Meditation: The Way of the Buddha

This course has ended. A recorded version of the course will open soon!

Learn or refresh your connection to the practice of meditation as taught by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Although decades old, these archival talks from the summer of 1974 retain their original potency and are a reminder of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s incomparable skill at communicating Buddhist teachings to a Western audience. These short talks – from mindfulness practice, to awareness practice, to the realization of emptiness – will be supported by further commentary and facilitated discussion by some of today’s leading teachers of Buddhism in the West, many of whom were actually present during these talks in 1974.

Live session presenters include:
Pema Chödron, Dale Asrael, Ashley Dinges, June Crow, Lödro Dorje, Gaylon Ferguson, Arawana Hayashi, Marty Janowitz, Larry Mermelstein, and Judith Simmer-Brown.

Other presenters include:
Diana Mukpo, Sarah Coleman, Derek Kolleeny, Chuck Lief, Tillie Perks, Lila Rich, Alan Schwartz, and Anne Waldman.

This course also includes the possibility of connecting in-person (or online) with a local study group in cities and regions where there are multiple registrants.

Course Details

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche with Allen Ginsberg

The course is held on Sundays at 1pm Eastern Standard Time. Each session will be two hours long.
Live Session Dates: January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, & February 6, 2022
Access to course materials opens on December 26, 2021

Patron Price: $395
Full Tuition: $295
There is a Pay What You Can option available at registration where you can enter what you can afford for this program. **No one will be turned away for lack of funds**

The format of most live sessions will include guided meditation instruction, a brief video of Chöogyam Trungpa Rinpoche teaching – with further commentary by the presenters, and discussion groups with question and answer periods. The pre-recorded videos that participants can watch “on demand” will expand on participant’s understanding of Trungpa Rinpoche’s teachings and life.

Register Now and discover the power of these timeless teachings from one of the most revered Buddhist teachers of our time.

About Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

“The world is in absolute turmoil. The Shambhala teachings are founded on the premise that there is basic human wisdom that can help solve the world’s problems… Shambhala vision teaches that, in the face of the world’s problems, we can be heroic and kind at the same time.” – Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Rediscovering Our Wisdom and Compassion
The ancient kingdom of Shambhala was renowned for the compassion and wisdom of its leaders and citizens. According to the legend of Shambhala, these qualities were the result of unique teachings on enlightened society that the Buddha gave personally to King Dawa Sangpo, the first sovereign of Shambhala.

These instructions have been preserved over the centuries and are held by a hereditary lineage of teachers that hold the title “Sakyong.” It is a royal title that means “Earth Protector.”

The first Sakyong in modern times was the Tibetan meditation master, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (the Tibetan title, Rinpoche, means “precious one” and denotes a rare and profound teacher). Prior to his escape from Tibet in 1959, he was the holder of numerous meditative lineages and leader of a large monastic complex.

Having witnessed the demise of his own culture, and how full of turmoil and pain the world was, Chögyam Trungpa went into a great period of self-reflection and meditation. He came to realize that the ancient teaching of Shambhala were more relevant and necessary then ever, given the immense challenges facing the planet. Beginning in the 1970s he began to present a societal vision based on the Shambhala principle that proclaims the inherent goodness of all humanity.

Chögyam Trungpa felt that humanity was at a crossroads. If it wished to create a better world, it would need to base its approach on global respect for fundamental human dignity. This is the core message of Shambhala. His teachings were gathered together into his best-selling book Shambhala: the Sacred Path of the Warrior, and many other writings, films and recordings.

To learn more about Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, visit

Course Outline

January 2 Live Session – Meditation Instruction

With June Crow and Larry Mermelstein
Here is a presentation of meditation practice as it was taught and recommended by the Buddha himself. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche shares how he was personally trained by his teachers in Tibet.

Pre-Recorded session with Diana Mukpo

Lady Diana will offer an introduction to Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s life and will speak about his unconventional behaviour and his unparalleled influence and impact on Buddhism in the West.’

January 9 Live Session – Shamatha or Abiding In Peace

With Dale Asrael and Marty Janowitz
An in-depth look at shamatha meditation practice. Topics include the individual nature of the meditative journey as first taught by the Buddha, the meaning of peace, and the understanding of meditation as a natural act that involves simplicity, precision, and directness.

Pre-recorded session with Derek Kolleeny

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s presentation of meditation, considered by many Tibetans to be rather outrageous – both then and now – was unique in many ways. This included the way he introduced the practice, the overall logic, and the way he worked with his Western students to do the practice and teach others. Derek Kolleeny will discuss the uniqueness of Rinpoche’s presentation, its possible sources, and how it relates to traditional presentations both in Tibet as well as in Buddhism generally.

January 16 Live Session – State of Mind

With June Crow and Dorje Loppön Lodrö Dorje
Chögyam Trunpa Rinpoche discusses
sems, lodro, and rigpa – aspects of intelligence, or the mechanics of mind, as well as the development of ego through the five skandhas

Pre-recorded session: Sarah Coleman and Alan Schwartz In Conversation

Sarah Coleman and Alan Schwartz are in conversation about the unique way Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche placed trust in his Western students. He entrusted his western students with the entire tradition and transmission, which was considered to be outrageous by many Tibetans – both then and now.

January 23 Live Session -Mid-Course Discussion with Pema Chödrön and Ashley Dinges

Pema Chödron and Ashley Dinges are in conversation and share their experience of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and the practice of meditation. They will also offer a Q&A session for participants about their experience of the practice thus far.

Pre-recorded session: Anne Waldman and Tillie Perks In Conversation

Ann Waldman speaks with Tillie Perks about the first summer of Naropa when she and Alan Ginsberg created the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. The environment of Naropa at that time and the poetic nature of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s teachings and use of language is also discussed.

January 30 Live Session – Vipashyana or Insight Meditation

With Gaylon Ferguson and Judith Simmer-Brown
This session explores how the practice of shamatha meditation naturally leads to the experience of vipashyana, or insight meditation. A discussion of mindfulness and awareness and how vipashyana experience leads to the experiential discovery of egolessness.

Pre-recorded Session: Chuck Lief with members of the Naropa Community

This presentation features Chuck Lief in dialogue with Naropa community members about how Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s dharma can be viewed as preparatory teaching for engaged activism. This was the case both in 1974 and now.

February 6 Live Session – The Dawn of Enlightenment

With Arawana Hayashi and Marty Janowitz
All of the talks are experiential. In the last talk, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche gives the audience a taste of the desolation and power of shunyata, or emptiness, and how this experience leads to the dawning of awake nature and the first glimpse of enlightenment. This session also will include a celebration of the collective accomplishment of practice and study!

Pre-Recorded session with Lila Rich

Lila Rich speaks about Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s use of the word “warriorship” during this course and how this Shambhala-related theme was already coming out in his teachings. Lila speaks about the connection these early teachings have to the Shambhala teachings and the Shambhala path Trungpa Rinpoche began to lay out very soon after he gave these teachings in 1974.

Live Session Presenters

Pema Chödrön

Ani Pema Chödrön was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown in 1936, in New York City.  She attended Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley.  She taught as an elementary school teacher for many years in both New Mexico and California. Pema has two children and three grandchildren. While in her mid-thirties, Ani Pema traveled to the French Alps and encountered Lama Chime Rinpoche, with whom she studied for several years. She became a novice nun in 1974 while studying with Lama Chime in London. His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa came to Scotland at that time, and Ani Pema received her ordination from him. Pema first met her root guru, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in 1972. Lama Chime encouraged her to work with Rinpoche, and it was with him that she ultimately made her most profound connection, studying with him from 1974 until his death in 1987.  At the request of the Sixteenth Karmapa, she received the full bikshuni ordination in the Chinese lineage of Buddhism in 1981 in Hong Kong. Ani Pema served as the director of Karma Dzong in Boulder, Colorado until moving in 1984 to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to be the director of Gampo Abbey.  Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche gave her explicit instructions on establishing this monastery for western monks and nuns. Ani Pema currently teaches in the United States and Canada and plans for an increased amount of time in solitary retreat under the guidance of Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. Ani Pema is interested in helping establish Tibetan Buddhist monasticism in the West, as well as continuing her work with western Buddhists of all traditions, sharing ideas and teachings.  Her non-profit, The Pema Chödrön Foundation, was set up to assist in this purpose. She has written several books: The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart, The Places that Scare You, No Time To Lose, Practicing Peace in Times of War, How to Meditate, and Living Beautifully. All are available from Shambhala Publications and Sounds True.

Dale Asrael

Dale Asrael became a student of Trungpa, Rinpoche in 1973, and has trained in both the Tibetan Buddhist and Zen traditions.  She teaches programs, and leads meditation retreats internationally, and is an authorized teacher of traditional Daoist Qigong.  She served as an Acharya (senior teacher) for many years. She is a Professor at Naropa University, where she founded and leads the Naropa Mindfulness Instructor Training, a year-long program, currently in its 21st annual cycle.  Her writing is published in three anthologies:  “Love of Wisdom Puts You on the Spot” in Meditation in the Classroom; “No Hidden Corners” in Shadows and Light; and “Compassionate Abiding” in Brilliant Sanity.

June Crow

June Crow began her study and practice of Buddhism in 1968 when she met Suzuki Roshi, an Abbot of the Soto Zen School of Japanese Buddhism. During an intensive meditation training session at Tassajara Zen Mountain Centre, she met Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche of the Tibetan Kagyu and Nyingma Lineage and became his student and a meditation instructor and teacher of the Buddhadharma. She has also studied with Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, and more recently with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche.


Ashley Dinges

Ashley Dinges is a meditation teacher and practitioner in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and is a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Ani Pema Chödrön. She is based in Brooklyn, NYC and is an award-winning marketing and communications executive. Ashley currently serves as the Director of Marketing and Sales for GFour Productions, a Tony Award-winning theatrical producer, and is a co-founder of OVERTURE+ streaming platform. She holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business and co-founded the Weekly Dharma Gathering online platform, where teachers from many lineages explore dharma in relation to issues of race, gender, identity, and living meaningfully in a challenging world. 


Dorje Loppön Lodrö Dorje

After pursuing theology, then physics, and then computer programming, Lodro  Holm became  a student of the Vidyadhara in 1971, and moved to Boulder to join the Karma Dzong community there.  He led the first dathun at SMC (then Rocky Mountain Dharma Center) and in 1976 he was appointed Loppon of Three  Yana studies, with responsibilities for meditation instructors,  curriculum, and  tantra students.  He attended every seminary conducted by the Vidyadhara, first as a teacher, then as a translator, and also to assist with the entry of  new vajrayana students.  As a founding member of the Nalanda Translation Committee as well as the Ngedon School for advanced buddhist studies, he was fortunate to work with the Druk Sakyong on Buddhist and Shambhala texts, including the Rain of Wisdom, and the Vajrayogini, Chakrasavmara, and Werma sadhanas. In 1985 the Vidyadhara designated him Dorje Loppon and empowered him to give ngöndro and vajrayana transmissions.  He assisted the Vidyadhara and Vajra Regent with main talks at the 1986 and 1988 seminaries, and was a principal teacher at the 1990 seminary. He has worked with vajrayana and Shambhala sadhakas, and published a collection of talks on Vajrayogini practice, Dancer in the Coemergent Mirror.  He has taught many Shambhala subjects including at several Kalapa Assemblies.  He was appointed  an Acharya by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and served from 1996 – 2020.  Over the years, he also continued his study and practice with other lineage masters, especially Thrangu Rinpoche, Khenpo Tsultim Gyatso Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. Over the past 8 years he has taught annually on Shambhala Online, mainly on sadhana practice and mahamudra tradition.  He lives in Halifax with his wife Donna; they have one son and two grandsons.

Gaylon Ferguson

Gaylon Ferguson, PhD, taught Interdisciplinary and Religious Studies for 15 years at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. (He was recently granted early release for good behavior.) He has led group meditation retreats since 1976; thus far, not a single participant in these retreats has attained complete, solid egohood. He is the author of two books: Natural Wakefulness, on the four foundations of mindfulness as taught by Trungpa Rinpoche, and Natural Bravery, on the sacred path of fear and fearlessness.

Arawana Hayashi

Arawana Hayashi first saw Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche in the summer of 1974 when her improvisational dance company auspiciously toured through Boulder. She did not remember anything he said, but she had never seen anyone move through the space as he did. That inspired her to stop and sit down on a cushion. She attended the 1979 Vajradhatu Seminary and the 1981 Kalapa Assembly. In 1981 she returned to Cambridge, MA to found and direct the Jo Ha Kyu Performance Group, which presented performances of new choreography and Japanese court dance, bugaku. The company also made community-based site-specific performances and school programs. She directed the company for 19 years. She began teaching Shambhala Training in 1982, and has co-directed eight Warrior Assemblies. Since 2002 she has taught meditation and creative process at ALIA (formerly the Shambhala Institute for Authentic Leadership). Since 2004 she has been teaching innovative leadership workshops with social researcher, Otto Scharmer, and is a founding member of the Presencing Institute. She currently is creating Social Presencing Theater as a Presencing Institute initiative, which applies Shambhala Art to organizational and social change projects.

Marty Janowitz

Marty Janowitz has been a student-practitioner of meditation and Buddhism since encountering his teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche at the age of 20 in 1970. He is a senior teacher within Rinpoche’s lineages of Kagyu-Nyingma and Shambhala who received meditation instructor training from Rinpoche in 1972 vividly reminded to, “always respect the experience of the student”. He most treasured and was scared by the 17 years he was able to serve Rinpoche – as cook, attendant, travelling secretary, protector, or student-teacher.  Transitory roles included being the founding Executive Director of Naropa Institute (now University), a founding Director of Shambhala Training, Kusung Dapön (leader) of Rinpoche’s personal guardian service, travelling aide de camp, and a member of Vajradhatu/Shambhala’s governing boards. In 1986, he and his family immigrated with Rinpoche, from Colorado to Nova Scotia, Canada in furtherance of a commitment to the integrated Shambhala path of inner and societal transformation. On behalf of his successor, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, he served as Warrior General of Shambhala and its Council of Warriors to strengthen the practices and teachings of Shambhala and then as an Acharya (authorized senior teacher) until his retirement in 2019. Central to his practice and learning has been action towards sustainable and environmentally healthy communities expressing the heart of awareness. He has been involved in this movement for 30+ years as an activist, volunteer and consultant in Canada and internationally, most recently focused on sustainable communities and interfaith action on our climate crisis. Over the past five years, Marty and his wife Susanna transitioned to a new base in central Mexico from where he has continued teaching and also pursued training and practice as an executive and life coach, drawing on all the intertwined dimensions of his life experience.

Larry Mermelstein

Beginning in 1971, Larry Mermelstein became a close student of the Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Tibetan Buddhist meditation master and scholar. He has served as a senior teacher in the Vajradhatu/Shambhala community for decades, as well as being a member of the board of directors for some twenty years, now long ago. He is a founding member and the executive director of the Nalanda Translation Committee for over forty-five years and is a long-time consulting editor to Shambhala Publications.

Judith Simmer-Brown

Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor Emeritx of Contemplative and Religious Studies at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado, where she has taught since 1978.  As Buddhist practitioner since the early 1970’s, she became a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1974, and was empowered as an acharya (senior teacher) by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in 2000.  Her teaching specialties are meditation practice, Shambhala teachings, Buddhist philosophy, tantric Buddhism, and contemplative higher education.  Her book, Dakini’s Warm Breath (Shambhala 2001), explores the feminine principle as it reveals itself in meditation practice and everyday life for women and men.  She has also edited Meditation and the Classroom:  Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies (SUNY 2011). She had her husband, Richard, have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Pre-Recorded Session Presenters

Diana Mukpo

Diana Mukpo, the wife of Vidyadhara the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, was born Diana Judith Pybus in 1953 in England. She first saw Chogyam Trungpa at a Free Tibet rally in London. Within a year, she and the Vidyadhara met and fell in love. They were married on January 3, 1970. A few months later, they left England for North America. They had been married seventeen years when the Vidyadhara died in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1987. Lady Diana has had a lifelong passion for horsemanship. She is among a handful of women who ever trained in dressage at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Today, she continues to train and compete dressage horses at the international level and to teach the discipline of dressage to many students. In addition to pursuing her own career and raising their five children, Lady Diana often accompanied the Vidyadhara when he travelled and taught with him at some seminars and retreats. Lady Diana is the author of Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa. Since Rinpoche’s death, Lady Diana has taught throughout the Shambhala mandala, presenting both her personal experiences with the Vidyadhara as well as sharing her knowledge of the Shambhala and Buddhist teachings.

Anne Waldman

Anne Waldman is a poet, performer, professor, literary curator,  political and cultural activist and a founder of both The Poetry Project  at St Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery in NYC and Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School in Boulder, Colorado. Her recent books and projects include Trickster Feminism, Penguin 2018, Songs of the Sons & Daughters of Buddha: Poems from the Theragatha and Therigatha  co-translated, with Sanskrit  translator Andrew Schelling, Shambhala 2020, and the libretto for the opera  Black Lodge which will have a film/stage production at Philadelphia Opera in 2022.   She is working on her next book for Penguin  Mesopotopia. Her vinyl SCIAMACHY was released in 2020 in collaboration with Fast Speaking Music and the Levy Gorvy Gallery in NYC, an album Patti Smith has called: “Exquisitely potent, a psychic shield for our times.”  Forthcoming books include: Bard, Kinetic, Coffee House 2022, and an anthology New Weathers:  Poetics from the Naropa Archive, edited with Emma Gomis, to be published by Nightboat in 2022. Waldman has worked on a number of performances and projects with other artists, including Meredith Monk, Pat Steir, Richard Tuttle, Douglas Dunn, Thurston Moore, James Brandon Lewis and filmmaker Ed Bowes.   She has been called a “counter-cultural giant” by Publisher’s Weekly and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.  Other awards include the Shelley prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is a former chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. She works with an artist/activist coalition in Mexico City calling itself Rizoma.

Alan Schwartz – Bio and Photo forthcoming

Sarah Coleman

Sarah Coleman has been a student of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche since 1972. She served as Trungpa Rinpoche’s senior editor for many years. Sarah has been teaching Buddhism and Shambhala Training for over 35 years. She brings a wealth of knowledge to retreats which is based on the tireless application of the essence of the Vidyadhara’s oral instructions and empowerments to myriad relationships.



Chuck Leif

Chuck Lief was named the 7th president of Naropa University in 2012 after a deep forty-year affiliation with Naropa—first as a student of Naropa’s founder, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.Prior to assuming his current role, Chuck led some of the country’s most innovative and successful organizations providing integrated social enterprises and social services, including the Greyston Foundation and Amida Care, which together provided essential housing, health care, and employment to thousands of low-income people in the Northeast.

Chuck has served in leadership capacities on numerous boards, currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Lion’s Roar Foundation, and is a trustee at Bridge House and Veteran’s PATH. Chuck has previously served on the boards of Shambhala International, the Social Enterprise Alliance, the Intervale Center, the Vermont Community Loan Fund, Vermont Works for Women, the Westchester County Housing Commission, the New York State Governor’s AIDS housing task force, and many others.

He earned a BA from Brandeis University and a JD from the University of Colorado School of Law.

Lila Rich

Lila Rich was endowed with the title “Lady Lila Rich” in 1976 upon the empowerment of her late husband Thomas Rich as the Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin by Vidyadhara Venerable Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. A student of the Vidyadhara since 1970, she and the Vajra Regent received their refuge and bodhisattva vows at Karmê Chöling (then Tail of the Tiger). Lady Rich was appointed the first executive director for the newly founded Shambhala Training Program in 1979, and continued in her role through 1989. She was instrumental in the initial curriculum development, teaching and teacher training for all the levels of Shambhala Training. Lady Rich is the founder and president of the Vajra Regent Ösel Tendzin Library and Archives.


Derek Kolleeney

Derek Kolleeny began the practice and study of Buddhism in 1976 under the guidance of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and later continued it with other leading dharma teachers, primarily Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche. He earned a B.A. from Harvard College in the Comparative Study of World Religions, focused on Buddhism, including study of Sanskrit and Tibetan languages. He was a member of the Nalanda Translation Committee and  has held a variety of dharma leadership positions including visit coordinator at Vajradhatu for many great teachers including the XVIth Karmapa and the Dalai Lama, founding member and Treasurer of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center for fifteen years, Director of Practice and  Study of the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York from 2000-2005, creator and teacher of the Rime Shedra NYC, and founder and co-leader of the Westchester Buddhist Center, which is dedicated to the tradition of the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Tillie Perks

Tillie Perks was raised in a Buddhist community in Canada and has been a practitioner for over twenty years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in Buddhist studies, with a focus on the English poetry of Chögyam Trungpa. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist traditions at McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec. Her research is focused on Buddhism in the modern era. She works for the Chögyam Trungpa Transcription Project, which aims to transcribe all of Chögyam Trungpa’s recorded audio and video materials and she is presently serving on the board of the Nalanda Foundation.