Once we begin to feel a connection to the Minneapolis Shambhala Center, we often want to know: What’s involved in becoming a member? How can I support the Center? Membership is a commitment to strengthening our community through practice, financial giving, and service.
First of all, there is no requirement to join. Ever. Almost all of our activities are open to anyone, though many classes and trainings do have prerequisites. Meditation instruction, public meditation, and some of our introductory offerings are offered without charge, though donations are certainly appreciated.
That said, here is some information about membership. We are a growing community of approximately 75 members. We sustain ourselves primarily through dues and donations, and a percentage of our income supports Shambhala International. In joining the Minneapolis Center, one also becomes a member of the international Shambhala
It would be wonderful if we could all support the Center financially, socially, through volunteerism, through membership, or by attending programs. However, just our presence in the meditation hall is appreciated. The more we fill the Shambhala Center with meditation, the more powerful and magnetizing it will become for others. In that way we can build a thriving practice community.
Membership is a way to express appreciation for what Shambhala provides and help make it available to others. This involves three areas of engagement and support:
Making a connection to mindfulness-awareness meditation or related contemplative practice and integrating this practice into daily life is considered the best way for members to support Shambhala and benefit the world and ourselves.
All of the work of our Centre and much of the work of the Shambhala global community is done by volunteers. Giving our time and talents to the work of the community is a vital form of support and viewed as part of members’ practice.
Providing financial support
Membership dues and donations pay our basic operating expenses of mortgage and utilities. The nominal guideline is $40 per month, $80 for couples, but each person decides what level of support fits his or her situation. Some pay more; some pay less; the minimum is $5 per month. Every contribution is helpful and greatly appreciated.
If you choose to become a dues paying member, membership cards are available at the Shambhala Center. Simply fill out a membership card indicating how much you would like to contribute and either drop it in the donation box or mail it in the pre-addressed envelope.
You can pay by check at whatever frequency you prefer – monthly, quarterly, or annually. Either drop your check in the donation box or mail it to:
Shambhala Meditation Center
Attn: Connie Brock
2931 Grand St NE
Mpls. MN 55418
If you would like to have your donation automatically taken from your checking account each month, this is the most convenient way for us. Just provide a voided check.
All dues and donations are tax deductible.
Why does membership matter?
Although membership is not required to participate in much of what the Center 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 dues is the financial backbone of our Shambhala Center.
What are the benefits of membership?
Connection with our community by becoming a member helps support your practice and strengthen your understanding of Shambhala Buddhism in many ways:
- Members receive ongoing meditation instruction with a personal meditation instructor
- Members are invited to community events, programs, and classes, and receive discounts for some programs
- Membership pin
- Automatic membership in Shambhala’s world-wide network
- Access to member resources at www.shambhala.org
Those who are in the sangha are warriors, because they are trying to overcome samsara. Members of the sangha support one another and care for one another. They are not perfect, but they inspire us because they are people who want to deepen their practice of mindfulness, awareness and compassion. The sangha is also a container. When we practice together, the sangha helps our discipline. We realize that there are other people around who are going through the same thing. That gives us a feeling of encouragement.
– Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche