Shambhala Teachers Academy with the Kongma Sakyong, Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche and Senior Teachers
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
June 29–July 2, 2009
The Kongma Sakyong, Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche shared his vision for the Shambhala Teachers Academy in a recent message to the Shambhala community:
In light of the path to the Scorpion Seal and the new curriculum, as well as the general state of the world, it is essential that we as Shambhalians strive to have the best possible teachers. In order to facilitate this, I have initiated a Shambhala Teachers Academy and I am delighted to announce Acharya Judith Simmer Brown as the first Dean of the Shambhala Teachers Academy. Individuals wishing to teach in the Shambhala mandala will receive support, instruction, and training through the Academy.
I am grateful for the exertion, generosity, and service of the many teachers within Shambhala. You have sustained and protected the teachings for all of these years. I understand that there are myriads of different teachers within our community so it is important that we apply a fresh start and realize that we are all in this together. The purpose of the Academy is to provide an opportunity to reexamine what we know and inspire ourselves to go further. The training will also include contemplations and exercises to act as a bridge between theory and practice. I initiated such a process this year by personally examining the acharyas themselves; I concluded the examinations by asking them to continue to learn and memorize with a beginner’s mind.
Learning is at the heart of our Shambhala centres, so it is essential that our teachers be thoroughly trained and updated. An essential element of this training is to reinvigorate and examine our knowledge and experiences of the Shambhala root texts, important themes of the Buddhadharma, and especially the Vajrayana teachings. In particular, we are only beginning to uncover the profundity of the Shambhala terma entrusted to us by the Dorje Dradul.
The path of teaching is a tremendous way to develop ourselves, however, we are ultimately there for the benefit of the student. Our teachings and curriculum primarily need to be relevant to our students, and therefore I have asked Acharya Judith Simmer Brown to be the Dean and to establish and maintain rigorous integrity.
I hope to initiate the Shambhala Teachers Academy at the various gatherings in the Spring, Summer and Fall of this year. I encourage all of you in a teaching role to participate, so that we may mutually sharpen our swords of prajna, open our hearts of compassion, thus revealing the Great Eastern Sun.
The Sakyong will give the opening talk of the Teachers Academy. The program will also include practice, talks by the lead teachers, a variety of pedagogical workshops, and an oral exam. The new curriculum will be a main theme for the Academy, will be studied in advance, will be included in the exam and used as the basis for many of the program workshops. Possible themes for the workshops include: 1) Moving away from a content approach to teaching to a learning-based approach, including presenting best practices in participatory learning. 2) Styles of facilitation and working with question and answer periods. 3) Workshops based on case studies.
Experienced Shambhala teachers at various levels of teaching are invited to attend.
Please call Faith at ext 235 if you wish to register for extra nights before the program
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is the head of the Shambhala lineage. An incarnation of Mipham the Great, he is the dharma heir and son of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Shambhala Mountain Center’s founder. Sakyong Mipham is the spiritual director of Shambhala, a global network of meditation and retreat centers, and the author of the national bestseller Turning the Mind into an Ally, as well as Ruling Your World , Running with the Mind of Meditation and The Shambhala Principle. His background embraces both Eastern and Western cultures. Born in Bodhgaya, India, the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment, he grew up in Boulder, Colorado, and received his spiritual training from his father and other distinguished lamas. In addition to Shambhala, the Sakyong also holds the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. An avid poet, artist and athlete, he travels extensively teaching throughout the world.
Financial aid is available for this program.