Seeking Director for Dechen Choling

Oct 26, 2012

Shambhala Europe is seeking an experienced Shambhala person to fill the role of Director of Dechen Choling, beginning on Shambhala Day 2013. On that date, the current Director, Mr. Simon LaHaye, will retire from the position, to which he has tirelessly devoted himself.

The new Director of Dechen Choling will lead the community of staff and visitors, and will propagate the vision and manifestation of Shambhala society. The Director will cultivate a culture of profound kindness and generosity in the community and will represent the Dechen Choling community in the local region, as well as in the larger Shambhala mandala.


As the chief executive of Dechen Choling, the Director is responsible to the Sakyong and the Director of Shambhala Europe. The Director chairs and works closely with the Dechen Choling Advisory Council, which provides support and guidance by defining Dechen Choling's values and goals. Holding the view of Basic Goodness, the Director is responsible for implementing and achieving stated goals in collaboration with the staff. The Director is also the public spokesperson for Dechen Choling, and as such is the primary link between the centre and the higher governing bodies of Shambhala, and with the surrounding community of practitioners and nonpractitioners alike.

The Director of Dechen Choling is responsible for

* Sustaining a practice environment at Dechen Choling that both fosters a culture of kindness and is inviting to new and long-time students.
* Leading by example in the practice and study of the Shambhala dharma.
* Exercising exemplary leadership through the practice of The Six Ways of Ruling.
* Integrating the work of the Three Pillars of Shambhala, respecting the diverse lines of command and accountability so that all the various aspects of the life of the centre function coherently and harmoniously.
* Ensuring high-quality program planning consistent with Shambhala vision.
* Working with members of the staff and the Dechen Choling Advisory Council to implement governance policies based on Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche's teachings on Shambhala leadership.
* Working collaboratively with the Advisory Council, Shambhala Europe, and The Sakyong's Advisory Panel on Shambhala Environments to develop and implement a long-term development plan for the land and buildings of Dechen Choling.
* Supporting the development of a community Health and Well-Being Council.
* Ensuring that the operation of Dechen Choling is at all times in accord with local laws, through regular consultation with appropriate legal advisors, local governmental authorities and Shambhala Europe.
* Upholding effective and fair hiring and personnel management practices in accordance with the laws of France, including monitoring staff performance, conducting performance evaluations, and facilitating processes for staff training and development.
* Fostering a climate of trust in which staff members feel confident and inspired, both to achieve personal goals and to contribute towards collective goals.
* Working with the Advisory Council and designated working groups to raise funds from a variety of sources and to generally promote a stable base of financial and community support for Dechen Choling.
* Providing timely financial reporting and analysis throughout the year, and presenting a budget to Shambhala Europe for each new fiscal year.
* Ensuring that the physical environment of Dechen Choling is uplifted, respected, and protected, and that the maintenance of the grounds and building meets standards of safety and accessibility consistent with Shambhala teachings, Council policies, and French and European laws.
* Ensuring that members of the Shambhala community are informed about significant developments at the retreat centre and have opportunities to provide input.
* Reporting to the Sakyong, the Director of Shambhala Europe, and the Kalapa Council on the wellbeing of Dechen Choling, and communicating their views and advice to the Advisory Council and the community as requested.

Qualifications for the position of Director of Dechen Choling include

* Manifest loyalty and devotion to the Lineage of Sakyongs and the vision of Shambhala, as proclaimed by the Dorje Dradul and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.
* Completion of Vajrayana Seminary, and active commitment to advanced Shambhala practice. Completion of the Rigden Abhisheka is recommended.
* Familiarity with The Six Ways of Ruling and the principles of Shambhala governance.
* A strong background in leadership, with well-developed interpersonal and decision-making skills, including a demonstrated ability to address and resolve conflict in inspiring ways.
* An ability to motivate and work well with others, seek and welcome suggestions and advice, and reach decisions that take into account the wealth of others' views and experience while remaining true to the lineage vision and governance of the mandala as a whole.
* Respect for and sensitivity to cultural diversity, both within the administration of the retreat centre and throughout the community.
* Excellent oral and written communication skills.
* Fluency in or facility with the French language.
* An ability to lead by example and manifest patience, kindness, lungta, and a sense of humour.

Additional assets

* Organizational and managerial skills in the areas of program planning and delivery, project and resource management (both human and financial), community care, service mentoring and training, team-building, leading meetings and other group processes.
* Knowledge of and experience in fundraising.
* Experience as a teacher and meditation instructor.

Required commitment

The time commitment is 35 hours per week. The Director's responsibilities involve a flexible combination of regular weekday hours, some evening meetings, and occasional attendance at weekend programs. Applicants from outside Dechen Choling must be willing to relocate; applicants from outside France will be advised on how to satisfy immigration requirements.

Candidates are asked to make a commitment of three to five years. The ideal candidate would be able to assume Director duties by Shambhala Day 2013, beginning with a month-long transition period.

Salary and benefits

The annual salary is 29,000 euros, with potential increases as finances permit. Benefits include inclusion in French health insurance and retirement systems, five weeks paid vacation, two weeks paid practice leave, free tuition for Dechen Choling programs, and a discount on all Shambhala programs throughout the mandala. Insurance coverage is available.


Please email your application to the recruitment committee at, including a letter describing your suitability for this position, along with a resume and contact information for three professional references. These materials should be provided via email (as attachments).


Applications will be reviewed by the recruitment committee, which will be led by Ms Debbie Coats in close consultation with the Director of Shambhala Europe and the Dechen Choling Advisory Council. The appointment will be made by the Kalapa Council and is expected to take effect by Shambhala Day 2013.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact the recruitment committee at

(This announcement was from the Shambhala News Service)