Program Details

WHAT CAN WE RELY ON? Advice from the Buddha and Atisha

with Richard John
September 28 / 8:30 AM - September 29 / 5:00 PM

One of the Buddha’s most profound and practical teachings has become known as “The Four Reliances.” This is his heart advice to students who find themselves confused about who and what to trust to guide their path: One or many teachers? The teachings, with their various interpretations? One’s own intuition? The Buddha’s instructions are clear, simple and precise, and immensely helpful in times of chaos.

In the 11th century CE, the great Indian master Atisha initiated a series of pragmatic slogans by which practitioners could turn the mundane chaos of daily life into the path of awakening. Now known as Lojong (mind training), some of these potent slogans can interrupt our distractions and re-establish what is most urgent: the great mind of openness, and the heart of motivation to care for others.

This weekend program of teaching and practice is open to everyone. The weekend will include talks, meditation instruction and practice, and small group conversations with senior meditation instructors.

Please note that Acharya John will also be offering an optional Open House Talk on Friday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  This talk is free and open to the public.

An early student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Richard was appointed Acharya (senior teacher) by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. A long-time friend of the Baltimore sangha, he has for many years taught Shambhala Buddhist programs in the US, Canada and Mexico. He completed the first three-year group retreat at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, and he now teaches full time.

Heart Gifts
It is customary to offer a monetary Heart Gift to the teacher. Acharyas receive no salary or benefits, and depend upon this income in order to teach for a living. This is completely voluntary according to your inspiration, and there is no suggested amount.


Program Fee

The Baltimore Shambhala Center relies on program registration fees, as well as on donations, to be able to cover our operating expenses, including the monthly rent. We very much value your paying the registration fee for this program, if you are able to afford this amount.  


We want anyone who wishes to study meditation and to experience the Shambhala view of basic goodness to be able to do so. Scholarships are available so that our programs are open to anyone, regardless of what tuition amount they are able to afford. (See link below if your are in need of a scholarship for this program. Scholarship requests are processed online, so that there is no delay in registration.)

A deposit is requested if you can not pay the full program fee now (unless you are requesting a scholarship). If requesting a scholarship, please go to scholarship page before registering. 


It is our objective to increase diversity at the Baltimore Shambhala Meditation Center to better reflect our diverse community. To monitor our progress over time, we would like to collect information on the racial identity of participants. Providing this information, which will be tallied anonymously, is optional.

To enter this information, please click on this link.

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