New to Shambhala?

Have you have heard the word “Shambhala” for the first time and want to know what it means? Are you looking for meditation instruction? Are you interested in Shambhala’s other mindfulness and contemplative arts programs? Are you seeking a community of like-minded people exploring the possibilities for creating enlightened society? 

What is Shambhala?

Shambhala is a global community of people inspired by the principle that every human being has a fundamental nature of basic goodness. Click here to read more about our community and vision.

Chicago Joining Outer And Inner PeaceConnect in Person

Visit a Shambhala Centre or group to meet local meditation instructors who can guide you in the practice of meditation, and community members who can introduce you to the wide variety of other programs and activities our community offers. Most centres and groups offer a weekly or monthly open house as well as introductory programs throughout the year.

Connect Online  

There are a lot of ways to connect with Shambhala virtually!

Read a Book

There are a number of excellent books for getting started listed on the Learn to Meditate page.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I learn to meditate?
What are the benefits of meditation?
What does Shambhala offer in addition to meditation?
What makes Shambhala distinct within the buddhist teachings?
How do I access the Shambhala teachings?
Are there any restrictions?
Does Shambhala have programs for children and young adults?
Where can I read about the activities of the Shambhala community and its members?

More Frequently Asked Questions


How can I learn to meditate?

Meditation instruction is offered by qualified meditation instructors at all Shambhala Centres, and many of our groups. You can find the nearest Centre or group on our world map of Shambhala locations.

You can also get an introduction to meditation from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in this short film:

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If you are not near a centre or would like to start online, you can take a short introductory course through Shambhala Online. iPhone users can download our Shambhala Meditation app, which features a meditation timer and audio guided meditations.

Once you get an introduction to meditation, you will likely have questions or want guidance in your practice; this is the value of working with a meditation instructor.

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What are the benefits of meditation?

Meditation is a natural state of the human mind – at rest, open, alert. The basic meditation technique predates all religious traditions, though it is used in one way or another by each of them. Undertaken as a steady practice, meditation allows the mind to relax and settle. It encourages our inherent qualities of stability, clarity and mental strength to emerge.

In the Shambhala tradition, meditation practice offers a pathway of deep connection to our inherent qualities of dignity, kindness, wisdom and strength – all of which are essential on the journey of personal, cultural and societal transformation.

For a more detailed presentation, please see this introduction to meditation.

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What does Shambhala offer in addition to meditation?

Although Shambhala offers individuals meditation instruction, teachings and a deep practice path, it is based on a social vision. For many people, it can become a lab for a living culture – a community that explores the possibility of creating a good human society.

Using a simple exchange, a culture is being transmitted. SMR TSPOne reason people appreciate Shambhala is precisely because it offers this possibility of exploring and creating community – a sense of being with others who share practices and teachings, who ask similar questions, and are inspired to lead fuller lives and create a good human society.

In addition to the path of practice and study, we encourage people to think about how they would like to participate in creating community. You can initiate discussion and engage with others, or you can join in some of the diverse activities that we already offer. These include festivals and cultural celebrations, family events such as family camp, rites of passage, care of the dying, community meetings, support groups (grief-work and heart of recovery), artistic and performing arts groups (choirs, artists networks), those studying and practicing the contemplative arts and social action networks.

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What makes Shambhala distinct within the buddhist teachings?

Teaching Mudra 2Within the vast teachings of the buddhist tradition, Shambhala holds a distinctive place. The Shambhala teachings flow from the original transmission of the Kalachakra (Wheel of Time) tantra, said to have been transmitted by the Buddha to the first sovereign of Shambhala, King Dawa Sangpo. In its contemporary form, this body of wisdom is referred to as the teachings on enlightened society.

Within this same stream of transmission on enlightened society, Shambhala uniquely holds the terma (mind treasures) of its founder, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. These sacred texts are studied by practitioners undertaking the most advanced practices in the Shambhala mandala.

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How do I access the Shambhala teachings?

You can access the Shambhala teachings in three ways: through books, online teachings and live programs.

Shambhala - Sacred Path of the Warrior - coverIf you would like an introduction to the Shambhala teachings, among the most popular books to read are: Shambhala: the Sacred Path of the Warrior (by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche) and The Shambhala Principle (by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche).

For Shambhala teachings and programs online, please visit Shambhala Online.

To find the nearest Shambhala Centre or group, please visit our world map of Shambhala locations.

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Are there any restrictions?

Shambhala welcomes everyone. We are working towards developing a community of diverse ethnic, socio-economic, sexual and other backgrounds. We endeavour to provide environments that are accessible to people with disabilities. Most programs and events are open to everyone; however, some advanced programs require prior authorization to ensure that participants have received the relevant preparatory instruction.

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Does Shambhala have programs for children and young adults?

Many of our local centres, groups and retreat centres have programs and activities for children, families and young adults. For details, please check our world map of Shambhala locations.

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Where can I learn more about the activities of the Shambhala community and its members?

The most current and lively way to connect with the activities of the Shambhala community is to read our daily Shambhala Times. It is our online community news magazine with features from community members and news about activities worldwide.

If there is a Shambhala Centre or group near you, feel free to attend an open house or introductory program, or contact them for further information.

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More Frequently Asked Questions