Diversity Resources

You can join the Shambhala Network here (username/password required). Search in existing Groups for “Diversity” and see what conversations are happening. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, start your own group! Then, put a notice in the Sangha Announce group asking people to join in the discussion.

Diversity Talk

The purpose of Diversity-talk listserv is to provide a forum for sharing information about diversity activities and issues in Shambhala. Center and Group diversity contact persons and other sangha members who are interested in fostering a more open, inclusive and diverse Shambhala are encouraged to subscribe to this list. Notices concerning diversity programs at local centers, requests for help with center diversity initiatives, and discussion of diversity issues in Shambhala are appropriate for this list.

People of Color

The purpose of the People-of-color listserv is to provide a forum for people of color in Shambhala to communicate with each other. People of African, Asian/Pacific, Caribbean/Latin American, Middle Eastern, and Native American ancestry are invited to subscribe to this list. The list can be used to contact people of color Shambhala Buddhist teachers, meditation instructors, and guides for help with practice and study matters; to exchange information about gatherings, outreach initiatives, meditation retreats, mentoring, and scholarships for people of color in Shambhala; and to provide support and encouragement to people of color on the Shambhala Buddhist path.

Note: most of the files on this page are in PDF format.
You will need Adobe Acrobat to read these files.

Diversity Classes

Classes on the Feminine Principle
The Shambhala Commission on the Status of Women and Feminine Principle and the Shambhala Office of Practice and Education are offering several weekend classes on feminine principle and the inseparability of masculine and feminine energies.

Diversity Documents & Reports

Summary Report of Shambhala Diversity Alliance Interviews
The Shambhala Diversity Alliance assists the mandala in making Shambhala teachings meaningful and inviting to the broadest range of people. The Alliance conducted interviews to determine the need/desire for diversity training throughout the mandala.

Shambhala Aspirations on Diversity, Accessibility and Compassionate Conduct
A statement of our aspiration to create a society that is open, inclusive and welcoming of diversity. In English, French and Spanish.

Notes on Diversity and Accessibility [by Dan Hessey]
A treatise on the Shambhala Buddhist view of diversity and accessibility.

People of Color in Shambhala – Remarks by Shambhala President Richard Reoch
Shambhala President Richard Reoch’s comments to the January 2008 Diversity Working Group Teleconference

Recommendations for Improving Diversity and Accessibility
More than 70 recommendations for embedding diversity and accessibility into all aspects of Shambhala society.

Recommendations for Cultivating a Globally Diverse Mandala
Illuminates challenges affecting the diversity of Shambhala’s global community and presents ways the community can help.

Resources for Improving Diversity and Accessibility
More than 100 resources for improving diversity and accessibility, including areas such as diversity training, communication and cultural competency.

Second Annual Report on Diversity in Shambhala (2008) (Color)
Second Annual Report on Diversity in Shambhala (Printer Friendly B&W)

Highlights some of the things that Shambhala’s leadership and local centers/ groups have done to foster an atmosphere that is open, inclusive and welcoming of diversity.

Diversity Training in Shambhala Buddhism
Guidelines to assist in the creation of diversity workshops and classes.

Diversity Contemplations, Dialogues, Quotations and Training

Contemplation and Dialogue on Diversity
This contemplation and dialogue is intended to help individuals in Shambhala to explore their experience of bias towards others and ways they can be more open and inclusive.

Diversity and The Warrior’s Heart [by Linda G. Francis]
A diversity contemplation for cultivating openness.

Precepts: Turning the Mind Towards Practices In Diversity [by Larry Yang]
These trainings are viewed as a continual work in progress and given freely to all communities to practice. Feel welcomed to modify the trainings to suit your individual needs or those of your sangha.

Diversity Quotations: Words Beyond Bias
A selection of quotes for inspiration, education, contemplation compiled by Shambhala Diversity Contact Persons.

Other Diversity Resources: Contacts, Scholarship, Translation

Checklist for Translation Work A check list that could help you to make a program available to non-English speakers.

Diversity Practitioner Survey Results
These survey results indicate what Shambhalians feel are diversity issues, which diversity issues are the most pressing and would contribute the most to fostering a more openness and inclusion in Shambhala.

Diversity Contact Persons
A directory of persons who have been asked by their centers to help with diversity issues. (as of Dec 2007)

Diversity Talk
An e-mail group for persons who have been selected by their Shambhala center or group as their Diversity Contact Person.

North American People of Color Scholarship Fund
A fund that supports Shambhala’s aspirations on diversity by making financial assistance available to people of color on the Shambhala Buddhist path who desire to contribute to the Shambhala community and bring benefit people who share their backgrounds.

Shambhala Translation Committee Coordinators Contact information for Shambhala Translation Committee Coordinators

Diversity Articles, Talks And Teachings

10 Easy Steps to Inviting Diversity [and Newcomers] to Your Shambhala Center [by Jon Feller]

Al-budd and Muslim Me [by Masood Cajee] Turning Wheel, Summer 2006, p. 15-19.
“Indeed, Buddhism and Islam have much in common, including the centrality of compassion, and a tradition of meditative practice.”

Being with What Is: Teaching Meditation to People with Chronic Pain and Disabilities [by Naomi Weisman] in Turning Wheel, Spring 2005, p. 23-25.
“It’s a privilege to be working with people who, in spite of extremely difficult physical circumstances, manage to show up for the group and are touched by our teaching.”

Borderlands [by Caitriona Reed] Turning Wheel, Summer 2005, p. 23-25.
“Changing your sex can be a serious inconvenience, a major interruption to your life.”

Buddhism and the Body Problem: A Historical Perspective on African American Buddhists [by Lori Pierce] Turning Wheel, Summer 2003, p. 20-22, 30.
“Any religious institution that does not fully acknowledge the complicated legacy of race and white supremacy in all our cultural and social institutions will not win the allegiance of African-Americans.”

Buddhism is the Most Radical and Civilized Choice [by John Malkin]
A surprising conversation about being black and Buddhist in America with award-winning writer Charles Johnson.

Center of Your Mandala [by Pema Chödrön]
A pith diversity teaching on mandala principle and bias.

Elegant Reception Celebrates Diversity [The DOT article]
Shambhala President Reoch and his dinner guests celebrate racial and ethnic diversity in Shambhala.

El Latinismo y sus Bellos Colores: Voices of Latina and Latino Buddhists [compiled by Rosa Zubizarreta] Turning Wheel, Spring 2001, p. 18-25.
Includes interviews with Buddhist teachers and practitioners such as Hilda Gutierrez Baloquin, José Luis Reissig, Margarita Loinaz, Marlena Willis, Jose Cuellar, Teresa M.G. Navarro, Rich Ramirez and Daniel Terragno.

Exploring Bias, Racism, and Diversity – Baltimore Shambhala Center [by Linda Gail Francis] in The Dot: The Quarterly Newspaper of Shambhala, Autumn 2007, Vol 5, No 2., page 4.

Going Beyond Bias [by Sangyum Agness Au]
A talk on diversity awareness and bias presented at the Joint Mandala Council and Sakyong’s Council Meeting.

Going Beyond Bias [The DOT article]
A description of the diversity training in which the Shambhala leadership participated at Shambhala Mountain Center.

I Am Old [by Lee Lipp] Turning Wheel, Winter 2005, p. 25.
“I feel caught in our cultural myth that aging is a failure, that if I only did it right I could avoid old age, even avoid death.”

I Vow To Be Diversity [by Bernie Glassman]
Glassman writes that diversity and oneness are the same thing and that we can’t be effective without taking it into account.

Mindfulness and the Beloved Community [by Charles Johnson] Turning Wheel, Summer 2003, p. 37-42.
“If we wish to understand the special meaning that the Buddhadharma has for blacks in America – and why in the 21st century it may be the next step in our spiritual evolution toward what Martin Luther King, Jr. called the ‘beloved community’ – we need look no farther than the teaching of mindfulness…”

Northern California Shambhala People of Color Retreat [DOT article]
A brief article on the Awakening To Freedom people of color retreat, held at the Berkeley Shambhala Meditation Center.

On American Sanghas and Race Relations [Albert Kutchins] Turning Wheel, Summer 1992, p. 4-5.
“To the extent that we really practice the way of the Buddha, we will open to and experience a truly wide range of people Asian, black, white, Native American, impossible to classify…”

Partaking in Diversity [by Marvin Robinson]
Marvin suggests that as we seek out ways to diversify our mandala, maybe we could start at our own dining tables.

People of Color Retreat – New York Shambhala Center [by Mabinti Dennis] The Dot: The Quarterly Newspaper of Shambhala, Autumn 2007, Vol 5, No 2., p. 25.

Pouring Water into Water [by Rita Gross] Turning Wheel, Spring 1999, p. 17-20.
“We need to empower and trust well-trained, well-practiced, articulate women teachers who are not male identified.”

Racial Diversity in American Buddhism [by Kate Dugan & Hilary Bogert]
This report provides snapshots of the work American Buddhists are doing to nurture racially diverse sanghas (Buddhist communities)-it is not a comprehensive collection of these efforts.

Racial Diversity in American Buddhism Bibliography
A bibliography of recent papers, articles and reports.

Reaching Out to Diverse Populations [OUTREACH article]
Here are a few suggestions for centers, groups and individuals who want to do outreach to diverse populations.

Something Has to Change: Blacks in American Buddhism [by Lawrence Pintak]
In this article, several African-American Buddhist teachers offer perspectives on diversity in American Buddhism.

Stories We Have Yet to Hear: The Path to Healing Racism in American Sanghas [by Mushim Ikeda-Nash]
To truly accept one another as Dharma sisters and brothers, we must first hear one another, making the commitment to practice compassionate listening for as long as it takes.

The Heart of Fundamentalism [Tenzin Sherab] Turning Wheel, Fall 1995, p. 24-25.
“Fundamentalism is in our hearts – all of our hearts. Once we recognize that, we can start to come to terms with it.”

Time For Us All To Come Out [Joanna Macy and Susan Moon interview Caitriona Reed]. Turning Wheel, Spring 1999, p. 21-23.
“Well, the day picked itself. I came out verbally while on retreat at a community in Santa Monica. I said, ‘I need to say that I am transsexual, and I am changing my life expression in a way that is not acceptable for a man to do’ “

Where Does the Calling Come From [by Thomas B. Coburn]
Naropa University’s President talks about the importance of diversity awareness in contemplative education.

Why We Need People of Color Programs in Shambhlala [by Charlene Leung, Chairperson of the Shambhala Diversity Working Group and member of the Sakyong’s Council]

Widening Our Circle: Being an Ally to People with Chronic Illnesses [by Diana Lion] Turning Wheel, Summer 2007.
“My request for allies for people with chronic illness is actually a plea for us to be allies for everyone without exception, as our interdependence is undeniable.”

Widening the Circle: Black Communities and Western Buddhist Convert Sanghas [by Sharon Smith]
This literature review suggests possible causes for the present lack of ethnic diversity within Western Buddhist convert sanghas that merit further examination. It compares these sanghas’ general history with the social and religious histories of black diaspora communities in the United Kingdom and United States. It also outlines some strategies being deployed by some Western Buddhist convert sanghas to encourage further participation from black people and greater awareness of diversity issues.

Working with Diversity: Perspectives from Shambhala Buddhist Teachers.
Shambhala Buddhist teachers offer teachings and perspectives on diversity.

Youth and Buddhist Activism [by Swan Keyes] Turning Wheel, Fall 2002, p. 1
“Loud, withdrawn, idealistic, skeptical, humorous, sexual, overwhelmed, joyous, justice-seeking. We are the collective shadow of the adult world. We are the ‘other’ that everyone once was.”

Diversity Images

To see photos of the Diversity Reception and read a report on the event, please visit the Diversity Photo Gallery (coming soon).

Conference Call Minutes/Notes

Links to Other Diversity Resources

The following links provide access to additional diversity resources that can support diversity work: additional links, articles, books, glossaries, other groups, diversity training materials, diversity trainers, diversity retreats, ideas, and much more-if you are willing to search the sites to find them.

Active Compassion The purpose of the Baltimore Shambhala Center’s Active Compassion Conference, Going Beyond Bias, (attended by a diverse group of more than 80 participants from as far away as California and Canada), was to explore bias, racism and diversity. This site contains conference information, photos and more.

The American Institute for Managing Diversity Inc. AIMD is a nonprofit diversity think tank that works to strengthen both communities and institutions by advancing the diversity dialogue. http://aimd.org/

BAFA, BAFA. BaFa’BaFa’ builds awareness of how cultural differences can profoundly impact people in an organization; motivates participants to rethink their behavior and attitude toward others; allows participants to examine their own bias and focus on how they perceive differences; examines how stereotypes are developed, barriers created, and misunderstandings magnified; identifies diversity issues within an organization that must be addressed. This simulation makes participants personally aware of the issues around culture differences. Available at: http://www.simulationtrainingsystems.com/schools-charities/bafa.html

The Center for Nonviolent Communication. A global organization helping people connect compassionately with themselves and one another through Nonviolent Communications, a process created by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. http://www.cnvc.org

The Center for the Study of White American Culture. A multicultural organization that supports cultural exploration and self-discovery among white Americans. It encourages a dialogue among all racial and cultural groups concerning the role of white American culture in the larger American society. The Center operates on the premise that knowledge of one’s own racial background and culture is essential when learning how to relate to people of other racial and cultural groups. http://www.euroamerican.org

Dharma Women. The Buddhist Council of the Midwest, a multi-sangha organization, has held an annual Buddhist women’s conference for three years now. The fourth is scheduled for March 7, 2009. All three conferences to date have included Shambhalians as keynote or plenary panel speakers: Acharya Judith Simmer Brown; Sangyam Agness Au; and Rita Gross, author of “Buddhism After Patriarchy.” http://www.dharmawomen.org/

The Diversity Factor Language Guide. This book represents what we have learned about communicating the dynamics of oppression. The language of diversity makes people uncomfortable. Words like discrimination, oppression, dominance, subordination, heterosexism, racism or male privilege often cause negative reactions. When people speak these words, others begin to focus on what it means for them. It is easier to become defensive, argue the meaning or ignore these interactions than it is to learn how the language of diversity affects others and impacts all our lives. http://diversityfactor.rutgers.edu/lang_guide1.jsp

Diversity Leadership Forum. The DLF comprises diverse individuals, organizations, and institutions across all identity groups, who are committed to collaboration and development of the field of diversity. The Resource page of this site has web links for: Ability, Affirmative Action, Aging, American Indian/Alaska Native, Arab-American/Muslim, Arts, Asian American, Biracial/Bicultural, Black/African-American, Consultants, Cultural Competency, Diversity Books, Education, Employment Opportunities, European Culture, Government, Health Care, International/Global Diversity, Jewish, Latino/Chicano/Hispanic and more. Available at: http://www.diversityleadershipforum.org/Resources.asp

Diversity Resources. This site contains a broad selection of books, videos, diversity catalogs, training materials, websites, diversity calendars, magazines, and periodicals. http://www.state.fl.us/dms/hrm/diverse/resources.html

The Diversity Training Group. DTG features lively, interactive workshops; comprehensive solutions; methods and resources for organizational change. Check out its store. http://diversitydtg.com/

DiversityWeb. This site is designed to serve campus practitioners seeking to place diversity at the center of the academy’s educational and societal mission. Available at: http://www.diversityweb.org/

Healing Rage. Healing Rage, Bridges, Branches and Braids offers an opportunity for women to experience the power and wisdom of rage. At http://healingrage.com

Interfaith Dialogue. Anyone interested in interfaith dialogue might want to keep this site as a neutral reference. It is a site for understanding the basics of most religions, and denominations within them. http://www.interfaithdialog.org/

Latino Dharma Link: The link, which was offered by Maria Delores Dias, provides access to the Dharma for Spanish speaking people. http://www.dharmaentuidioma.com/

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgenderism in the Buddhist World. Providing Information and Resources on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgenderism in the Buddhist Community. This site has links to over 50 LGBT organizations, groups and websites. Available at: http://nichirenscoffeehouse.net/Les-bi-gay.html

Multicultural Toolkit (Toolkit for Cross-Cultural Collaboration). The Toolkit discusses barriers to cross-cultural collaboration and provides methods for assessing and improving communication patterns and cultural competence on an organizational basis and on an individual basis. Don’t forget to browse the bibliography. Available at: http://www.awesomelibrary.org/multiculturaltoolkit.html

National Coalition Building Institute. The National Coalition Building Institute is an international, non-profit, leadership training organization. Since 1984, NCBI has worked to eliminate racism and all other forms of prejudice and discrimination throughout the world. The NCBI approach to diversity training: Provide a positive approach that helps people look at what they have in common and how assumptions and stereotypes arise out of confusion but influence actions. NCBI offers one-day workshops that are a series of exercises that open up the potential for honest communication and acknowledge how all of us are hurt and hindered by other people’s assumptions about us. http://www.ncbi.org

The Pluralism Project at Harvard documents the contours of multi-religious societies. Explore new forms of interfaith engagement, and study the impact of religious diversity in civic life. http://www.pluralism.org/index.php

Nuevo Pema en Espanol. New Spanish language content to Pema’s site at http://www.shambhala.org/teachers/pema

The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), The People’s Institute is recognized as one of the foremost anti-racism training and organizing institutions in the nation. In a 2002 Aspen Institute survey of eleven top racial justice organizations, five credited The People’s Institute with having the most effective anti-racist analysis.  http://www.pisab.org/

QueerDharma. QueerDharma is a safe space for our LGBTQ community to gather, listen, discuss, and encourage Buddhist meditation practice and spiritual growth. By cultivating a network of queer practitioners, we can study and play together, foster relationships, spread wakefulness, and develop confidence in our basic goodness. http://www.queerdharma.org/

Racial Diversity Training. This site features a variety of “racial vignettes” – descriptions of problematic interactions between white people and people of color. http://www.learningdiversity.com/index.htm

Provisions Library. Provisions is an experimental arena where broad and diverse audiences, cultures and ideas intersect, sparking new possibilities for enacting peace, justice, sustainability, social responsibility and respect for the diversity of life: Cultural Diversity, Feminisms, Gender & Identity, Indigenous Cultures, Peace & Pacifism, Race and Ethnicity, Sexuality, Work & Class, Youth Activism and much more! http://www.provisionslibrary.org/index.php

Socially Engaged Buddhism Resources. This site is maintained as a joint collaboration between DharmaNet International and Buddhist Peace Fellowship. Provides more than 70 links to online Buddhist resources for those wanting to become socially engaged in these areas and more: Addictions treatment, prisons, hospice, women, education, gay and lesbians, peace and human rights and much more. http://www.dharmanet.org/engaged.html

Lama Rangdrol is the only African-American teacher of Buddhism recognized by the First Conference of Tibetan Buddhist Centers in North and South America, convened by the Office of Tibet and attended by the Dalai Lama. He was honored as a special invited guest to the Dalai Lama’s teachings on “World Peace Through Inner Peace” in Miami, Florida.

Spirit Rock: “It Takes A Sangha: Diversity Practice at Spirit Rock Meditation Center.” by William Poy Lee, http://www.meditation-center.org/html/diversity_it-takes-a-sangha.html

Spirit Rock: Making the Invisible Visible: Healing Racism in Our Buddhist Communities. People of Color and their European American allies have been trying to get the attention of the teachers and sangha members in order to face the underlying racism in our society at large and its manifestation within our Sangha. http://www.spiritrock.org/download/Making%20the%20Invisible%20Visible.pdf

The Talking Circle Initiative: Listening and Speaking from the Heart. A practice for working with many issues in our community. Available at: http://www.shambhala.org/congress/adv-circles/talkingcircleinitiative.html

Tucson Anti-Racism and Diversity Resource Directory. This new resource includes programs and organizations that work to combat racism, suggested activities and events, and books, magazines, and films that are available to individuals who want to take additional steps to learn more and to become active in the fight against racism. Available at: http://www.ywcatucson.org/ardir/media.html#ageism

Turning Wheel, The Journal of Socially Engaged Buddhism. The following back issues of “Turning Wheel” are $7 for the first issue, $5 for each additional issue (up to 10), and $3 for each issue after 10 (includes postage and handling). To order, please contact [email protected] or call 510/655-6169.

  • Gay & Lesbian Buddhism. Fall 1992
  • Racism & Buddhism. Spring 1993
  • Family. Winter 1995-1996
  • Buddhist Feminism. Spring 1999
  • Buddhism in Las Americas. Spring 2001.
  • Getting Old. Winter 2001.
  • Youth & Buddhist Activism. Fall 2002
  • Black Dharma. Summer 2003
  • Sitting with Pain, Practicing with Disability. Spring 2005
  • Interfaith Dialogue. Summer 2006
  • Building Alliances to Address Racism. Spring 2007

Visions provides multicultural services in the areas of consultation and training, organizational assessment, program planning and development, executive coaching, technical assistance, research and evaluation, and psychotherapy. http://www.visions-inc.com

The Windhorse Institute. The institute teaches skills to help you achieve positive outcomes in conflict situations. The skills are based on the principles of Courageous Communication, an approach developed by Windhorse Institute founder Trime Persinger. Available at: http://www.windhorseinstitute.org

Shambhala People of Color Scholarship Fund

Diversity is an integral part of enlightened society

The Shambhala People of Color Scholarship Fund aims to benefit the community by cultivating leaders, teachers, and active participants who will support People of Color along the path and contribute to building a more diverse Shambhala society.

Click for more information