Nurturing the Seeds of Peace: Winter Dathün Meditation Retreat with Dale Asrael & Judith Simmer-Brown, Richard Reoch & Pema Chödrön (for vow ceremonies only)

Richard Reoch, Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Pema Chodron and Acharya Dale Asrael

December 14, 2007–January 13, 2008

Tuition $ + 30 nights

“Peace is not a choice for some; it is imperative for all. It is the only way forward for humanity and our planet. Aggression often seems the most direct and expedient way to solve a problem, but it is fundamentally unstable and will never last. Peace is fundamentally strong and long lasting.” — Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, citation from the Living Peace Award presented to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya (September, 2006)

The seeds of peace, like the seeds of war, are in the human heart. Nurturing the seeds of peace is the ground of living in harmony with each other and bringing peace into our strife-torn world. Sustained group meditation offers us the space and time to settle and train the mind, and to live in such a way that we are grounded in mindfulness, awareness and the recognition of how interconnected we all are.

This month-long retreat, or dathün, provides a rich training ground for the creation of compassionate society. It also deepens our ability to bring the peace we touch in our own hearts back into our work, relationships and the rest of our lives. After this kind of practice, we often return to the world with a fresh outlook, new eyes.

The program will include sitting and walking meditation, private interviews with qualified meditation instructors and talks. The month includes Chi Kung (taught by Richard Reoch and Lady Jane Ward), meditation inside The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, Zen-style oryoki meals and work shifts to create an integrated experience that aims to engage the whole person.

For a deep immersion into the path of meditation and warriorship, we invite you to attend the entire dathün. You can also participate in one or more of our weeklong segments, or weekthüns.

Week 1
Weeks 1 & 2
Week 2
Weeks 2 & 3
Week 3 & 4

Acharyas Dale Asrael and Judith Simmer-Brown will co-lead the program (Dale will teach Weeks 1 and 2, and Judith will teach Weeks 3 and 4). Richard Reoch will preside throughout, teaching Chi Kung along with Lady Jane Ward. Acharya Pema Chödrön will attend the program January 1 – 3, 2008, to give Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows. Due to space limitations, at this time the vow ceremonies are only open to program participants.

Acharya Dale Asrael has been leading meditation retreats internationally since 1980, focusing on the practices of the three yanas of Buddhadharma. An associate professor at Naropa University in the Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, Buddhist Studies and Contemplative Education departments, she also trains meditation instructors who wish to serve in hospices, prisons and homeless shelters.

Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, PhD, is a professor of Buddhist studies at Naropa University and director of the Ngedon School of Higher Studies. She is also author of Dakini’s Warm Breath: The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism. She travels and teaches in North America, Europe and Asia, teaching meditation practice, Buddhist philosophy, tantric Buddhism and inter-religious dialogue.

Richard Reoch is the president of Shambhala. Born into a Buddhist family in Canada, he has devoted his working life to defending human rights, protecting the environment and promoting peace. Formerly global media chief of Amnesty International, Richard is a trustee of the Rainforest Foundation, and he heads the International Working Group on Sri Lanka, dedicated to ending the Buddhist world’s longest running war.

Acharya Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun in the lineage of Chögyam Trungpa, the renowned Tibetan meditation master. She is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery in North America established for Westerners. Currently teaching in the United States and Canada, she plans to spend more time in solitary retreat under the guidance of Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. Pema is the author of The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart, No Time to Lose and her latest, Practicing Peace in Times of War.

Payment and Cancellation Policies: Please review the cancellation information on the registration page carefully as it differs from the general policies for most other programs.

Prices below include tuition, lodging, meals, and laundry. Due to restrictions on water usage at Shambhala Mountain Center, the laundry for participants attending the dathün will be done professionally off-site.

Student Discount: A discount of 10% off the dormitory price is available for all full-time students.

Please note that if you book dormitory accommodations, you may be sleeping on a foam mattress on the shrineroom floor.

Dorm space and Red Feather is available for women only. If you are a male and want to register for a dorm or Red Feather, please contact our housing coordinator at 970-881-2184 ext 235

Richard Reoch

Richard Reoch is the former media chief of Amnesty International, the human rights organization, and a lifelong campaigner for peace and the environment. His work has taken him to conflict zones around the world. As the President of Shambhala, he has a wealth of experience in applying The Six Ways of Ruling and now travels widely sharing his insights with others.

Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown

Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., is professor of religious studies at Naropa University, and Dean of the Shambhala Teachers’ Academy.  She has been an acharya, senior dharma teacher, since 2000, and is author of Dakini’s Warm Breath:  The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism and Meditation in the Classroom.  She and Richard have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown, Ph.D., is professor of religious studies at Naropa University, and Dean of the Shambhala Teachers’ Academy.  She has been an acharya, senior dharma teacher, since 2000, and is author of Dakini’s Warm Breath:  The Feminine Principle in Tibetan Buddhism and Meditation in the Classroom.  She and Richard have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Acharya Dale Asrael

Acharya Dale Asrael leads retreats and meditation programs internationally.  She was appointed Dean of Meditation Instructors for Shambhala International by Sakyong Mipham, Rinpoche.  Dale studies qigong with, and has been authorized to teach by, Daoist lineage-holder Eva Wong.  Dale is an Associate Professor at Naropa University, in the Mindfulness-based Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and Master of Divinity programs. She is the founder and teacher of Naropa’s Mindfulness Instructor Training program.

Program Details

Financial aid is available for this program.