Families and Children
Bodhi School provides children and young teenagers with an education in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. Children will learn meditative principles that work with the heart and mind and gain confidence through exploring the basic goodness of all sentient beings. The curriculum is designed to be accessible and fun for newcomers to the Buddhist path as well as those with more experience.
Rites of Passage
The Rites of Passage is a six-week program designed to help eight-year-olds make the transition out of early childhood dependency and onto the path of warriorship. Each class introduces various meditative arts including Zen Archery, Calligraphy, Flower Arranging and Poetry coupled with brief sessions of sitting meditation focusing on the breath. These disciplines inspire confidence and compassion in the child by fostering fearless independence and *maitri* — loving kindness toward oneself and others. Most importantly, Rites offers indispensable tools to help children relate to their own minds, thus empowering them to engage in their world with an awakened heart and open mind. The program culminates in a ceremony that celebrates this important transition. Mature seven-year-olds and nine-year-olds who have not gone through the Rites before are also welcome.
Winter Solstice/Children’s Day
Children’s Day, which falls on the winter solstice, is an opportunity to express appreciation for and with our children. Holidays such as this have their origin as “holy days.” They are the way human beings mark the sacred times in the yearly cycle of life.
Children’s Day is a strong counter-experience to the materialism and chaos of the holidayseason. It is hoped that everyone, especially the children, feel as if they are within the enlightened society of Shambhala for a night and truly experience the richness of Shambhala culture.
Our community gathering includes a lhasang ceremony, and children's blessing. The children enjoy entertainment and performances including song, storytelling, and theatrical productions with Shambhalian themes, followed by a reception.
Additional Resources for Parents
“Parenting as Path” Lecture Series
Presented by the Family Council, the "Parenting as Path" lecture series addresses a broad range of issues under the umbrella of "Parenting with Shambhala Vision." We explore questions such as “How do we bring up our children as spiritual warriors?” and “How do we balance formal meditation practice with the practicalities of daily life as parents?”
Together we share our experiences, explore these challenging but workable issues, and cultivate the view that parenting is a part of meditation practice. Speakers include resident Acharyas as well as visiting teachers and invited guests.
The center provides childcare Sunday mornings from 10am until Noon. There is a suggested $5 donation per child to support this offering.
Shambhala Sun Summer Camp
Sun Camp is an outdoor, sleep-away summer camp for children ages 10-16. Campers sleep in tents and enjoy the simple experience of waking up every day to their own world. Sun Camp is a place to have fun, make friends and learn to take responsibility for oneself and one’s world in a gentle and playful environment.
Camp consists of three interconnected programs:
- Sun Camp: the main week-long program, for ages 10-16.
- Cadet Command Workshop (CCW): a leadership training intensive for returning participants age 14-16 that starts three days before camp and continues throughout Sun Camp.
- Rites of Warriorship (ROW): a rites of passage program for 16 year-olds, for the two days following camp. For more information, please visit: shambhalasuncamp.org