Shambhala is governed as a mandala. A mandala is normally depicted as a series of concentric circles radiating around a central square. The square in the middle is the palace or court, housing the central figure. The outer circles are the realms in which that core energy of the mandala manifests.
Shambhala is governed in accordance with this principle. The central square is the Kalapa Court. Within that is the lineage of Sakyongs, holding the royal lineage of Shambhala. The radiating circles constitute the Shambhala community. The whole mandala is the Kingdom of Shambhala.
The mandala can also be understood as a fluid structure of communication and relationships. The relationship between court and kingdom is an interplay between natural hierarchy and community participation. The power of the Shambhala teachings radiate from lineage holder at the centre throughout the community. At the same time the community has multiple channels of communication inwards to the central leadership of the mandala.
The Kalapa Court
Kalapa was the name of the original capital of Shambhala. Situated at the centre of the city (and depicted in all the classical paintings of the kingdom) was the Kalapa Court. The Kalapa court was -- and is -- the point from which the central energy of the mandala emanates. The Kalapa Court is the seat of the Sakyong (which literally means “earth protector”) and his spouse, the Sakyong Wangmo. The Sakyong is the spiritual and temporal head of the Shambhala Mandala. The energy generated within the Court radiates outwards through the teachings, culture, and structure of the mandala.
Click to meet the Sakyong and the Sakyong Wangmo.
The Kalapa Council
The Kalapa Council is the highest governing body of the mandala, including overall legal and financial responsibility for the mandala.
The members of the Council work together to share requests from the Sakyong, to discuss major proposals affecting the whole of the mandala, and develop an integrated approach which can be taken forward for further discussion and implementation by each of the main structures that govern the mandala, known as “the three pillars”. In this way the Council works to ensure increased integration in the governance of the mandala.
The Council acts as the Board of Directors of the mandala. It holds and exercises the highest level of legal authority within the Shambhala Mandala.
To read the regular updates of the Kalapa Council on the activities of the mandala, please click here.
The Kalapa Executive
The Sakyong has established the Kalapa Executive to serve as a senior executive arm of the Kalapa Council to direct and integrate the core activities and services of the Shambhala Mandala. The members of the Kalapa Executive are the highest executive officers of the mandala. They report to the Executive Director, who is responsible to the Chair of the Kalapa Council, the President of Shambhala. They have the authority to act on behalf of the Kalapa Council in the fulfilment of their responsibilities and to ensure that the view and wishes of the Sakyong, and the policies and procedures of the governing bodies of Shambhala, are respected and implemented throughout the mandala.
The Mandala Council
As a global body, the Mandala Council
frequently meets online to
sustain communication among
its wordwide members.
The Mandala Council consists of the Directors of all Shambhala Centres, and groups plus the representatives of other major entities in the mandala. It includes the members of the Kalapa Council. It is chaired by the President, assisted by two or more Vice-chairs, appointed by the President.
The Mandala Council is the principle consultative body that brings together members of the Kalapa Council, the Kalapa Executive and the leaders of the Shambhala Centres and major entities of the mandala. The Council meets regularly online. The meetings include briefings on forthcoming initiatives, consultation on planning for major international events and sharing of experience among the centre leaders themselves. These calls also provide opportunities for local leaders to share their own communities’ insights and suggestions with the centre of the mandala.
The Shambhala Congress
The Shambhala Congress is the largest forum of the global kingdom of Shambhala. It is the principal mandala-wide gathering for discussion and consultation on matters of concern to the community a whole.
The Congress enables participants to present the outcome of prior community meetings held at centres on the Congress topics or theme. It provides the space for direct exchange between the participants and the Sakyong, President, Kalapa Council and other leaders of the mandala. The views expressed by the participants and recommendations made in the course of the congress form part of the decision-making by the Kalapa Council.