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The Way of Shambhala


Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche         The path of Shambhala is here to awaken us to the potential of our lives. It teaches us how to live meaningfully and vigorously, with joy. Its ancient but practical wisdom allows us to discover unconditional human confidence. Through the practice of meditation, we discover that goodness, strength, and wisdom are inherent in our own mind and being.                                   —Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

The Way of Shambhala offers a structured path of authentic meditation practice and a complete introduction to Shambhala. This program is designed for people living in the modern world, and is open to people of any spiritual tradition. It provides a strong foundation in mindfulness-awareness meditation, wisdom teachings, contemplative arts and physical disciplines, and is suitable for both beginning and experienced meditators.

The Way of Shambhala offers students insight into how meditation can increase the sanity in our daily lives, and from there expand to impact our whole society. The practices and teachings engage our emotions, intelligence, creativity, and the practicalities of modern daily life. The program is taught by authorized Shambhala teachers under the guidance of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

Program Overview
The Way of Shambhala is a sequential series of programs consisting of Shambhala Training levels I-V, accompanied by a corresponding five-week course. Each series includes meditation training and practice, teachings by senior instructors, and contemplative exercises.

Participants proceed sequentially through the entire program. If a participant does not wish to commit to the year-long curriculum, they may choose to go more slowly, or to participate exclusively in the Shambhala Training levels I-V. Students may also choose to participate in the first two weekly courses without doing any previous courses. However, to continue with the Way of Shambhala Year Two, one needs to complete the entire first year, which culminates with the Rigden Weekend.

Shambhala Training Level
Weekly Course
The Art of Being Human
Shambhala Training Level I.
Prerequisite: none
Meditation in Everyday Life (MIEL)
Prerequisite: none.
Birth of the Warrior
Shambhala Training Level II.
Prerequisite: Level I.
Contentment in Everyday Life (CIEL)
Prerequisite: none.
Warrior in the World
Shambhala Training Level III.
Prerequisite: Level II.
Joy in Everyday Life (JIEL)
Prerequisite: Both MIEL and CIEL courses above.
Awakened Heart
Shambhala Training Level IV.
Prerequisite: Level III.
Fearlessness in Everyday Life (FIEL)
Prerequisite: Joy in Everyday Life.
Open Sky
Shambhala Training Level V.
Prerequisite: Level IV.
Wisdom in Everyday Life (WIEL)
Prerequisite: Fearlessness in Everyday Life.
  The Rigden Weekend
Shambhala Wisdom in Everyday Life and Shambhala Training Level V or completion of the Sacred Path of the Warrior program.


Program Description

I - Meditation in Everyday Life

Shambhala Training Level I: 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.

Meditation in Everyday Life
Provides introductory tools and teachings for working with meditation in everyday life. With simple instructions and the right support, mindfulness meditation practice can become part of one’s life, revealing one’s innate stability, strength and clarity.

II - Contentment in Everyday Life

Shambhala Training Level II: 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.

Contentment in Everyday Life
Contentment is hard to find. We usually think that contentment is found in things, achievements or experiences. 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.

III - Joy in Everyday Life

Shambhala Training Level III: Warrior in the World
Developing fearlessness by examining our habitual tendencies, we are willing to experience our life directly and extend the attitude of fearlessness to our activities.

Joy in Everyday Life
We often approach our lives with the idea that joy comes from the fulfillment of our personal desires. Through an exploration of the Buddhist teachings on intelligent compassion towards others, we begin to discover the confidence and inspiration for a life of cheerful discipline, health and bravery.

IV - Fearlessness in Everyday Life

Shambhala Training Level IV: 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.

Fearlessness in Everyday Life
As the path continues, we learn to work with our anxiety, so that we are not blocked by fear. Through an exploration of the traditional 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.

V - Wisdom in Everyday Life

Shambhala Training Level V: 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.

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.

The Rigden Weekend

Rigden: Unconditional Confidence
The Way of Shambhala culminates 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.

During this weekend, students will have an opportunity to take a vow to support their inspiration to manifest basic goodness in their world.


























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Boulder Shambhala Center
1345 Spruce St., Boulder,  CO 80302
Tel. 303 444 0190 x100    Email:

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