Winter and Spring Classes 2017

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Sharing the Wealth: ­ Basic Goodness and the Bodhisattva Path

With Peter Volz
From 03/01/2017 to 03/29/2017 Wednesdays at 7 pm Eastern
Open to all.

If you don’t have basic goodness, you don’t have anything. But you don’t just have goodness or feel goodness, you have to exercise goodness. Goodness has to be worked with. You do not have goodness for your own sake, but for the sake of others. So the bodhisattva ideal is to share your goodness with others. Otherwise, why do you have goodness at all?” ­ -Chogyam Trungpa, Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma, Volume Two, Chapter 25.

In this class, we will study the noble path of the bodhisattva, the warrior who aspires to embody and express the enlightened mind and heart of the Buddha. The six paramitas are the practices of a bodhisattva that overcome grasping and narrow ego clinging. We will examine the view and practices of the Mahayana path of putting others before ourselves, as taught by Trungpa Rinpoche. Our approach in the class will be informal, with an emphasis on discussion and open exploration of what it means for each of us to undertake the challenging and unreasonable path of the bodhisattva.

Chogyam Trungpa’s Path of Meditation:
Shamatha -Vipashyana


With Derek Kolleeny
From 02/23/2017 to 08/24/2017
Monthly on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7 p.m Eastern
Open to all.

An exploration of Chogyam Trungpa’s teaching on meditation in the Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma as a commentary on Jamgon Kongtrul’s presentation of shamatha and vipashyana in the Treasury of Knowledge.

Contemplating the Pith Instructions Of
Khenpo Gangshar and Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche


With Mark Nowakowski and Scott Wellenbach
From 02/28/2017 to 03/28/2017 Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Eastern
Open to tantra students of the VCTR lineage.

To begin the year of the Fire Bird, this is a short course of contemplating several of the pith instructions of two great meditation masters of the 20th century, Khenpo Gangshar Wangpo and his main student Chögyam Trungpa. We will use newly translated songs of their pith instructions from Tibet, which we will contemplate and discuss together. We will use a tried and true method of group study that has been used in Halifax as the basis of the Pith Instructions Contemplation Group for 20 years.

Mark and Scott will not be “teaching” these texts, but will lead and facilitate the contemplations and discussions, based on their knowledge of the translations of these two great teachers. The course is open to tantrikas who have received the pointing-out instructions on the nature of mind. A small booklet of translations will be available to participants in the course from nalandatranslation.org. Details about that will follow.

The Dignities of the Warrior

With Barbara Smith and Joe Litven
From 03/02/2017 to 03/30/2017 Thursdays at 7 pm Eastern

The class will be restricted to those with some experience with the Shambhala teaching environment, including a previous class on Shambhala the Sacred Path of the Warrior or completion of Level 3 or above of Shambhala Training.

"The four dignities are “meek,” “perky,” outrageous,” and “inscrutable.” All human beings experience the four dignities in some form. Meekness is basically experiencing a humble and gentle state of being, while perkiness is connected with uplifted and youthful energy. Outrageousness is being daring and entering into situations without hope and fear, and inscrutability is the experience of fulfillment and uncontrived, spontaneous achievement. Although everyone has some experience of these expressions of energy, unless there is actual discipline and awareness applied, there is no fundamental sense of going forward in your life, and the four dignities are buried as part of your habitual patterns rather than becoming a path towards egolessness. So fundamentally, the four dignities must be connected to the path of warriorship. In fact, they are an advanced stage on the path. The warrior is able to realize the four dignities only after he or she has developed an unshakeable conviction in basic goodness and seen the Great Eastern Sun reflected in the experience of sacred world.”- from Shambhala the Sacred Path of the Warrior; Chogyam Trungpa

This class will use Shambhala the Sacred Path of the Warrior as reading text. The class will be restricted to those with some experience with the Shambhala teaching environment, including a previous class on Shambhala the Sacred Path of the Warrior or completion of Level 3 or above of Shambhala Training. This class does not qualify as credit toward the Shambhala Training Program.

Meditation in Action

With Hazel Bercholz
From 03/09/2017 to 04/13/2017 Thursdays at 7 pm Eastern
Open to all.

This 6 week book class will cover Chögyam Trungpa's first major book of teachings on the Buddhist path—Meditation In Action. Chögyam Trungpa shows that meditation extends beyond the formal practice of sitting to build the foundation for compassion, awareness, and creativity in all aspects of life. He explores the six activities (paramitas) associated with meditation in action—generosity, discipline, patience, energy, clarity, and wisdom—revealing that through simple, direct experience, one can attain real wisdom: the ability to see clearly into situations and deal with them skillfully, without the self consciousness connected with ego.

The Practice of Ordinary Mind

With Larry Mermelstein and Sherab Chödzin Kohn
From 04/06/2017 to 06/08/2017 Thursdays at 7 pm Eastern
Open to tantra students of the VCTR lineage.

Larry and Sherab will lead this class on Trungpa Rinpoche’s nature-of-mind teaching. As in previous sessions, the intention will be to kindle living experience and understanding of these teachings through intensive discussion. We will lay the groundwork through close study of Trungpa Rinpoche's core instructions from the Early Tantra Groups and then may draw on other key vajrayana teachings by the Vidyadhara. Returnees from previous sessions are invited as are new qualified participants. Participants are required to have access to Trungpa Rinpoche’s vajrayana teachings and possess the Early Tantra Groups book, available from Shambhala Media.

Devotion in the Three Yanas
What are we really getting into?

With Antonio Wood
From 06/07/2017 to 06/21/2017 Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Eastern time
Open to all.

The inspiration for this class arose before Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche published The Guru Drinks Bourbon? Anybody interested in the topic of devotion should read it. The issue of devotion and relating to the guru arises in many practitioners who study Trungpa Rinpoche’s teachings without having met him and wonder how to go further. Devotion is at the heart of the tantric path in Vajrayana. There is no path without devotion. Devotion requires eyes wide-open, clear thinking and determination. It is not a passive attitude.

The content is based on Trungpa Rinpoche’s teachings and other sources. We will have a forum like format after an initial presentation, encouraging participants’ sharing of their own questions and experiences.

First we will talk about entering the path--inspiration, understanding, developing some sense of confidence and trust in the teachings, in the teacher. As the path becomes more personal and universal, devotion develops with longing and humbleness put together. Who, what are you devoted to? Beginning to relate to the guru. Discovering Tagnang. Sacred Outlook.

Three classes. These classes are open to all, and then more classes planned for the fall semester will be open to tantrikas.

Ongoing classes already in progress

Recorded classes available for purchase

Free - join us in the Shrine Room for:

Daily Sitting Meditation


7:40 am to 8 am Eastern

Sadhana of Mahamudra


Each new and full moon at 7 pm Eastern

Open House


The next Open House will be on February 21st with Valerie Lorig at 8 p.m. Eastern
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