The Sakyong doesn’t teach very many Shambhala Training level 1s — but he just taught one in Boulder, Colorado and the talk he gave is available to download!
We are sending this news to everyone who participated in a Level One program in recent years, since it is a fresh look at how to understand the strength and gentleness of the Shambhala teachings.
If you are interested in purchasing this, or other public talks of the Sakyong, please click here. There are also some free talks available.
With every best wish,
The Sakyong Media Team
Sakyong Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche, Jampal Trinley Dradul (born Osel Rangdrol Mukpo in 1962) is the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and Shambhala International, a worldwide network of urban Buddhist meditation centers, retreat centers, monasteries, a university, and other enterprises, founded by his father, the Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (XI Trungpa Tulku). Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is a high lama in the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. He is believed to be the second incarnation of Mipham the Great, who is revered in Tibet as an emanation of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom. Rinpoche is an honorific (meaning “precious one” in Tibetan) commonly afforded to tulkus.
There are many reasons to meditate daily. I’ve had the Level 1 Shambahala meditation training and practicing has improved my ability focus, to be present and happy even under stress, and to lower my overall stress. The two day class I had was much more detailed than the Sakyong’s introduction to meditation above. It included instruction that your eyes are open but soft focused, and you continue to bring yourself back to the present if you start to daydream. The goal is not to have no thoughts, but rather to let them come and go as you stay with your breath.
When I teach others to meditate, I explain that you would not be startled if someone came into the room and made a loud noise. You would not be startled because your mind is not off wandering somewhere, you are here, present, in your body, in the moment, fully aware. This awareness includes all of your senses with a continuing awareness of your breathing that remains even if thoughts temporarily appear.
Studies have shown some amazing things happening in people who meditate. One of the most extraordinary to me is the lengthening of one’s life by reduction of the body’s production of telemorace.
Telomerase activity is a predictor of long-term cellular viability, which decreases with chronic psychological distress (Epel et al., 2004). Buddhist traditions claim that meditation decreases psychological distress and promotes well-being (e.g., Dalai Lama and Cutler, 2009). Therefore, we investigated the effects of a 3-month meditation retreat on telomerase activity and two major contributors to the experience of stress: Perceived Control (associated with decreased stress) and Neuroticism (associated with increased subjective distress). We used mediation models to test whether changes in Perceived Control and Neuroticism explained meditation retreat effects on telomerase activity. In addition, we investigated whether two qualities developed by meditative practice, increased Mindfulness and Purpose in Life, accounted for retreat-related changes in the two stress-related variables and in telomerase activity. … RESULTS: Telomerase activity was significantly greater in retreat participants than in controls at the end of the retreat (p<0.05). Increases in Perceived Control, decreases in Neuroticism, and increases in both Mindfulness and Purpose in Life were greater in the retreat group (p<0.01). Mediation analyses indicated that the effect of the retreat on telomerase was mediated by increased Perceived Control and decreased Neuroticism. In turn, changes in Perceived Control and Neuroticism were both partially mediated by increased Mindfulness and Purpose in Life. Additionally, increases in Purpose in Life directly mediated the telomerase group difference, whereas increases in Mindfulness did not. – PubMed
I use the iPhone app Equanimity which tracks and graphs your meditation progress. It also give you a journal for notes about each session and chimes for starting, stopping and cool down.