Shambhala Boston Board of Directors

The Boston Shambhala Center is a non-profit organization incorporated in September of 1977. We are an independent member of the meditation centers headed by Shambhala USA, a Colorado nonprofit corporation and a tax-exempt organization.

This webpage is a resource for our community, meant to provide clarity, transparency and updates on the workings of the Boston Shambhala Center Board of Directors. Your support and input is greatly appreciated. You can contact us at council@shambhalaboston.org.  We will be providing regular updates through this website and in emails to the community.

Introduction

The Boston Shambhala Center is one of the first and largest urban meditation communities in the United States. The Board of Directors is charged with overseeing, nurturing and growing this organization into the future.

The Board is currently comprised of seven members of the Boston Shambhala Center. We are (in alphabetical order):

Matthew Bellows Photo

Matthew Bellows – Board Chair

Matthew is Founder of Yesware, a software company based in Boston. He was CEO for the first eight years of the company’s life. He has worked in executive, sales and marketing roles in the software industry for the last 20 years.

Matthew started meditating as a student at Naropa University, where he earned his BA in 1992. He became a certified meditation instructor in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition in 2004. Previously he served on the Karme Choling Board of Directors (2001-2004) and the Boston Shambhala Center Board (2007-2009).

Matthew’s current board term extends until Feb 2020. He can be reached at matthew.bellows@gmail.com

 

Sarah Kimball

Sarah Kimball is the Rusung of the Boston Shambhala Center, which is a the local head of the Dorje Kasung.*

She has been practicing in the Shambhala community since 2007 and is a Vajrayana student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.  She joined to Boston Shambhala Center Board in February 2017 and her term extends until February 2020.

Sarah is also a primary care doctor, and is the co-director of the Immigrant Health Center at Boston Medical Center.  She can be reached at rusung@shambhalaboston.org.

* For more information about the Dorje Kasung, visit: https://boston.shambhala.org/whoweare/kasung/

 

Jade Weston Kranz

Jade Weston Kranz is the Director of Practice and Education at the Boston Shambhala Center. She is a vajrayana practitioner and teacher in the community, where she’s been practicing since 2009. Jade works for 10% Happier in the role of Senior Meditation Producer, and she’s also a member of the Opening the Dharma Treasury editing committee, which works to bring the written teachings of Chögyam Trungpa into being. You can connect with Jade by e-mailing her at jadekranz@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Mary Lang

Mary Lang began practicing meditation at the New York Dharmadhatu in the fall of 1973. She studied with Chӧgyam Trungpa and is a Scorpion Seal student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Mary is a senior teacher in Shambhala, and considers her role as a meditation instructor one of the most important offerings she can make. She has served in governance at the Boston center in various capacities since 1988. She is a member of the End of Life committee and on the steering committee of the 60’s and Over group at the center, helping to support our community as we grapple with the inevitability of impermanence and death.

Mary is also a photographer, a member of the artist-run Kingston Gallery in Boston’s SoWA district, where she exhibits every other year. She is a licensed social worker, working with elders in the community as part of the care management team at JF&CS. You can email her at marystuartlang@gmail.com

 

John RancoJohn Ranco has been practicing meditation in the Shambhala community since 2007 and has served in several capacities over the years coordinating programs, participating on committees and in governance with various roles since 2013.  He is currently training to be a Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor, is very active with the Heart of Recovery community and is also serving as the Boston Shambhala Center Treasurer until Shambhala Day 2021.

In addition, John has been a Boston Realtor since 1996, marketing townhomes and condominiums, as well as leading marketing teams for several residential developments. He and his partner, John Clancy, own and operate several businesses in Ogunquit, Maine and in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and currently call Jamaica Plain, MA their home.  

John can be reached at john@johnranco.com or C. 617-699-8130

 

Max Roberts-ZirkerMax Roberts-Zirker is the Interim Executive Director of the Boston Shambhala Center. He is a third generation meditator, and started cultivating his own practice in the Zen community in 2008. He started practicing with in Shambhala through the Social Meditation practice in the 30’s and Under group. Max joined the teaching circle in 2013, and joined the staff as Deputy Director in 2015.

He was appointed as Interim Director in October 2018 and his post lasts through Shambhala Day (January 25) 2020. He can be reached at max@shambhalaboston.org

 

 

 

Judy VreelandJudy Vreeland recently retired after 40+ years working in the Deaf Community.  She was a teacher, mental health counselor, principal, director of a national program for Deaf youth with trauma histories, and most recently the Executive Director of The Learning Center for the Deaf, an educational and social service organization serving Deaf children, their families, and Deaf adults.

Judy began a meditation practice in the early ‘90s and entered the Shambhala path in 2006.  She attended Rigden Abhisheka with the Sakyong in 2017. Judy is deeply committed to serving the Boston Shambhala Center through current challenges and beyond, and can be reached at judyvreeland@gmail.com.

Current Governance

Our board is currently comprised of six open seats and one seat reserved for the Center’s Executive Director. Over the many years of the center, we have tried different models for this group, including, most recently, a Four Pillars model.

As of December 2018, we have moved into the current structure in order to better support our Center Director, to bring additional resources to the Center, and to expand the diversity and representation of the Board.

As part of our role as leaders at the Boston Shambhala Center, and as part of our spiritual path, we commit to continuing our training on the causes and impact of sexual harm as well as issues of privilege and oppression.

In addition to the standing board, we organize ourselves into committees (for ongoing efforts like membership, programming, etc) and task forces (for time-boxed projects like leadership searches, fund drives, etc.). These committees and task forces usually include members from the community not currently on the board.

We use consensus as our decision-making framework. Simply stated, consensus decision-making means that every board member is either supportive or neutral towards a decision. An initiative cannot proceed if even one board member is opposed to it.  For a more detailed discussion of consensus decision-making, please go here.

Expanding the Board

Generally, board members serve staggered three year terms. These terms can be extended by board decision. We are beginning the process of expanding the board by adding two additional seats. The process and timeline for doing so is:

Under Way – Specify criteria and qualifications for new board members

Shambhala Day 2019 – Open nomination and application process

Midsummer Day 2019 – Formally welcome two new board members

Although we are still developing the specific criteria and qualifications for board membership, we are seeking to expand the diversity and representation of our current group.

Search for Executive Director

Upon the departure of our previous Executive Director Ashley Hodson, Max Roberts-Zirker offered to serve the center as Interim Executive Director until February 2020. Therefore, In addition to overseeing and contributing to the ongoing operations of the center and expanding the board, this year we will conduct a search for an Executive Director.

Here is our current timeline for the Executive Director search:

February to April 2019: Develop a revised Boston Shambhala Center Mission Statement

May and June 2019: Develop an Executive Director job description and search criteria. Form a search committee. Begin the search.

September 2019: In person interviews

December 2019: Choose Executive Director. If this person is not Max Roberts-Zirker, begin a transition period.

February 2020: Formally install an Executive Director.

Listening Sessions and Community Meeting

Everything on this page is very much open to debate and discussion. In the listening sessions and community meetings listed below, we would love your feedback on these and other topics.

We have scheduled three board listening sessions and a community meeting over the next two months. Those dates and details are: