The Way of Shambhala

The Way of Shambhala is an extensive path of training in authentic meditation practices and wisdom teachings for anyone interested in pursuing such training. This program of weekend retreats offers an experiential overview of practices, teachings, contemplative arts, and physical disciplines rooted in the Shambhala teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Sitting meditation practice is the heart of these trainings.

The program is open to people of all religious backgrounds or no religious background. It is recommended for new and experienced meditators as well as those looking to enrich their personal spiritual path and social action.

We welcome you to participate to the extent you wish. Sample a course or a weekend retreat—or a number of them—at any time. The full program is described below.

Program Outline

Way of Shambhala Path consists of the following elements:

  • the Shambhala Training series—five weekend retreats;
  • the Sacred Path series—six weekend retreats after the Shambhala Training Series;
  • Warrior Assembly – The first advanced Shambhala Assembly available after the Sacred Path. A ten day program at selected land centers approximately once per year. This is discussed during the Sacred Path.

These weekend retreats are opportunities to deepen meditation practice in a powerful environment that meets the needs of a workweek and family life.

Shambhala Training participants progress from Level I to Level V in sequence.

The Shambhala Training Series

Shambhala Training Level I: The Art of Being Human

Through the practice of meditation, we begin to glimpse that goodness—rather than confusion—is the unconditional ground of our existence. Opening to ourselves with gentleness and appreciation, we begin to see our potential as genuine and compassionate human beings. Open to all

Shambhala Training Level II: Birth of the Warrior

Having experienced a taste of basic goodness in Level I, we want to learn more. Meditation practice allows us to observe how we create a cocoon of habits to mask underlying fear. We begin to appreciate that there is no fundamental obstacle to experiencing basic goodness. Prerequisite: Shambhala Training Level I

Shambhala Training Level III: Warrior in the World

Examining our habitual tendencies, we begin to look at our willingness to experience our life without relying on the cocoon. We begin to engage the world directly and extend the attitude of fearlessness to our activities. Prerequisite: Shambhala Training Level II

Shambhala Training Level IV: Awakened Heart

Trusting further 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 find that we can extend ourselves to others fully and with kindness. Prerequisite: Shambhala Training Level III

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 learn to trust our nature enough to let go into the present moment. Prerequisite: Shambhala Training Level IV

The Sacred Path Series

Great Eastern SunThe Sacred Path series is a sequence of advanced Shambhala Training weekend retreats based on the unique inner teachings of Shambhala. You may start the Sacred Path series anytime after completing Shambhala Training Levels I–V. The Sacred Path series is a prerequisite for Warrior Assembly.

Weekend Retreat 1: Great Eastern Sun

This weekend retreat teaches us how to see the Great Eastern Sun, the primordial energy and brilliance that is the basis of all that exists, and emphasizes the living context for building a sane society.Prerequisite:  Shambhala Training Level V 

Weekend Retreat 2: Windhorse

Introduction and instruction for the practice of “raising windhorse” is given, which opens the heart and refreshes one’s confidence. The practice is a way to bring about skillful and heartfelt social engagement, enabling the warrior to go forward in the midst of whatever challenges occur. Prerequisite: Great Eastern Sun

Weekend Retreat 3: Drala

Through exploring the depth of perception, one engages the elemental and magical strength inherent in the world. The principle of drala refers to the sacred energy and power that exists when we step beyond aggression. Prerequisite: Windhorse

Weekend Retreat 4: Meek and Perky

“The four dignities” are introduced as a path and a process, which describe a warrior’s maturing and widening sphere of benevolent engagement in the world. The training in the dignities allows one to maintain awareness and delight at each stage. Meek is a study of the grounded, humble and gentle beginning stages of a warrior’s journey. Here one trains to overcome arrogance—the primary obstacle to learning. Perky is the second of the four dignities and focuses on cultivating sharp, vibrant and uplifted energy through natural discipline. Overcoming the trap of doubt, the warrior of Perky is able to accomplish his or her activities with a sense of nobility and ease. Prerequisite: Drala

Weekend Retreat 5: Outrageous and Inscrutable

The third and fourth dignities, Outrageous and Inscrutable, emphasize fruition and refer to the extraordinary skill of a practiced warrior. No longer afraid of making mistakes, the unconventional and visionary perspective of the outrageous warrior combines with the skill of spontaneous inscrutability to create benefit for others on a large scale. Prerequisite: Meek and Perky

Weekend Retreat 6: Golden Key

This weekend retreat is based on a Shambhala text that works with our relationship to the “material world” and our sense perceptions. It teaches the practice of enriching presence—the ability to instantly sense the inner wealth within oneself, phenomena, and the natural world. Prerequisite: Outrageous and Inscrutable

Way of Shambhala

Shambhala Training IV: Awakened Heart (Hybrid)

with Margot Iseman

June 14th—June 16th

As we trust further in basic goodness and dare to experience the sharp edge of reality, we move forward with gentleness, increased awareness, and inquisitiveness about the world as it is. In this way we can extend ourselves to others fully with kindness. Continue »

Shambhala Training II: Birth of the Warrior (In-person)

with Roland Cohen

June 28th—June 30th

The sacred warrior conquers the world not through violence and aggression but through gentleness, courage, and self-knowledge. This program builds on the teachings and practice from Shambhala Training I: The Art of Being Human. Continue »

Shambhala Training I: The Art of Being Human (In-Person)

with Jennifer Woodhull

August 2nd—August 4th

Open to the art of being human through the practice of meditation! Glimpse your unconditional goodness as the ground of our existence. Open to your to this original nature with gentleness and appreciation. See your potential as a genuine, dignified, carin Continue »

Shambhala Training V: Open Sky (Hybrid)

September 6th—September 8th

In Shambhala Training V, our awareness continues to expand. This is likened to the open clear sky of mind, a delightful source of wisdom and uplifted energy. Continue »

Shambhala Training I: The Art of Being Human (In-Person)

September 13th—September 15th

Open to the art of being human through the practice of meditation! Glimpse your unconditional goodness as the ground of our existence. Open to your to this original nature with gentleness and appreciation. See your potential as a genuine, dignified, carin Continue »