Frequently Asked Questions
Are you interested in learning more about the Boulder Shambhala Center? Answers to some frequently asked questions are below and may be helpful to you.
If you don’t find the answer you are looking for, you are invited to contact the center, or visit us in person.
What is Shambhala?
Shambhala is a global community of meditation and retreat centers founded by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and currently led by his son and spiritual heir, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. There are more than 200 Shambhala centers and groups around the world, as well as thousands of individual members.
Shambhala Centers offer courses in meditation and other contemplative arts and disciplines, and also host community gatherings, celebrations, and family events. Read and learn more about Shambhala.
What are the Shambhala Teachings?
Shambhala is rooted in the contemplative teachings of Buddhism. In the mid-1970s Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche began to introduce teachings on Shambhala vision, based on his encounter with the Western world and on the specific wisdom imparted from the Buddha to King Dawa Sangpo, the first sovereign of the legendary kingdom of Shambhala.
This tradition teaches how to live in the secular world with courage and compassion. Shambhala is a fresh expression of how human beings can bring the dignity and respect of the spiritual journey into our everyday life.
I have my own spiritual tradition. Can I learn meditation without becoming a Buddhist?
Yes. Meditation in Shambhala is compatible with every spiritual tradition and can benefit anyone.
In Shambhala, the vision of a decent and peaceful society includes people of all faiths and walks of life. Although some of our programs and events are open only to those who have fulfilled certain prerequisites, all are welcome at our center and at public programs.
Can I visit the Boulder Shambhala Center to see what it offers?
Yes, you are more than welcome to visit the Boulder Shambhala Center. Learn about our location and hours
For a good introduction to our center and meditation, you are invited to attend our Sunday Open House, Monday Night Open Class, or Wednesday Drop-in Meditation to receive meditation instruction. There is no charge and no need to register. For more information, read about our Weekly Drop-in Classes.
All are welcome.
Do I have to be a member to attend programs or practice meditation at the Boulder Shambhala Center?
No. Everyone is welcome to attend public meditation sessions, classes, weekend programs, and celebrations at the Boulder Shambhala Center.
Note that for some activities and programs, attendance is limited based on certain prerequisites and one’s current meditation practice. This information is included in the program descriptions in the Programs and Events section of our website.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a member of the Boulder Shambhala Center, please visit the Membership page.
Is the center accessible to those with mobility limitations?
Yes. The Boulder Shambhala Center has a ramp at the back entrance of the building and an elevator to access other floors.
What can I expect at the weekly Open House?
The weekly Open House offers a friendly introduction to meditation practice, the Shambhala teachings and our community. It offers meditation instruction, a short talk and open discussion led by an experienced practitioner of the Shambhala community. Open House is free and open to everyone. You can attend Open House as many times as you wish.
How can I learn about meditation at the Boulder Shambhala Center?
There are several opportunities each week to receive meditation instruction at the Boulder Shambhala Center. Meditation instruction is given at:
- Sunday Open House: Sunday mornings, 10:30 am – 12 noon
- Monday Night Open Class: Every Monday night, 7 – 9 pm
- Wednesday Drop-in Meditation: Every Wednesday night, 5 – 6 pm
You may learn meditation by attending any of these weekly programs, which are free and open to the public. For more information, visit our Weekly Drop-in Classes page.
Meditation instruction is also given at most of our evening classes and weekend introductory programs held throughout the year.
What is a good way to develop a regular meditation practice?
Attending classes and weekend programs provides opportunity to learn about the path of meditation and its application to daily life. After receiving meditation instruction, it is helpful to have a daily meditation practice, morning or evening, for a set period of time. You can begin with short meditation sessions and increase your practice gradually over time.
Is there a cost for programs?
Although there is no cost to receive meditation instruction, or to simply come and meditate, for most evening classes and weekend programs there is a cost to attend. However, if cost is an issue, please refer to our Generosity Policy.
Which programs or classes are best for beginners?
Ongoing Programs (weekly and monthly):
- Shambhala Sun Day: First Sunday of every month, 10:30 – 11:30am
- Open House: Every Sunday, 10:30am – 12 noon
- Monday Night Open Class: Every Monday, 7pm
- Wednesday Drop-in Meditation: Every Wednesday, 5pm
- Beginning to Meditate: Last Saturday of every month, 9am – 12 noon
- Meditation in Everyday Life (five-week evening classes)
- Shambhala Training Level I: The Art of Being Human (a weekend program)
- Who Am I? The Basic Goodness of Being Human (six-week evening classes)
- How Can I Help? The Basic Goodness of Society (six-week evening classes)
- What is Real? The Basic Goodness of Reality (six-week evening classes)
In addition there are a variety of classes available for all levels of experience, including people new to meditation.
For more information, please refer to the Programs and Events section.
Are there programs or activities for families, children, and youth?
Yes, we welcome families as a vital part of our community. Our aspiration is to have a local Shambhala community in which families gather for practice and feel included and supported.
For more information, please visit our Families and Children page.
If you have additional questions, or you would like further information, please contact the center. We look forward to hearing your questions and comments.