Service is a key component in our lives as Shambhala members and practitioners. Each of us can consider how we might be of benefit to Shambhala, to our community, and to all beings. Whether we offer our time, financial support, or special skills and expertise, we can all extend ourselves with generosity. Working together is also a wonderful way to get acquainted and bond with each other.
An Introduction to Shambhala Culture
There are many different ways to help at the Austin Shambhala Meditation Center, including landscaping, ongoing center maintenance, technical assistance, and hospitality. Please contact Charlotte Keith to come up with a volunteer position that coordinates with your schedule and inspiration to contribute.
Prison Volunteer Program
Volunteers from the Austin Shambhala Meditation Center and the Dharmata Sangha of Austin provide meditation instruction for women at the state prison in Gatesville, Texas. Twice a month we carpool and make the two hour drive to Gatesville, where we visit at two units. Anywhere from five to fifteen women might show up at each unit. We give the basic meditation instruction, do shamatha and guided meditations, and listen a lot. We don’t do much in the way of dharma talks, but we talk dharma constantly, bringing what we understand about the teachings and the Buddhist or Shambhalian perspectives to the situations these women face every day. Occasionally we provide a special all-day meditation retreat and we also carry on correspondence with some inmates.This is a wonderfully rewarding volunteer service. To be a volunteer, you should have a year or more experience with your own meditation practice. If you would like more information about volunteering, please check out the web page at http://www.austindharmata.org/prison-visits and then contact the prison volunteer coordinator Nell Clowder firstname.lastname@example.org or Jake Lorfing email@example.com.