The Way of Shambhala
Throughout history, people have aspired to create societies that express the dignity of human existence within a wise, flourishing culture. This is the vision of Shambhala - a legendary enlightened society. The first king of Shambhala is said to have received teachings directly from the Buddha; teachings on the inseparability of spirituality and everyday life.
The Tibetan meditation master, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche carried this tradition into the modern world. He writes,
The Shambhala teachings are founded on the premise that there is a basic human wisdom that can help to solve the world's problems. This wisdom does not belong to any one culture or religion, nor does it come only from the West or the East. Rather it is a tradition of human warriorship that has existed in many cultures at many times throughout history.
Warriorship is a path of bravery, gentleness, and genuineness. At the heart of the Shambhala warrior tradition is the view that a brilliant life is accessible to everyone. Contemplative practices bring a natural sense of goodness, fearlessness, and humor into our ordinary lives.
The Way of Shambhala is a complete training in authentic meditation practices and teachings. This series of workshops and courses is an experiential overview of meditation practices, wisdom teachings, contemplative arts, and physical disciplines rooted in the ancient traditions of Shambhala and Tibetan vajrayana Buddhism.
- short retreats and evening courses
- experiential teachings within a supportive community
- open to people of all religious backgrounds or no religious background
- recommended for new and experienced meditatiors, as well as those looking to enrich their personal spiritual path
Level I Weekend: The Art of Being Human
Through the practice of meditation, we glimpse unconditional goodness as the ground of our existence. Opening to ourselves with gentleness and appreciation, we begin to see our potential as genuine and compassionate human beings.
Open to the Public
Meditation in Everyday Life
The Meditation in Everyday Life module is designed to provide students with the introductory tools and teachings for working with meditation in everyday life. With simple instructions and support, mindfulness meditation practice can become part of our lives, bringing greater stability, strength, and clarity.
Open to the Public
Level II Weekend: Birth of the Warrior
Having experienced a taste of basic goodness, we want to go forward. Meditation practice allows us to observe how we create a cocoon of habits to mask our fear. We begin to appreciate that there is no fundamental obstacle to experiencing basic goodness.
Prerequisite: Level I Weekend
Contentment in Everyday Life
This course provides an exploration of mindfulness meditation, the foundational views of the hinayana Buddhist teachings, and meditation in action for daily life. With meditation practice, we learn to appreciate ourselves and simple human experiences. Difficult emotions and the challenges of life can be met with gentleness, steadiness, and humor.
Open to the Public
Level III Weekend: Warrior in the World
Developing fearlessness by examining our habitual tendencies, we are willing to experience our life without relying on the cocoon. We begin to engage the world directly and extend the attitude of fearlessness to our activities.
Prerequisite: Level II Weekend
Joy in Everyday Life
As meditation practice expands and we develop trust in basic goodness, we begin to discover the confidence and personal energy to go forward on the journey. This leads to a sense of joy and bravery. The mahayana teachings on compassion become the inspiration for a life of cheerful discipline and freedom from doubt.
Prerequisite: Contentment in Everyday Life
Level IV Weekend: Awakened Heart
With trust in basic goodness and daring to experience the sharp edge of reality, we move forward with gentleness, increased awareness, and inquisitiveness about the world, as it is. We can extend ourselves to others fully and with kindness.
Prerequisite: Level III Weekend
Fearlessness in Everyday Life
Learning to work with our anxiety, we are not blocked by fear. Through an exploration of the Buddhist teachings of mind and the nature of reality, we learn to see clearly. We dare to face life and death as they are. The meditator, open to uncertainty, goes beyond the emotions of hope and fear to experience equanimity.
Prerequisite: Joy in Everyday Life
Level V Weekend: Open Sky
Communicating with the world gently and fearlessly, our awareness is sharpened and we find the open clear sky of mind—a delightful source of wisdom and uplifted energy. We trust our nature enough to let go into the present moment
Prerequisite: Level IV Weekend
Wisdom in Everyday Life
Meditation sharpens our intelligence and uncovers our wisdom. Students will receive practical instructions for transforming confused emotions and situations into effective actions as they arise. No longer deterred or depressed by obstacles, we can include everything as part of the path. The challenges of daily life become opportunities for both contemplative practice and social action.
Prerequisite: Fearlessness in Everyday Life
The Way of Shambhala will culminate in the “Rigden Weekend”. The Rigden is a representation of our basic enlightened nature and embodies the principle of unconditional bravery. Historically, rigdens were enlightened rulers —those who could “rule their world” based on their unwavering experience of basic goodness.
This weekend includes a formal transmission of windhorse practice, and study of the Six Ways of Ruling.
Prerequisite: Wisdom in Everyday Life and Level V, OR, completion of the Sacred Path program and some introductory Buddhist classes.