Families and Children Blog

Letter from LA

Letter from LA

Dear amazing sangha friends:

Many of you already know about the Growing Brave Conference for Families & Children in Shambhala in Boulder October 6 – 9 next month.  I am proud to be among seven devoted people who have worked for over 2 years to make this conference happen.  Our intention is to create an entirely new paradigm for the way those of us in Shambhala relate to our children and their families.  After all, children are the future of Shambhala, and what they contribute now and as adults will help create a new paradigm for the world.  Isn’t this what “enlightened society” is all about?

Children in Shambhala have long experienced themselves as beings at the edges of Shambhala.  Too often they have been offered “childcare” so their parents could sit and learn the dharma.  We can do better. Their busy parents have often felt isolated and unsupported as they attempt to participate in sangha activities.  It’s time to consider that it is not just parents who raise the children, but the whole sangha who does this.  We’ve all heard, “It takes a village to raise a child”…and that’s us!

The conference in Boulder will be amazing and will include children.  Among other things, we’ll be discussing Shambhala curriculum for children.  Acharya Adam Lobel (who has two young boys) and Minister Wendy Friedman will guide those gathered. There are many people eager to come and the tuition is low to encourage them.  For those at a distance, it means taking time off work, bringing kids or finding childcare for them and spending a good deal of money to make the trip.  We have many people asking for scholarships, and we also need to cover the conference expenses.

This is why I’m asking everyone in our sangha to donate $10 toward this worthy initiative.  I’m not suggesting more because it’s even more important that we all give generously to our local sanghas as we traditionally do during the Harvest of Peace next week.  At a recent werma feast in Eagle Rock almost everyone there donated at least $10, and $240 was raised on the spot.  I think we can easily surpass that amount with your help!

Here’s how to make the donation with this direct link:


You’ll immediately receive a printed receipt for your donation.

With much appreciation for your help in this endeavor!

Laura Burnham, on behalf of the SMCLA Family Council


When we think of creating enlightened society, we often think how great it would be to become a part of such a place. Awake, kind, compassionate human relationships that foster life and create sane social structures. How good it would feel! And sometimes we find glimpses and tastes of just that. And sometimes we forget that enlightened society doesn’t just create itself. It’s a lot of work! And there is no magical “center of the mandala” to whom one can submit ideas and visions and have them executed to fruition. Rather it falls upon all of us to offer our efforts and skills toward the fruition of what we know to be beneficial to good human society.

The Growing Brave Families and Children’s Committee has been working diligently for over two years, meeting weekly and spending countless hours bringing the Shambhala Vision for families and children to greater fruition. But it didn’t start with us. There have been International working groups on Families and Children before us who accomplished amazing work. There are countless individuals who have dedicated their lives, time, and energy to families and children in Shambhala. There are resources, documents, manuals, curricula, and countless other amazing developments that took a lot of work and inspiration to create. It doesn’t end with us either. As we compile all of these things in one place, we invite you to join us in the lineage of Shambhala Families and Children work. We know that amazing things are happening all over the world, and we are longing to connect with you. We would like to hear your stories, see your content, and ask for your help.

Welcome to our very first blog! We are so excited to be creating this website on Shambhala.org where we will compile all things Families and Children related. The Families Hub is a place for parents, grandparents, caregivers, centers, groups, leaders, teachers, and anyone working with families to come and find access to ideas, documents, curricula, photos, blogs, contact info and more.

Here are three ways you can contribute to this important effort:

  1. Gather written documents, templates, program plans, and resources from programs for families and children you have offered and submit them to us to share with others
  2. Tell us the stories of your own successes and failures with creating families and children’s programming, parenting on the path, or working with Shambhala teachings in everyday life with families and children. We can use these as the seeds of future blog posts and work with you to create wonderful articles.
  3. Join us in the collective evolution of this process. There is no hard “launch” of a project like this. It’s living, breathing, growing, and alive. If you have skills, time, or energy to offer to this project, be in touch with us to help support this community effort.

You can contact us at shambhala.familiesandchildren@gmail.com.

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