Program Details

Radical Nowness: The Practice of Calm Abiding - A Residential Weekthun

with Chuck Whetsell
December 26 / 1:00 PM - January 1 / 2:00 PM


The Birmingham Shambhala Center is pleased to present its third annual holiday weekthun led by Shastri Chuck Whetsell.  Through an emphasis on the body as the ground of experience, participants will have the opportunity to explore in depth such elements of calm abiding meditation as placement, resting, and nondistraction.  Building on the foundation of a well constructed meditation posture, discovered by each individual through paying close attention to the process of embodiment,  we will devote our efforts to clarifying the experience of mind/body synchronization, the moment of nowness when we can touch our very being.

This program is appropriate for both new and experienced meditators. We will begin mid-day on Wednesday, December 26, and conclude mid-day on Tuesday, January 1st.

Participation in the weekthun will count toward one week of dathun, and fulfill a portion of the group practice requirements for attending Enlightened Society Assembly (formerly Sutrayana Seminary), Shambhala Guide Training and other Shambhala program requirements.  Participants will follow a daily schedule typical of a dathun at a land center, beginning practice at 7:00 each morning and concluding at 9:00 in the evening.  The traditional practices of noble silence and oryoki will be used to help develop a strong container for deepening one’s meditation practice.

Partial attendance is possible if the participant comes on December 26 and leaves before the end of the weekthun; no dropping in during the middle.  Also, registration for partial attendance will not be accepted if the room can be filled by someone attending the whole week (this was not a problem last year).

PLACE: Camp McDowell’s Stough Lodge, 1.5 hours northwest of Birmingham, Alabama. For a look at Camp McDowell, click here:

PRICING: The fees below include the cost of your program, plus lodging and all meals.  We continue to keep fees at just above our cost to make the weekthun as affordable as possible.

-          Dorm Lodging - $285. There are ten twin beds in both the men’s and women’s dorms. Each dorm has a large shared bathroom with multiple showers, sinks and toilets, plus lockers.

-          Double-room Lodging - $465 per person. Double rooms in the Lodge have two full beds in them, and a private bath for the room. Participants can name who they would like to room with, or we can assign a roommate.

-          Private Lodging - $685. Depending on how many people request double rooms. a limited number of rooms can be used as private rooms.

DEPOSIT: A deposit of $100 is requested at the time of registration, with the remainder due upon arrival at Camp McDowell. You are registered upon receipt of your deposit.


1. Click the button below to register and pay your $100 deposit. Even if you are sharing a room, each person should make a separate registration.

2. You will then be sent a link to an Information Form on Survey Monkey requesting your choice of lodging type, preferences for meals, roommates, seating, experience with shrine posts, etc. Your completion of this survey will finish your registration.

QUESTIONS?  Please contact the program coordinator for further information:

Marion Buckley            205-908-5405

Go to Birmingham's website