What We Offer

Meditation is a natural state of the human mind—at rest, open, alert. The practice of meditation has been taught for over 2,500 years as a vehicle for realizing the beauty and magic of the ordinary world without aggression or manipulation.

The teachings of Shambhala Buddhism emphasize the potential for enlightenment inherent in every situation or state of mind. Through discipline, gentleness and a sense of humor, the practitioner is invited to let go of conflicting emotions and wake up on the spot.

Mindfulness/awareness meditation is the foundation of all that we do at the Shambhala Meditation Center. This ancient practice of self-discovery is rooted in the simple but revolutionary premise that every human being has the ability to cultivate the mind’s inherent stability, clarity and strength in order to be more awake and to develop the compassion and insight necessary to care for oneself and the world genuinely.

About Meditation Instruction

Meditation instruction is available to anyone, free of charge. We offer introductory instruction to newcomers and follow-up instruction to other practitioners on the first and third Tuesday of the month at our “Learn to Meditate” Open House; and at other times by appointment.

Not just for “new” meditators, instruction is also recommended as part of our ongoing practice. For anyone already practicing who would like to talk about their individual practice, any of our three Meditation Instructors (Debbie Godden, Debbie McGee and Moyra Buchan) are available to meet with you privately and, if you wish, be your on-going meditation instructor.

Depending on a student’s interest and experience, meditation instruction might include:

Introducing the practice of meditation – Introductory meditation instruction presents the basic meditation techniques taught in the Shambhala community.

Clarifying the view of meditation – In our tradition, meditation instruction involves more than the communication of a technique; it is, at heart, about the transmission of the revolutionary view that unconditional wisdom and compassion are the very ground of our being, and that by learning to relax more and more fully, we allow this fundamental nature to flower.

Instruction on working with obstacles to meditation – Common obstacles to meditation include disheartenment, resistance, procrastination, discursiveness and spacing out. The obstacles are well documented in the Shambhala Buddhist teachings—and so are their antidotes.

Guidance on the path of practice and study – Shambhala presents many opportunities for students to deepen their practice and study—public meditation sessions, weeknight classes, weekend programs, retreats and seminaries, to name a few. A meditation instructor can help you decide what to do next and when to do it.

Guidance on joining meditation and daily life – The workaday world is where the rubber meets the road. Getting the tools to meet life’s ups and downs with a strong and pliable mind and an open heart is another potential benefit of working with a meditation instructor.

What is Meditation Instruction?

Meditation instruction is training in the practice of mindful-ness-awareness meditation, as handed down in the Buddhist tradition and taught in all Shambhala centres internationally.

The first step in meditation instruction is the introduction to in the view and technique for meditation. This is usually given in an individual session with a Shambhala Guide or a Meditation Instructor.

What is a Shambhala Guide?

A Shambhala Guide is a person with at least two years’ experience of meditation practice and training to provide initial instruction. A Guide will also offer a follow-up meeting to newcomers to discuss any questions that have arisen since first instruction.

What is a Meditation Instructor (MI)?

A Meditation Instructor (generally referred to as an MI) has had further experience and training in the practice of meditation and can provide ongoing consultation, support and guidance to individuals who want to pursue the path of meditation. At Way of Shambhala programs, a meditation instructor is referred to as an Assistant Director or AD.

What is the benefit of having an MI?

As people become more committed to meditation practice, they may want to meet with the same MI on a regular basis outside of programs. This allows them to relate to one person, whose training and experience as an MI supports their progress and development as a meditator.

A meditation instructor can also provide assistance in developing a path of study. Since there are many classes offered locally, away, and online, it can be confusing to know which ones to choose. Some people enjoy studying on their own, and with the rich array of books available, they find that their study can be facilitated and enhanced by working with a meditation instructor. This relationship allows them to explore the connection between meditation and their life in a more in-depth way

How do I connect with a Meditation Instructor?

If you would like to meet with an MI individually, you may ask one directly, or request a meditation instructor by completing a Request for Meditation Instructor card. You may also email your request to

shambhala.meditation@gmail.com

There is no cost for meditation instruction.

Meditation Reminders

  • Take your seat. Sit with relaxed dignity, like a king or a queen.
  • Upright natural posture, legs crossed (or feet flat on the floor if in a chair), hands resting comfortably on the thighs, eyes gaze downwards about four to six feet ahead, chin slightly tucked.
  • Reflect for a moment on why you are there, why you are meditating.
  • Bring your attention to your breathing, and feel the breath as it enters and leaves your body. Relax in the natural state, open and spacious.
  • When thoughts arise, acknowledge them and let them go. Return your attention to your breathing. You are not trying to stop the thinking process.
  • Sit daily for short periods, stopping while you are still fresh. Ten minutes is a good place to start.