A Home for Orange County Shambhala

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Faradee Rudy charming the crowd.

In December, the Orange County Shambhala group held a fundraiser to find a home. It was fabulous. Here is an account of the evening by James Kieran Murphy. 

When not traveling the highways or attending Shambhala Meditation Center Los Angeles (SMCLA) programs, we spend our time at the Center for Living Peace. We are fortunate to have access to this wonderful secular space near the UC Irvine campus where Shambalians have provided public meditation instruction twice a week since 2010. We have grown in numbers over the years and there is a strong desire within the OC community to create our own center where we can provide Shambhala programs directly to our community.

With that goal in mind, we decided to host a holiday fundraiser to help bring our vision to life. The event was hosted at the Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach on Wednesday evening, December 18. We had a truly wonderful turnout from both Orange County and Los Angeles members and friends with over forty-four people attending. It seems that curiosity got the better of otherwise sensible Angelenos and they came with the hope of understanding what all of the fuss was about.

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OC Shambhala Fundraising Committee celebrate the final tally!

The hosts for the evening were none other than our own Faradee Rudy and Barbara Vanek. Faradee kept the room electrified with her charming banter and Barbara ensured that everything ran as smooth as silk and all pledges were correctly tallied. The membership and fundraising goals were truly audacious: 20 members/$14,000 for the year 2014! But the resulting pledges and generosity of our members and friends exceeded even the wildest expectations of the organizers. At the end of the night, Barbara had close to $25,000 on the books! A group of practitioners that is truly committed to bringing the Shambhala teachings to the broader Orange County community has finally found its voice and is ready to make 2014 a very poignant year.

A special thank-you to the following people for making the great event happen: Eric Chen, David Dike, Gil Figueroa, Paul Kelway, Rhona Lebner, Marilyn Moore, Pablo Nardi, Faradee Rudy, Barbara Vanek and Elaine Welinder.

If you would like to support the Orange County practitioners’ efforts to create a Shambhala Center in 2014 and have not yet had the opportunity, please contact Barbara Vanek to learn how to help. Ms. Vanek can be reached at bsvanek1@gmail.com.

jamesJames Kieren Murphy is an avid motorcyclist and meditator and lives in Newport Beach, CA. He regularly attends meditation class at the Center for Living Peace in Orange County on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings.