Getting Started with Meditation

Welcome to Portland Shambhala!



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Why Meditate?

Mindfulness-awareness meditation is the foundation of all that we do at the Shambhala Meditation Center of Portland.

To learn more about meditation and its benefits, visit Why Meditate?

Meditation Instruction

Although the essential techniques are written down in many places, meditation remains essentially an oral tradition, and individual personal instruction is important. Individual meditation instruction and follow up is free and open to all over Zoom. If you would like to have a conversation about connecting with a Meditation Instructor, contact David at [email protected].

Learn to Meditate Online

Every month we offer an online Learn to Meditate program. This workshop offers an introduction to meditation, as well as an opportunity for experienced practitioners to refresh their practice, connect with others, and receive individualized instruction and feedback. 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 at the bottom of this page for the next Learn to Meditate workshop.

New meditators are welcome to join any of our weekly community practice sessions held online via Zoom. Most of our community practices start with opening chants followed by silent meditation practice with time afterwards for discussion. Portland Shambhala also has many other study and practice opportunities that are open to beginners, such as our Dharma Study Group, Queer Dharma Group, Young Meditators Group, Aging in Enlightened Society Group, and others. Please view our community practice page for more information about our community practice and study groups.

A good way to see what’s happening at our center at any given time is by visiting our monthly events calendar.

Introductory Programs

In addition to our regular online 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. Learn more about these programs here.

Check our programs listing to learn when these and other classes are being offered or view our monthly events calendar.

Recommended Readings

   Pema Chödrön:


   Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche:


   Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche



Until Portland Shambhala finds a new physical home, our center bookstore is temporarily unavailable. In the meantime, these titles can be purchased online at Shambhala Publications.

Contact Us

If you’d like to learn more about Portland Shambhala or have questions, don’t hesitate to email us at [email protected] or call (503) 278-5816. We want to hear from you!


Compassion Meditation & Contemplation

January 16th—July 3rd

This session of meditation, contemplation, and discussion supports our Deepening in Compassion online class. Although our focus is on learnings and reflections arising from the Deepening In Compassion class, this gathering is open to all. Continue »

Community Conversation: Shambhala Governance

February 24th—May 30th

This first conversation in a series initiated by the Shambhala Process Team’s Governance Models Working Group is an open exploration of our community’s experiences, aspirations and questions around governance. Continue »

Book Study: Lojong Slogans

February 28th—August 1st

This is a free drop-in book study group for all students, practiced and new alike. Please join us! Continue »

KSD: Be Grateful to Everyone with David Parker

May 18th

How can our teachings and meditation practice enable us to meet the challenges of everyday life with open minds and hearts? Join us 1st and 3rd Tuesdays 7 to 8:30 pm for guided meditation and an interactive dharma talk and discussion. Continue »


May 22nd

This introductory meditation program gives practical instructions for living in an awakened way, which connects us with our mind’s inherent stability, clarity, and strength. Ideal for beginners as well as those who would like to stabilize and deepen their Continue »