Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Shambhala teachings?
The Shambhala teachings offer a way to discover the wisdom and sanity within our seemingly chaotic minds. Through meditation we discover the inherent goodness in ourselves and in our society.
The Shambhala teachings emerged out of the visions and revelations Chögyam Trungpa received after he arrived in the west from Tibet . These teachings contain the essence of ancient wisdom, yet are tailored to the specific challenges of modern living.
In recent years Sakyong Mipham has been elaborating the teachings into a complete path of training for his students.
What is the Shambhala Path?
The Shambhala path is a broad and carefully thought-out range of classes and retreats designed to stabilise and strengthen our meditation practice, and clarify our understanding of the Shambhala teachings. These courses introduce us to the wisdom tradition of Shambhala as well as the classical teachings Tibetan Buddhism.
How does Shambhala relate with traditional Buddhist teachings?
The Shambhala teachings flow from the original transmission of the Kalachakra, (Wheel of Time), tantra, said to have been given by the Buddha to the first sovereign of Shambhala, King Dawa Sangpo. According to Tibetan lore he requested teachings that would allow him to practice the dharma without renouncing the world and becoming a monk.
The Kālacakra teachings he received use the language of war but are actually encouraging us to battle those inner mental conflicts and emotions that so often lead to us act aggressively. Understanding this allowed Dawa Sangpo and the citizens of Shambhala to transform their inner and outer world from chaos and war to order and prosperity.
The Shambhala teachings aim to help build an enlightened society – what does that mean?
In its contemporary form, the wisdom emerging from the Kālacakra teachings is referred to as the Shambhala teachings on enlightened society. The Shambhala vision of enlightened society rests on the ways meditation can impact our daily lives, and how the sanity of meditation can expand to impact our whole society.
Are there any restrictions?
Most programmes and courses are open to everyone; however, some advanced programmes require prior authorization to ensure that participants have had the relevant preparatory instruction.
Do I have to be a Buddhist?
To practice meditation you don’t have to be Buddhist and there are lots of courses and Open House talks and courses which you can join to learn more about Shambhala and deepen your practice.