Societal Health and Well Being

The area of Societal Health and Well Being is vast, expressive, creative, and a celebration of our natural ability to help each other and to connect. Supporting the ongoing development of our community includes many activities: fostering greater communication and contact among members, offering a warm and inviting environment to everyone, developing awareness and sensitivity toward diversity, caring for ourselves, each other, and the greater community, ensuring that our families and children are completely interwoven into the fabric of our community life, and having fun together as we travel this amazing path. The Director of Societal Health and Well Being is the liaison between all community groups and initiatives and the Governance Council.

Community Groups and Initiatives

Community Sing

For anyone who wishes to join mindfulness and song. This monthly gathering includes singing in unison, in parts, rounds, and vocal warm-ups. It also mixes in mindfulness practice and guided vocal exploration. This group meets once a month on Sundays from 1 to 3 pm. Check the Center’s website for specific monthly dates.

Contemplative Dance

Contemplative Dance Practice is training for personal and group awareness of body/mind through a simple form that alternates sitting meditation with self-directed body movement in space. Participants wear comfortable clothing that allows movement, and go barefoot. This group meets monthly on Sundays from 3 to 5 pm. Check the Center’s website for specific monthly dates.

Death and Dying: A Guide

Death & Dying: A Guide was written by members of the Philadelphia Shambhala Center to provide guidance and support to both Buddhists and non-Buddhists. The Guide is designed to enable us to prepare in practical ways for the inevitable time when we and those we love will die. This resource addresses the experience of dying and death, how that experience might present, and what preparations one can make to ease stress and enhance the experience, both for the one who is dying and for those who have the honor and responsibility of attending a dying loved one. It is written to be used (1) by Shambhala and other Buddhists to prepare for dying and death, and (2) by both Buddhist and non-Buddhist family members and friends who have the responsibility of caring for a Buddhist through the dying, death, and post-death experiences.

Heart of Recovery

This is a weekly support group bringing together Buddhist meditation practice and the wisdom of recovery. Meetings are anonymous and confidential and explore the relationship of addiction and recovery to our personal path as warriors, bodhisattvas, and meditators through readings, contemplations, and sharing. This group meets weekly on Friday evenings at 7:30 pm.

Inclusivity Group

The Inclusivity Group is where we explore and discuss readings on mindful, inclusive communication, and practice. We consider themes of inclusivity, diversity, and intersectionality in the context of the Shambhala tradition. The group holds the Sakyong’s teachings on “enlightened society,” and “basic goodness,” as primary motivating ideals. This group is on hiatus with no meetings currently planned.

Maitri Bhavana

Maitri Bhavana is a monthly group meditation practice for those who are seriously ill. It takes place on the first Sunday of every month during the morning public sitting. Maitri Bhavana is a meditation on loving kindness that is practiced for those who are seriously ill, either physically or mentally. It cultivates our compassion through taking on the sense of suffering of others, provides an opportunity to share our health with them, and acknowledges our deep interconnectedness. To explicitly include a relative or friend who is seriously ill in this practice, please email the name of the person who is ill, the illness, and your name to: [email protected]

Monday Night Sangha

A Monday evening social gathering, meditation practice, and study/discussion for meditation practitioners at all levels. The “dharma-readings-and-discussion” format provides an opportunity to make connections between the teachings and the practice of meditation in everyday life and provides way to connect with fellow meditators. For all new people, meditation instruction is provided. The group meets every Monday from 6 to 8 pm.

Social Action: Local Connection and Collaboration

The Center is committed to working for the benefit of the greater Philadelphia community. We engage and collaborate locally with the Center City Residents Association through regular participation in events including, the Sacred Spaces Open House Tour, Interfaith Thanksgiving Gathering, and Interfaith Post Ramadan Iftar Dinner. In past, we have also collaborated with other local neighbors and participated in events such as Peace Day Philly.

Sit and Stitch

Please join us for an informal gathering for meditation practitioners at all levels and stitching at all levels. Brief periods of sitting are interspersed with readings from dharma art books (such as Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s True Perception) and creative time. Crafts of all kinds are encouraged. The group meets every Tuesday evening at 7 pm.

Warriors in the World: PSC Outreach and Volunteer Committee

Warriors in the World is for people who are interested in volunteering in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. There are many charitable events and ongoing programs in and around Philadelphia that could use our help. Members of this group are informed by email about potential opportunities to volunteer as a group. These events happen every month. As a member you would get the information for planned outings and you could choose to join us for any that might interest you. Many events are family friendly.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our groups and programs.

If you have any questions or would like help connecting with the people who coordinate a specific group, please email the Director of Societal Health and Well Being.