Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies

It is said that "the dharma is good in the beginning, good in the middle and good in the end." From the first experience of relaxing on the cushion and allowing oneself to just be, the practitioner can discover the goodness of dharma, both within him or herself and in the world. The path of the practitioner of dharma is rich with opportunities for self-examination and discovery. Beginning with looking at one's own experience directly in meditation, the practitioner learns about the ways the mind works. Through meditation, the practitioner penetrates confusion to experience the naturalness of being awake. Through studying the wisdom of the lineage, the great practitioners dating back to the Buddha, the student is challenged and inspired to discover a direct view of the nature of mind and reality. While there are many opportunities to join with others on the path for practice and study, the journey is personal.

—Chögyam Trungpa

The Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies is a four-cycle program of practice and study for anyone interested in learning about Buddhism and Shambhala. Students are introduced to the three yanas or "vehicles" of the Buddhist teachings and to the path of the Shambhala warrior. Read more about the Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies.

Students do not need to be or become a Buddhist to take courses in the Shambhala School of Buddhist Studies, although that opportunity is available for those who would like to do so. This course is an excellent preparation for our advanced study intensive, called Sutrayana Seminary, for students who seek to deepen their study and practice of Shambhala Buddhism.

Fearless Buddha, Peaceful Warrior : an introduction to Shambhala Buddhism

Cycle One

Taming the Mind (5 classes + 1 day intensive) presents the hinayana path of renouncing samsara and the joy of developing discipline on the path that leads to liberation.

Shamatha: Nine Stages (community weekend) provides a map of the meditative process. This weekend explores how the stability, vividness and strength of the mind can be brought to the fore and utilized in our everyday life through these progressive stages.

Walking the Bodhisattva Path (5 classes + 1 day intensive) presents the Buddhist teachings on awakening the heart and turning our perspective outward toward helping others.

Maitri: Five Wisdom Energies (community weekend) tunes us directly into our different psychological styles or energies and trains us how to work with emotions. Gradually, we open up and embrace these energies in ourselves and our world with friendliness or maitri.

Cycle Two

The Three Jewels (community weekend) explores what means to take refuge in the three jewels and become a Buddhist. Open to anyone who is curious and interested in exploring the topic of refuge, but who is not at the point of making a formal commitment.

The Bodhisattva Warrior: Six Paramitas (5 classes + 1 day intensive) presents the six paramitas or "perfections" on the bodhisattva path.

The Four Foundations Of Mindfulness (community weekend) deepens the precision of our meditation practice and introduces a range of meditation techniques.

Lineage and Devotion (5 classes + 1 day intensive) introduces the principles of transmission and the student/ teacher relationship as a central component to the study and practice of the vajrayana.

Cycle Three

Karma & the Nidanas (5 classes + 1 day intensive) examines the complex workings of karma and how to untangle ourselves from the web of confusion, fueled by negative emotions and habitual patterns.

Union of Shamatha-Vipashyana (community weekend) explores the balance between precision and openness in our meditation practice. A way to continue to deepen the practice of meditation.

Lojong (5 classes + 1 day intensive) introduces the mahayana slogans of Atisha, a 10th century Indian Buddhist master whose teachings left a deep imprint on all Tibetan lineages.

Sadhana of Mahamudra (community weekend) presents a fruition vajrayana view, bringing together the devotion mahamudra of the Kagyu and the crazy wisdom of the Nyingma. As such, it provides a powerful touchstone for understanding our vajrayana heritage.

Cycle Four

Life of Buddha & History of Sangha (5 classes + 1 day intensive) surveys the life story of Shakyamuni Buddha, the evolution of the early Buddhist community of practitioners, and the spread of the teachings through various cultures over the past 2500 years.

Mahayana & the Bodhisattva Vow (community weekend) introduces the principles of the bodhisattva vow that marks a student's entrance into the "great vehicle" of deep insight and vast action. Through this vow, we dedicate our life and practice toward complete awakening for the benefit of all beings.

Emptiness (5 classes + 1 day intensive) brings to life the classic Heart Sutra line by line. Students study the philosophical meaning of "Form is emptiness; emptiness itself is form. Emptiness is no other than form; form is no other than emptiness."

Journey Without Goal (5 classes + 1 day intensive) is an introduction to the path of vajrayana that provides an overview of the teacher-student relationship.