Choosing Love: Engaged Buddhism in times of crisis and conflict

with Acharya Susan Chapman

April 19th—April 21st

Date details +
  • $135 Program Price
  • $150 Patron Price
  • $95 Reduced Price
Room: 1st Floor Meditation Hall

Choosing Love: Engaged Buddhism in times of crisis and conflict


I’ve decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


With so much uncertainty and challenge confronting us daily it is natural to feel the need to withdraw or build walls to protect what sanity we have left.  We live in polarizing times. Social media has amplified populist rhetoric and hatred of the ‘other’, creating a culture of fear.  However, in an interconnected world where climate change, poverty and injustice have no borders, it is more important than ever to let down our guard and find ways to genuinely connect.


Using the skills of Mindful Communication, we will focus on four ‘positive interruptions’ to stop the escalation of harmful speech and behaviours that build walls rather than bridges.  Based on a contemplative approach, this work begins with developing a sense compassion for ourselves, then expanding this to others, even those we deem as ‘enemies’.


This weekend retreat is a healing space to explore the meaning of kindness, patience and fearlessness in the context of grass roots, community based change.  We will explore listening spaces called ‘green zones’, where we re-learn the art of human being-ness, being together with awake bodies, tender hearts and open minds. 


We welcome people from all faiths and traditions and especially those who are marginalized and/or engaged in social change, climate justice and human rights work.


This retreat will be held at the Victoria Shambhala Centre on the traditional unceded lands of the Lekwungen speaking peoples.


Retreat leaders: 


Elesa Commerse


Elesa Commerse is the founder of Touching Earth Mindfulness Learning Center, in Evanston, where she develops and produces curricula, creates teaching tools and teaches teachers. As founder of National Meditation Month and the Willing to Listen initiative,


Elesa helps people embrace the precious, fragile and fleeting nature of life. She leads several Deep Study® intensives, including one titled "Good Life…Good Death" that helps people: understand the death and dying process from Western medical and eastern philosophical perspectives; articulate and embrace their legacy; and come to terms with their mortality—all within a context of loving kindness and compassion.

Susan Chapman


Susan Chapman has been a student of Shambhala since 1974. She has an MA in Buddhist and Western Psychology from Naropa University, worked with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, and is a licensed Marital and Family Therapist. She has one grown child. With her husband Jerry she founded the Juneau Shambhala Center and later completed Gampo Abbey’s three year retreat, where she went on to serve as druppon “retreat leader” for six more years.

After moving back to Vancouver, Susan started a business which offers workshops and training in mindful communication, and is on the faculty of Karuna Training, teaching twice yearly in Europe. She was empowered as an Acharya or senior teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist traditions in 2010. She is also the author of The Five Keys to Mindful Communication.

For more info please email coordinator Silas Rose - [email protected]




Friday April 19  Evening 7 pm-9 pm 

Saturday April 20 and Sunday April 21 10 am – 4 pm



$135 Regular program fee

$150 Patron fee

$ 95 reduced fee