Program Details

Becoming a Shambhala Person: including the Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows

with Eric Spiegel
February 1 / 7:00 PM - February 3 / 5:00 PM

The Refuge Vow is the traditional step of formally becoming a Buddhist by taking "refuge" in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. The Bodhisattva Vow is a further extension of one's personal commitment to be of ongoing benefit to others.

This weekend will look at the meaning of these commitments, and of the world view they represent. The teachings will be from the perspective of what it means to be a Shambhala Buddhist -- as we enter the stream of dharma, how do we integrate the teachings of the Buddha into our life in a meaningful way?

For those who are planning to take the Bodhisattva Vow, please be aware that this vow ceremony includes the offering of a gift, representing your intention to let go of fixation and to offer yourself to others. Tradtiionally one offers something which has both some personal and intrinsic value and is difficult to part with. The gift could be monetary but this is not at all necessary.

People considering taking either vow will need to meet with your Meditation Instructor as part of the application process. After meeting, please have your Meditation Instructor email a letter of recommendation to the center's Director of Practice & Education at

We recommend attending The Three Jewels class as prepatory for taking the vows:

The Three Jewels: 3 Tuesdays - January 15, 22, 29 - 7:00 to 9:00 PM

Acharya Eric Spiegel is among a small number of Western teachers empowered by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche to  bestow Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows. He has been teaching in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition for over 25 years. In addition to a 22-year career on Wall Street, Eric is known for his work with people with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. He is interested in exploring the nature of mind and meditation, not separate from the hard complexities of “real life”: work, relationships, health, aging.




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