How can I help?
With this simple question, we increase our potential to enrich the world, and ultimately we find joy. Using discipline to generate compassion, we leap beyond the fickleness of mood into the confidence of delight in helping others.
Membership is a way to express appreciation for what Shambhala provides and help make it available to others. Although membership is not required to participate in much of what the Centre has to offer, without our community’s financial and volunteer support, we would not be able to offer all the wonderful programs, practice sessions, and events that we do. It is because of our members that the profound tradition of meditation is able to survive and flourish. Payment of membership fees is the financial backbone of our Shambhala Centre.
The Montréal Shambhala Centre remains open because of the ongoing generosity of our members, program participants, and donors. Our community has a fundamental commitment to the Mahayana Buddhist path of benefitting all sentient beings. This frames the way we think about all of our sources of revenue. Every dollar goes towards creating meditation programs, developing Outreach opportunities, expanding into other areas of the city and making it possible for more people to sit on a cushion and become familiar with their own minds and hearts.
General donations fund our yearly Operating Budget which includes building expenses (rent, utilities, maintenance, etc.), office expenses, shrine and practice expenses, one honorarium for a part-time employee, and our Centre’s contributions to Shambhala International.
The work of the Montréal Shambhala Centre and much of the work of the global Shambhala community depends on volunteers. Giving our time and talents to the work of the community is a vital form of support and is viewed as part of a member’s practice! Volunteering puts our meditation into action and makes a vital contribution to our programs and events.
Some examples of the type of work that members can do:
- Staffing retreat programs and curriculum courses
- Coordinating retreat programs and curriculum courses
- Hosting public meditation practices as timekeeper or doorkeeper
- Translation (both oral and written)
- Shrine Room upkeep
- Caregiving for ailing members
- Centre publicity
- Meal prep for feasts
- And much more…
Many small gestures- pitching in to set up cushions before a program or meditation session; washing dishes and putting them away; tidying up the community room- all these gestures and more keep the Centre a warm and welcoming place for everyone. No experience required!
We are all here on earth to see what we can offer, as opposed to what we can take. A life based on what we can take leads to promoting a society where the only barometer of success is materialism. Mindfulness leads to an attitude of wanting to serve the world, rather than expecting to be served. Only through the development of mindfulness – which leads to virtues like kindness and generosity – will we become truly peaceful.