Member Survey Results Report – August 2019


Thanks to all who responded to our recent member survey – we greatly value your feedback!  We received 37 responses out of a possible 281 members on our mailing list.

Survey results indicated meditation (38%), community (35%), and an opportunity to engage with the teachings (16%) were what respondents most identified as being important to them about the Chicago Shambhala center.  Similarly, respondents identified meditation (65%), the teachings/ classes (62%), and community (41%) as the things that brought them most often to the center.  [See graphs below for each survey question.]

In response to questions regarding future community conversations, over half of respondents indicated they would be interested in attending either a larger community conversation (59%) or a small group gathering (62%) in the next several months.  Respondents identified a wide variety of topics they would be interested in discussing at community gatherings, but response to the situation of abuse in Shambhala (11%), outreach and inclusion (8%), volunteering (8%), time for open sharing (8%), and Buddhist teachings (8%) were the most commonly identified responses.

When asked what Shambhala Chicago programs were most meaningful to them now, respondents most commonly cited Tuesday and Sunday open houses (57%) and Buddhist study groups (54%).  Respondents also identified a wide variety of new programs or events they would like us to offer in the future, but most commonly identified programs focused on Buddhist teachings (14%), community practices/ gatherings (14%), and other contemplative practices/ arts (11%).  Just over half of respondents (51%) indicated an interest in participating in activities regarding social action and/ or social justice.

When asked what accomplished teachers they would like us to invite, respondents again identified a wide variety of possibilities, but most commonly cited were Judith Simmer-Brown (8%), Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyal (8%), and Judith Lief (8%).

When asked about obstacles facing us as a community going forward, respondents most commonly identified a need for change in leadership (11%), a need to hear from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and receive clarity regarding his role (8%), concerns regarding the location and accessibility of the center (5%), and the need for a marketing team (5%).  When asked to identify what might inspire them most right now, respondents most commonly identified compassion practices and chanting (8%) and more focus on meditation (5%).

Over 80% of respondents identified as being a member of Shambhala Chicago.

One question asked if there was anyone in Shambhala Chicago with whom respondents would like to have a personal one-to-one conversation. For those who listed their contact information, we have been working on facilitating those conversations. If you would like to have a one-to-one conversation with someone in Shambhala Chicago but did not list your contact information on the survey, please contact Beth Vande Voort at and she will work on connecting you with the appropriate person.




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