Payment and Generosity Policies

The Shambhala Chicago Meditation Center is funded largely by your membership and program donations. Thanks to your generosity, we are able to continue to offer a number of programs free of charge and we strive to price our programs in a way that accurately reflects the financial need of our Center and the cost to us of producing the program. Because we do not want payment to be an obstacle to attendance and participation, Shambhala Chicago offers a variety of program discounts, scholarships, and a generosity policy in which no one is turned away from any program due to a lack of funds. Please find below information about these opportunities, as well as about our pricing structure and payment policies.


Program Discounts Through Coordinating and Staffing

Discounts for programs and classes can be earned through staffing and coordinating programs.  To learn more about coordinating and staffing, email [email protected]

Generosity Policy

In addition to offering discounts for classes, the center has a generosity policy in which no one is ever turned away due to inability to pay. We encourages program participants to pay what they can afford. People whose financial situation limits their ability to pay may contribute to the extent they are able. No one will be turned away for lack of payment.

Individuals who are not able to pay the full program fee should pre-register for programs online and pay the deposit amount if possible (if it is not possible they should register with no payment and indicate their request in the “notes” section provided). It is not necessary to provide an explanation. Individuals may also request that the program coordinator contact them personally.

The View of Generosity

I.  The View

In line with our inspiration and aspirations, the Chicago Shambhala Meditation Center is committed to making the Shambhala teachings available to individuals of all financial means. This comes about only through the immense generosity of our teachers and all those who support our Center with their energy and their money.

II.   Statement of Policy

Financial support of the Center enables us to open our doors for public meditation Sunday mornings and evenings and Tuesday evenings.  We also give meditation instruction to all newcomers.

Everyone is encouraged to express appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity to meditate together and receive the Shambhala Buddhist teachings. Our ability to offer a place to meditate and study depends on the support of volunteers, the generosity of the community, and program fees. Generosity is expressed in many ways, for example:

    • Pledging a regular monthly donation as a member or a supporting friend
    • Making contributions of any size in the donation box or for special fund campaigns
    • Paying what one can afford to attend classes and programs
    • Volunteering at the Center

Fees for classes and programs are necessary to offset program expense, to cover costs of those with limited ability to pay, and to maintain the Center.  Program expenses include items such as travel, hospitality, and an honorarium for the teacher. They also include refreshments for participants, flowers, and a percentage for Center overhead such as mortgage, repairs, utilities, cleaning, and administration. Many of our Center activities are usually staffed by volunteers.

Center Scholarships

Scholarships are cash grants awarded to members of the center who are in need of financial support to attend land center programs and out-of-town training. Applications are kept confidential. Core land-based programs and out-of-town training include programs such as Warriors Assembly, Shambhala Guide Training, Dathun, Seminaries, Director Training, Teacher Training, Scorpion Seal Retreats, Sangha Retreat, and Abishekas.  Scholarship amounts are based on individual circumstances and the ability of the Center to fund scholarships. Except in unique circumstances, applicants should expect to contribute toward the cost of the program.

Click here to learn more and to print out the application.

Members requesting a scholarship must send in their completed confidential application in writing at least 60 days before the program. They are expected to apply to the program’s land center for additional scholarships and discounts.

Shambhala People of Color Scholarship

The Shambhala People of Color Scholarship was  developed in 2005 to support North American People of Color who are interested in furthering their practice and studies in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage.  The scholarship provides funds to People of Color to enable them to receive the training they need to be fully active in the Shambhala Buddhist community.

SPOCS hopes to encourage diversity among those in leadership roles and to benefit the community by cultivating leaders, teachers, and active participants who will support People of Color along the path and contribute to building a more diverse Shambhala society. Our vision for initiating the SPOCS is to remove the barriers that limit participation in advanced Shambhala programs and to enable People of Color to further their practice and studies in Shambhala Buddhism.  To learn more about SPOCS, visit us at

Pricing Structure

Program Price
We strive to price our programs in a way that accurately reflects the financial need of our Center and the cost to us of producing the program.

Member Price
of the Shambhala Chicago Meditation Center receive an automatic 20% discount on all programs.

Patron Price
Those who are able to offer more than the regular program price can select the Patron Price option.  By selecting this option, your generosity is helping to cover the costs of those who may not be able to pay the full price of the program.

Payment/Refund Policy

The Shambhala Chicago Meditation Center accepts the following forms of payments: cash, personal checks, money orders, Visa, MasterCard and Discover.  All credit cards processed during registration are routed through

All requests for program refunds will be honored if requested two weeks before program begins and with the following stipulations:

    • All cash, check and money order transactions will be refunded with a check within 7 business days of the request.
    • All credit card transactions will be refunded back to the card originally charged, minus 5% of the total for processing fees (NOTE: 5% fee does not apply if Shambhala Chicago cancels or postpones the program.)

All requests made within two weeks of the program or later will be issued a 100% program credit towards the next program taken within one year. contact [email protected] for more information or to inquire about a refund.