- ing in body disciplines such as Qigong, Tai Chi, and yoga. We want to expand into programs on leadership and compassion, programs out in the business community that help people bring sanity to the workplace and lead others in a more enlightened way. We are developing programs focusing on peace, sustain- ability and environment, and artistic expression. We feel these (bottom)michaello;(top)marchamel(bottom)benjaminrandom;(top)lipingzhu shambhala mountain center Founded in 1971 as Rocky Mountain Dharma Center by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Shambhala Mountain Center sits on 650 acres in the Roosevelt National Forest, a three- hour drive north of Denver. Along with Karmê Chöling in Vermont, it is one of the major residential practice centers of the Shambhala Buddhist community in North America. SMC hosts basic meditation programs, applied mindfulness programs, and advanced Vajrayana training, as well as sessions led by teachers outside of the Buddhist tradition. SMC is home to the Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, which contains Trungpa Rinpoche’s relics and is the largest example of Buddhist sacred architecture in North America. In summer, SMC can house about 500 participants in tents and its two indoor lodges. Its winter capacity is 150, with a meditation hall seating about that number. Last year, 3,535 people took part in programs there. SMC has a current bud- get in excess of $3 million, a staff of 60, and many volun- teers who help with programs as well as the annual setup and takedown. are all doorways for people to make a connection to a contem- plative environment. It’s a more turned-out focus, which is a bit of a reversal of the original idea of a retreat center. SuSan O’COnnell: The world is being very clear in its request for help, and to make sure we’re listening deeply we’ve done surveys and held focus groups to find out what people want from us. We have a range of offerings at Tassajara, such as pro- grams on Zen and money, body disciplines, wilderness walks, and interfaith dialogues. We now need to take what we’ve been doing there and figure out how to offer it year-round at our other centers.