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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Secret Beyond Thought: A Four-Part Series on the Four Karmas
With Acharya Gaylon Ferguson
Saturdays from 10 AM to 1 PM
February 20th, April 10th, June 12th, and August 7th

With the Berkeley Shambhala Center

Secret Beyond Thought is an edited transcript of a two-talk public seminar the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche taught in Boston, Massachusetts in February 1971. The second talk offers a unique teaching on the four karmas—or enlightened activities—and how they can either conquer or be perverted by the four maras, our habitual patterns of ego-fixation. These two teachings, among the earliest the Vidyadhara gave in North America, provide a glimpse into the profound trust Chögyam Trungpa had in the possibility that genuine buddhadharma could be successfully transplanted into Western culture.

Learn more and register here



Regional Mamo Chants
Ten evenings, February 1st through 10th, from 7 to 8 PM

Shambhala Day marks the end of one year’s cycle and the beginning of the new.
To dispel the karmic accumulation of personal, social, and environmental chaos at the year’s end, all students are encouraged to practice as much as possible in the period just before Shambhala Day. In particular, students are encouraged to recite the mamo chants together beginning eleven days before Shambhala Day.

The mamo chant is an elaborate protector offering traditionally recited from the twentieth through the twenty-ninth days of the last lunar month of the Tibetan year. By reciting the chant, we tune into the protector principle of awareness and reconnect with sacred outlook.

The day before Shambhala Day is considered neutral and is a traditional time to clean and refresh one’s home and shrines in preparation for the coming year.

Here are three articles to help you learn more about this time of year and protector practice. 

Protector Principle by Dorje Loppön Lodrö Dorje
Obstacles and Antidotes by Shastri Andrew Sacamano 
Finishing One Year, Starting Anew by Walker Blaine

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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…



Foundations For Freedom—The Hinayana: the Wheel of Life, Karma, and the 12 Nidanas
With Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown & Loden Nyima
January 14th—February 25th (2021)
Seven Thursday evenings from 7 to 8:30 PM
With the Davis Shambhala Center

This third course in the series Foundations for Freedom-The Hinayana, is an in-depth exploration of the Wheel of Life, Karma, and the 12 Nidanas. There are no prerequisites for this class. It will consist of facilitated, recorded online talks by two of Shambhala’s most senior teachers.

Learn more and register here…



Pema Chodron: Turn Your World Around
New Recordings from Gampo Abbey
Thursday evenings, 7 PM to 9 PM, January 14th through March 7th

Facilitated by Basha Hirschfeld and Elizabeth Sheppard
With the Tamalpais Shambhala Center

There has never been a timelier offering from beloved bestselling author Pema Chödrön than these teachings on working with our challenging emotions, known in Buddhism as kleshas. In this all-new pre-recorded online retreat, Pema introduces the intense emotions at the heart of our suffering: craving, aggression, ignorance, pride, and jealousy. She gives us three powerful steps for working with them: refrain, reframe, and relax.

Learn more and register here



How to Meditate: A Book Study Class
with Charlotte Linde
January 7th—June 17th
12 Thursday evenings from 7 to 8:30 PM
With Silicon Valley Shambhala

A book study of Pema Chodron’s text, How to Meditate, done “book club” style, with chapters presented by the class members.

After a year in which our fundamental sanity has been tested, the need for a strong foundation in meditation practice is clearer than ever. In her book, How to Meditate, Pema Chodron examines practical techniques for making friends with the mind and cultivating compassion for others. Open to new and experienced meditators.

Learn more and register here…



The Absolute in Bite-Size (According to the Lojong Teachings)
with Lodro Sangpo
Six Saturdays, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
January 30th, February 13th, February 27th, March 6th, 20th & 27th
With the San Francisco Shambhala Center

Lojong, or mind training slogans, is a core practice in all the lineages of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. These slogans can be characterized as a method for transforming our mind by turning away from self-centeredness and cultivating instead the mental habits that generate bodhicitta, the awakened mind that puts the benefit of others above all else. We will be discussing the absolute bodhicitta Lojong slogans, as taught by Chekawa Yeshe Dorje, in a step by step process with the goal to further stabilize the flash experience of absolute bodhicitta.

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…



Half-Day Forgiveness Workshop
With Eileen Barker
Saturday, February 6th from 10 AM to 2 PM

With the Berkeley Shambhala Center

Forgiveness is a powerful tool for creating inner and outer peace. It is especially useful for anyone up against difficult, and seemingly insurmountable, conflict. Even in the hardest of cases, it can create a pathway from conflict to a deeper place of understanding and compassion. Because forgiveness integrates all levels of conflict — physical, emotional, mental and spiritual–it uniquely enables people to experience the opportunity for transformative healing that is present in every conflict.

Learn more and register here…



Contemplating Creativity Lab: Finding the Empty, Finding the Love
With Kerry Schwartz and Robert Fox
Saturday, February 13th, 10 AM to 12 PM
With the Berkeley Shambhala Center

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we will make love notes for ourselves and for another. First, we will invite love into our lives by giving ourselves “playtime” as an act of care. After a contemplation on what we are missing, we can write, paint, draw, or collage a compassionate response, a love note to ourselves. All emotions are welcome to explore. Then we’ll create a note to someone or something we love and cherish. We can extend the same sweetness, bravery, humor, and passion with our materials and words. Any medium you like can be your playground!

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…



Contentment in Everyday Life: A Five-Week Course
With Susan Gluck and Robert Fox
Five Tuesday Evenings, March 16th to April 13th, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM

With the Santa Rosa Shambhala Center

In Contentment in Everyday Life, meditation experience is deepened through the cultivation of contentment and simplicity.

This course provides an exploration of genuine contentment, the foundational views of the Buddhist teachings, and meditation in action for daily life. With meditation practice, we can learn to appreciate ourselves and simple human experiences, free from self-aggression. Difficult emotions and the challenges of life can be met with gentleness, steadiness, and humor.

Learn more and register here…



Resilience in the Time of Chaos: Awakening Heart
With Irv Kirschbaum
Saturday, March 20th from 10:30 AM to 5 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…


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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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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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.

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

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San Francisco
Thursday, January 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
Thursday, January 28th 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.