Letter from the Transition Team

To the Shambhala Pittsburgh Community,

Like many of us through recent months of winter and this extended pandemic, Pittsburgh Shambhala Meditation Center has been in a bit of a hibernation. But like an animal in hibernation, our vital systems have still been operating as they should – bills are being paid, the physical center is being looked after, and folks have been coming together to discuss the way we will make decisions together about who we are as a community. 

Following the stepping-down of our previous Director, Jessica Heathcote, and the Interim Practice & Education team, in December, 2020, a transition team was engaged, comprised of community members with some experience in governance and a continuing interest in the long-term well-being of the sangha and community.  In addition to the basic Center caretaking duties, our goal is to help guide us toward a more equitable system of decision-making, in order to find a healthful way to decide as a community the big questions we’ve been holding as a center.

To make sure that important voices in our community don’t get overlooked, we are currently working to equitably identify and recognize the stakeholders of our community–those with some community experience and interest who want to continue building something together, whatever that something might look like. The transition team has been meeting regularly for the past two months, discussing ways we might set up structures which allow the community to move forward and better address some of these big questions in the spring.

Rather than a centralized programming team, the Center will continue holding space for the smaller practice communities, such as Heart of Recovery and Aging as a Spiritual Practice, that are thriving in our affinity-group model.

And we are of course very happy to announce a new weekly sitting meditation session starting February 22nd — Stillness to Sanity, to be held from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Mondays. No meditation experience is necessary, so please come give it a try. 

We look forward to the horizons of new possibility for our community as we close out our winter with slow but dutiful preparations for an exuberant spring. If you have any interest in hosting programming, any suggestions for an understanding of stakeholdership, or if you would like to offer some support with the logistical/operational concerns of the center, please feel free to reach out to our email address at [email protected]

With love and kindness,

Gloria, Jeri, Jerry, Patience, Sam, Sara & Veronica