Online Programs

Online Programs for Northern California Shambhala

All of our programs and 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 programs and 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 online programs 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.


Online Programs

This page displays online 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

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.

Join URL:



Understanding the Heart Sutra
With David Hope

Saturday, September 11th from 10 AM to 1 PM
With the Berkeley Shambhala Center

Join us for an exploration of teachings on The Heart Sutra.
The Heart Sutra is often chanted in Shambhala Centers during buddhist programs and events. It is one of the core texts of Mahayana Buddhism, and presents the teachings on Shunyata, or Emptiness.

This text is very pithy and condensed, and is therefore not easy to understand. In fact, the idea of Emptiness is often misunderstood to be suggesting the utter non-existence of all phenomena. However, this teaching is pointing to a more subtle truth that exposes our habit of solidifying our experience by clinging to our concepts.

This tendency is one of the ways we create unnecessary problems and confusion for ourselves and others, which lead to conflicts and suffering of all kinds. We see this process playing out increasingly vividly on the personal, social, and political level. Meditation practice on emptiness is a valuable antidote to this universal human tendency, helping us realize and let go of these habitual patterns.

Learn more and register here…



All We Can Save: Living with Climate Change, A Women’s Circle
with Stephanie Hiller

Thursdays, September 9th to October 28th, from 7 to 9 PM
With the Sonoma Shambhala Center

The rapid advance of climate change has had its effect on our hearts as well as our senses, as we watch temperatures and floodwaters rise. What do we do with it all–our outrage at those who seem to obstruct all progress, the “eco-anxiety” we experience for the future of our families, grief over species and landscapes lost forever?

This discussion group for women is based in part on the bestselling book, All We Can Save, an anthology of provocative and illuminating essays from women at the forefront of the climate movement. Together we will create a safe space where we can share our experiences as climate change worsens, and see if we can discover, as Marge Piercy writes, a way “To be of use” in these troubling times.

Learn more and register here…



Foundations for Freedom—The Hinayana Fourth Noble Truth: The Path
With Acharya Marianne Bots & Acharya Eric Spiegel

Six Thursday Evenings, September 16th through October 21st
From 7 to 8:30 PM
With the Davis Shambhala Center

This course presents the Fourth Noble Truth: The Path, and begins with an exploration of the fourth Foundation of Mindfulness, Mindfulness of Mind.

After teaching that suffering is pervasive to all experience, that there is a cause to that suffering and that cessation is possible, the Buddha then taught a way forward, which we call ”The Path.” In fact, everything he taught and all of our experience as practitioners comprise “The Path.” In this course, we will examine Path from multiple perspectives of what has been taught and what is experienced by we individuals walking this path.

Learn more and register here…



Shambhala Art Parts 1 and 2
with Robert Fox & Kerry Schwartz

Saturday & Sunday, September 25th & 26th from 9 AM to 5 PM
With the Berkeley Shambhala Center

Please join us for a fun, interactive online weekend exploring the Shambhala Art teachings. This program is for everyone interested in engagement with the intersection of creativity and contemplative practice.

Shambhala Art is about exploring the creative process and the product we call art from the viewpoint of a meditative discipline. It does not teach a particular skill or technique such as painting, sculpture, or dance, but is about the source of inspiration for all creative expression and perception.

Learn more and register here…



Dancing in Groundlessness: A Mahayana Awakening
With Melissa Moore

Saturday, October 16th from 10 AM to 12:30 PM
With the Berkeley Shambhala Center

This three-hour workshop explores the experiential realization of shunyata, or emptiness as understood on the Mahayana path of Buddhism. Shunyata means empty of ego, and yet, ego offers us a path of realization. The paradoxical topic is explored with humor and compassionate exchange to embrace the inevitable truth of our natural openness, and celebrate that. Please come for a morning of guided meditation and experiential exploration  embracing our natural openness and vulnerable hearts.

Learn more and register here…



Saturday Morning with Jakusho Kwong-roshi

Saturday, October 30th from 9 to 10:30 AM
With the Berkeley Shambhala Center

Roshi will be giving a talk on the Poem by the Zen Master, Tozan Ryokai Zenji which was referenced by Suzuki Roshi, in Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind.

“The blue mountain is the father of the white cloud. The white cloud is the son of the blue mountain. All day long they depend on each other, without being dependent on each other. The white cloud is always the white cloud. The blue mountain is always the blue mountain.”

This is a pure, clear interpretation of life. There may be many things like the white cloud and blue mountain: man and woman, teacher and disciple. They depend on each other. But the white cloud should not be bothered by the blue mountain. The blue mountain should not be bothered by the white cloud. They are quite independent, but yet dependent. This is how we live, and how we practice zazen.
—Suzuki Roshi

About the teacher
Jakusho Kwong-roshi, founder and residing abbot of Sonoma Mountain Zen Center, has taught Zen students in the United States and Europe for over 40 years. He is a successor in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi and author of Breath Sweeps Mind: The Intimate Heart of Zen and No Beginning, No End. He is also a dear decades-long friend to the Shambhala community.

Learn more and register here…



Winter Meditation Retreat
With Holly Gayley

Monday, December 27th—Sunday, January 2nd
9 AM to 5 PM

Join us for our annual winter meditation retreat!
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.

Learn more and register here…


Online Meditation Practice Sessions and Study Groups

Online Programs for Northern California ShambhalaSunday Morning Meditation and Open Houses

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

Join URL:

San Francisco
Second Sunday of every month.
Join URL:

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

Join URL:


Join URL:

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

Join URL:

Tamalpais Outdoor Meditation
First Sunday, September 5th, 11 AM to 1 PM

Visit this link to request Marin County location:



Online Programs Morning MeditationMorning Meditation

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.

Join URL:



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

Join URL:



Online Programs Monday Night MeditationMonday Night Meditation
With the Berkeley Shambhala Center
From 7 to 8 PM
Each sitting consists of two sessions of approximately 25 minutes of sitting, divided by a 10-minute session of walking meditation.


Online Programs Tuesday Evening Open HouseTuesday Evening Open House
With Tamalpais Shambhala
From 7 to 8:30 PM

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

Join URL:


Online Programs Wednesday Lunchtime MeditationWednesday Lunchtime Meditation
With Davis Shambhala
From 12- 1 PM

Meditation to get us through hump day—and the rest of the week! We begin with a brief guided meditation, followed by silent meditation and then transition to lunch and conversation.

Zoom Join URL:




Friday Night Meditation
With the Berkeley Shambhala Center
From 7 to 8 PM

Each sitting consists of two sessions of approximately 25 minutes of sitting, divided by a 10-minute session of walking meditation.


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].
First Fridays from 8:30 to 9:30 AM with Northern California Shambhala
Sundays from 8:15 to 9 AM with Sonoma Shambhala
Join URL:


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.

Join URL:


Online Sadhana Practice Sessions

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

Join URL:

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
Tuesday, May 11th from 5 to 6 PM

Join URL:

San Francisco
Tuesday, May 11th from 7 to 8 PM
Thursday, June 10th from 7 to 8 PM
Sunday, July 11th from 7 to 8 PM

Join URL:

Fourth Saturdays from 9 to 10 AM
CANCELLED FOR APRIL please join A Morning with Jakusho Kwong-Roshi

Join URL:



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

Join URL


With Margaret in San Francisco
Wednesday, May 26th from 6:30 to 7:30 PM
Thursday, June 24th from 6:30 to 7:30 PM
Friday, July 23rd from 6:30 to 7:30 PM

Join URL:

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.

Join URL:


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.