Program Details

Adult Rites of Passage: Awakening to the Stages of Life

October 25 / 6:30 PM - October 27 / 6:00 PM

Adult Rites of Passage: Awakening to the Stages of Life

A new weekend retreat program designed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

"Every ten to twenty years, we can participate in a ceremony that awakens us to the fact that we are progressing through life. These rites of passage act as a reminder. If we are not occasionally reminded to stop and look around, it is difficult to tell what direction we have taken in life. Therefore, the rites of passage are not only a public ceremony marking our journey through life, but also a time of self-reflection and orientation." --Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

We are honored and delighted to inform you about an important addition to Shambhala culture: Adult Rites of Passage. Rites of Passage at age eight and sixteen have been an integral part of our community for many years.  At the request of his students, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, during his year-long retreat, wrote two texts that provide new teachings regarding how the experiences of different stages of adult life can be incorporated in the Shambhala path of awakening, as well as guidelines for a weekend program culminating in a formal Rite of Passage Ceremony for adults.

The weekend program, called “Awakening to the Stages of Life”, includes contemplations and practices that bring forth the experiences of participants and connect them with the Shambhala vision.  The program concludes on Sunday afternoon at 2 pm with a formal Rite of Passage Ceremony to which participants can invite family and friends.

The program is intended to become a regularly scheduled offering throughout the Shambhala mandala. To begin this process, the program is being presented this autumn in Boulder and Halifax. The program is open to anyone with a strong connection to the Shambhala teachings, and has “recently” attained the age of 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 or 100. The multigenerational nature of this program is particularly noteworthy.  Note: Because this is the first time the program is available, there is considerable flexibility in regard to age and anyone who feels that they are at a point in their life where participation in the program would be beneficial is encouraged to apply.

We warmly invite you to consider participating in this historic event, the first adult Rite of Passage in Nova Scotia, taking place on the weekend of October 25-27, 2013 at the Halifax Shambhala Centre. The program will be led by David Whitehorn and Andrea Sherman*. For more information contact the program coordinator, Linda Kreger at: 429-2433 or


* David Whitehorn, a Shambhala practitioner since 1971, is founding chair of the Shambhala Working Group on Aging, the group that formally supplicated Sakyong Mipham in 2009 to provide these teachings.

* Andrea Sherman is the current chair of the Shambhala Working Group on Aging and a gerontologist with extensive experience in the use of ceremonies to support positive aging.

Cost: $165 (includes 4 meals and materials). Generosity policy does not apply. For financial assistance, contact Linda Kreger at: 429-2433 or

Prerequisite: strong connection to Shambhala Teachings

Go to Halifax's website