Ballard Satellite Bows Out

by Alan Ness

The Ballard Satellite, Seattle Shambhala’s first neighborhood-based meeting place, held its last session on August 28. The Ballard group inspired a constellation of other satellites that continue to bring meditation practice closer to people’s homes.

As we know, everything changes. Often a vibrant group, Ballard eventually had a steady decrease in attendance, and difficulty scheduling teachers and coordinators.

The Ballard satellite started about 8 years ago. I went to the space as part of a team looking to rent a space to augment our current Center. I met with the next door yoga studio owner, Jean Hindle, who urged me to present meditation in her studio once a week.

I thought that was a nice idea, but wasn’t sure I wanted to start it myself.  Somehow, a little later, I gained the confidence to do it.  I came every Tuesday night for about six months. Eventually, others stepped in to keep the satellite spinning.

We developed a rotating teacher schedule: four teachers presenting once a month, with a fifth teacher for five-week months. We were very faithful with the weekly presentation of meditation, followed by open discussion of an article that we passed around to read. Later we presented some short classes and had a summer reading group.

The Ballard Satellite would like to extend gratitude to the wonderful team who support this group throughout the years. We were fortunate to have Joan Algerin as a coordinator for many years, followed by Alison Day. James Crouse and Lee Oatey-Crouse assisted in various roles. And many thanks to our teaching team over the past number of years: Dan Peterson, Alison Day, Nel Mascall, and Cheyenne Covington.  

All of the Ballard members and attendees helped in their own ways, setting up cushions, helping with programs, and bringing enthusiasm for the dharma to our shared space.

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