Awaken Chicago, Awaken World

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You are invited

You are invited

You are invited to come together for a journey across what divides us. It’s time to awaken the power within all of us to transform the isolation, inequality and violence that touches us all.

You are invited

Keynote Speakers:

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche                       Pema Chödrön


The Sakyong, Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche, is head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and the global network of Shambhala Meditation Centers. Sakyong means earth protector. The Sakyong guides thousands of students around the world in the path of meditation.

The Sakyong’s teachings show us how to use everyday life as a means to ripen spiritual potential. We practice turning the mind toward others as a discipline that creates confidence and compassion – the ability to attain success that occurs from acting virtuously.

He is author of the bestselling Turning the Mind into an Ally, the award-winning Ruling Your World, and Running with the Mind of Meditation. Through the Sakyong Foundation, he engages in supporting organizations and projects whose activities exemplify the vision of Shambhala. He teaches all over the world, using his unique blend of Eastern and Western perspectives to the benefit of his students in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.


With her powerful talks, bestselling books, and retreats attended by thousands, Pema Chödrön has taught many people how to deal with life’s difficult moments and the value of embracing fear and suffering. She teaches how difficulty and uncertainty can be opportunities for awakening. Among the best-selling books Pema has written are: When Things Fall Apart, The Places that Scare You, No Time to Lose and Practicing Peace in Times of War. She has been a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show and on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday show. She was also interviewed by Bill Moyer.

As one of the first Western women to be fully ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun, in 1981, she believes we all have the capacity to awaken to fuller, more conscious lives. Pema studied under the meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and currently studies with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. Pema Chodron is the principal teacher at Gampo Abbey, a monastery in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Why Chicago?   Why Now?   Why Me?

Since 2012, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and the Chicago Shambhala Center have worked with many community partners to bridge the separation and heal the violence that scars Chicago. Chicago’s journey exemplifies the social engagement and healing that we need in so many places on our planet.

Senseless violence and injustice are so prevalent today, we accept it as normal. But our society does not have to be this way, and we do not have to accept it. Individually, and collectively, we can transform our world. Let it begin now.

The change begins with each of us. If you’d like to make a difference in your own community, please join us as we explore creating enlightened society, wherever we are. We won’t know how powerful we can be, unless we try.

If we can feel confident in our goodness, it will illuminate our life and society. – Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Participation Options

Option A – Opening Keynote Address by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche – free

Friday, April 29, 7pm Central.  No charge •  Live Event Only

Register Now

Option B – Opening and Closing Keynotes – $30 per person, $50 for patrons, includes:

  • Sakyong’s opening keynote on Friday, April 29, 7pm Central, with opening remarks by Exavier B. Pope, and an introduction by Pema Chödrön
  • Pema Chödrön Keynote on Sunday, May 1, 3pm Central, and
  • Brief closing remarks by the Sakyong
  • Recordings of talks by distinguished speakers and panelists
  • See live events Friday and Sunday, and have access to the recordings through June 15

Register Now