Program Details

Wednesday Dharma Night November Speakers

with Richard John & Alex Van Gils & Robert Pressnall
November 7 / 6:30 PM - November 28 / 9:00 PM

A great introduction to the Shambhala Buddhist teachings, and an opportunity to connect with other meditation practitioners in a relaxed, comfortable environment. Featuring meditation practice, meditation instruction, a talk by one of our senior teachers and discussion. We also offer an assortment of delicious snacks and tea before each session.

The current series of dharma talks focuses on the concept of Warriorship, or human bravery, and the Shambhala path of bringing the sanity and peace we encounter on the meditation cushion out into our everyday lives.

Wednesday evening schedule
     6:30 Doors open
     7:00 Sitting meditation practice / Meditation instruction
     7:40 Dharma talk and discussion
     9:00 Community gathering

Join us for this wonderful opportunity to practice with others in a warm, supportive environment. And bring your friends!

Suggested donation
$5 to $10

Mery Miguez / info [at] sfshambhala [dot] org

November Speakers for Enlightened Society Talks

November 7, Making Life Choices
With Acharya Richard John

We make choices every moment, often without paying attention. Sometimes we make important decisions that will alter the course of our entire life. How do we choose? Are our choices based on accumulated habits, or on sound wisdom? Will our choices create benefit for ourselves and others, or will they lead to further confusion?

We explore these questions, and look at practical criteria drawn from the Shambhala Buddhist teachings.

Acharya Richard John, an early student of  Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, was appointed an acharya (senior teacher) by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. He completed the first three-year group retreat at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, and for many years has taught Shambhala Buddhist programs internationally. Acharya John has worked as a designer, a project manager, and management consultant. He is known for his experiential and practical approach to connecting the teachings to daily life.

November 14, Exploring Music to Discover our World: A Dharma Night Music Salon
With Alex Van Gils, Composer

For the main presentation of the evening, Alex Van Gils will lead an exploration of how music shapes our experience of time and space and how human beings use music to define and support the society we create with one another.

Alex Van Gils (b. 1987) is a professional composer and bassist whose music is influenced by his love of classical music and jazz and especially by his practice and study of Tibetan Buddhism under Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. He is the founder of the Ziji Collective, a community for young meditators in Northern California.

A reception to follow will feature musical offerings from several community members. All are welcome, join us for what is sure to be a spirited evening! 

November 21, The Warrior on the Street
With Vajra Granelli

Explore how practitioners of all levels can access their own warrior mind, and engage with everyday activities.

Vajra Granelli has been a practitioner in the Shambhala Tradition for over 30 years. He has worked in the security, Protection and code enforcement fields for many years. He has traveled all over the world working and teaching.  He has a long history of experience in the martial arts world, and teaches class’s here in SF. He is very interested in the ideas of Warriorship and how these ideas can be included into our everyday lives.

November 28, Education: More Like Life, Less Like School
With Bob Pressnall

We are students when we least expect it; we are teachers to our surprise. How do we learn in classrooms, at home, downtown, at the beach, instantaneously, over time? What have you learned from teachers, family, society, alone? This evening talk should be interactive, experiential and fun.

 Bob Pressnall has worked with teachers, children, parents, students, and adults, preschool through university. He recently  "graduated" after repeating 8th grade thirty times. He brought Shambhala principles into classrooms, and school activities into Shambhala programs. He is currently the Head of Education in Northern California Shambhala, and he and his wife, Charlene, have two grown sons active in Shambhala.

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