Getting Started

At the Shambhala Center of Madison, we welcome everyone to learn to meditate. Every week we offer on-going meditation instruction at Open House and Learn to Meditate that you can simply drop in to get started without prior registration. In addition, we also offer a graduated path of study called the Way of Shambhala that will help you establish a regular meditation practice and study Shambhala Buddhist teachings.

Below is a brief description of introductory meditation classes perfect for beginners.


1) Open House

Every Thursday evening at 7pm. Meditation instruction is provided for newcomers.

This weekly dharma gathering is a perfect introduction to the Shambhala Buddhist teachings and an opportunity to connect with other practitioners. It begins with a group meditation practice, a talk by one of our senior teachers, discussion followed by a reception.

At this time, we are offering the Weekly Dharma Gathering ONLINE only via Zoom.


Join Zoom Meeting


2) Weekly Public Meditation

Once you have received initial meditation instruction, you are welcome to join in other practitioners during our weekly public meditation. Click here for detailed schedule.

The Center is currently closed due to COVID-19.  Check back for when we hope to re-open.

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3) THE WAY OF SHAMBHALA – Classes for beginners

Meditation in Everyday Life
Five-Week Course. Open to All.
The Meditation in Everyday Life course is designed to provide participants with the introductory tools and teachings for working with meditation in daily life. With simple instructions and support, mindfulness meditation practice can become part of our lives, bringing greater stability, strength, and clarity. Go to Classes & Retreats page for the next offering date.

Level I: The Art of Being Human
A Weekend Intensive.
Drawn from the tradition presented in Chögyam Trungpa’s seminal book Shambhala, the Sacred Path of the Warrior (see recommended books, below), this intensive is the essential first step for entering the Shambhala Training path of bravery and gentleness. The Art of Being Human introduces mindfulness-awareness meditation in a secular context and vocabulary. Engaging the mind, we glimpse the world’s magic without conceptual filters, and begin to discover a basic goodness which is always present. Go to Classes & Retreats page for the next offering date.

Contentment in Everyday Life
Five-Week Course. Open to All.
This course provides an exploration of genuine contentment, the foundational views of the Buddhist teachings, and meditation in action for daily life. With meditation practice, we can learn to appreciate ourselves and simple human experiences, free from self-aggression. Difficult emotions and the challenges of life can be met with gentleness, steadiness, and humor.

Learn more about the Way of Shambhala curriculum, click here.