Winter Shambhala Wedding, a Warm Celebration of Dear Old Friends

by Andrea D’Asaro

Shelley Pierce and Mark Helsel strode down their wedding aisle behind flower- scattering grandchildren with a hall full of Shambhalians, friends and family as witnesses. The bride and groom, both long-time Shambhala members, were wed by preceptor Dan Peterson, who charmed listeners with his comments on the sweet strivings of marriage. He then presided over the “Four Dignities” ceremony flanked by the Tiger, Lion, Garuda, Dragon banners with Shelley and Mark placing shrine offering for each dignity. The bride and groom then presented haikus of love to the 150 guests in the spacious University of Washington, Center for Urban Horticulture Hall.

Guests retired to the glass atrium for drinks where childhood friends of the wedding couple, old school meditators (their lapels heavy with bright pins) and throngs of relatives and families chatted happily before returning to the main hall.  The January 4th wedding included a dinner, toasts, inspiring poems and speeches by the couple’s respective sons, ending with dancing by partiers—reluctant to leave the joyous event.

Slideshow of the Joyous Celebration

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Photos by James Crouse

One thought on “Winter Shambhala Wedding, a Warm Celebration of Dear Old Friends

  1. Thank you Andrea and newsletter team as well as the community spirit that surrounded our wedding party at the Center for Urban Horticulture January 4 beginning a Lungta-filled 2020! We couldn’t have done it without all of you: Matthew Lyon (musician extraordinaire) who also provided the auspicious wedding date, Preceptor Dan Peterson and Assistant Bret Ellerton who led us through Tiger, Lion, Garuda Dragaon vows, and commentator Ladan Yalzadeh who is always stunning. Our family stepped in royally and provided a beautiful Rehearsal Dinner, were flower girls, and our sons and friends gave auspicious toasts, and poetry flowed! My Eldest Grandson Jasper actually made the impressive wedding cake. A Community of joy – let’s spread it out and out and out!

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