Program Details

Shambhala Guide Training

with Marita Mclaughlin & Deborah Zarate
November 7 / 12:00 AM - November 11 / 12:00 AM

The Shambhala Meditation Centers and Groups of the Midwest and Shambhala International are pleased to offer a training program for students who have a strong personal meditation practice and feel inspired and ready to help others on their meditative journeys. By completing this training, you prepare yourself to begin a practice of listening to, encouraging and supporting new practitioners on their paths.

Please note: The training will begin late afternoon on November 7 and end by 6:00 PM on November 11. This is a midwest regional training and takes place at the Shambhala Meditation Center of Chicago.

Role of Shambhala Guide

The role of the Shambhala Guide is to be a resource, guide, friend, and host to newcomers within the context of Shambhala Center educational programs and events. One important aspect of this is to offer one-on-one meditation instruction to newcomers. However, the emphasis is on meeting newcomers as they enter Shambhala, and offering them guidance and instruction according to their particular aspiration and needs.

Shambhala Guides are authorized to give initial meditation instruction and engage in one follow-up meeting with a student to review the practice. They also are authorized to give group instruction when needed. In fact, one of the outcomes of having people in this role at a center would be to be able to provide individual initial instruction to newcomers. During the second meeting, the Shambhala Guide typically offers to refer the student to a Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor (SPMI) if the person wants further guidance related to meditation. The Shambhala Guide also offers to be available as an ongoing practice friend and resource for the new student.


  • Completion of Shambhala Training Levels I-V

  • Completion of the In Everyday Life courses

(Completion of the Basic Goodness courses is recommended, but not required.)

  • Completion of Unconditional Confidence: Rigden weekend

  • Having taken the Shambhala Vow

  • Completion of a weekthün

  • Strong daily meditation practice

  • Active membership in a Shambhala Center (exceptions may be made for individuals who do not live near a center)


Skills Covered in the Training

  • Giving initial meditation instruction

  • Communicating skillfully on: our lineages, culture, iconography, shrines, chants, ceremonies, and an overview of all of our training paths

  • Engaging, listening, speaking from the heart

  • Understanding the precise, open and beyond meditation practices as taught in Shambhala Training

  • Leading discussion groups

The Shambhala Guide training can be a step towards becoming a Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor (SPMI). However, students authorized as Shambhala Guides certainly may serve and deepen in this role without going on to attend SPMI training. There are further prerequisites to complete for those who are interested in becoming authorized as SPMIs.

The Training Program

The training includes an opening evening session followed by four full days. Participation in the training does not guarantee authorization as a Shambhala Guide. Students who are authorized will take the Shambhala Guide Oath and will be expected to engage as a Shambhala Guide at their local center.

Prior to the in-person training, participants will be expected to engage in specified study and practice and to complete two online courses that offer important content in support of the training. There is a separate modest fee for these courses (for which discounts also are available).

Application Process

Applicants must submit an application and arrange for two recommendations to be submitted. One recommendation must be from an experienced Shambhala Educator (Way of Shambhala teacher or SPMI) who agrees to mentor the applicant for at least one year following completion of the training. We have extended the application deadline to July 31, 2019. All three documents (application and recommendations) must be submitted by that date. The application deadline is firm, since those accepted will need time to do a good deal of preparatory study and practice prior to the in-person training. The sooner one applies and is accepted, the more time one will have to engage in this preparatory study and practice. Early application also is encouraged since the training is limited to 25 participants.

To request the Application and Recommendation materials, email [email protected]. Please write Shambhala Guide Training 2019 in your subject line. Thank you.


Please direct any questions you may have to Steven Anderson at [email protected]

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