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



Heart Advice from Pema Chodron: Falling Apart and Coming Together
with Rachel Anderson & Janet Ryvlin

Six Sunday Mornings, December 5th through January 23rd, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM
With the Sonoma Shambhala Center

In her book When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron states, “the only time we ever know what’s really going on is when the rug’s been pulled out and we can’t find anywhere to land. We use these situations either to wake ourselves up or to put ourselves to sleep.”

For the past two years, the COVID pandemic has presented us with unrelenting chaos, uncertainty, loss, and isolation. Pema advises that the only approach to this type of suffering that is of lasting benefit is to move toward fear and painful situations with friendliness and curiosity.

This Zoom class will give us an opportunity to explore this advice. We will read and discuss When Things Fall Apart, view six of Pema’s related online talks, and use somatic practices and group activities to deepen our capacity to remain stable and steady, kind and compassionate, and open and courageous in the face of frightening circumstances.

Learn more and register here…


Living in the Challenge with Courage and Compassion: A 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!

We are living through extraordinary times.
The global pandemic has radically changed our way of life and revealed longstanding systemic injustices in our society. On top of that, we are living through a highly polarized era that reveals the deep fissures in our social fabric. It can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to get discouraged.

How do we practice meditation in the midst of these challenges?
This weeklong meditation retreat is an opportunity to settle our minds and open our hearts. We explore traditional teachings on how to take adversity as the path through an in-depth exploration of a work by the Third Dodrupchen, called Transforming Suffering and Happiness into Enlightenment.

We will also engage in the Tibetan compassion practice of tonglen (sending and taking) to help us expand our hearts, develop resilience, and strive to support and serve others. In retreat, we can build the capacity to meet difficulty in our own lives and respond to the social and ecological challenges of our times.

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. This is an opportunity to steep in the simplicity of practice and study of traditional Buddhist teachings. Let’s enjoy this week to practice and share wisdom together.

Learn more and register here…



Shambhala Art Part 2
with Robert Fox & Kerry Schwartz

Saturday, February 5th from 9:30 AM to 5:00 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. 

What to expect

  • experiential art exploration
  • group collaboration and discussion
  • Shambhala Art talks

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.  This view and path can support the practice of any artistic discipline. As envisioned by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the Shambhala Art teachings are about discovery, play, and the universal nature of creativity and communication channeled through wisdom of Shambhala and the buddhadharma.

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. 

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San Francisco
First and Second Sunday of every month.
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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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Silicon Valley
2nd and 4th Sundays from 10:15 to 12 noon
Session includes a check-in, sitting meditation, and dharma discussion.

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

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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.

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

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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).

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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.

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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
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Sunday Morning Sitting Practice
With Silicon Valley Shambhala
2nd and 4th Sundays
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
Thursday, November 4th from 5 to 6 PM
Sunday, December 5th from 5 to 6 PM

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San Francisco
Thursday, November 4th from 7 to 8 PM
Sunday, December 5th 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
Friday, November 19th from 6:30 to 7:30 PM
Saturday, December 18th 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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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.