The Magic of Conflict

A student asked, “Why do I need to practice? I have a good life. I have a good job, a happy marriage, a wonderful wife and kids, a great car and nice house. I’m happy!” The teacher responded, “If you lose your job, your car gets totaled, your wife leaves you, your kids hate you, … Continue 

A playful expression of dharma

By Sharon Doetsch-Kidder Last month, we received some new visitors at the Shambhala Center: more than 50 local pre-Kindergarten students with their teachers and parent chaperones. The DC Bilingual Public Charter School requested to have a field trip to learn about meditation as part of their Health unit. As they entered the main shrine room, … Continue 


Buddha Fest 2015: One Practitioner’s Take

For the last 3 years living here in Vietnam, I have eagerly anticipated the annual offerings from Buddhafest, a 4-day splurge of Buddhist films, speakers, and music held in Washington in the early summer. For a few extra dollars, as a subscriber to Tricycle magazine, I’ve been able to access many of the festival talks … Continue 


A Silent Passage of Time

“If we open our eyes, if we open our minds, if we open our hearts, we will find that this world is a magical place.”  Choygam Trungpa Rinpoche Third Monday of the month. 7:00 pm. The reception room is buzzing with new students. I bow and quietly close the door. The fragrance of garbage wafts … Continue 

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Basic Goodness? Get Real.

Have you ever had this reaction to learning about Shambhala’s foundational principle? There was a time when I certainly did. At that time in my life it just seemed preposterous to think that anyone, especially me, or anything, except maybe babies, was purely basically good. Anyone who believes that is seriously crazy! I remember thinking. … Continue 


20s-30s Dharma Gathering: I Believe in Ambiguity

By Sarah Harris I used to listen to the radio show This I Believe on National Public Radio, and I was sad to see it end some years ago. What struck me about this show is that each five-minute episode featured one person speaking his or her truth about something meaningful. I found it touching … Continue 


Aiding as a Practice

They say it’s better to give than to receive, and I had done a lot of receiving. The beautiful, potent teachings and tools I’d received at the DC Shambhala Center were helping me work with stress, gain clarity, face fears, and re-order my life, and I was profoundly grateful. I decided that I wanted to … Continue 


How Should a Buddhist Respond to “Merry Christmas”?

For those of us who have formally taken refuge and changed our religious affiliation to Buddhism, the end of the year holiday season can pose some interesting challenges—one of which being, what to say in response to the myriad wishes of “Merry Christmas” that are bestowed upon us during the season. Naturally, each individual takes … Continue 

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Radical Compassion: A Report from Naropa’s 40th Anniversary

Imagine my surprise and delight to run into Jayne Sutton in Boulder, Colorado last month in the hallways of Naropa University. We had both come to participate in a symposium celebrating Naropa’s 40th anniversary. I was on home leave from my job in Vietnam, and Jayne was there with Rich Ann and Ariana Baetz and … Continue 

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Remembering a Precious One

My husband and I often refer to members of the original Washington, D.C., sangha as “POs” or Precious Ones. This is not just because they were special in their own right, but because they received their initial meditation instruction directly from the Vidyadhara, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. We recently lost a Precious One, Kathie Wykowski Paul, … Continue 

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