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"Ziji" is the Tibetan word for the innate, brilliant confidence possessed by all beings. The Ziji Collective is a community inspired by the Shambhala vision of an uplifted human society and dedicated to manifesting that vision in the world through the transformative power of collective action. There are Ziji Collective groups all over the world. Find the closest one to you!

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Ziji Leadership Summit … COMING UP!

Written by alexvangils on March 23, 2014

Current leaders of Ziji Collective groups from around the world, leaders of young sangha initiatives in Shambhala interested in connecting with the global network that is the Ziji Collective are invited to join together in San Francisco on April 30th, 2014 for the first-ever International Ziji Collective Leadership Summit. Check out this link for more information: http://sf.shambhala.org/program-details/?id=170480

Want to connect with other young Shambhala leaders and the Ziji Collective, but don’t think you can make it to San Francisco? Stay tuned to this blog for more information on some live-streaming goodness that will bring the Ziji to you.

Bodhi Cheetah

Written by Rianne Pelleboer on March 23, 2014

Read it, love it, share it; Nothing speaks to the imagination like stories and detailed description of events. With that in mind I started my blog: Bodhi Cheetah. http://www.bodhicheetah.nl/

Cheetahs are the fastest mammals on the planet and resemble the society we live in perfectly. We run from one place to the other and in the mean time we send messages and e-mails. While we have dinner with our friends we manage to sneak send an e-mail to our bosses or teachers. We upload a photo of our meal on instagram, write something funny about it on twitter while we talk about it to someone on facebook. Like cheetahs we are light, flexible and we have big hearts. We want to be connected and we live and move in groups, we are together alone. Is it really a coincidence that bodhi cheetah sounds an awful lot like *drum roll*bodhicitta?

Over a year ago I started blogging about my own experiencing on the buddhism path and in particular within the Shambhala tradition. Yet somewhere along the way I lost my motivation, it had become too much of a ‘me’ thing. I felt the need for there to be something more than just my brain farts about buddhism and related topics. I felt the wish to create a platform for young people, Shambhala guides and those who organize youth nights and retreats to gather and share experiences in a fun and creative way.

Want to read a review of ‘An Uncommon King’? We’ve got it. Wondering what themes you can use while hosting a youth night during Valentine’s day or Christmas? Read it! Found an awesome clip, dharma talks everyone should know about or a books that just be on top of you to-read list? Love it! And if you are stuck with a subject or you know someone who could use some more info on gratitude, loving kindness or mindfulness? Share it!

Weekly updates provide eager young adults with info on buddhism and the latest events. Twice a month one of our city groups organize youth nights. As a result they write a short story about what happened. Highlighting certain aspects of the evening. To keep things from becoming dull we also post reviews, videos and interviews. As emerging adults (FOREVER YOUNG) we encounter love and heartbreak, jealousy and equanimity, success and failure, we gain motivation and we lose it again. We sometimes think we know it all but for the moments we feel we are clueless we’ve got a team of the awesomest Shambhala teachers to answer prominent questions about buddhism and live. Although most of the blogs are in Dutch we were fortunate enough that the amazing Shastri Van Gils answered a question about richness, so unless you expect to be fluent in Dutch in a week or so to read the whole blog, you can check out the English blog here.

In addition to all the amazing things the young Shambalians write we keep a calendar to make sure that new visitors can easily navigate and see what’s the place to be. This calendar includes youth nights everywhere in the Netherlands, national meditation weekends and international youth retreats.

Even though this all seems quite grandiose, the blog currently is much more like a baby cheetah. We just gave birth to it in January and now we have to feed it, love it, flood it with care and attention and hope it will grow up to be a strong powerful Cheetah.

West Coast Ziji Summit

Written by alexvangils on November 5, 2013

Building a good human society will take manual labor.” -Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, The Shambhala Principle

Last month in Los Angeles, California, some intrepid Ziji warriors got started on some of that manual labor—leaders of Ziji Collectives from San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Davis, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Boulder, and Boston assembled for the first-ever West Coast Ziji Collective Summit. We shared ideas, skills, resources, connections, innovations, parlor games, and dance moves, setting the ground for further collaboration and community.

After a festive opening night at Culver City’s very cool City Tavern, the Summit began with a series of presentations: what are we doing in our various collectives? What can we learn from each other? Alex Rodriguez and Marina Kantarovich of LA shared their group’s origin story, and their aspirations. Shastri Nick Kranz gave a presentation on the very successful Under 30’s group from Boston Shambhala. Particularly interesting was the Boston group’s rich program of retreats, in homes and in nature, and their organic methods for empowering and training natural leaders as they arise.

 Leaders from the NorCal Ziji Collective: Cody McGough, Rees Sweeney-Taylor, Leslie Gossett, Alex Van Gils, and Katrin Welch, delivered the first public presentation of their Ziji Recipe: a work-in-progress that shares how the Bay Area Ziji family has come together and sparked creativity and action. It was heartening to see the members of the council together, each sharing a piece of the picture. Truly a collective work.

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Following a delicious lunch, and an equally delicious open time of collaborative art creation and a four square tournament, Shastri Kranz brought the group down to earth in a powerful way, leading us in a grounding session of “Social Meditation,” which is a new method of facilitating groups of meditators (stay tuned for an in-depth interview with Shastri Kranz about Social Meditation). This practice took us all into our hearts and connected us further with the people around us. We closed the day with a question: how do we lead conversations about Sakyong Mipham’s new book, The Shambhala Principle? Each member of the assembly opened this seminal book to a completely random page, placed their finger on a page, read the sentence it landed on, and provided some on-the-spot commentary.

We danced through Saturday night at an LA Ziji member’s home and eating pizza catered from a Ziji member’s family pizza business. Sunday morning was a playful exploration of the boundaries of “what makes a Salon,” led by the inimitable Shastri Holly Gayley. We had the freedom to experiment with what we could do with a Salon. A favorite moment was when the group played a beta version of the game “Culture,” created by Cody McGough, in which everyone starts off doing and saying nothing; there is no culture yet. Someone makes a gesture, the first dot of a new culture, and society takes it from there.

 An important part of the Ziji recipe is that we invite action. We closed the weekend by doing some networking and brainstorming for enlightened society: several people spontaneously shared ideas or questions that they wanted to explore. Others naturally gravitated to join those people to share contact information, ideas, and next steps to bring those ideas to fruition. One idea that arose was a website that could host a worldwide “Ziji Lab,” where people could share and refine best practices and innovations across time and space. It will be the new Ziji website: look for it in the new year!

More important than all this activity was the incredible feeling of camaraderie that was fostered by all of us coming together, exploring and sharing with each other both exciting innovations and difficult questions. I can’t wait for the next regional gathering, somewhere else in the world! Perhaps I will see you there.

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