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Dharma Behind Bars by Keith Spielfogel

Entering the Stream On Monday mornings I drive to a place many might consider to be the most depressing complex of buildings in Chicago: Cook County Jail. It is home to the largest jail in the United States, housing approximately 9,000 men and women. Once there I meet with my partner, Tom Mahoney. Together we … Continue 

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Likes and Comments by Caroline Moore

I have been attending Shambhala on and off for about six years, having completed Way of Shambhala and currently working through the Sacred Path series. At this time of year, when we are being asked to consider how each of us is able and willing to support the sangha, I thought I would offer my own thoughts about … Continue 

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Awaken, Chicago: Reflecting on the Teachings by Abbey Fox

It’s been three heavy months since we hosted Awaken Chicago. We’ve tragically lost Philandro Castle, Alton Sterling, and Delrawn Small to racist police brutality. We’ve mourned the tremendous loss of 49 queer people of color in Orlando to homophobic rage.  A beautiful, peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas is now remembered as the horrible … Continue 

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Fearless Openness: My Enlightened Society Experience

I’ve been to weekthüns and nyinthüns before, but I don’t think any previous practice intensive could have properly prepared me for the excitement, pain, joy, boredom, and direct openness of Enlightened Society Assembly (ESA) at Shambhala Mountain Center last month.  I have no idea how it can be summarized in even a few cogent paragraphs, … Continue 

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Awaken Chicago Is For You!

The rumors started floating nearly a year ago.   “Pema Chödrön might come next year with the Sakyong!”  Then there was a long wait and no confirmation.  Finally, in the middle of the summer, we heard: Pema is coming for sure.  She’s coming because she likes the way we are reaching beyond the center. Ani Pema … Continue 

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Speaking Up and Speaking Out

On the third Friday evening of every month, the Chicago Shambhala center transforms from a peaceful meditation center to a throbbing hub of music and expression. Gone are the smartly dressed middle class adults, and in come teenagers in sweatpants, Nikes, and baseball caps. Gone are the white majority. There are mainly African Americans, Puerto … Continue 

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Strengthening Shambhala by Thomas Adducci

Shambhala Chicago launched its annual Unified Giving fundraising campaign during Sunday’s Harvest of Peace celebration.  The theme of this year’s campaign is “Strengthening Shambhala”.  Our expansion to the West Loop has resulted in significant growth as we have welcomed over 80 new supporting members since our grand opening in March 2014. With our move to … Continue 

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A Road Toward Equanimity: The Practice of Ikebana by Brooke Pohl

IKE (to give life to)  BANA (flowers)……what makes Ikebana a contemplative art? An infinite variety of arrangements can be made using the exact same materials.  As you observe change, you might notice the subtle shifts in mind and body as you react to judgement, preference, attachment or rejection. Honing one’s skills in the practice of … Continue 

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A Practice of Fearlessness by C. Harding

As the Shambhala year comes to an end, we enter the period known as the dön season, the ten days before Shambhala Day when the accumulated negativity, underlying habitual patterns and latent obstacles of the past year are heightened. It is traditional during this period to intensify one’s practice, particularly the practices that invoke protector principle, to pacify … Continue 

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Working with Retreat by Jon Feller

What is a retreat and why would anyone want to do one? The first summer after I joined Shambhala I decided to go on a week-long meditation retreat at the Shambhala land center in Vermont, Karme Chöling. After all, Chögyam Trungpa encouraged his students to do a dathün, a four-week long shamatha meditation retreat, as … Continue 

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