Shambhala Children and Families — Learn More & Get Involved! by Amy Turino

The Denver Center has been enlivened on the 1st and 3rd Sunday mornings this school year as our offerings for Children and Families have expanded.  We have had two very successful semesters of Parenting as Path, guided by Gwen Pollara and Andra Brill.  Giving space to parents, grandparents, and caregivers on the path of raising families a place to contemplate and come together in community and discuss all the ups and downs and ordinary magic that exists when on the path as a parent.  We have two sessions of this offering left for the school year: May 6th and June 3rd. Please consider joining the group if you are so inspired.

 Spaces for our children to slow down and touch in to who they are have also grown this year as we have expanded beyond just our Shambhala Kids offering to also have space for our tweens/teens in Dragon Club.  Last summer we were very fortunate that Juliette Banerjee relocated to Denver from Washington D.C. In D.C. she had been helping with children and family program and wanted to help support our efforts here in Denver.  That allowed us to now offer two types of spaces on the 1st and 3rd Sundays: Shambhala Kids (ages 4 – 8) and Dragon Club (ages 9 – 12), with an understanding that all our teens 13 and older are invited to be mentors to the younger kids and join us in these groups as teacher assistants as well as inviting our 13 and older teens to simply join in the open meditation sittings on Sunday mornings as well.  We have 3 sessions of Children programming left for the school year: May 6, 20 and June 3rd.

On June 3rd, we invite the who sangha to come and celebrate with the children and parents the work that has been done this year.  All three programs will be meeting and will conclude the morning with a community celebration and potluck that everyone is invited to attend.  The end of session potluck is a joyous time to see the children step into leadership as they host and coordinate the potluck and share their wonderment and joy with others.  They really like to connect and share, so mark your calendars and sign up to bring a dish here.

In response to the programming we have offered and the response the kids have given to their experience in the space created for them, we have started to see an increase in a commitment of Family Membership to the Shambhala Meditation Center of Denver.  Moving forward we look to continue to strengthen the offerings described above and having families engaged with the center at a Family Membership level only helps support the offerings that are being created. Knowing that teens is our next support effort, we are looking at these types of spaces regionally – Fort Collins has been arranging teen explorations, the next of which is on May 13th from 10am – noon.  Also there is work being done to offer a Level I for teens, so keep checking back for updates. Feel free to contact Amy if you are interested in getting more involved in children and family programming shambhalakids.smcd@gmail.com

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