Hidden Gem

If you have ever taken a level at Shambhala you may have noticed the team that works behind the scenes to attend to the details so the participants can be in flow with the talks and sitting, their minds, and the tender footing of setting out on this path. 

Many of us can remember those weekends that stretched out in front of us, and the support of the staff, teachers and classmates. One thing we most likely did not know is how deeply meaningful our new experience was to the folks who showed up to foster the program and its participants. 

At first glance, the staff is volunteering a few days or hours of their free time and it’s the right thing to do. After all, someone was there for them when they walked in with their big eyes for the first time. This alone makes it worth doing. But it’s a funny thing…

When you walk through the door to staff and into the chaos of getting people settled, and assigning the rota, and attending to the teacher, and the 15 things that you will not have an answer for, magic happens. With an openness to be of  service, everything you ever learned on the cushion stands there with you. You look around and see your Sangha buddies who signed up to staff with you and it dawns on you that saying yes to this challenge is exactly what you meant to do. Over the course of the weekend you will build friendships, find humor and poignancy, and hear the talks in a whole new light. 

As our most experienced coordinators and staffers move on to become guides and assistant directors, the opportunities for new staff are abundant. I’m asking you, the reader, to find out more about it, take a chance, lend a hand. Anyone who has completed Level 3 is eligible. 

Having had the experience of jumping in knowing nothing, I can tell you that it is one of the most compelling and community building experiences I have had at Shambhala. Please email me if you would like to learn more or see for yourself that magic does happen. 


Laura Silvestri