Online Programs

All of our meditation and practice sessions have gone online during the pandemic—and this gives our region a unique opportunity to come together on multiple days of the week. So, please take advantage of the wealth of online, free-of-charge sessions and get to know our extended family of meditation practitioners.
Since our survival as a non-profit relies upon the generosity of donations, please consider making a contribution to the center that is hosting the program you are attending.  Visit this link for a list of Northern California Centers, and click the donation button.
Scroll down for the listing of online practice sessions.



This page displays programs in a list. If you wish to see these programs in a calendar view, visit this page


Welcome to Shambhala: An Introduction to Meditation
With the Berkeley Shambhala Center
First Saturdays of the Month from 10 to 11:30 AM
With the Berkeley Shambhala Center

An opportunity for newcomers to learn the practice of meditation from one of our senior students. Explore the connection between meditation and everyday life while learning about the core Shambhala principles of basic goodness and creating enlightened society. This is a great way to get a flavor of Shambhala Buddhism and to find out what opportunities there are for practice, study, and community.

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Save the date for our annual winter meditation retreat!Back to Basics Winter Meditation Retreat: Coming Home As Community
With Acharya Suzann Duquette
Sunday, December 27th through Saturday, January 2nd from 9 AM to 6 PM
A Regional Weekthun with the Berkeley Shambhala Center

Join us for our annual winter meditation retreat!
This has been an unprecedented year—a complete disruption of our normal lives that has led to a new normal. It has been an uncertain and groundless time, yet has brought a slowing down, hard-to-escape recognition of habitual patterns, and yearning for awake and caring community. This year’s winter retreat will embrace all levels of practitioners to come home to rest our body, speech, and mind on the meditation cushion and come together as an online community to deepen our study and practice connections.

Winter is a natural time to step back and rest in simplicity and practice. Join this retreat to steep in the basics and find a fresh start. The week will be a time to settle into our practices and study selected foundational teachings, including the four reminders – precious human birth, impermanence and death, karma, and samsara.

Take this opportunity to steep in the simplicity of practice and study of essential Buddhist teachings. Let’s enjoy this week to practice and share wisdom together.

This retreat is open to all. There are no prerequisites. 

Registration and learn more here…



Waking Up in the Dark Age: May Dharma Progress Along the Path with Acharya Richard John
Saturday, January 16th
From 10 AM to 1 PM
With the Davis Shambhala Center

We are truly experiencing the onset of the dark age, which the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche described as a time of “pollution and interruption,” when “the blessings of spiritual energy are being lost.” For committed practitioners, these times call for dharma teachings of urgent simplicity.

One of the most elegant pith instructions describing the dynamic process of the buddhist path is well known as the Four Dharmas of Gampopa. A mainstay of the “practice lineages,” they are attributed to Gampopa, the main disciple of Milarepa and guru to the first Karmapa.

This is the second of a 4-part series that explores the Four Dharmas of Gampopa. Subsequent programs will be sponsored at various centers and take place on January 16th, March 13th, and May 15th.

Learn more and register here…



Resilience in the Time of Chaos: Fear and Fearlessness
With Shastri Joanne Martin Braun 
Saturday, December 5th from 10:30 AM to 5:00 PM
With the Sonoma Shambhala Center

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche created the Shambhala teachings and practices, knowing we were entering challenging times in the world. Over the next 5 months, teachers from Northern California will be presenting the foundational Shambhala teachings as we uncover our hearts, strength, and sanity in the midst of these chaotic times.

Learn more and register here…



Everything Flows Gathering 2—The Path
with Lodro Sangpo
Saturday, December 12th from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
With the San Francisco Shambhala Center

Although I live in the slime and muck of the dark age, I still aspire to see it.
(Or, never waste a crisis.)

After having taken some kind of inventory of our fundamental situation, (i.e., the good, the bad and the ugly), which is our ground, this allows us now to work with targeted key-instructions drawn from the Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. In brief, we are entering the world of prajña (wisdom) and upaya (skillful means).

Thus in the second gathering of Everything Flows we will focus on these key-instructions which work with both obstacles and kleshas (difficult emotions) and also work with manifesting our inherent wisdom qualities.

Learn more and register here…



Sharing Of Our Light: Winter Solstice
With Janet Ryvlin & Carlos Gonzalez
Sunday, December 20th from 5 to 6:30 PM

Sonoma Shambhala invites you to a Solstice event, Sharing of Our Light. Please join us on this dark Solstice night for an evening of meditation, sharing of a meal, heartfelt conversation, lighting of candles, and closing with an offering of merit.

Learn more here…



Resilience in the Time of Chaos: Engaging In Our World
With Barbara Hirschfeld
Saturday, January 9th from 10:30 PM to 5:00 PM
With the Sonoma Shambhala Center

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche created the Shambhala teachings and practices, knowing we were entering challenging times in the world. Over the next 5 months, teachers from Northern California will be presenting the foundational Shambhala teachings as we uncover our hearts, strength, and sanity in the midst of these chaotic times.

Learn more and register here…



Meditation in Everyday Life: A Five-Week Course
With Kathryn Rile and Susan Arnesen
Five Tuesday Evenings January 12th—February 9th, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM
With the San Francisco Shambhala Center

With simple instructions and support, mindfulness meditation practice can become part of your life, bringing greater stability, strength, and clarity. While meditation has many benefits, establishing a consistent personal practice can be extremely challenging for both new and experienced meditators alike.

This five-week Mindfulness Meditation program is designed to help new meditators develop a regular practice and bring the benefits of mindfulness meditation to their daily lives. As we begin to practice on a regular basis, we learn to relax and simply be with whatever is going on in our lives. Over time, this meditation helps us to cultivate courage, humor, and stability in the face of daily complexities of jobs, relationships, and all aspects of daily life.

Learn more and register here…



Conversations on Racism in America through Film
With Janet Ryvlin & Denise Blanc
Sunday, January 24th from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Sonoma Shambhala Center

This 4 month program will be offered as a monthly Sunday class, providing a means to explore race and culture through four feature length films. The films will be assigned as pre-work prior to each monthly class, and our group will dive into dialogue breakout sessions using a series of questions and prompts. This class is designed for people who identify as white, in order to be able to examine the effects of our white privilege, our implicit biases and the white supremacy and racism in our culture that we have unconsciously participated in, perpetuating our culture of racism.

Learn more and register here…



Meeting Shambhala – An Introduction to the Shambhala Lineage
with Walker Blaine & Kerry Schwartz
Saturday January 30th from 10:30 AM to 4 PM

Recorded talks by Walker Blaine with group discussions facilitated by Kerry Schwartz
How could learning about lineage, and the Shambhala lineage in particular, help us in these difficult times? The course, a progressive exploration of the core elements of the Shambhala Buddhist tradition, which is the union of warriorship and Buddhism, is designed for all levels of practice and will be of interest to new and seasoned practitioners alike.

Learn more and register here…



Birth of the Warrior: Shambhala Training Level One
With Jesse Miller
Saturday and Sunday, March 6th and 7th from 9 AM to 6 PM
With the Berkeley Shambhala Center

This intimate retreat provides instruction for sitting and walking meditation as a means to develop mindfulness in daily life.

The Art of Being Human is the first program in the renowned Way of Shambhala series. This first Shambhala Training Weekend presents the view that human beings, at the core, are fundamentally awake. By training in meditation, we learn to remember our natural confidence and relax to the freshness of the present moment, no matter what that moment may bring.

We’ll discover that awakening is not about escaping from the world we live in but instead is about bringing our practice to every aspect of our lives: work, play, relationships, and more. It all begins with giving ourselves the opportunity to reconnect with our true human existence—the experience of our five senses, the feeling of emotions in our body, and yes, even the awareness of thoughts across our minds.

Learn more and register here…


Online Meditation Practice Sessions and Study Groups

Sunday Morning Meditation and Open Houses

San Francisco
Every Sunday from 10 AM to 12 Noon 
Meditation instruction at 10 AM in a break-out group, meditation practice at 10 AM.  Talk and discussion at 11 AM. Long sits on the 5th Sunday. 

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Every Sunday from 9 to 10 AM
An hour of practice followed by a time for community to connect.

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Every Sunday from  10 AM to 11:30 PM 
Sitting meditation followed by a community discussion. 

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Every Sunday from 9 AM to 10:15
Followed by tea and conversation (BYO tea!)

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Morning Meditation
Weekdays Plus Saturday

With Shastri Joanne Martin-Braun in Sonoma

From 7:30 to 8:15 AM

Sitting is a great way to start your day when things are so groundless! We will sit together for a half-hour from 7:30 to 8 AM. Then, if you would like to stay, we will have a few minutes for a short dharma discussion until 8:15.

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Weekday Morning Meditation
With Davis Shambhala
From 7 to 8 AM
Includes opening chants and meditation followed by conversation.

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With Rob Ward 
Monday evenings from 7 to 8 PM
With the Berkeley Shambhala Center
Please join us for a survey of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s earliest Western writings from Meditation in Action, Mudra, and the Garuda Series, among others. Discover (or rediscover) Buddhadharma without credentials, dharmas without blame, manure on the field of bodhi, the original article on spiritual materialism, commentary on the Zen Oxherding pictures, and talks to the early community. In line with Trungpa Rinpoche’s emphasis on a balance between study and practice, each session will include a period of sitting practice and a period of open contemplative discussion.

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Tuesday Evening Open House
With Tamalpais Shambhala
From 7 to 9 PM

Meditation instruction, sitting meditation practice, readings and discussions. (BYO tea and cookies).

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Opening the Circle Community Gathering
With Berkeley Shambhala
Third Wednesdays from 7 to 8:30 PM

As we shelter in place and adapt to rapid changes in our lives and wait…How can we keep from losing heart, feeling isolated, and draw on our inner and outer resources?  How can we support each other as community during such a fearful, painful and tenuous time?   
The Berkeley Shambhala Meditation Center warmly invites you for Weekly Meditation, Dharma Inspiration and Check-in & Support. The evening will include guided meditation, dharma inspiration, and a listening circle. 


Practices for the Time of the Pandemic
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has given us practice advice and instructions for the time of the pandemic. This Friday morning session is for all levels of practice and includes the Seven-Line Supplication to Padmakara, a Green Tara Supplication, and the Medicine Buddha mantra.  To obtain a copy of the instructions (which include the Green Tara Supplication, and the Medicine Buddha mantra), please send an email to [email protected].
Fridays from 8:30 to 9:30 AM With Northern California Shambhala
Sundays from 8:15 to 9 AM with Sonoma Shambhala
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Saturday Morning Sitting Practice
With Silicon Valley Shambhala
2nd and 4th Saturdays
From 10:15 to 12 noon

Session includes a check-in, sitting meditation, and dharma discussion.

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Online Sadhana Practice Sessions

White Tara Practice
With Davis Shambhala
Thursdays from 7:30 to 8 AM

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Peaceful White Tara is said to witness the suffering of beings through her seven eyes, and she soothes their fear, calms their anguish, heals their suffering, restores their health—both individual and communal—and extends their lives. This is a lineage practice particularly relied upon in times of domestic and community turmoil and disharmony, or in the midst of attacks on health and longevity.



Sadhana of Mahamudra
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche offered this text to everyone regardless of level of practice, because he saw great urgency in the need for it. This is part of what makes the Sadhana of Mahamudra so special. All levels of students are warmly invited to participate. The Sadhana of Mahamudra is only offered in group settings and lasts about an hour. It involves chanting, visualization, and silent meditation. The text will be provided in the online sessions.

Santa Rosa
Monday, December 14th at 5:30 PM

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Silicon Valley
Every 4th Thursday Evening from 7 to 8:45 PM

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San Francisco
Monday, December 14th from 7 to 8 PM

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Fourth Saturdays from 9 to 10 AM

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Shambhala Sadhana Online
With Davis Shambhala
Every Tuesday Morning from 7 to 8 AM

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With Margaret in San Francisco
Monday, November 30th from 6:30 to 7:30 PM
Tuesday, December 29th from 6:30 to 7:30 PM

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A time for our community to come together to practice the Shambhala Sadhana. All are welcome—and encouraged—to join, no matter what your level of experience. 

The Shambhala Sadhana is powerful in its direct approach to basic goodness. It is a profound yet simple chanting and visualization practice that deepens our personal and societal connection with Basic Goodness. We gather as a community to engage in this profound practice so we can connect more fully with our hearts, each other and the world.  



Sadhana of Kindness
With Irv Kirschbaum and Susie Cook in Sonoma
Every Third Saturday at 9 AM

The Sadhana of Kindness is a short liturgy invoking the moon of kindness in our heart as the basis for establishing enlightened society. This practice is short, delightful, and a primary avenue into Mahayana practice within the Shambhala tradition.

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The Wisdom of Pema Chodron: A Study Group
With the Berkeley Shambhala Center
First Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Join us as we delve into the brilliant teachings of Pema Chodron. With warmth and humor Pema helps us to lift the barriers to being the radiant self that we really are. This Pema group has been a source of inspiration and learning for over 15 years, and newcomers are most welcome! We meet the first Wednesday of every month. This program is free with a donation requested.
Learn more here


ZoomAbout Zoom
These sessions are all through the Zoom platform. It is available for computers, smart phones, and tablets. You will need to download the free app on your device before joining the session. Once it is loaded, all you need to do is click the link and follow the prompts to join the session.

It is best to join 5 minutes in advance so that you are set up when the session begins.

And, make certain that your mic is muted when you join to avoid background noises which are multiplied with many participants.

Learn more about Zoom here:

You can find is a list of Zoom FAQs at this link.