London Shambhala Meditation Centre: UK Registered Charity No 1073977

The Way of Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior

“Our life is an endless journey; it is like a broad highway that extends infinitely into the distance. The practice of meditation provides a vehicle to travel on that road. Our journey consists of constant ups and downs, hope and fear, but it is a good journey. The practice of meditation allows us to experience all the textures of the roadway, which is what the journey is all about. Through the practice of meditation, we begin to find that within ourselves, there is no fundamental complaint about anything or anyone at all.”
— Chögyam Trungpa, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Through the practice of meditation we can awaken to our inherent potential. The human tradition of enlightenment manifests continually as an expression of this potential, our basic goodness or primordial purity. This is our inherent nature when we strip away all the layers that obscure the sun of our brilliance.

Our experience of life alternates between struggle and collapse, hope and depression, grandiosity and self hatred. The Way of Shambhala is a pathway out of this self-centred suffering into the light of unconditional confidence that can be discovered through gentleness and genuineness. By facing the reality of our lives we come to discover that we can live life meaningfully with joy, dignity and an open heart. Daily life then is our spiritual journey, and every moment is an opportunity for further exploration and celebration.

At the heart of the Shambhala warrior tradition is the understanding that we possess the earthy wisdom to live fully and compassionately, and that we have the capacity to help solve the problems that our world faces. When we face ourselves honestly on the meditation cushion we see we have divided ourselves into many parts through fear, aggression and misunderstanding. Through learning to let these divisions dissolve with gentleness and understanding we discover that we can relate to others and our whole world through gentleness and understanding rather than through fear and aggression.

The Way of Shambhala offers a structured path of meditation and a complete introduction to the foundations of Shambhala Buddhism. It is suitable for both beginning and experienced meditators, and open to people of any spiritual tradition. This series of weekends and classes provides a strong foundation in mindfulness-awareness meditation practice, wisdom teachings, and physical practices rooted in the ancient traditions of Shambhala and Tibetan Buddhism.

Students will be introduced to contemplative practices that make the journey experiential – touching our emotions, our intelligence, our creativity, and the practical details of daily life in modern society. The programmes are presented by experienced Shambhala teachers under the guidance of the Shamabhala lineage-holder, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

Level I: The Art of Being Human

This explores the origin of the Shambhala teachings which immediately introduce us to our fundamental primordial nature. Meditation practice is introduced experientially and through this we discover that there is an alternative to being trapped in the world of our habitual patterns, this breath of fresh air ignites a journey of healing into our true nature – a calm awake mind and a tender courageous heart.

Meditation in Everyday Life

This series of five classes follows, or precedes, the level one weekend. Here we deepen the experience and understanding of meditation, with practical means of establishing sitting practice in the midst of our speedy lives. Each class allows for open discussion of the challenges that we face when we are confronted by the habitual nature of many of our daily activities. We start to see why the path of gentleness and genuineness, of meditation and is connected to the bravery and courage of warrior training, and how the fundamental battle to help ourselves and our world is connected to victory over our own aggression.

Level II: Birth of the Warrior

After discovering our basic tenderness and intelligence that arises through contacting our basic goodness we also discover why we close down to our fundamental nature. Afraid of our brilliance, afraid of our own fear, we create a cocoon of habitual tendencies and interpretations that keeps us distracted. At the root, fear means the fear of death which means simply the death of “me”. Ego is the name for all the ideas, images, and feelings we have about who we are or want to be. It is also the root of fear. Stepping out of the cocoon of “me” is a slow process of learning about fear. Through relating properly and thoroughly to fear we discover that the way out is through the way in.

Contentment in Everyday Life

Here, in this series of five classes, our meditation experience is developed through the cultivation of contentment and simplicity. We explore the foundational views of the hinayana Buddhist teachings and meditation in action in daily life. Through understanding the painful conditions that keep us trapped in habitual patterns, we can open to our inherent goodness and express the qualities of our nature that we call “Tiger” – the gentleness, appreciation and steadiness that knows what to accept and what to reject.

Level III: Warrior in the World

When we step out of the cocoon we begin to discover a larger vision, we are taking the first step beyond mindfulness towards awareness. We discover we can enter this world in a sane and gentle way rather than from the aggression and separateness of “me”. By having the daring to be true and genuine and by being willing to experience the sharp edges of reality we can be free from the bondage of poverty mentality or need for the protection of arrogance.

Joy in Everyday Life

This series of five classes expands the meditation experience by cultivating the noble heart of the Mahayana teachings, opening the path to the virtue and celebration of compassion. Through practical methods we further develop kindness towards ourselves and others. We experience the joy and invigoration that comes from discipline. We call this aspect of our true nature “Lion” which represents the qualities of cheerfulness, health, and freedom from doubt.

Level IV: Awakened Heart

Having entered the world we become inquisitive, we become really interested in what our actual experience really is. We discover how we constantly interpret our perceptions at every moment. We see that what we had taken for communication was just our interpretation of our experience. The problem is not that we interpret, that is natural, but the problem is how, even without realising it , we believe in our interpretations. By being free of any ground to defend we can open up to the purity of our perceptions and live our lives with humour and equanimity.

Fearlessness in Everyday Life

Here we mix meditation with the vastness of space beyond concept. These five classes explore the Buddhist teachings on emptiness and clear seeing, the meditation opens to the groundlessness, uncertainty and creativity of the world as it is. By exploring the entrapping emotions of hope and fear, we learn to soar fearlessly like the mythical bird known as the Garuda.

Level V: Open Sky

Letting go is having the courage to fully manifest and give up our reservations, hesitations and logics. Having made friends with ourselves through the practice of meditation we can relax and live our sensitivity and tenderness. Through this we discover the joy of discipline, living each moment fully awake. This naturally connects us to others and caring for our world. The sun of goodness shines in the vast open sky of freedom from fixed mind.

Wisdom in Everyday Life

These classes look at the qualities of an accomplished warrior whose vastness of mind and skills in enriching the world are fully manifest. Here the practitioner is introduced to the vajrayana teachings of Buddhism, which reveal the sacredness of the phenomenal world. Students will receive essential instructions for transforming confused emotions and situations into wisdom as they arise. The accomplished warrior is no longer deterred or depressed by obstacles, but with tremendous forward vision and strength and fully manifesting the aspect of our true nature called “Dragon” we can playfully include everything that arises as path. In this way the warrior is able to skilfully benefit the world.

Level VI: The Rigden Weekend

The Way of Shambhala part one culminates in the “Rigden Weekend”. The Rigden is a representation of our basic enlightened nature and embodies the principle of unconditioned bravery. Historically, Rigdens were enlightened rulers. Those who could rule their world based on unwavering experience of our basic goodness. This weekend includes a formal transmission of the windhorse or life force practices.

Following this, the Way of Shambhala unfolds over further courses, weekends, and longer residential programmes. Each Shambhala Training programme offers meditation instruction, talks on the Shambhala teachings, group discussions and individual interviews.

Way of Shambhala Schedules
Dates and schedules for Way of Shambhala:
Entry-level programmes in London
Further programmes in London
Worldwide programmes

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