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 [email protected]oston.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):

 

Dylan Bianchi grew up in the Shambhala community and has completed the Shambhala Sacred Path through Warrior Assembly as well as several self-directed solitary retreats. At the Boston Shambhala Center he has contributed as a teacher, Shambhala Guide, program support volunteer, and co-leader of the 30s and Under group.

As a board member, Dylan’s inspiration centers on the following missions: offering to the Boston community the teachings and contemplative practices of the Shambhala lineage, as well as those of the Mahamudra and Dzogchen lineages of India and Tibet; promoting enlightened society through the interrogation of collective structures of power and oppression; and approaching spiritual practice with a robust grounding in bodies of knowledge from the psychotherapeutic tradition, including trauma-sensitive practice.

In addition to his personal practice and study of the dharma, Dylan brings to the board a background in philosophy (Ph.D.), Buddhist studies, and clinical social work (MSW). He currently works as a psychotherapist in Boston.

 

Kate KingKatherine King first encountered the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in her teen years through a love of Beat poetry. She first established a daily meditation practice in 2000, while she was a student in Naropa University’s Nepal study abroad program. She has been attending the Boston Shambhala Center since 2009 and is a vajrayana student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. She has traveled and volunteered in Tibet in 2018 and 2019.

Kate is an assistant professor in the psychology doctoral program at William James College. She is a clinical psychologist with a private practice specializing in geropsychology. She is also a yoga teacher and licensed massage therapist.

Kate was appointed to the Boston Shambhala Center’s Board of Directors in 2019 for a two-year term. She is inspired to help the Boston sangha grow into a healthy and inclusive community that reflects the best of its community, teachers, and teachings. She can be reached at [email protected]

 

 

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 [email protected]

 

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 [email protected] or C. 617-699-8130

 

Max Roberts-ZirkerMax Roberts-Zirker is the Executive Director of the Boston Shambhala Center. He is a third generation meditator, beginning his own practice in the Zen community in 2008. He started practicing with Shambhala through the Tuesday night 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 Executive Director on Shambhala Day (January 25) 2020. He can be reached at [email protected]

 

 

 

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. Judy is deeply committed to serving the Boston Shambhala Center through current challenges and beyond, and can be reached at [email protected]

Current Governance

Our board is currently comprised of five 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 on 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.

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.

 

Meet with the Board

Everything on this page is very much open to debate and discussion. The board offers regular opportunities to meet and we would love to discuss this all with you.

Check the program listing for Community Events to see when the next Community Gatherings or Open Board Conversations will be.