Community

The Shambhala Meditation Center of Durham is home to a diverse group of people who share a genuine connection to contemplative practice and the aspiration to realize a more wakeful, sane society. Our community is called a “sangha”, the Sanskrit word for a community of practitioners who support each other on their personal path or journey. Among us are dedicated senior teachers who have walked the Shambhala Buddhist path for many years, and enthusiastic newcomers who are just discovering our teachings on basic goodness. A great way to learn about our community is to attend our celebrations, practice events, meetings and gatherings of various groups.

Community Practice Events

Our center has a rich array of ongoing offerings. Attendance to these programs requires no prior meditation experience, and they are free and open to all.

  • Thursday Open House, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm:  Includes sitting and walking meditation, community readings and discussions. Free meditation instruction is offered.
  • Sunday Morning Meditation, 9:00 am – noon:  Includes sitting and walking meditation. Free meditation instruction is offered.
  • Family Sitting, 1st Sunday of each month, 11:00 am – noon:  Child care is provided so that parents can participate in group practice.
  • Vajra Dawn, 4th Mondays, 7:00 pm:  Young adults (under 40) meet to practice together and discuss the dharma. Meditation instruction is offered.

 Seasonal Celebrations and Events

Over the years our community has adopted a tratition of celebrating the changes of the seasons. These are called “nyida” days, from the Tibetan words nyima (sun) and dawa (moon), and they occur on or near the days of the equinoxes and solstices. Nyida days are family-oriented celebrations and occasions for local Shambhala communities to gather socially. The major celebration days in Shabhala are:

  • Shambhala Day:  Celebration of the Tibetan New Year.
  • Milarepa Day:  Celebrates the life example of Milarepa, one of our most honored historical gurus.
  • Parinirvana Day:  Falls on April 4th, the birthday of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in honor of his passing.
  • Midsummer Day:  Occurs in June, celebrates the summer equinox.
  • Harvest of Peace:  Occurs in the fall, celebrates the autumnal equinox.
  • Childrens’ Day: A special celebration for children of all ages, occurs in mid-December.

Learn more about Shambhala seasonal celebrations here.