About Us

The Boulder Shambhala Center is part of Shambhala, an international community of more than 200 meditation centers and groups. The Shambhala Buddhist path, unique in the world of Western Buddhism, combines the teachings of the Kagyü and Nyingma traditions of Tibetan Buddhism with the Shambhala principles of living an uplifted life, fully engaged with the world.

Karma Dzong

From the time when Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche founded this center in 1970  through 1995, it was known as Karma Dzong. The Tibetan term dzong means “fortress.” Traditionally in Tibetan Buddhism, dzongs have been akin to state capitals or cathedrals in a diocese. They are located in key spots where power and energy gather.

Shambhala dzongs are places that introduce the world to Shambhala. Inside a dzong, one experiences a sacred and uplifted environment that allows the mind to open and relax. Through their activity, presence, and community of meditation practitioners, dzongs emanate the compassion, wisdom, and generosity of the Shambhala lineage out into the broader community.

From Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, a book derived from a series of talks given in Boulder in 1970 and 1971:

Question: Why did you name your center here Karma Dzong?

Chögyam Trungpa: Karma means “action” as well as “Buddha activity,” and Dzong is the Tibetan word for “fortress.” Situations just present themselves rather than being deliberately premeditated. They are perpetually developing, happening quite spontaneously. Also there seems to be a tremendous amount of energy at the center, which also could be said of karma. It is energy that is not being misled by anyone, energy which is in the fortress. What is happening definitely had to happen. It takes the shape of spontaneous karmic relationships rather than missionary work or the conversion of people into Buddhists.


Boulder Shambhala Introduction to the Organization and Mission Statement

Established in 1974, the Boulder Shambhala Center is part of the global Shambhala network, founded by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and works under the guidance of Shambhala USA. Our main focus is to teach and practice mindfulness meditation; to create a cultural center; and to build an enlightened society.

It is the Shambhala view that every human being has a fundamental nature of goodness, warmth, and intelligence. This nature can be cultivated through meditation, following ancient principles, and it can be further developed in daily life, so that it radiates out to family, friends, community, and society. We aspire to awaken our innate goodness, wisdom, and compassion so that we may skillfully work to mitigate suffering in human society and the natural world. In so doing, we endeavor to create a wakeful society of kindness, generosity, and courage within our homes, our community, and in the world.


Boulder Shambhala Center Aspiration and Commitment:

The Shambhala Code of Conduct:

At the Shambhala Meditation Center of Boulder, we strive to provide a safe, supportive and respectful environment for the practice and study of the Buddhist and Shambhala teachings and meditation. We applaud and fully support all of our new Code of Conduct policies which can be found at the Code of Conduct Hub.

Please familiarize yourself with these policies and resources. Creating a safe space is everyone’s responsibility. This means being mindful of one’s own conduct and watchful for any impropriety outlined in our policies.

We remain committed to supporting anyone interested in the practice of meditation, the study of Buddhism, and the development of a community that embodies the principles of a genuinely enlightened and compassionate society.

Our center offers a rich array of weekly ongoing offerings free to the public. No prior meditation experience is required to attend. Most programs offer meditation instruction upon request. All are welcome. Visit our monthly calendar for a full listing of programs.

If you have a concern about something you have experienced in Shambhala, please readWhat to do if you have a concern”. If you have experienced harm due to aggression, failings on the part of the organization, or actions within the Shambhala community, you are invited to access the counseling and therapy offering.