Shambhala Guide Training
with Shastri Ethan Nichtern & Shastri Elizabeth Reid
The Shambhala Meditation Center of New York is pleased to host Shambhala Guide Training this coming April. This full three day training intensive will be co-directed by Senior Shastri Ethan Nichtern and Shastri Elizabeth Reid.
A Shambhala Guide is a dedicated meditation practitioner and an emissary of Shambhala culture. Guides manifest and transmit kindness and basic goodness, fostering harmony in themselves and others and helping to promote wakeful society.
A Shambhala Guide is trained to give initial one on one meditation instruction and is also a resource, friend and host to newcomers of the Shambhala Center for programs and events. The emphasis is not merely on delivering meditation instruction but also on embodying caring and inquisitiveness, and offering information on the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, Shambhala culture, the program path of practice and study, Shambhala forms, chants, shrines, ceremonies, and more. Guides are therefore thoroughly steeped in the Shambhala Dharma and trained in the principles of engagement and friendship, inquiry, and listening and speaking from the heart, so that they can assist each new student individually and appropriately.
The Shambhala Guide Training is the first program on the path of the Shambhala Educator, and is a requirement for Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor Training and Teacher Training. Students authorized as Shambhala Guides may continue as Guides without going on to attend further MI or Teacher trainings.
Role of a Shambhala Guide
The Shambhala Guide is essentially an emissary of Shambhala, fostering harmony and helping to promote basic goodness and good human society. The primary role of the Guide is to be a friend and resource to newcomers within the context of Shambhala Center educational programs and community events. One important aspect of a Shambhala Guide's activity is offering one-on-one meditation instruction to new students. However, the emphasis is primarily on meeting newcomers as they enter Shambhala, and giving them guidance and instruction according to their particular aspiration and needs.
A Shambhala Guide is authorized to give initial instruction and one follow-up meditation interview to review the technique and answer any questions students may have. They are not authorized to give group instruction. Following a second interview the Shambhala Guide may help to refer the student to a Shambhala Mentor or Meditation Instructor for further ongoing tutoring and mentorship.
The program consists of one evening and three days of intensive training, and a one-day follow-up program typically scheduled a few months later at participants' local centers.
To apply, please complete this Shambhala Guide Training Online Application Form and have your recommenders complete this Shambhala Guide Training Recommendation Form. Applications will be reviewed only when they are complete.
Pre-requisites: The pre-requisites for this program are completion of Shambhala Training Weekends I-V, the majority of the In Everyday Life series, and (where possible) Rigden Weekend and one Weekthun. In addition, please provide three letters of recommendation: one from an Acharya or Shastri, one from a meditation instructor, and one from a leader of your center's governance pillar or staff. A strong daily meditation practice and relationship to a Shambhala Center is also required. The Basic Goodness Series is strongly recommended.
Registration, Application Deadline and Preparatory Work
To apply for Guide Training, please submit the online application form linked above by Tuesday, February 28th. Space is limited, so please apply early. Notification of acceptance will be sent to you via email by March 13th. Once accepted, you must register for the program and submit a minimum $200 deposit to reserve your spot in the training and receive study and preparation materials.
The program will include multiple Zoom video conference gatherings before the training, with a considerable amount of preparatory work. Students should prepare to participate fully in the preparation as well as the extended weekend itself. Details on the schedule of preparatory work will be posted in March.
It is traditional for students to offer a monetary gift to the teacher in appreciation for receiving the teachings, and in recognition of the years of training and understanding the teacher has cultivated. There will be an opportunity to offer a teaching gift at the program.
Shastri Ethan Nichtern is a Senior Shastri, a senior teacher, in the Shambhala tradition. He is the senior teacher in residence for the NY Shambhala community. He is the author of several books. His most recent, The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path (FSG North Point) made several major lists of the Best Books of 2015. He is also the founder of The Interdependence Project, an organization dedicated to Buddhist-inspired meditation and psychology, transformational activism, mindful arts, and meaningful media. He teaches and lectures around the world and is based in New York City.
Shastri Elizabeth Reid has been a member of the Shambhala NYC community since 1983. She began her studies with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and became a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. One of her roles over the years was establishing and guiding the first Learn to Meditate programs. She has taught the full Everyday Life series curriculum and directed all Heart of Warriorship and Sacred Path Shambhala Training weekends. In addition, she has co-taught Assistant Director training. With a background in dance, theater and photography, she has led contemplative photography workshops and has a private practice as an Alexander Technique teacher.