Shambhala Buddhist Study
Please visit the Programs page for a list of upcoming Way of Shambhala classes. If you have any questions regarding the Way of Shambhala, please contact Philip Castillo, Director of Practice and Education.
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 timesthroughout 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 introduction to the foundations of Shambhala Buddhism. This series of workshops and classes 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. The programs are presented by experienced teachers under the guidance of the current Shambhala lineage holder, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Designed for people living in the modern world, the teachings unfold through five stages: Meditation in Everyday Life, Contentment in Everyday Life, Joy in Everyday Life, Fearlessness in Everyday Life, and Wisdom in Everyday Life. These stages represent the natural progression of awakening in our life and correspond to the journey of developing skillful action and wisdom through the practice and study of the buddhadharma. The Shambhala Training Levels I-V can be practiced together with or separately from the overall path.
Meditation in Everyday Life
The Meditation in Everyday Life class is designed to provide students with the introductory tools and teachings for working with meditation in everyday life.
Meditation is the ground practice of the Shambhala path
and from that ground all the teachings unfurl.
Open to the Public
Contentment in Everyday Life
The Contentment in Everyday Life course is a thorough exploration of mindfulness meditation, delving into the foundational views of the Hinayana Buddhist teachings, and meditation in action for daily life. By acknowledging and understanding the reality of suffering we can open to our inherent goodness and express the qualities of gentleness, appreciation, and fearlessness in our everyday lives.
Open to the Public
Prerequisite: None (Shambhala Training Level II, recommended)
Joy in Everyday Life
Joy in Everyday Life will go into the Shambhala teachings on cheerfulness and health. Through study and practice of these teachings on discipline and the traditional Buddhist teachings of the Mahayana, we step out of the trap of our habitual patterns, free ourselves from confusion, and cultivate the noble heart of compassion. This class is a strong introduction to the Buddhist concept of bodhicitta.
Open to the Public
Prerequisite: None (Shambhala Training Level III, recommended)
Fearlessness in Everyday Life
The Fearlessness in Everyday Life course mixes meditation with the vastness of space beyond concept. Through an exploration of the Buddhist teachings of emptiness, the meditator opens to groundlessness and uncertainty, learning to soar fearlessly like the mythical bird known as the Garuda.
Prerequisites: Joy in Everyday Life and Shambhala Training Level IV
Wisdom in Everyday Life
The Way of Shambhala culminates with Wisdom in Everyday Life, where we study the unwavering warrior whose confidence is unconditional and playful. Here the practitioner is introduced to the Vajrayana teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.
Prerequisites: Fearlessness in Everyday Life and Shambhala Training Level V