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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

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 

What a “Level” Means to Me

I came to Shambhala in the autumn of 2008 as a spiritual seeker, one who knew that some aspect of my life was missing and trying everything under the sun to fill that void.  I had read a book by Lama Surya Das about the Four Noble Truths and it clicked within me that meditation … Continue 

Dharma Journeys : The Journey is the Goal : By Mary Fugiel

I started meditating in my twenties with a good friend, who was an avid practitioner. After moving, marrying, having children, I called my friend and asked about a center where I could receive instruction and meditate with others. She joked that there were probably more exciting things to learn! But she did recommend the Chicago … Continue 

Our Shambhala Chicago Community – You Make This Possible

The other evening, as I was working in our new West Loop center, I was struck by a strong feeling of appreciation for our Shambhala Chicago community.  So, I wanted to take a little time to share some reflections both from my personal perspective and that of the Director of Volunteering and Membership. For several … Continue