Community is more important than ever



Our community member Susie shares why Shambhala is important to her, in this personal testimonial:


Dear Friend –

A warm hello to you on this chilly winter day.  My name is Susie and I would like to share my story with you.

I was raised in the tradition of Korean Buddhism.  From the age of six, my mother would take us to a temple in Queens every Sunday. I grew up accustomed to various rituals and meditation practices from a young age.  However, these teachings were given in Korean, and as a Korean-American born in New York City, I found there was much lost in translation for me.

At the same time, I felt a want for community. The temple was a warm place, but there weren’t many members around my age. I also wanted to absorb talks in English.

Then, someone suggested I meet Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche this past May at Shambhala New York. I decided to go. When I listened to the Sakyong speak in person, I felt a sense of kinship well up inside me. His message of creating an enlightened society was moving. The decorum and ritual of Shambhala reminded me of my upbringing. It felt right.

Since then, I have become an active member of the Shambhala community. I volunteered at Dorje Denma Ling this summer, a beautiful Shambhala land center in Nova Scotia. Now, I volunteer regularly at Shambhala New York where you’ll often find me helping during our Weekly Dharma Gatherings and at other events.

I contribute my time and am a monthly sustaining member to Shambhala New York because I value this community and its mission.  As a minority woman who has grown up here, despite New York City being a cosmopolitan place, I know that there have been — and still are — many challenges.  We are living in a particularly contentious time, and Shambhala helps its members to work with the tension we feel, to build the foundation of an enlightened society.

That is a beautiful thing, especially in a time of radical racial, gender and class divides.  

Shambhala has become the community I go to in order to breathe, replenish, and strengthen. You may even feel the same way. This is why I believe contributing to Shambhala New York is of such importance. We are helping to sustain a community and a cradle in which we can all grow.

Please consider making a year-end contribution to Shambhala New York. Let us foster a place where we can sit, learn, practice and flourish together.





Susie Hwang

Shambhala New York Community Member