Frequently Asked Questions

I have practiced meditation in another tradition. Can I use that technique instead?

Practitioners from all backgrounds are welcome. We suggest if it is your first time at a Shambhala Meditation Center, you receive our meditation instruction.  Receiving our meditation instruction provides a complete experience of the Shambhala specific practice.

Do I have to be a Buddhist to practice meditation or come to a Shambhala Center?

Everyone is welcome at the Shambhala Center regardless of their tradition, belief, or non-belief.  We practice a basic sitting meditation called peaceful abiding which is not tied to any spiritual tradition.  Our lineage is Buddhist, so we do offer Buddhist teachings and practice opportunities.

What should I wear?

Something casual and comfortable. Sitting meditation will be either via cushion on the floor (provided) or in a chair. Practitioners tend to dress nicely to reflect the uplifted nature of our minds. Please feel free to be yourself.

What should I bring?

Just yourself! Cushions are provided. Closed water bottles are fine to bring in.

What is the etiquette in the shrine room?

We ask that you remove your shoes before you enter the shrine room. Additionally, please silence your cell phone. You may see people bowing. Bowing is a ritual sign of respect within the Buddhist tradition though it is not an obligation.

What happens during the meditation session?

Open Meditation sessions last two hours and are divided into two parts.  The first is sitting meditation that lasts one hour.  During this time, there is a timekeeper who rings a gong to begin the session. During Open Meditation we sit silently for 15 to 20 minutes.  This is followed by silent walking for 10 minutes.  This is followed by another sitting session for 15 to 20 minutes.  For the second hour, we either have a book discussion or a dharma presentation.  During the book discussion, we read a chapter of a book and discuss, no previous reading required.

Is there chanting?

On Tuesday evenings we begin and end each meditation session with 5-10 minutes of chanting.  You are welcome but not obligated to participate in chants. Feel free to sit silently during the chanting, if you wish. On Sunday and Wednesday mornings, we have a similar meditation format but no chanting.

Are you wheelchair accessible?

Yes!

Where do I park?

Street parking is available. Do not park in the parking lot across the street.

How do I begin?

Best times for a first visit is during an Open Meditation (free to the public) with meditation instruction or an organized class.  These occur at our Lakewood Location (17309 Madison Ave, Lakewood):

Open Meditation:

Sunday mornings 10 am – 12 pm

Tuesday evening 7 pm – 9 pm  (There will be chanting during this session.)

Wednesday mornings 10 am – 11 am

Organized class

Look at our scheduled programs for an organized class.  We offer a series called “In Everyday Life.”  The first three courses of the series have no prerequisites.  These courses are designed to provide students with the introductory tools and teachings for working with meditation in one’s everyday life. The courses provide simple instructions and support on mindfulness meditation practice. This allows the practice and teachings to become part of our lives, bringing greater stability, strength, and clarity.