Richard John’s November 2023 Northern California Visit

Header image Richard John Nov 2023 NorCal Visit

Please join us for a special hybrid series of programs with Richard John this November.

Richard John is one of Shambhala’s senior teachers and has a special relationship with our Northern California community. He has been visiting our region yearly for many years, and we anticipate his annual teachings.

We will gather in small, COVID-safe groups at our local centers and broadcast online to the greater community. If you wish to attend any of these program in-person, when you register for the program, please put that in the registration form notes. For all programs except Berkeley’s Windhorse: The Four-Legged Miracle, there is an option to attend via Zoom.

About Richard John

An early student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Richard served as acharya for Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche for 20 years. He completed the traditional Buddhist three-year retreat at Gampo Abbey, and has taught many meditation programs and retreats in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Richard and his wife Liz reside in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Richard John 2023 Programs

A word about Heart Gifts — It is customary to offer a monetary Heart Gift to the teacher. Teachers receive no salary or benefits, and depend upon this income in order to teach for a living. This is completely voluntary according to your inspiration, and there is no suggested amount — any amount is appreciated!


Public Programs

Authentic Meditation: Advice from Lineage Masters

Sat & Sun, November 4–5 2023
8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Hybrid Program presented by the Sonoma Shambhala Center

“Shamatha and vipashyana alone are the iron hook that will lead you to liberation.” — Chögyam Trungpa.

This weekend retreat is open to practitioners at all levels — new and senior — who wish to establish or strengthen their meditation practice. We will deepen the practices of shamatha and vipashyana meditation, looking at the mind and sense perceptions, with emphasis on direct personal experience.

Learn more and register here…


The Four Foundations of Mindfulness Meditation Retreat

Sat & Sun, November 11–12 2023
8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Hybrid Program presented by the Davis Shambhala Center

“This teaching seeks to open the way of mindfulness by showing the essence of each of the four foundations, the inner key to its practice.” — Chögyam Trungpa

This program is for all new and senior students who are committed to meditation practice. The Buddha taught the four foundations of mindfulness as the essential first meditation practice on the path. Basic to all streams of Buddhism, these methods are essential for developing awareness of one’s inner and outer reality: body, speech, mind and external phenomena.

Learn more and register here…


Image of GampopaMeditation and Wisdom in a Confused World

Sat & Sun, November 18–19 2023
8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Hybrid Program presented by the Berkeley Shambhala Center

“The four dharmas of Gampopa are an important theme throughout the buddhist tradition, and the main working basis of the buddhist path is the shedding of ego.” — Chögyam Trungpa

This weekend retreat is open to practitioners at all levels—new and senior. We will discuss a concise view of the buddhist path, with emphasis on authentic meditation practice. The main teaching will be the “Four Dharmas of Gampopa,” a classic description of the path dynamic.

Learn more and register here…


Vajrayana Programs

Please note: there are prerequisites for each of the programs below.

Image Sky, Sun Clouds with CalligraphySky, Sun Clouds: What has Been Pointed Out

Mon–Wed, November 6–8 2023
8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Hybrid Program presented by the Sonoma Shambhala Center

“The training in recognizing mind essence is this: short moment repeated many times. There is no other way.” — Tulku Urgyen

Trungpa Rinpoche taught that Dzogchen — Maha Ati as he called it — is the pinnacle of Buddhist meditation. But for this deeply subtle practice to be valid, it is essential to first work with the teachings and practices of hinayana, mahayana, and gradual mahamudra. Recognizing and resting in mind essence is also dependent upon devotion to one’s guru and lineage. A powerful way to cultivate this is to mix formless meditation with guru yoga, which we will do in this retreat. If possible, it’s recommended to begin with the Authentic Meditation weekend program.

Prerequisites Participants must have received pointing out transmission from the Vidyadhara, Sakyong Mipham, or the Vajra Regent or Dorje Loppön on behalf of the Vidyadhara. Students who received transmission from other qualified rinpoches will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more and register here…


Image excerpt of the Imperial Rigden thangka at Casa WermaMahamudra Werma Retreat

Mon–Wed, November 13–15 2023
8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Hybrid Program presented by the Davis Shambhala Center

“We are talking about transforming our world altogether in order to maintain the basic notion of the drala principle” — The Dorje Dradul

On October 15, 1980, the Dorje Dradul wrote the “Roar of the Werma” while residing at what is now Casa Werma in Patzcuaro, Mexico. The sadhana is adapted from “The Scorpion Seal of the Golden Sun,” the final Shambhala terma he received from the expanse of wisdom. As the primary practice of Shambhala, the sadhana combines the vajrayana elements of transmission, generation and completion stage practices with the teachings on Ashe, drala and windhorse, which are the essential wisdom of enlightened society.

Prerequisites Participants must have received Werma transmission and vajrayana pointing out transmission within the Shambhala or Vajradhatu mandala.

Learn more and register here…


Image Ashe & Windhorse in skyLungta and the Stroke of Ashe

Mon, November 20 2023
8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Note: In-Person only Program presented by the Berkeley Shambhala Center

Note: this program has been changed to a one-day in-person only intensive is for all practitioners who have received transmission of the Stroke of Ashe.

We will take the day to practice the stroke of Ashe and the Ashe Lungta visualization, with reference to the root text, the Golden Sun of the Great East. Whether you are new or not at all new to stroke practice, this will be a chance to work together on it in person.

An ideal preparation for this Ashe intensive is the preceding hybrid weekend program: Meditation and Wisdom in a Confused World. In it we will deepen the authentic practice of shamatha and vipashyana as the basis for skillful action in the world, as well as all vajrayana and Shambhala practices.

Prerequisites Participants must be graduates of Warrior Assembly, or vajrayana practitioners who have received pointing-out transmission within the Shambhala mandala.

Learn more and register here…