The Role of the Chagdzö

The Chagdzö is the local representative of the Chagdzö Kyi Khyap (bursar general), who holds a seat on the Kalapa Council, the lha body of the governance of the mandala.

The Chagdzö provides the linkage for all financial matters between the local Shambhala Center and the Chagdzö Kyi Khyap. This includes relating to the center director on behalf of the Chagdzö Kyi Khyap, and to the Chagdzö Kyi Khyap on behalf of the center director.

Within the local Shambhala Center, the Chagdzö holds the principal finance seat in the Shambhala Center, and is part of the government pillar, headed by the center director. In the three pillar model, the other two pillars are Practice and Education and the Dorje Kasung.

As part of the government pillar, the Chagdzö advises the center director on financial matters including the management of the center’s finances, which falls under the overall responsibility of the center director. In some centers there will also be a finance manager; in others, the same person may serve as Chagdzö and finance manager.

The center director relies on the advice of the Chagdzö and would not want to make a decision with significant financial implications without first consulting with the Chagdzö. If after consultation the Chagdzö believes that the director is making a decision that would be harmful to the local center, (s)he has the responsibility to refer the matter to the Chagdzö Kyi Khyap for further consideration.


The Chagdzö holds the view of relating to money in a sane way:

  • Understands that money is neutral energy, neither for nor against us.
  • Understands that money is a precious resource that must be respected and related to with precision and discipline.
  • Appreciates there is a decorum of finances, can work comfortably with and describe for others the proper financial decorum. Understands that the local center culture conveys messages about the view of money that can either promote sanity or neurosis.
  • Is familiar with the ways in which neurosis with money is expressed, and how to work with that neurosis.
  • Understands how money works and how to use financial information to inform decision-making.