The Burlington Shambhala Center relies on the energy, inspiration, and talents of its members and friends to share in making our offerings available in Burlington and beyond. These contributions are part of what is known in the Shambhala community as “creating enlightened society”.

We welcome members and non-members alike to volunteer according to their interests, abilities, and in some cases, training. Outlined below are some of the ways you can contribute as a volunteer and also deepen your own practice and connection.

Umdze/timekeeper, and gatekeeper
Become more involved in Center activities by learning to staff as an umdze (meditation time keeper) or a gatekeeper. The umdze is a model for other practitioners in the shrine hall, providing an example of good posture and alert shamatha practice. The hands-on training includes procedures on opening and closing the shrine, using the gong and leading the chants.
A gatekeeper is the “front desk” position who welcomes visitors to the Center with warmth and upliftedness. Gatekeeping is an awareness practice in action.

Program Coordinator
Most of the programs presented at the Shambhala Center require a coordinator. The coordinator works with the teacher/director to create the container and set the tone for the program. The coordinator gathers and leads a staff of volunteers to bring the program to fruition. Training is given to program coordinator volunteers.

Program Staff
Program staff volunteers help set-up the center and prepare the environment; they provide shrine room staffing, hospitality to participants, tea and reception set-up, program registration and greeting, and clean-up. The program staff is directed by the program coordinator.

Apply your writing, editing, or design skills to newsletter editing, writing, or production; the creation and distribution of program posters; or website maintenance and updates

Center Environment Team

Help with or take the lead on renovations, repairs, and generally care for the center to provide an inviting and enriching physical environment

Ikebana Group

Create and tend flower arrangements that bring both arranger and viewer into the present moment. Interested people are encouraged to take an Ikebana class (offered periodically at the Center) but can start out by helping an experienced Ikebana practitioner.

Community and Special Events
Help with preparations to create an uplifted environment for special events. This can involve Center setup and cleanup, shopping, hosting, and coordination.

Burlington Shambhala Center Council

Council meetings are open to members and take place on the third Monday of each month. Attend monthly meetings to help guide, support and harmonize all the center’s activities. Please inquire about openings for specific leadership roles.

Dorje Kasung

Open to members. 
Responsibilities include providing protection—of the center environment, teachers, teachings, and community—through awareness; learn more on the Dorje Kasung page.