The Art of Being Human: Shambhala Training Level I

Gaylon Ferguson

November 5–7, 2021

Tuition $150 + 2 nights

meditation workshopThis immersive weekend meditation workshop helps us open to ourselves with gentleness and appreciation. Through the practice of meditation, we tap into timeless wisdom and glimpse unconditional goodness as the ground of our existence. With talks, experiential learning, and guided meditation instruction, you’ll experience your potential as a genuine and compassionate human being. This program is recommended for new and experienced meditators, as well as those looking to enrich their existing spiritual path.

You’ll enjoy the wise and gentle guidance of Gaylon Ferguson, the teacher for the meditation program. See Ferguson’s recent article Coming to Our Senses:  Practicing the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, on SMC’s blog.

Participants will receive a copy of Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who founded Shambhala, started Naropa University, and authored the Shambhala Training curriculum.

The Art of Being Human is the first in a series of five weekend programs designed to provide participants an overview of the path of meditation. The series introduces various meditation techniques and provides opportunities to practice, explore and discuss the meditation experience with others. 

Click here to learn about Financial Assistance and Scholarships that may be available through Shambhala Mountain Center..


SMC provides the ideal environment for a meditation retreat. Enjoy walks along quiet trails, visit the Great Stupa, and savor majestic mountain valley views in between meditation periods. All meals include options for omnivores and vegetarians, plus gluten-free and dairy-free options.

Please review and understand SMC’s current COVID-19 policy.


Program Schedule
(Schedule is subject to change.)

4:00pm – 6:00pm Registration and settling in
6:30pm – 7:30pm Dinner
7:45pm – 9:15pm Orientation, Welcome Talk
10:30pm Sleep well…

7:30am – 8:30am Breakfast
9:00am – 12:30pm Teachings, Meditation Instruction and meditation
12:30pm – 2:00pm Lunch
2:30pm – 4:30pm Meditation and short one-on-one meditation meetings
4:30pm – 5:00pm Tea snack
5:00pm – 6:30pm Meditation and Teachings
6:30pm – 7:30pm Dinner
7:45pm – 9:30pm Q&A and discussion groups
10:30pm Sleep well…

7:30am – 8:30am Breakfast
9:00am – 10:15am Meditation
10:15am – 11:00am Discussion Groups
11:00am – 11:15am Meditation
11:15am – 12:15pm Teachings and Q&A
12:45pm – 1:45pm Celebratory lunch

Gaylon Ferguson

Gaylon Ferguson, PhD,  has led mindfulness-awareness retreats for 45 years. He was Core Faculty in Religious Studies at Naropa University. The author of Natural Wakefulness (2009) and Natural Bravery (2016), he contributed the foreword to Black and Buddhist: What Buddhism Can Teach Us About Race, Resilience, Transformation and Freedom (2020). His articles and essays have appeared in Lion’s RoarTricycle, and Buddhadharma.

Program Details

Registration takes place from 2 - 5 pm on your program start date. All participants and volunteer staff must check in at our Guest Registration house. Please arrive before 5 pm to check in and settle into your accommodations. Your program begins with dinner, followed by an orientation. The Guest Registration house closes at 5 pm after which no one is available to provide information or orient you to your accommodations. All programs usually end at 12:30 pm on the program's departure date, followed by lunch. Further specifics regarding your program's schedule will be available upon arrival. If applicable, you will receive an email from the program coordinator in the week prior to your program with any additional information you may need.