Sunday, November 27, 2011

Upcoming Shambhala Meditation Training

The Shambhala meditation training program is now a recommended part of the larger Fusion Cross-training program for all coaches and clients. Shambhala has volunteer run training centers and communities all over the US and Europe and is a secular meditation training created for westerners but squarely based in Buddhist philosophy which has been proven and passed down over 2500 years one student at a time.  Shambhala Training Levels I through V are a series of retreats and companion courses that are an effective way for students to learn to meditate.  This meditation training develops peacefulness, openness, confidence, fearlessness, loving kindness and curiosity toward ourselves and our world resulting in more harmony and happiness in our daily lives.

At first the meditation can feel quite different or awkward because of our speedy, material culture and conditioning, but when you actually practice you will feel the effects, sometimes subtly, sometimes intensely.  All the teaching is done by looking at our own experiences while being mindful of their causes and effects as you try out a different way in order to break through your automatic habits.  I personally cannot say enough about the Shambhala meditation training that has transformed the way I experience and engage in life and the community at the Philadelphia center (Sansom street between 20/21st street).  Read my story “1 Year of Shambhala Meditation” for my personal account.

Here are their upcoming programs and events to jump into for beginners.  Now is the perfect time to jump into training as it is the beginning of the annual teaching cycle and level 1 is usually ONLY offered in January.  I recommend doing Level I weekend and Meditation in Everyday Life together to actually stick with it long enough to be inspired and have your own experience with it.  You cannot workout once and expect bodily changes right, same principle applies. :)

Introductory Programs:

How to Meditate (offered monthly)
Wednesday, June 20th - 7:00 to 9:00 PM   Register    or 
Thursday, Aug 16th; 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM   Register 

This program is a short introduction to meditation practice. This simple and effective course introduces 2500 year-old wisdom that is fresh and applicable in finding more peace and happiness in today’s world.

Shambhala Training Level I: The Art of Being Human
Saturday, July 21st: 8:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Sunday, July 22th: 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM

This introductory weekend retreat is the beginning of the Way of Shambhala path and an effective way for students of any tradition to learn to meditate. This first level focuses on the basic technique of mindfulness-awareness meditation. By settling the mind, we begin to experience the brilliance of the world beyond the habitual patterns and conceptual filters of our mind, connecting with our underlying basic goodness. Shambhala Training Levels I through V provide secular meditation training that develops fearlessness, confidence, openness and gentleness toward ourselves and our world.

**This course always books with a waitlist, so please register ASAP**
 Register or Learn More

Meditation In Everyday Life
Aug 14th - Sept 11th Tuesdays 7-9PM
This weekly course can accompany Level 1 weekend or be done on its own. This course provides an opportunity to deepen our experience and understanding of meditation, with special attention on practical suggestions for establishing a sitting practice in the midst of our speedy society.

Each evening class will include meditation instruction, a talk by a teacher, and discussion of the challenges that we face in our practice.

Register or Learn More

Recommended Reading and Listening

If you sign up for the Level 1 and Meditation in Everyday Life courses there are some readings and/or audio lessons that work with that nicely. Shambhala Publications is an impressive and varied collection of spiritual related works, very modern.  They offered a friends and family discount recently that I wanted to pass along for books that EXPIRES DEC 16th.  I love the audio versions because you get to hear their voices more powerfully and listen to them while doing other things like driving, cooking, working out, etc.   I've listened to them both multiple times when I probably wouldn't even have finished the books.

These two works are the texts for the entire first year of training and are easy to read:
These are two of my other favorite Western teachers. Sounds True is another fantastic source of meditation CDs and MP3 Downloads. 
  • Pema Chodron: Buddhist nun, Shambhala icon you will enjoy almost anything by her but I like the Audio Collection.
  • Jack Kornfield: psychotherapist and Buddhist teacher out of San Fran, again all good but the Essential Collection is perfect for beginners and Wise Heart is a comprehensive understanding of the Buddhist psychology behind meditation

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