Children and Families Program
Children are welcome at Shambhala centers!
Holidays and community events are meant for the whole family. Some practice events might be long and quiet and difficult for young children to sit through. To help them enjoy themselves, it’s fine to bring books or other activities for children. As children mature, they can begin to join in meditation and other activities at the Center.
We also offer some programs and activities designed with children and parents in mind.
First Sundays: Shambhala Sundays
This monthly program begins with a child-friendly meditation and story at 10:30 a.m., and then children may go upstairs to play in the annex while the program continues with more practice and a talk. At 11:30, we all join together to celebrate our community with a potluck social. Read More »
Third Sundays: Children’s Program and Parenting as Path
10:00 – welcome/sign in/open shrine
10:15 – group practice
10:45 – teens and parents break out into practice and discussion groups
11:45 – regroup and close
The Center’s children’s program uses physical exercises, creative activities, and meditation to help children relax, develop inner strength and compassion, and realize the basic goodness of all sentient beings. Activities are designed to be accessible and fun for newcomers as well as those with more experience. We meet monthly on Third Sundays from 10:00-noon, beginning with family practice and a story before parents of children ages 4 and up break out for either Parenting as Path or for sitting in the Main Shrine Room. We regroup at 11:45 to close and finish at noon. Parents of children from birth through age 3 are asked to stay with their children during the children’s program.
Parenting as Path
The path of parenting has the potential to transform us from being closed and self-centered to being open and compassionate. Rather than seeing children as a problem for our spiritual practice, we can view them as the path itself. Meditation practice brings us in connection with the simple, nonjudgmental acceptance that is essential to sharing a life with children. Our Parenting as Path study group meets monthly on Third Sundays from 10:00-noon. Babes in arms are welcome in the study group. The children’s program and teen program are available for older children during that time.
Rituals marking seasonal changes can help children and families connect with the earth, impermanence, and the cyclical nature of things. These seasonal celebrations often include child-friendly games or art activities as well as festive potluck celebrations. Check out our calendar or sign up for our newsletter to receive information on Shambhala Day (Lunar New Year), Shambhala Arts Day (Spring Equinox), Midsummer’s Day (Summer Solstice), Harvest of Peace (Fall Equinox), and Children’s Day (Winter Solstice).
Programs with childcare
We are able to offer childcare on site for some programs. If you are interested in participating in a program and would require childcare, or if you are interested in volunteering to provide childcare to support others’ practice, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some advice for young children at Shambhala events
- Climbing on thrones is for Rinpoches only.
- Ask for help from an adult if you would like to see something on a shrine.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Be kind to others.
- Show respect for yourself and others.
- Take care of this sacred environment, and clean up after yourself.
- Use an indoor voice when indoors.
- Remember to bow as you enter and leave the shrine room.
Principles of Practice for Working with Children
These principles offer guidelines for working with children from a foundation of trust in basic goodness. They were developed by staff of Vidya Elementary, a Shambhala School in Boulder that closed in the 1980s.
Keep in touch
Questions? Interested in volunteering? Contact email@example.com.