Getting Started

“Meditation practice begins by sitting down and assuming your seat cross-legged on the ground. You begin to feel that by simply being on the spot, your life can become workable and even wonderful.”  

– Chögyam Trungpa, Founder of the Shambhala Tradition

Meditation is a practice that anyone can do.

It is based on the radical idea that the natural state of the mind is not scattered, nervous, and confused, but rather calm, creative, and clear. Practicing regularly provides a way to settle into this natural state more often.  At the Shambhala Meditation Center of Boston, we begin by training in shamatha or mindfulness meditation. This foundational technique allows you to tune into the present moment, at home, at work, or wherever you go in your day to day life.


Practice and Affinity Groups
Learning and cultivating the strength of heart and mind is a core part of all our regular programming. We offer a variety of weekly and monthly programs that each offer different practices and contexts. These programs are sometimes called our ‘gateway groups’, because joining any session of one of these groups is an excellent place to start. See more about these groups below.

Path of Study
We also offer a progressive path of study some students choose to follow. This program of courses and weekend retreats offers an experiential overview of practices, teachings, contemplative arts, and physical disciplines rooted in the ancient traditions of Shambhala and Vajrayana Buddhism. The path begins with Shambhala Training Level 1, and courses build on one-another, each step a prerequisite for the next. Registration and payment are required for these programs. Learn more about the core curriculum here.

Enrichment Programs
We offer many programs that stand alone as enriching experiences – talks from respected teachers, classes exploring specific texts or teachings, celebrations of various holidays, and more. You can find these on our program page. Some programs do have pre-requisites, and registration and payment are usually required.

Practice and affinity groups are by donation – please consider what level of generosity is appropriate for you. We are committed to removing financial barriers to participation in the core path programs, and many of our enrichment programs. Please see our pricing policy to learn more.

Membership is not a requirement for participation in almost any of our programs. Instead, membership is an expression of support and appreciation for what is offered here, so that it may continue to be available to all those who need it. It marks a shift in one’s relationship to the community. Learn more about membership here.

Email lists
Stay updated about the programs that are important to you by signing up for one or more email lists. You can get weekly or monthly updates from the Center overall, or you can sign up to hear about the practice or affinity group that is important to you. Click the link above and choose the lists that matter to you. If you aren’t receiving the emails you think you should be, check out the blog post: “Not getting our emails?”

Practice and Affinity Groups

Beginners are welcome, no registration required.

Heart of Recovery, 7:30-9:00 pm
A weekly gathering bringing together Buddhist meditation practice and recovery. Open to all—meditation practitioners from all traditions and Twelve Step practitioners from all programs.

LGBT Group, Third Tuesdays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
A practice community for people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. Held the third Tuesday of each month.

Wednesday Dharma Gatherings, 7:00-8:30 pm
Weekly group with practice and discussion about bringing the teachings and the path into daily life. We draw on the sangha – the third jewel of Buddhism – as a refuge and support for waking up.

Sunday Morning Meditation: Nyinthün, Weekly, 9:00am – 12:00 pm
A weekly group practice of sitting and walking meditation held every Sunday. Practice begins and ends with a short set of traditional group chants and includes a dharma reading and a practice of compassion for those who have instruction in Tonglen.

Learn to Meditate, First Sundays, 12:30 – 1:30pm
A one-hour introduction to the foundational practice of Shamatha, a “calm-abiding” mindfulness practice that stabilizes the mind and synchronizes mind and body. Held the first Sunday of each month.

Being Human Together: Helping Professionals, Second Sundays, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Monthly group for helping professionals and others to deepen mindfulness and compassion, and engage with others in a sustainable way. Held the second Sunday of each month.

Family Practice, Third Sundays, 10:30am – 12:00 pm
Program for parents and children to explore family life as a place of practice. Held the third Sunday of each month.

If you’re coming for the first time, we welcome you as our guest. After that there is a suggested donation of $5 – $10 which supports our center. Any amount is appreciated

Donate via 
venmo: @ShambhalaBoston0015 (use 0015 if it asks you to confirm a phone number)

Programs are open for 15 minutes after the start time. Then they are locked to new participants to protect the practice environment.