Wendesday night was my first experience of Halifax’s Shambhala Centre, the culmination of my sangha selection deliberations. I decided to attend the weekly open house and Gwen came along.

The centre itself is beautiful, with a small pond in front and an elaborate but welcoming aesthetic inside. The room for meditation instruction, where Gwen and I went first, was filled with so many varieties of meditation cushions that I couldn’t count them all. The main ceremony room was filled with the beautiful and rich trappings of Tibetan Buddhism.

The open house was a simple introduction to Buddhism, first with meditation instruction in breath focus and walking meditation and then with a talk explaining the basics of Buddhism and Shambhala. The two instructors were very warm and seemed well versed in the tradition and practices. I immediately had a sense of casualness and a genuine atmosphere of welcome. The group in attendance was small, tilted toward the feminine and a mix of ages.

I’ve dipped my toes in the water of Shambhala and so far I’m happy with what I’ve found. I plan to attend this week’s open house and explore more of what the centre offers. While I haven’t yet delved into the other offerings of the centre, I’m feeling optimistic that this will become a vital support for my practice.

“The basic wisdom of Shambhala is that in this world, as it is, we can find a good and meaningful human life that will also serve others. That is our true richness.”
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

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