Meet the Sangha – LaDawn Haglund

Welcome to our new Meet the Sangha column! Years ago, before the rollout of the redesigned website, we had a page where several sangha members introduced themselves. I hope to recreate this here on the blog, and I am in the process of collecting introductions from various people at the Phoenix Center. Watch for more in the coming months. – Michelle Welch, blog editor


LaDawn Haglund

I have been Buddhist for nearly 30 years, but it wasn’t until I found Shambhala ten years ago that I realized how supportive meditation practice can be. The challenges and aspirations of my life are much like other people’s – wanting healthy relationships, trying to help people in need, and hoping to contribute something of value to the world. But I’ve spent a lot of time in my head trying to figure things out, which hasn’t always helped me find the heart of things. As I learned to quiet my mind through meditation and give myself space rather than constantly taking action, I found in my heart more stability and sanity than I thought was possible.

One of the things that is so important to me about the Shambhala community is the consistent encouragement I receive from my meditation instructors – all three of them! – as well as from other practitioners seeking to live in a more mindful, brave, and open-hearted way. I am always learning from these brothers and sisters, no matter how many years I practice.

I believe we are all wise, deep down inside. This path allows us to tap into the inherent wisdom of body, heart, and mind. As director of Societal Health and Wellbeing at the Phoenix Shambhala Center, it is my wish to help cultivate a nurturing environment where individual practitioners can discover their innate sanity, as well as find strength through community. We have a great gift in these teachings, in our teachers who support and guide us, and in being able to walk the path of awakenment together.

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