Community Overview

Our History

In September 1995, Chuck and Mary Whetsell moved to Birmingham from Lexington Kentucky.  Chuck had been the director of the Lexington Shambhala Center from 1985 to 1995 and Mary had served as Comptroller there.  They joined Janet Bronstein, who had originally joined the Shambhala community also in Lexington back in 1979, and had lived in Birmingham since 1984.  The BSMC officially began the first Monday in December, 1997 when we first offered meditation instruction and practice at the Unitarian Church.  The first Shambhala Training Level One was offered in Birmingham in February 1999.  For several years we shared space with many generous groups, including the Unitarian Church, the Pilgrim Congregational (Blue Roof) church, Beloved Community church in Avondale, the Friends Meeting House, Oasis Women’ Center and Girls Inc. in Crestwood.  We moved into our current space at 714 37th Street south in October 2002.

A Community LunchWho We Are

Our Birmingham Shambhala community is diverse – we are of all ages and backgrounds, we live in different neighborhoods, and we all bring meditation into our lives in different ways.  Our Center serves as a place where we all connect around areas of interest: the arts, social action, environmental issues, Shambhala Buddhist teachings, living life more sanely and sharing sanity and kindness with others.  Our Center is also a source of support and encouragement for everyone exploring the richness of meditation practice.

Community Events

How Do Communities Reconcile? A Human Rights Perspective

September 18th

Over time and around the world, social groups have suffered oppression from more powerful groups within their own communities. With courage, determination, and support from allies within and beyond their borders, many of these situations have been challe Continue »

Harvest of Peace Community Celebration

September 20th

Join us for any part or all of this seasonal community celebration! Continue »

Joining Love and Power, Tibetan Buddhism and the Civil Rights movement

with Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown

September 25th

NEW LOCATION: The Recital Hall of Hulsey Center, UAB, 950 13th Street South , Birmingham, Alabama 35233. This public program is offered as a lead up to the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Birmingham on October 24-27. Continue »

Children and Families Event with Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown

September 27th

The BSMC Children and Families Group warmly invites you to join both children and parents for a short program that features the children and all they have learned with special guest Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown. Continue »

The Role of the Spiritual Teacher in Buddhism and Shambhala

with Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown

September 27th

A hallmark of the Buddhist path is its emphasis on personal responsibility for one’s own liberation. The Buddha encouraged his disciples to think for themselves rather than relying on his insights and teachings. Still, all branches of the Buddhist tradi Continue »