SF Shambhala is pleased to join with Shambhala Online to offer a series of Buddhist Mahayana teachings taught by the Shambhala acharyas. (An acharya is a senior teacher in the Shambhala community.) Each teaching will take place at the SF Shambhala Center and replace our regularly-scheduled Sunday Morning Sit. We will connect online, along with the global community, to participate in these live-streamed events.
The Joyful Snow Lion: The Paramitas
This series of classes includes an exploration of bodhicitta and how we put our aspiration into action with the practice of the Paramitas. In Buddhism, bodhicitta, or "enlightenment-mind", is the striving towards awakening, empathy, and compassion for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Paramita is a Sanskrit word that can be literally translated as “arrive on the other side or shore”. By practicing the paramitas we work towards overcoming our negative destructive emotions, transcending suffering, and seeing the true nature of things. Practicing the paramitas helps us to be of benefit to the world.
Each class will include a live discussion led by one of the Acharyas as well as suggesting readings and books to deepen our understanding of these teachings. You will also be given contemplation exercises to help you integrate these fundamental teachings into your daily life.
In Fall of 1975, Acharya John Rockwell read Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism and was amazed by the clearest description of confusion he had ever seen. Being desperately confused himself, he dove into practice with an eight-week program at Karmê Chöling. Soon after that, he met the Vidyadhara at Karmê Chöling and became his student. John took refuge with the Vidyadhara in 1976 and moved to Boulder to be with him and to study at Naropa University.
For the next fourteen years, John’s life revolved around practice, study, translation and teaching. He spent time with the Vidyadhara as a member of the Nalanda Translation Committee, working closely with him on The Rain of Wisdom, The Life of Marpa, and other texts. He studied at Naropa and received an M.A. in Buddhist Studies, then began teaching there, eventually as a core faculty member in Buddhist Studies. John also taught at the Ngedön School in Boulder for many years.
Yet there was always the draw to practice more intensively. He returned to Karmê Chöling for one year in 1982-3 as head of practice and study, and eight years later returned to be co-director for four years. It was during this last stay at Karmê Chöling that his connection to the Shambhala teachings was strongly reawakened, and he pursued in-depth practice and study of the Dorje Dradul’s Shambhala terma.
Eventually, the Shambhala vision brought John even further east to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where John was the Director of Shambhala International for five years, 1995 – 2000. After a brief gap, John was appointed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche to be the Ashe Acharya and to oversee the Shambhala Office of Practice and Education. When financial shortfalls necessitated that Shambhala drastically reduce its staff, he then went on the road in North America and Europe to teach full time for almost three years.
A Year of Deepening in Compassion
This series is part of a full year of teachings that are divided into four seasonal themes, with a new course beginning every three months. Within each season, acharyas will be offering talks that relate to that topic with their own personal approach. There will be one online discussion group for each season.
Schedule for the live sessions and talks
The Joyful Snow Lion: Generosity
with Acharya Marty Janowitz
This will be preceded by a short recorded intro talk with Acharya Chapman.
The Joyful Snow Lion: Discipline
with Acharya Susan Chapman
The Joyful Snow Lion: Patience
with Acharya Suzann Duquette
The Joyful Snow Lion: Exertion
with Acharya Moh Hardin
The Joyful Snow Lion: Live Group Discussion
led by the Acharyas
Samadhi and Course Conclusion
led by Acharya John Rockwell
9:30 AM Doors open for registration
10 AM Online presentation
12 Noon Community socializing and tea
*Sliding Scale to
Nobody turned away for lack of funds
*Paying the higher amount will help subsidize those who are not able to make a financial contribution.
Preregistration and online payment is strongly encouraged.