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Lions Roar : September 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2007 13 Editorial: An Important Transition for the Shambhala Sun I WOULD LIKE TO TELL YOU about a very important step in the evolution of the Shambhala Sun. This announcement will be of particular interest to regular readers of the Sun and to members of the Western Buddhist communities we serve. After many years as a publication of the Shambhala Inter- national Buddhist organization, the Shambhala Sun, as well as its sister publication Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly, are now owned and published by the Shambhala Sun Foundation, an independent nonprofit. This important change in the Sun’s legal and ownership status will help the Sun continue to grow and improve into the future. It reflects our mission to serve genuine dharma in all its manifestations. Here is the mission statement of the new Shambhala Sun Foundation: The mission of the Shambhala Sun Foundation is to propa- gate contemplative spiritual practice at this critical time in human history. The Foundation publishes magazines and other media that explore how meditative insight and prac- tice can benefit contemporary society and the lives of our readers. Founded on the Buddhist tradition, the Shambhala Sun Foundation celebrates all those who share the values of wisdom, compassion, nonaggression, and sacredness. The Foundation supports genuine dharma of all traditions as Buddhism takes root and develops in the West. If that doesn’t sound very different to you from what the Shambhala Sun is already doing, you’re right. We have al- ways strived to serve the interests of everyone practicing and interested in the dharma, making independent journalistic decisions without favoring the interests of any one commu- nity. What changes now is that the Sun’s legal and ownership status better reflects the role we strive to play in the growth of genuine Buddhism in the West. It will help us attract new and diverse voices to guide the Sun’s future, and develop the financial resources we need to fulfill our mission. (In fact, the first of the Shambhala Sun Foundation’s development projects is the gallery of fine prints announced in this issue on page 85.) To understand what all this means for the Sun, it might help to take a quick look back at the Sun’s history. It was founded in 1978 as the Vajradhatu Sun, a newspaper pub- lished by the students of the Tibetan master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. The Sun’s pages were filled with the great teachings, prodigious activity, and rich intellectual ferment that marked the Vajradhatu community. While a commu- nity publication, it featured great masters of many different traditions, interfaith dialogue, and news of the international Buddhist world. Right from the beginning, the Sun reflected Trungpa Rinpoche’s expansive vision. In 1991, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Trungpa Rinpoche’s son and lineage holder, decided to change the Sun’s name and broaden its focus. As the new Shambhala Sun, it would aim at a wider audience—Buddhists of all traditions and readers of every persuasion interested in our human birthright of wis- dom and compassion. I was asked to be editor-in-chief and the Sun’s offices moved from Boulder, Colorado, to Halifax, Nova Scotia. We began a long and challenging journey toward the Shambhala Sun as we know it today. In the first years we worked out of a single room for little or no pay. In November 1993, we published the first Shambhala Sun magazine and distributed about 3,000 copies on newsstands. Today its circulation is 75,000, which we’ve been able to accom- plish without significant outside support or operating losses, although pay is still low and we don’t have enough money to do all the good things we know we could. And with all those chal- lenges, we’ve still been able to launch a second successful journal, Buddhadharma, which is in its fifth year of publication. Now we embark on a new stage in the Sun’s development, leaving the nest, so to speak, but still part of the family. Our independence will help us to attract the support and input we need from a wide variety of sources so the Sun can grow, improve, and find new ways to communicate the dharma. But while we are independent, we are not nonpartisan. The Shambhala Sun has a heritage and a viewpoint we are proud of and believe in deeply, which is based upon the view of the dharma taught by our founder, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. We feel that one of the Sun’s greatest strengths is that this view is inclusive and deeply respectful of all vehicles of Buddhism, and of all contemplative traditions. The Sun reflects the vision that Trungpa Rinpoche articulated from the beginning, and the Shambhala Sun Foundation will always remain one of the family of institutions he founded. I would like to express my appreciation to Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, President Richard Reoch, Mr. Alex Halpern, and the Shambhala board of directors for their support in helping us take this important step. As we embark on this new stage in the Shambhala Sun’s development, we remain proud of our heritage and will continue our work to help fulfill Chögyam Trungpa’s vision: the flourishing of the buddhadharma to benefit all beings. — MELVIN McLEOD SEPT 1-17.indd 13 SEPT 1-17.indd 13 6/25/07 4:30:22 PM 6/25/07 4:30:22 PM