Unless otherwise stated, all events, programmes, classes and courses take place at the London Shambhala Meditation Centre in Clapham. Please see Location Map for directions. Evening sessions usually begin with a short session of meditation.
Click here to review a selection of past public events, programmes, classes and courses.
Saturday 6 December
Sadhana of Mahamudra
The Sadhana of Mahamudra is a tantric meditation text practice open to the whole Shambhala community, performed on the new and full moon days of the lunar calendar. The practice consists of meditation and chants, and lasts about an hour. Sadhana may be translated as "means of accomplishment." The Sadhana of Mahamudra was written in 1968 by Trungpa Rinpoche at Taktsang in Bhutan, in a cave where the great Tibetan Saint Padmasambhava meditated--a site held in great reverence in Buddhism. The Sadhana is the result of Trungpa Rinpoche's exposure to both Western spiritual materialism and the wisdom of the traditional Buddhist approach to reality. The Sadhana of Mahamudra has been acknowledged as terma, which is Tibetan for "treasure" and refers to authoritative religious literature said to have been preserved in hidden places to be recovered at a point in time when needed by the world.
As a sadhana that combines the Kagyu mahamudra tradition of Karma Pakshi with the Nyingma ati tradition of Dorje Trolo, this is a unique upaya ("skillful means") that speaks directly to overcoming the three lords of materialism of our current age. Its essential teaching is that the nature of the practice itself undercuts any ideas of spiritual materialism.
All are welcome
Arrival 7pm, start 7.15pm, finish 10pm
Free of charge
Sunday 7 December
with Tea, Cakes & Mulled Wine!
The families would like to invite the whole Shambhala community to join us for a Winter Celebration on the afternoon of Sunday 7 December. Please come and join in meditation practice together, witness a short traditional children’s ceremony, and enjoy a delicious tea salon with home made cakes, beautiful teas and warming mulled wine and juice prepared and served by the children and parents as a winter offering to the community.
The schedule for the afternoon is:
1:30 Meditation/Young People’s Meditation & Arts
2:30 Children’s Ceremony
3.00 Tea Salon offering to the community
4:30 End of the Tea Salon
The Tea (& mulled wine!) Salon this month is being held to raise funds to support special once-a-year children’s arts & storytelling workshops on Warrior King Gesar in Shambhala & in Tibetan Zanskar – allowing children in our community and overseas to deepen their connection to these ancient traditions and teachings in modern times.
If you’d like to come to the afternoon celebration, please contact Jess & Tim at email@example.com so we know how many cakes to bake!
If you have a child who would like to take part in the Children’s Ceremony and young people’s session, please contact Tim & Bridgette at firstname.lastname@example.org
Illustration by Ione Warner
Suggested Donation for the Tea Salon: £5
Sunday 7 December
Join us for a monthly practice of exploring our voices through vocal exercises, and simple traditional songs and chants.
Inspired by the celebrated polyphonic songs of Georgia in the Caucasus, we will practice making sound in a way that enriches our connection to ourselves and others. All welcome. No experience of singing necessary.
This group will be led by Ali Warner.
Ali Warner is a meditation student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, and follows the teaching of Frank Kane with his mastery of embodied voice through the study of ancient singing practices.
She sings traditional song and experimental free improvisation, and continues to explore how the expressive voice can strengthen communities.
Timings: 5pm - 8pm
Cost: £5 (concessions available)
Friday 23 to Sunday 25 January 2015
Work, Sex, Money
Work, sex and money; these are areas in our lives in which we instinctively look for satisfaction. We hope that we will find fulfilment and pleasure in them. Sometimes we do and at other times they are problematic. Often we search for practical advice on ways to handle them. The Shambhala teachings call on us to engage with the world, our environment, and the society we live in, as our practice. They teach us to find awake in that engagement. In this approach involvement with the world is a means to practice rather than a distraction. It is meditation in action. It is desirable for us to break down the artificial barriers we construct for ourselves between spiritual endeavours and the everyday aspects of our lives. The Shambhala path is designed to reveal the inherent sacredness of our ordinary living situations, which is how we connect with sanity on the spot. Sacredness is the notion that the world and the society in which we live are already basically awake. Accessing that is possible if we are willing to engage nakedly, with an attitude of curiosity and friendliness. This programme will be led by Acharya Orhun Cercel.
Acharya Orhun Cercel has been meditating since 1990 and is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. His varied career has taken him from investment banking to psychotherapy and acupuncture. He spends much of his time travelling in Europe teaching Shambhala programmes.
Lunch will be included on both days
Friday: 7.30-9.30pm Sat: 9am arrival, 9.30am start, 6.30pm finish Sun:9.30am arrival, 10am start, 5pm finish and reception
Friday 28 November
Public Talk: Victory over Aggression
Question : What would you do if there were no conflict?
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche: "It would be deadly. Working with conflict is precisely the idea of walking the spiritual path. The path is a wild, winding mountain road with all kind of curves; there are wild animals, attacks by bandits, all kinds of situations cropping up. As far as the occupation of our mind is concerned, the chaos of the path is the fun." - Chögyam Trungpa – Dawn of Tantra
In any situation or society, conflict can arise. In the Shambhala teachings there are many ways of working with this and of developing skilful means. The Dorje Kasung is a service organisation within Shambhala, which was formed by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Its motto is Victory Over War. It is a means of taking the mindfulness and awareness we experience in our meditation practice out into the world. Meditation is a means of protecting our mind and being able to create space and remain steady when situations become chaotic or uncertain.
We extend this into every situation we encounter in our daily lives with the aspiration to create a world based on basic goodness, contentment and peace rather than speed, aggression and inequality. This training aims to deepen our connection with basic goodness so that true kindness can flourish. It will examine how to realize and integrate that vision into Shambhala councils and communities, and also develop confidence in caring for situations of disharmony or obstruction.
The talk on Friday evening is public and open to all.
For information and registration, please contact:email@example.com
Timings: 7.30pm - 9.30pm
Cost: £6 (concessions available)
Monday 8 December
Open House Talk: Transcending Hope and Fear
with Shastri Jim O'Neill
A look at devotion as the practice of transcending the small self’s demand that things turn out the way one wants, which entails releasing energy normally tied up in hoping for the best and fearing the worst.
Open from 7.30pm, 8.00-9:30pm: meditation, talk and discussion
Cost: Suggested donation £3
Tuesday 4 November to Tuesday 9 December
Basic Goodness of Being Human
'Who Am I? The Basic Goodness of Being Human' is the first of three new courses collectively called the Basic Goodness Series. This series is oriented towards universal questions that have arisen in some form thoughout human history, in most cultures and traditions.
The second course is called 'How Can I Help? The Basic Goodness of Society', and the third course is entitled 'What is Real? The Basic Goodness of Reality'. These courses are intended to create learning communities where we can come together and reflect on our own experience and the world.
In general the Basic Goodness Series presents teachings in an experiential way, with an emphasis on understanding the view and meaning of these teachings, and how they can be applied to our lives. This series is a powerful journey through the complete view and experience of basic goodness - our personal experience, our experience with others, and our relationship with the reality of life itself.
In addition to welcoming us into an experience of the wakefulness and dignity of being human, the Basic Goodness Series is also describing the underlying understanding of a social revolution. Shambhala vision is not limited to individual awakening; it is a vision for human society and “shifting” human history.
This first course focuses on the sense of self. It includes teachings on basic goodness, selflessness, the arising of ego and the five skandhas, cocoon, buddha nature, and the confidence of warriorship. We will practice contemplative investigations of the self based upon the four Foundations of Mindfulness, a core teaching from the Buddhist tradition.
Open to all. Both newer and seasoned practitioners could find these courses meaningful and enriching. This course will be taught by Acharya Orhun Cercel and Richard Bleckman.
Acharya Orhun Cercel has been meditating since 1990 and is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. His varied career has taken him from investment banking to Chinese medicine and psychotherapy. He spends much of his time travelling in Europe teaching Shambhala programmes.
Richard Bleckman is a veterinary surgeon and the director of a busy veterinary hospital. He studied Tibetan medicine with Kempo Tsenam Tsuru for 6 years. He has been a Buddhist practitioner for over 35 years and a member of Shambhala for the last 25 years. He currently holds the position of Director of Practice and Education for Shambhala London.
Dates: Tuesday evenings: 4, 11, 18, 25, November and 2,9 December 2014
To pre-register please call 020 7720 3207 to make a card payment over the phone or send a deposit of £20 payable to: 'The London Shambhala Meditation Centre' c/o London Shambhala Meditation Centre, 27 Belmont Close, London, SW4 6AY
Timings: Arrival 7.15pm, start 7.30pm finish 9:30pm
Cost: £60 (£50 if booking before 28th October). Concessions available by prior application
Tuesday 13 January to Tuesday 10 February 2015
Contentment in Everyday Life
An introductory evening course over five weeks
This course provides an exploration of mindfulness meditation, and meditation in action for daily life.
With meditation practice we learn to appreciate ourselves and simple human experiences. Difficult emotions and the challenges of life can be met with gentleness, steadiness and good-humour.
The course includes meditation teachings, practice, discussion, personal instruction and readings. It offers both a good introduction for complete beginners and a fresh inspiration for those who already have some experience of meditation.
This course is also one of the first parts of the evening course curriculum from the Way of Shambhala, an ongoing training in meditation and how we can use Buddhist teachings to awaken to our inherent potential.
Read more about the Way of Shambhala
Dates: 13, 20, 27 Jan, 3, 10 Feb 2015
Registration: Please send a cheque made payable to the London Shambhala Meditation Centre to 27 Belmont Close, London, SW4 6AY or call +44 (0)20 7720 3207 to make a card payment by phone.
Timings: Arrival 7.15pm, start 7:30pm, finish 9:30pm
Residential weeekend retreats are held from time to time at IvyBank our retreat house in Hampshire. No retreats are available for listing at present