Getting Started

“Our life is an endless journey… The practice of meditation provides a vehicle to travel on that road.”

– Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

At the Shambhala Meditation Center of Portland, we practice and teach mindfulness-awareness meditation as it has been passed from teacher to student for more than 2,500 years. We provide an environment where each person can engage in the practice of meditation at their own pace. If you want to practice meditation in a group environment, you are welcome to attend any of our weekly community practice sessions with no commitment or requirement to follow a particular course of study. Please feel welcome to drop by. No previous experience required!

Introductory Programs

Although the essential techniques are written down in many places, meditation remains essentially an oral tradition, and individual personal instruction is important. We offer a variety of programs throughout the year appropriate for people new to meditation. In addition to our regular community practices and Learn To Meditate workshops, many of our programs have no prerequisites and are geared for newcomers, including: Shambhala Training Level I, Meditation In Everyday Life, Contentment In Everyday Life and the Basic Goodness Series.

Check our programs listing to learn when these and other classes are being offered.

A Welcoming Approach to Newcomers

We offer many regular events at which newcomers are welcome (though some programs and events do have prerequisites), and in general we aspire to be welcome anyone who is interested in mindfulness, meditation, Buddhism or the Shambhala path. Many of our programs are free, with the opportunity to offer a “dana” or donation. Others, particularly when we bring in out-of-town facilitators, acharyas or teachers, do cost money, and the price of our programs reflects the price we pay for keeping our Center open, including rent and other bills.

We do have a Generosity Policy for programs that cost money, in which we ask that one emails hello@portland.shambhala.org ahead of the program’s first day, to discuss an alternative price based on what one can afford.

Usually best place to see what is happening at our Center at any given time is our monthly events calendar.

Learn to Meditate

We offer free meditation instruction every Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. and every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. If you would like to receive meditation instruction, please come to the Center a few minutes before either of these sessions and ask to receive meditation instruction. Note that the last Sunday of the month is our Day Long Buddhist Retreat or Nyinthun.

We also occasionally offer a Saturday morning Learn to Meditate Workshop: Turning the Mind Into An Ally, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. This workshop is ideal for anyone wanting an introduction to meditation, as well as those wanting to refresh their practice. Based on the national bestseller Turning the Mind into an Ally, this workshop explains how “peaceful abiding” meditation enables us to cultivate our mind’s inherent stability, strength and clarity. The workshop includes practical instructions for developing a strong meditation practice: good sitting posture, how to relate with breathing as the object of meditation, what to do when thoughts come up, and starting a regular meditation practice at home. Check our introductory programs listing for the next Learn to Meditate workshop.