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 [email protected] and she will work on connecting you with the appropriate person.