Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
"When we talk about enlightened society, we aren't talking about some utopia where everyone's enlightened. We're talking about a culture of human beings who know the awakened nature of basic goodness and invoke its energy in order to courageously extend themselves to others."
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, a spiritual and family lineage that descends through his family, the Mukpo clan. This tradition emphasizes the basic goodness of all beings and teaches the art of courageous warriorship based on wisdom and compassion.
Rinpoche is the son and heir of the Vidyadhara, the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. His background embraces both Eastern and Western cultures. Born in India, he received spiritual training from his father and other distinguished lamas and received further education and training in Europe and North America. He now travels extensively teaching worldwide.
His bestselling book, Turning the Mind into an Ally, is a perfect handbook for starting a personal meditation practice. His latest book, Ruling Your World: Ancient Strategies for Modern Life", Rinpoche brings the lessons of the ancient Shambhala warriors and rulers to the Western world and shows us how to live our lives with confidence.
Visit mipham.com for more information about Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
"The Buddhist tradition teaches the truth of impermanence, or the transitory
nature of things. The past is gone and the future has not yet happened, so
we work with what is here -- the present situation. This actually helps us
not to categorize or theorize. A fresh, living situation is taking place
all the time, on the spot. This noncategorical approach comes from being
fully here, rather than trying to reconnect with past events. We don't have
to look back to the past in order to see what people are made out of. Human
beings speak for themselves, on the spot."
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was one of the most dynamic teachers of Buddhism in the 20th Century. He was a pioneer in bringing the Buddhist teachings of Tibet to the West and is credited with introducing many Buddhist concepts into the English language and psyche in a fresh and new way.
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the former supreme abbot of Surmang Monasteries in Tibet, is known as the foremost meditation master and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. In the early 1970s, he founded Naropa University, the first Buddhist-inspired university in North America, along with over 100 meditation centres worldwide and authored two dozen books on meditation, poetry, art and the Shambhala path of warriorship.
Read Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche's biography on the Shambhala International website.
Acharyas - Senior Teachers
The acharyas of Shambhala are senior teachers appointed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.
Acharya is a Sanskrit word that means "teacher." It refers to individuals that Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has empowered to represent him and the Kagyu, Nyingma, and Shambhala lineages he holds. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche chose these individuals because of their knowledge, wisdom, and commitment to the confluence of teachings found in Shambhala.
Acharyas travel to Shambhala Meditation Centres to lead dharma programs and perform Refuge and Bodhisattva Vow ceremonies for those who would like to commit themselves to the Buddhist path. Some have selected certain teachings to be their main focus (such a Maitri, Death & Dying, or Shambhala Training).
As the Sakyong's representatives, the acharyas, who are empowered to offer refuge and bodhisattva vows, bring the continuity of the lineage into the living teaching environment of local Shambhala Centres.
Halifax has the good fortune to have acharyas residing and teaching locally, as well as internationally. For more information, including acharya teaching schedules, please refer to this page on acharyas.
In 2010, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche empowered a group of about 60 teachers in the Shambhala mandala to the new role of shastri.
In Sanskrit, shastri literally means "teacher learned in the texts and commentaries". The shastris have been selected from our dedicated senior teachers, as well as from newer, younger teachers and will serve a term of three years. Additional shastris will be appointed in future years, as the needs of our local and regional centres become more clarified.
The shastris role is to bring the current understanding of the Shambhala Buddhist vision and teachings to their centres, to be a reference point for questions about the path, and in particular to help establish The Way of Shambhala curriculum as the core path. A major role of the shastri is to personally mentor and strengthen the local teaching mandala. Shastris will also support the leadership in Shambhala centres in building comunity and strengthening the vision of enlightened society.
Teachers and Teacher Training
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the founder of the Shambhala Mandala, had the profound conviction that the teachings he held could be transmitted to students in other cultures and that they, in turn, could be empowered to teach and lead others. Thus, within the Shambhala Mandala, there is a strong emphasis on cultivating different levels of teachers and leaders.
There are programs to train Shambhala Guides. Meditation Instructors, Buddhist teachers and Directors and Assistant Directors of Shambhala Training.
In addition to the acharyas listed above, there are hundreds of meditation instructors and teachers worldwide, working with students at local centres and leading weekly classes and major programs. The teachers leading programs are normally featured in conjunction with the specific programs they are teaching, which can be found on the Programs page.