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Location: Shambhala Online

Drala

January 11-12, 2024

11:00 am – 6:30 pm EST

We always have a choice: we can limit our perceptions so that we close off vastness, or we can allow vastness to touch us…When we draw down the power and depth of vastness into a single perception, then we are discovering and invoking magic. By magic we do not mean unnatural power over the phenomenal world, but rather the discovery of innate or primordial wisdom in the world as it is. In Tibetan this magical quality of existence, or natural wisdom, is called drala…

—Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

About the Training

Deepen your meditation practice, and continue along the path of the Shambhala teachings on warriorship, in this weekend retreat.

Drala is a Tibetan  word that doesn’t have a simple translation. It refers to the sacred energy and power that exists when we step beyond aggression and also refers to the wisdom of “direct perception” that can be accessed through the senses. Many cultures and traditions point to this experience—of opening to wisdom that is beyond just one’s self.

The Drala weekend retreat builds on the teachings of basic goodness, “cocoon”, fearlessness,  inquisitiveness, and openness in Shambhala Training Levels I-V and the teachings of the Great Eastern Sun and Windhorse—which allows the warrior to immediately way to open the heart, refresh confidence, and connect with the present moment. From this place of groundedness in the Shambhala teachings and connection with the present moment and personal confidence, the warrior begins an exploration of the depth of perception and how one engages the elemental and magical strength inherent in the world.

One of the key points in discovering drala principle is realizing that your own wisdom as a human being is not separate from the power of things as they are. They are both reflections of the unconditional wisdom of the cosmic mirror…The discovery of drala may come as an extraordinary smell, a fantastic sound, a vivid color, an unusual taste. Any perception can connect us to reality properly and fully. what we see doesn’t have to be pretty, particularly; we can appreciate anything that exists. There is some principle of magic in everything, some living quality. Something living, something real is taking place in everything.

—Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Included in the Retreat

  • Guided meditation instruction
  • Sitting and walking meditation
  • Talks by an experienced teacher 
  • Silent periods
  • Question & answer periods
  • Group discussions
  • Individual meetings with a trained Meditation Instructor 
  • Connecting with people interested in meditation and discovering the brilliance of the world around them!

Prerequisites

Windhorse. Drala is a retreat that is part of a progressive series of weekend retreats, meaning each weekend is a requirement for the following weekend.

About the Teachers

Gaylon Ferguson, PhD, has led group meditation retreats since 1976. He taught at Stanford, the University of Washington, and Naropa University, where he was a Core Faculty Member for fifteen years.

Gaylon is the author of three books, Natural Wakefulness (on the four foundations of mindfulness), Natural Bravery (on fear and fearlessness as path to manifesting bravery) and Welcoming Beginner’s Mind: Zen and Tibetan Wisdom on Experiencing Our True Nature (2024 from Shambhala Publications). His articles have appeared in Lion’s Roar, Tricycle, and Buddhadharma magazine. He contributed the foreword to the pioneering collection Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation and Freedom (Shambhala, 2020).

Arawana Hayashi first saw Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche at Naropa Institute when her dance company toured across the US in the summer of 1974. She attended one or two of these talks. Seeing how he moved in the space and feeling his presence in the room compelled her to buy a cushion and begin meditating. She joined the Naropa Institute faculty in 1976. Rinpoche asked her to study bugaku, Japanese Court dance. She studied bugaku and the accompanying music, gagaku, with Suenobu Togi, Sensei, until he passed away in 2007. She returned to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1981 and founded the Jo Ha Kyu Performance Group that presented performances and workshops in both bugaku and contemporary dance. In that year she also began teaching Shambhala Training. She was senior teacher in residence at the meditation center, Karme Choling, in Vermont, from 2000-2003 and was appointed an acharya (senior teacher) by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in 2015. She is a founding member of the Presencing Institute and currently brings embodied presence practices and meditation into leadership, education, and social change. With colleagues, she created a social art form, Social Presencing Theater—an awareness-based method that makes visible both the underlying “stuck” patterns and the basic goodness in individuals, teams, and social systems. It brings body-knowing and an appetite for not-knowing to the process of co-creating healthy, compassionate futures. She is the author of Social Presencing Theater: The Art of Making a True Move.

About Shambhala Training

Shambhala Training is designed to help us develop fearlessness, confidence, openness and gentleness towards ourselves and our world. These qualities arise out of meditation practice and the study of Shambhala warriorship principles. 

Developed by Chögyam Trungpa in 1976, Shambhala Training offers teachings based on the vision that every human being has a natural source of innate wakefulness that we can discover, cultivate and express in our life.

This path is open to anyone seeking to develop gentleness and strength through meditation. Shambhala Training is a series of contemplative workshops suited for both beginning and experienced meditators. The simple and profound technique of mindfulness-awareness meditation can benefit people of any spiritual tradition and way of life.

Meditation practice helps us to examine our states of mind without trying to change them. This practice encourages openness to oneself and what’s around us, and transforms the way we habitually see our life and our world. Our old habits and patterns become more transparent, leaving room for a more direct appreciation of situations.

The “Heart of Warriorship” curriculum consists of five weekend retreats that include meditation training and practice, talks by senior teachers, personal interviews, and group discussions. These retreats provide a strong foundation in mindfulness-awareness meditation practice, emphasizing the development of genuineness, confidence, humor, and dignity within the complexity of daily life.

About the Sacred Path

The Sacred Path is a series of teachings for those who have completed Shambhala Training Levels I-V. It introduces further practices to develop warriorship and extend the student’s training in meditation. These practices are based on a societal vision and aspiration to help the world. This training cultivates one’s dignity and natural gifts in order to widen one’s sphere of compassion. 

During a series of visionary experiences that took place between 1976 and 1980, Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche wrote down what became known as the Shambhala terma, a series of texts. The Sacred Path series of retreats is based on these texts and on the extensive commentaries Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche gave on these teachings and on how to practice them in modern times.

2024-06-14 14:28:11