Frequently Asked Questions

Are you interested in learning more about the Boulder Shambhala Center? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, please contact the Center.

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 and 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 lives.

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 are restricted to those who have fulfilled certain prerequisites, all are welcome at our Center and at public programs. Read and learn more about meditation and public meditation practice sessions.

Can I visit the Boulder Shambhala Center to see what it offers?

Yes, you are more than welcome to visit the Boulder Shambhala Center (once we re-open after Covid and our building repairs are completed)! Find our location and hours here. For an introduction to our Center and meditation practice, you are invited to attend the Sunday Open House, Monday Night Community Gathering, or Wednesday Drop-In 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, programs, and celebrations at the Boulder Shambhala Center. Please note that certain activities and programs have prerequisites—this is indicated 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. There is a ramp at the back entrance of the building and an elevator to access other floors.

What can I expect at the Open House?

The weekly Sunday Open House offers a friendly introduction to meditation practice, the Shambhala teachings, and our community. It includes meditation instruction, a short talk, and open discussion led by an experienced Shambhala practitioner. Open House is free and open to everyone. Attend as many times as you wish!

How can I learn about meditation at the Boulder Shambhala Center?

The best time currently is:

Sunday Open House: Every Sunday, 10–11am

This program is weekly, free, and open to the public, and each includes meditation instruction. 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 programs provides opportunities 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?

Many of our programs are free, and there is no cost to receive meditation instruction or simply to come and meditate. Most evening classes and weekend programs include a charge. However, if cost is an issue, please refer to our Generosity Policy.

Which programs or classes are best for beginners?

Ongoing Weekly Programs

Open House: Every Sunday, 10–11am

Way of Shambhala Programs

Shambhala Training I (weekend program)
Meditation in Everyday Life (five-week evening class)
Contentment in Everyday Life (five-week evening class)
Shambhala Training Weekend I: The Art of Being Human
Who Am I? The Basic Goodness of Being Human (six-week evening class)
How Can I Help? The Basic Goodness of Society (six-week evening class)
What is Real? The Basic Goodness of Reality (six-week evening class)

In addition, there are a variety of classes available for all levels of experience, including newcomers. For more information, please refer to the Programs and Events section.

Are there programs or activities for families, children, and young adults?

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 would like further information, please contact the Center. We look forward to hearing your questions and comments.