Enlightened Society Assembly

Ashe Acharya John Rockwell and Shastri Janet Solyntjes

July 1–11, 2019

Tuition $535 + 10 nights

Ashe Acharya John Rockwell

Shastri Janet Solyntes

Enlightened Society Assembly is a group retreat for all who have completed Rigden: Unconditional Confidence. This deep training emphasizes the view of the intrinsic goodness of all beings and society, practices that rouse compassionate openness, and confident activity that engages fully in the world.

In particular, this Assembly focuses on how we can create enlightened society on the spot, at home, in our city and nation, and wherever we go. Participants train in a practice to expand the warmth and strength of our hearts called the Shambhala Sadhana. This program works to integrate study, practice and community with an aim to understanding the basic goodness of oneself, others, society and the phenomenal world. There is a chance to make a personal commitment to be of benefit by taking the Enlightened Society Vow.

Under the guidance of an Acharya and another senior teacher, Enlightened Society Assembly provides an opportunity to fully engage and integrate these teachings and practices while living in a Shambhala practice environment.


Students applying to the Enlightened Society Assembly should have completed the following before the program (please note that these are new requirements) :

  • Shambhala Levels I through V
  • Everyday Life Series: Meditation, Contentment, Joy, Fearlessness and Wisdom
  • Rigden: Unconditional Confidence
  • One Weekthun
  • Membership in your local Shambhala meditation centre/group or membership in Shambhala for those not affiliated with a local centre.

Recommended: The Basic Goodness Series is highly recommended, as the material covered in these courses is directly relevant to Enlightened Society Assembly – but it is not required.


Tuition for this program does not include the required materials fees.  The materials fee has not yet been set for 2019.  The 2017 cost was approximately $130, not including shipping.  (Materials are not optional.)


Please read the following paragraphs as they contain updated and important information.

Attending Enlightened Society Assembly is a two-part process that includes applying to the program with the Shambhala International Office of Practice and Education based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and registering with Shambhala Mountain Center. This year, participants are welcome to apply first and then register, or to register first and then apply.

In order to attend Enlightened Society Assembly, you must submit an online application by June10, 2019 (link below) and be accepted by the Office of Practice and Education, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The application is reviewed by the Office of Practice and Education, in order to ensure that each participant is adequately prepared.

The application deadline is June 10, 2019.

Registering with Shambhala Mountain Center (link below) allows you to pay for the program and requested housing. Registering for lodge housing submits your housing preference, but does not guarantee it. Importantly, registration with Shambhala Mountain Center alone does not guarantee your attendance at Enlightened Society Assembly.

Please do not make airplane reservations until you have received your full acceptance from the Office of Practice and Education.


The application deadline for Enlightened Society Assembly is June 10, 2019.

To apply for Enlightened Society Assembly via the Office of Practice and Education, please click here.

For questions about registering, email registrar@shambhalamountain.org.

The registration deadline for Enlightened Society Assembly is June 20, 2019.  After this deadline a late registration fee of $125 will be added.

To register for Enlightened Society Assembly and reserve accommodations with Shambhala Mountain Center, please click here.



If you have already completed Enlightened Society Assembly and are interested in staffing this program, please fill out this Program Staff Application.


Ashe Acharya John Rockwell

Ashe Acharya John Rockwell has been a student of the Shambhala and Buddhist path for over 40 years. His main inspiration is to help people open their heart and senses through meditation and bring awareness to everyday life, the natural world, and social change. He also practices and teaches Daoist qigong to loosen up the body for sitting still and moving with ease. He now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia with his wife, Rhiannon Wells, and travels internationally to teach.

Shastri Janet Solyntjes

Shastri Janet Solyntjes joined the Shambhala community in 1986 and began teaching in 1994. She is a certified Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher and serves as a faculty member for the UMass Center for Mindfulness leading silent retreats for MBSR teachers-in-training.

Janet lives in Longmont, CO with her husband, Jeff Price. They co-founded The Center for Courageous Living which offers a variety of programs, retreats, and trainings throughout the Front Range and internationally.

Program Details