Shambhala Lineage

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, a spiritual and family lineage that descends through his family, the Mukpo clan. This tradition emphasizes the basic goodness of all beings and teaches the art of courageous warriorship based on wisdom and compassion.

Rinpoche is the son and heir of the Vidyadhara, the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. His background embraces both Eastern and Western cultures. Born in 1962 in Bodhagaya, India, he received spiritual training from his father and other distinguished lamas and received further education and training in Europe and North America. He is married to Khandro Tseyang Palmo, daughter of His Eminence Namkha Drimed Rabjam Rinpoche, head of the Ripa lineage.

The Sakyong has written two books, the national bestseller Turning the Mind into An Ally, and the prize—winning Ruling Your World. He is a poet and an artist. He has run marathons to raise money for Tibet through the Konchok Foundation.  He travels extensively, teaching throughout the world.

“When we talk about enlightened society, we aren’t talking about some utopia where everyone’s enlightened. We’re talking about a culture of human beings who know the awakened nature of basic goodness and invoke its energy in order to courageously extend themselves to others.”

Visit mipham.com for more information about Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.

Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche was one of the most dynamic teachers of Buddhism in the 20th Century. He was a pioneer in bringing the Buddhist teachings of Tibet to the West and is credited with introducing many Buddhist concepts into the English language and psyche in a fresh and new way.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the former supreme abbot of Surmang Monasteries in Tibet, was known as the foremost meditation master and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. In the early 1970s, he founded Naropa University, the first Buddhist-inspired university in North America, along with over 100 meditation centers worldwide.  He authored two dozen books on meditation, poetry, art, and the Shambhala path of warriorship.

“The Buddhist tradition teaches the truth of impermanence, or the transitory nature of things. The past is gone and the future has not yet happened, so we work with what is here — the present situation. This actually helps us not to categorize or theorize. A fresh, living situation is taking place all the time, on the spot. This non-categorical  approach comes from being fully here, rather than trying to reconnect with past events. We don’t have to look back to the past in order to see what people are made out of. Human beings speak for themselves, on the spot.”

Read Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s biography on the Shambhala International website.

Acharyas (Senior Teachers)

The acharyas of Shambhala are senior teachers appointed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. As the Sakyong’s representatives, the acharyas, who are empowered to offer refuge and bodhisattva vows, bring the continuity of the lineage into the living teaching environment of local Shambhala centers.   BSMC hosts invited acharyas for programs on an annual basis.  Visit Shambhala Acharyas to learn more about these senior teachers.

Shastri

Shastri Chuck Whetsell

Chuck Whetsell currently holds the Shastri seat for BSMC.

In Sanskrit, shastri literally means “teacher learned in the texts and commentaries”. The shastris have been appointed for three year terms by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche to bring the current understanding of the Shambhala Buddhist vision and teachings to their centers, to be a reference point for questions about the path, and in particular to help establish The Way of Shambhala curriculum as the core path. A major role of the shastri is to personally mentor and strengthen the local teaching mandala.  Shastris will also support the leadership in Shambhala centers in building community and strengthening the vision of enlightened society.

View Video:
“Aspirations Practice and the Reality of Ego-Clinging” by Shastri Chuck Whetsell

Shastri Chuck Whetsell talks about taking a fresh start when we realize we have fallen short of our aspirations.