Republished from the Shambhala Times with husband Marty Krasney
It is with sadness and appreciation that the Shambhala Times shares with you the news that sangha sister Pamela Krasney died on June 9th in her home in Sausalito from a heart condition. Pamela was a very active and inspiring person in our Shambhala world. Many of us knew her as a friend and fellow practitioner, supporter of our Centers and Region, longtime Board member of Shambhala Mountain Center, member of the Shambhala Trust, and Board member of Naropa University. She was also involved in many other causes, and gave herself to a number of important projects. You could not be around Pamela without being inspired by her energy, her dedication, her sharp wit, and her compassionate nature.
A description of her life taken from Naropa University encapsulates many of the aspects of her journey:
Pamela Krasney was an innovative, catalytic and deeply authentic social activist for more than half a century, starting with her participation in the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was an art history major in the mid-nineteen-sixties. Moving to San Francisco after graduation, she became involved with the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the Diggers, a community arts and action group that provided free street theater, food, medical care, transport, and temporary housing in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and opened “Free Stores” that gave away their stock.
Pamela became a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner in 1974 and lived for the next decade in Boulder, Colorado, where she was a student of Chogyam Trungpa, and worked for and attended Naropa Institute (now Naropa University), earning an MA in Contemplative Psychology in 1983 and serving on Naropa’s board for the past thirty years, much of that time as Development Chair.
After returning to California and marrying in 1984, Pamela was active in the HIV/AIDS community, initially as a caregiver and eventually as the Chair of the Marin AIDS Project. Since 1999, when she befriended and began to work with Jarvis Masters, a wrongly-convicted Death Row inmate at San Quentin State Prison, Pamela was a fervent criminal justice and anti-death penalty advocate. She was active in Human Rights Watch, was on the board of Death Penalty Focus for many years and had been serving as a director of the Prison Mindfulness Institute (with Acharya Fleet Maull). She lived with her husband Marty in Sausalito, California and had two children and two grandchildren, and more best friends than anyone else.
Pamela will be greatly missed by all of us who knew her, and by all the people whose lives she touched who may never have met her.