Healing Harm For Vibrant and Just Community: Exploring Social and Personal Power

with Acharya Charlene Leung & Miriam Hall

September 28th—September 30th

Date details +
  • $50 Member Price
  • $100 Patron Price
Room: West Loop Shambhala Center, 37 N. Carpenter St.

Healing Harm For Vibrant and Just Community:  Exploring Social and Personal Power

Friday, September 28th, 7:00 to 9:00 PM

Saturday, September 29th, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Lunch ordered in, or bring your own if you prefer

Sunday, September 30th, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM - Optional deeper dive, topics and format to be determined 


As Shambhala’s own #metoo has unfolded, there is little ground to stand on. We are thrown back on ourselves. Powerful questions we might ask ourselves at this moment include: What is basic goodness? How could this have happened in the guise of creating enlightened society?  How have social and personal power played a part? What are social and personal power? Is vibrant, just community possible?


“When fear and doubt occured

Towards the confidence which is primordially free,

Countless multitudes of cowards arose.

When the confidence which is primordially free

Was followed and delighted in,

Countless multitudes of warriors arose."


Our relative power is dynamic and changing. Whether we are in a power-over or power-under position, we all perpetuate social hierarchies that advantage some and disadvantage others.  We have all been conditioned to maintain unnatural social hierarchies, such as patriarchy or white superiority. We were born into these personal and social cocoons. It’s the water we swim in.  It’s not our fault. It is, however, our individual and collective responsibility to become aware and to act out of that awareness.


In this weekend program for Shambhala Center members, leaders, teachers and educators, we aim to create a brave and caring space to explore our blind spots, fears, and other emotionally charged topics that arise when we look closer at socially constructed hierarchy, personal and social power and how they affect us, individually and collectively.  Our ground is unconditional wakefulness infused with kindness and warmth. We will not focus on the current situation in Shambhala. Rather we will explore the interplay of social and personal power through meditation, contemplation, experiential exercises, and conversation.


We can uncover our edges through feeling rather than concept, as we learn to trust the wisdom held in our bodies, and to act in helpful ways that change the fabric of society. It takes community to move beyond societal cocoons to liberation. When we are able to bear witness to ourselves and to one another, we make societal healing not only possible, but inevitable.


Your full participation in this important program will help create the brave and caring space that can give birth to vibrant, just community.  Please join us! Partial attendance will not be allowed. Open to all Shambhala center members and those with a familiarity with the Shambhala teachings and practices.

Acharya Charlene Leung serves as Chairperson of the Shambhala Diversity Working Group since 2009 and facilitates groups for the UNtraining a Shambhala inspired organization devoted to healing personal and social oppressions. She raised two sons in a Shambhala household with her husband, Robert Pressnall, in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been part of the Shambhala community since the early 1980’s.

Miriam Hall has been a member of Shambhala for fifteen years, and a teacher of contemplative arts in this and other traditions for most of that time. She is a member of the Diversity Working Group for Shambhala, as well as the White Awareness Group. She lives in Madison, WI, where she teaches contemplative writing, psychology, and photography full time.