Basically staffing is an extension of our practice on the cushion and this is especially true and poignant for level III as participants begin to explore daring, gentleness and being a warrior in the world.

We can also realize that as staff, coordinators, Directors and AD’s what is going on for the participants will also be going on in us.

Staffing has three aspects:

  1. Staff hold the container/create form for weekend.
    We want to provide a very uplifted environment for the participants and this can be done in many ways:
  •  Team work – we work as a team and anticipate things needing to be done
  • Appearance and feel of space- provide a space which is clean and fresh, and also be aware of how the space changes during the weekend and make adjustments to keep it comfortable and clean for participants
  • Presentation of self- we dress and act impeccably in order to express our own human dignity and uplift others.


  1. Practice aspect of Staffing
  • We keep in mind that Staffing is a practice of being a warrior in the world and we can practice using our fearlessness, gentleness and intelligence to uplift others.
  • We also realize that Staffing is a practice to watch our own minds and how we react to people, situations, and our own patterns. Our reactions during the levels are often related to the Level being taught and can be a further way to explore those teachings.


  1. Staffing is for the benefit of participants.

  Ultimately, we are there to benefit the participants and should focus on the best way to achieve that.

  • Tight vs. Loose- Participation in the weekend is important, but so is creating the container for the weekend. We should be participating in talks when appropriate and doing behind the scenes setup and support when appropriate.
  • It is important during group discussions or during an open question period, to allow plenty of space for participants to take part.
  • Staff may indicate to the facilitator if they have something to add, but should take special care not to dominate the discussion or ask leading questions because you may feel the Director omitted material.
  • The Directors are skilled teachers and often times what was is not said or introduced at a particular level is as important as what is included.


Throughout the level, when details have been attended to, all staff are encouraged to

  • take advantage of sitting and walking meditation (staff should do this),
  • interview with the Director or Assistant Director,
  • listen to the Shambhala teachings,
  • participate in group discussions (holding back as addressed above) , and
  • socialize with the participants & other staff members during meals and teas.

Even when socializing, staff members should continue to be mindful of the situation: the container has been created to allow the participants to experience the Shambhala teachings and the practice of meditation.

  • Staff members should feel free to converse with participants, but should resist the temptation to “bring people along” by proselytizing or by urging participants, before they may be ready (especially in the early levels, when they’re just getting comfortable in the situation) to become active in the Center.
  • During talks and sitting meditation, staff should sit toward the back of the Meditation Hall so participants can have front seats.


The Director and Assistant Directors are responsible for facilitating discussions following talks and group situations.

  • During these times, the staff principal role is allowing participants to ask questions and share experiences in a supportive and comfortable environment.
  • Staff should feel free to participate, once participants have had ample opportunity to speak, and they should not dominate the discussion.

Although Staff may be eager to share insights with participants, it is not always helpful to do so.

Each participant seeks his/her own path and should be allowed to travel on it at his/her own pace.