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

NOTE:  Our weekly open house gatherings are on summer hiatus.  They will resume in September, in person.  Meditation instruction is available by appointment.  Arrange a meeting with a meditation instructor, either in person or virtually.  There is no charge.  To schedule, or if you would like more information, email Center Director, Lora Wiggins.

When: Every Thursday evening, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Where: Currently, ONLINE, via Zoom
Cost: $5 suggested donation
Meditation instruction is provided.

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, and a reception. Meditating in a supportive group setting and sharing one’s insights and experience with fellow practitioners are a great way to apply meditative principles in daily life. Bring your friends!


2) Weekly Public Meditation

Sunday Morning: 10:00am – 11:30am

Sunday Group Meditation, talk and discussion at our newly reopened center!

Mark Blumenfeld will lead a two hour meditation session every Sunday from 10:00 to noon, at our center, starting July 11.

We will start with guided meditation, and the schedule will include walking meditation.  Shastri Blumenfeld will give a short talk at 11:30, followed by discussion.

Please join us for part or all of the morning.

If you are interested in arranging to receive individual meditation instruction during this time, please email Lora at [email protected]

We will follow Dane County public health guidelines.  Masks are voluntary for those who are fully vaccinated and required for those who are not.

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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.