Meditation practice and instruction play a central role in Shambhala. New students are introduced to the basic teachings and are encouraged to try the practice of shamatha meditation. Initial meditation instruction is very important and should be presented by a qualified instructor. It is not simply presenting a technique, which could be read in a book or online, but is the expression of an unbroken oral transmission from teacher to student going back to the time of the Buddha.
Meditation practice predates Buddhism and all of the world religions. It has lasted through the centuries because it is direct, potent, and effective. If meditation becomes part of your life, please consider seeking further instruction from an experienced meditator at our centre. It might also be helpful to become part of a community of practitioners (sangha).
Learn to Meditate
At our Open House nights, meditation instructor is present to assist beginners. We alternate periods of sitting (usually about 20 – 30 minutes per period) with walking meditation (10 – 12 minutes), followed by either a public talk by one of the senior teachers of the centre, or a audio/video taped talk by teachers like Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche or Pema Chodron. Afterwards there is usually a discussion and tea/refreshments.
Shambhala Training Level I: The Art of Being Human
Drawn from the tradition presented in Chögyam Trungpa’s seminal book Shambhala, the Sacred Path of the Warrior, this intensive is the essential first step for entering the Shambhala Training path of bravery and gentleness. The Art of Being Human introduces mindfulness-awareness meditation in a secular context and vocabulary. Engaging the mind, we glimpse the world’s magic without conceptual filters, and begin to discover a basic goodness which is always present.
During the weekend, everyone receives the basic tools for traveling the path of meditation. Such programs typically include open talks, meditation practice, group discussions and personal interviews.
Ongoing Meditation Instruction
Having received a first instruction at a Shambhala programme or event, anyone continuing on the path of meditation is invited to form an ongoing working relationship with a meditation instructor. Meditation instructors are senior practitioners who have undergone extensive, careful training; they learn to guide others along the path, drawing not only from the classical sources, but also from their own experience. The result is practical, friendly advice for integrating a spiritual life with the busy—often hectic—everyday world.