I have been practicing and volunteering with Shambhala since 2011 and it is my spiritual home. I finished my ngondro and now mostly practice shamatha.
I am a PhD student in clinical psychology and a clinical intern at Allies in Change, an agency specializing in treatment for domestic violence, where I have been a group therapist for abusive men and women. I’ve also served for 2.5 years as Portland Shambhala’s center co-director, and I’m currently an editor for the 3rd edition of Brilliant Sanity, an academic book about Buddhist Psychotherapy.
I am fundraising to be able to attend the Mahasangha gathering and to receive Werma practice. I hope to attend the Mahasangha gathering to contribute to conversations and plans for a more inclusive Shambhala.
The Werma retreat is similar to a program I had planned to attend a few years ago but which was cancelled due to the project sunshine report. Receiving Werma will also enable me to practice with the other vajrayana practitioners in my community.
I plan to bring back whatever I learn from the Mahasangha gathering and also join and help out woth group Werma practice. Ongoingly, I try to integrate wisdom from practice and shambhala teachings into my work as a therapist (working with individuals who are abusive), and this is really my ongoing service.
$790 program costs
$12 travel (I used miles so this was just the fee)
-$287 local scholarship from my center
$36 (7% fees for offering bowl and PayPal)
Bonus: I am not including this, but I need to buy a tent and sleeping bag because that was the cheapest housing option for the retreat. If anyone wants to donate towards that, I would be grateful, but I see that as outside the purview of what’s appropriate to ask for.
- David Parker