Winter Retreat

January 30th—February 8th

Date details +
    Room: BSMC

    The annual Winter Retreat is a time of preparation for the Tibetan New Year, which begins on Shambhala Day, February 10, the Year of the Wood Dragon.  At one level, the retreat is an opportunity for extended practice fit into the schedule of your daily life.  At a deeper level, the retreat is a time of contemplating the past year, engaging in practices to purify the karma of the past year - both individual and societal - in preparation for a shift to another year.  It traditionally is held for ten days, beginning the eleventh day before Shambhala Day.  The day between the retreat and Shambhala Day is Neutral Day, a day of resting and cleaning out, further preparing for the New Year.  This year the Retreat is January 30 through February 8.

    The schedule for the retreat is from 6 pm to 9 pm on Mondays through Fridays to accommodate most work/school schedules.  On the included weekend, practice is from 9 am to 6 pm, with an included contemplative lunch.

    People may come as go as their schedule and exertion permit, although there are a few hardy individuals who aspire to practice the whole time!

    The meditation schedule is the typical sitting and walking alternation.  Each session (evening, morning, afternoon) includes a reading for contemplation.  This year we are reading from Pema Chödrön’s book, Practicing Peace (originally called Practicing Peace in Times of War).

    Each session finishes with the Shambhala closing chants which include repetitions of the additional chant, Pacifying the Turmoil of the Mamos, for this season of the year.  On the weekends, the morning session begins with the Shambhala opening chants, including the Heart Sutra.  If you're not familiar with the chants, this is a good opportunity to learn something about them.

    All sessions may be accessed for any length of time using this Zoom link

    Generosity Policy applies:  The Birmingham Shambhala Center does not wish restricted finances ever to interfere with one’s ability to receive the teachings. 

    • If paying the full price presents an obstacle to your participation, please use the “Pay what you can” option for registering, filling in the box with the price you are paying.  You can pay online with PayPal or a credit/debit car, or pay the amount at the door.
    • If you need to arrange a payment plan,  please make arrangements prior to the program by contacting Nick Buckner at [email protected].
    • For those who can offer more than the program price, we have a “patron price”. Your generosity in offering the patron price helps cover the costs for others who are not able to pay the full price.