The Kootenay Shambhala Meditation Centre will be Raising the Sun this month.
After 39 years of offering meditation to the Nelson community the centre moved to 812 Stanley St. Most Nelson residents may remember this building as Kootenay Christian Fellowship’s soup kitchen.
For the past year the building has been owned by the volunteer organization, part of a global network of meditation center’s headed by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche.
The Kootenay Shambhala Centre is one of 41 centres in Canada and one of the few to own their own building. With three per cent of the Nelson and area population partaking in the open house meditation instruction each year, meditation is becoming a sustainable resource for the health of the community.
This year, celebrating their 40th anniversary, they will be “raising the sun” by erecting a radiant sun emblematic of mind and heart becoming open, or awakened through the practice of meditation.
Although often confused with the music festival of the same name, the meditation centre has no affiliation to this annual event.
An offshoot of Tibetan Buddhism, the Shambhala tradition emphasizes secular enlightenment, meaning that awareness brought about through meditation has to be applied to everyday life, or meditation would simply become some kind of holiday from real problems.
The basic guiding principle in Shambhala is that everyone has goodness in their basic being.
According to Shambhala, meditation makes it possible to access layers of mind underneath thoughts and beliefs — the same layers where goodness resides.
Once this more intuitive base has been accessed, thoughts can assume their rightful role in skillfully finding solution to problems.
Having made contact oneself, it is easier to see that others also yearn for wholeness. This makes it more possible to work together in society. Thus the motto of the organization is “Making Enlightened Society Possible.”
The centre offers training in mindfulness and awareness meditation at their regular Monday night open house. Regular public meditation sessions, classes and workshops are ongoing.
The Shambhala Center will be hosting Delicious Radiance Sept. 12 with world jazz band Certified Mango of New Denver.