Written by Court Donner on November 6, 2017
I’m reaching out to you as the chair of the Summit Planning working group with news regarding our upcoming summit in Nashville. This energized team of Zijians has been working diligently around the relationship between Ziji and Shambhala, and what that means within a global gathering. As we as an organization have grown and changed over the year, so have the needs of our global and local communities.
The Shambhala sangha here in Nashville, TN, has been excited to support the vision of the Ziji Collective through these initial stages of visioning and planning for the 2018 Summit. However, after some reflection on our current and changing local situation, we agree that our local sangha currently needs all of the energy that we were preparing to direct toward the summit, in order to take its next steps locally. The bottom line is, Nashville no longer feels ready to be the ground for the next Summit, and we want to do what it takes to rekindle the energy we had so much of a year ago.
Although the past summits have been incredibly joyful, we have found that there was little joy in merely replicating previous years’ work. What seems appropriate to me now is to continue the vision work we have been doing as a group of diverse people, to develop a clear idea of what we and the world need the next summit to be, and from there look for the ground where it can land.
So at this point, we’ve decided to shake it up. We’re working on smaller, regional gatherings, with the intention of combining them, snowballing into whatever the next summit wants and needs to be. This past summer, we saw the emergence of the Ziji Gar, a week-long camping retreat in France, which is expected to become an annual event. With this inspiration, we want to support other similar (or equally innovative) Ziji retreats, to meet the world where it is and we are.
Currently, the Nashville and Birmingham, Alabama Ziji sanghas are coordinating a weekend Social Meditation retreat inspired by the Ziji Gar and the recent Youth Leadership Intensive at Karme Choling. I would also like to speak with folks from all the other Ziji groups around the world about either creating similar events, or ideas to contribute to other emerging gatherings.
Moving forward, if you have an idea or are interested in contributing, or if you have an event in motion and would like support in some way, please hit me up on facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to keep the Global Summits happening and welcome your thoughts and suggestions about where and when we the next one could manifest. The Ziji Global summits have been a great inspiration to me since 2014, and I am so excited to continuing the work that has inspired such grand gatherings as we refocus locally, globally, and individually.
In the vision of Ziji,