Entries Filed Under 'Shambhala Training'
Last year in August I wrote about my experiences with Shambhala Training Level Five.
I wrote the piece for the Austin Shambhala blog, which I manage, but I didn’t publish it because I wasn’t sure how much I can reveal about the training programs. There’s a legacy culture of secrecy that has grown up around the training path of Shambhala. This is changing – wants to change, is approved to change – and I play my small part in its changing here in Austin.
I will write increasingly more about Shambhala. As I progress along its training path I become more qualified to speak of my own experience in it, and I understand more of the whole path. And I trust my own wisdom more to say only the right things and not the wrong.
Meanwhile, here’s the piece on Level Five.
Shambhala Training’s introductory class of Level I can often be a wearying experience, as I well recall, for meditators to sit endlessly all day and face up to just how much hard work it is to return one’s focus of attention to something so ever-present and simple as one’s own breathing.
But not in this class. This weekend was buzzing with active pursuit of the moment itself, nature of mind, nature of thought, and ways and means to get down and meditate.
On Saturday morning, barely into the first trial run at the experience, one participant wanted to know why we can’t hold the moment, when we can hold all the other junk we call our thoughts. She talked about dotting the “i” of the moment, and learned of course that the dot is moving, the “i” is moving, and it’s all moving.
Level I weekend was amazing. The people who came were a varied bunch, some sitting for the first time, but many with their own histories and practices, not necessarily Buddhist. There were around twenty participants.
The participants themselves were the best part of the program. I expected them to be squirming and rebellious after a time, but we all remarked how seasoned they seemed. They sat very still, all weekend, and practiced what they were being taught.
I’ll be volunteering to staff the Level I intensive this weekend. No, I won’t be blogging live from the shrine room
Level I is particularly my constituency – the relative newcomers. These are the people I want to write this blog for. People who’ve been around the Center or the Dharma for a year or two can find their own way to the programs and the teachers. The newcomers could use some signposts – or so I believe.