Families & Youth

We welcome families at the Centre as a vital part of our community. Our aspiration is to have a local Shambhala community in which families gather for practice and feel included and supported. We are committed to creating the circumstances to manifest this aspiration, which includes offering a path for our children to deepen their experience of Basic Goodness.

The following are programs, activities, and resources provided by or associated with the centre:


Parenting as Path


This program explores how the Six Ways of Ruling (benevolence, being true and genuine, fearlessness, being artful and rejoicing) might be applied to the path of parenting – looking after children, adolescents, young adults or aging parents. As rulers joining heaven and earth, parents share and discuss ways to support and nurture a household imbued with the view of basic goodness.

Bodhi School for Children

Bodhi School is a program that introduces young children to the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. This program lets children touch into their basic goodness in a nurturing and fun environment that instills confidence and kindness. Each class explores a Buddhist or Shambhala theme through stories, games, crafts, mindful movement such as yoga, child-oriented contemplations, and a juice and cookie ceremony. Bodhi School also provides a time for parents to meditate together with the community.

Rites of Passage


This program is designed to help 8-year-olds make the transition from early child-hood dependency onto the path of warriorship. Classes introduce various meditative arts together with brief sessions of sitting practice, and inspire confidence in the child by fostering fearless independence and loving-kindness. The rites offer tools to help children relate to their own minds and engage in their world with an open, awakened heart. The rites culminate in a ceremony that celebrates this important transition.

Rites of Warriorship

The Rites of Warriorship for 16 year olds occurs after Sun Camp and, although related, is a separate program. According to Shambhala tradition, 16 is the age marking the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. The Rites of Warriorship is an opportunity for 16 year olds to step directly through this transition. Like the coming-of-age rituals of many societies, the proceedings of the Rites of Warriorship are mostly secret.

Shambhala Sun Camp

Sun Camp is an annual gathering for children ages 10-16. Campers create and live in their own outdoor environment and discover their world and each other in a fresh and genuine way. Sun Camp is a place to have fun, make friends and learn to take responsibility for oneself and one’s world in a gentle and playful environment.

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For more information about programs for families and children at the Centre, please contact our Community Events Coordinator.  Currently scheduled family and children related events are listed here.

For further reading about families and children in Shambhala, please visit the wonderful list of Shambhala Times articles (below) on this topic.

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Trungpa Rinpoche blessing children, Shambhala Mountain Center.

Early 1980s.  Copyright 2010, Diana J. Mukpo




Family Camp at Dorje Denma Ling (Tatamagouche, NS) and other Shambhala practicde centres – “a warm and spiritual space to play and learn with other families”

Shambhala School is an independent school in Halifax, Nova Scotia that believes all students possess natural intelligence and curiousity, as well as a desire to belong to a harmonious community. It is a non-denominational day-school employing a creative, integrated curriculum of academics and the arts, from primary through grade 12.

Shambhala Sun Camp – is an annual gathering for children ages 10 – 16. Campers create and live in their own outdoor environment. Simplicity is the ground for experiencing daily life as open space. Campers discover themselves, their world and each other in a fresh and genuine way. Sun Camp is a place to have fun, make friends and learn to take responsibility for oneself and one’s world in a gentle and playful environment.

Community Projects:

Konchok Foundation – supporting education in Surmang, Eastern Tibet
SMD School – Thrangu Rinpoche’s school for Himalayan children in Nepal

Articles, Books, Recordings:

Sakyong Mipham, Rinpoche:
Shambhala Households (text & video)

Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche:
“Raising our Children, Sharing our World”
“Practice and Basic Goodness – a Talk for Children” (audio)

Shambhala Times:
Household & Families – many interesting articles on this topic.
“Aging, Families, and Shambhala”
“Celebrating Small Moments” – parenting as path
“Making Space to be Human” – interview with Virginia Hilliker and parenting book
“Welcome to the Spring Equinox focus on Family!”, including resource links

Iliana, A Winter Solstice Tale – by Walter Fordham, illustrations by Tatjana Krizmanic

Audio / Video
“How to Be Alone” (poem & video) – Tanya Davis (Halifax)
Opening Day (video) – children’s education at Surmang shedra school, Eastern Tibet
“What About Me” (spoken word, music, & video) – Mipham

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