Community Overview

NoteCurious about Membership? See our Membership page to find out what it means to be a member of Shambhala.

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

Sunday Unplugged Meditation Retreat

May 26th

Sunday Unplugged is a monthly opportunity for meditation practice extended beyond the weeknight one-hour sessions. Practice is from 10 am until 1 pm. Continue »

OPEN HOUSE! Project Linus Blankets

June 8th

Shambhala's Blessing Blanketeers invite you to join us at the center on Saturday, June 8 from 2 -4 pm to help make blankets for traumatized children. The Blanketeers participate in the local chapter of Project Linus, a charitable organization that knits, Continue »

Central Alabama Pride Parade

June 8th

Come join us as we march in the Pride Parade again this year supporting the Birmingham LGBTQ community! Continue »

Sangha Slow Art Sunday at Birmingham Museum of Art

June 9th

Visit the Birmingham Museum of Art with your sangha members! We’ll gather together in the museums main entrance lobby beginning at 1:45 pm. Continue »

Full Moon Shambhala Sadhana Practice

June 17th

A full moon practice of the Shambhala Sadhana Continue »