Creating Our Centres

Creating our Shambhala Centers is a process of joining Heaven and Earth.  Through developing, uplifting and expanding our Centers, the Sakyongs’ vision for creating enlightened society can be established on this earth.  The Sakyong’s Advisory Panel on Shambhala Environments was formed based on the wishes of the Sakyong, to help with that process.  It’s mandate is to assist the community as a whole, by reviewing all projects of any substantial scale, throughout the Shambhala mandala within the City, Practice, Retreat and Land Centers.

Working with the Panel

The Advisory Panel works in conjunction with the initiating Centre and its development or design team, along with the Kalapa Executive, the Kalapa Council or when necessary, the Sakyong or the Sakyong Wangmo themselves. The review process is collaborative, emphasizing the empowerment and authority of the local team.  The recommendations of the Advisory Panel reflect the intentions of the Sakyong and the governing bodies of the mandala. The panel is empowered to advise centres and groups on how best to apply the fundamental principles of Shambhala to their diverse conditions and requirements.

Panel reviews are required at various specific points in a project’s path, depending on the scale and complexity of the project, from first envisioning through complete development.  The scope of the review might include as necessary, any number of the following aspects of a project:

  • K’an-yü/Feng-shui Evaluation
  • Property or Building Selection
  • Facility Programming (Master Program)
  • Master Planning or Site Planning
  • Sustainability Evaluation
  • Architectural Design
  • Landscape Design
  • Interior Design
  • Graphics, Iconography, Signage and Heraldry

It is important that Centres inform the Advisory Panel in a timely fashion with regard to any relocation, expansion or renovation of their facilities, so that an appropriate path of development and review can be established for their project.

Stages of Review and Development

The Panel is available for review and advice at various specific points in a project’s path, depending on the scale and complexity of the project, from first envisioning through complete development. For further details please see: The Panel Review Process.  The Panel review process is collaborative, emphasizing the empowerment and authority of the local team.

Given the range of possible projects for any given Center, the specific path and opportunity or need to engage this Panel will vary, but some of the basic steps are listed below. For further information please see: Stages of Development.

Financial and Legal & Other Counsel

It is assumed that prior to any review by the Panel, the mission of the Centre and its role within the Shambhala Mandala, as well as any needs assessments, or strategic and financial planning necessary for the project will have been clarified by the initiating Shambhala Centre or entity, and reviewed and/or approved as needed, by the Sakyong or his governing Councils.

It should be understood that any real-estate transactions or major investments need to be reviewed and approved by the Chagdzo Kyi Khyap, Ms. Connie Brock.  With that in mind, Centre leadership is encouraged to get in touch with Ms. Brock conniebrockmn@yahoo.com if you are seriously considering any major renovations to your facilities, or have any plans to relocate your Centre.

It should also be noted that before entering into contracts for the purchase or financing of real estate, please contact Mr Alex Halpern ahalpern@halpernllc.com, Chief Legal Counsel to the Shambhala Mandala, to review and approve legal documents and answer questions.  It is advisable to use local legal counsel as well.

Overview of the Development Process

Note: Bold type indicates the possible involvement with the Panel.

  • Mission for the Centre
  • Evaluation of the Centre’s role regionally nationally or internationally
  • Needs analysis for the new project
  • Community process in developing the new project
  • Clarification regarding the balance of volunteerism combined with hired professional services
  • Strategic plan for the project and Centre
  • Determining chain of command and decision making
  • Determining the Development Team (The Client)
  • K’an-yü/Feng-shui evaluation
  • Selecting the best location or neighborhood
  • Facility Programming (Master Program)
  • Selecting the property or building
  • Establishing the Design Team
  • Feasibility Study
  • Local planning guideline and code assessment
  • Conceptual Design
  • Developing Budgets (could happen earlier, and throughout the process)
  • Master Planning/ Site Planning
  • Sustainability Evaluation
  • Selecting the Contractor (could happen earlier or later in the process)
  • Schematic Design & Design Development
  • Clarifying Costs
  • Interior Design
  • Landscape Design
  • Construction Documentation
  • Graphics, Iconography, Signage and Heraldry
  • Confirming Budgets and Costs
  • Construction oversight

General Note on Services and Fees:

The Panel’s aim is to provide its basic advisory services on a voluntary basis as an offering to the Shambhala lineage and mandala. Depending on the scale and complexity of a project, the Panel may not be able to voluntarily support a complete and thorough review process.  This would be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Where it is not possible to provide a full review voluntarily the Panel strongly encourages the Centre to hire a Shambhala professional as part of their design team. This helps ensure the best understanding of the Guiding Principles involved in creating a building or environment that expresses our unique Shambhala culture.

Along those lines, panel members may be hired as part of the design team at the discretion of the local leadership and at a fee to be determined by both parties.  Please go to Design Services on this site for more details about hiring your team.