Program Details

How Can I Help? The Basic Goodness of Society


with John Smith & Doug McCanne
March 10 / 7:00 PM - April 14 / 9:00 PM

Course 2 of the Basic Goodness Series




Prerequisite: Meditation Instruction




This course asks the question, “How can I help?” and explores our relationships with others, an aspiration to help our world, and specific aspects of social transformation. We look at a Shambhala understanding of society, and what enlightened society may be. Is society something that is ultimately confused, or is there goodness in human society? The course focuses on transforming four aspects of society: family life (household), professional life, entertainment, and economy. We learn the traditional mahayana practice of “sending and taking” (tonglen).


50% Repeat program discount | See our Generosity Policy


If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Abbey Pleviak.


In 1975, while he was living in Canada, Doug became a student of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche. Rinpoche’s outrageous message then, that we could be who we are completely, has continued to motivate Doug through the ups and downs of this path all these years. He has taught in the Shambhala tradition over the past 15 + years at Shambhala centers in the US and Europe, and at the Oregon State Penitentiary. He and his wife, Jay, moved to Portland in 2005. Now retired, he enjoys house-holding, gardening, camping, hiking and the many cultural offerings of the wonderful city of Portland, Oregon. He has three grown sons and a grandson.


John became a student of Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche in 1975, and has continued as a student of Sakyong Mipham. He has been on the Portland Shambhala Meditation Center Council for many years and is now the interim Director of Communication. He is a meditation instructor and enjoys teaching meditation classes. He was born and raised in Humacao, Puerto Rico, and has a consulting business focusing on the development and support of learning communities and their use of technology.

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