Families & Children

Shambhala wishes to cultivate and celebrate the wisdom, delight and dignity of living in family relationships, becoming parents, raising children, and caring for our elders.

Family is the most intimate, on-the-ground social organization we have, the nucleus of our human relationships. Children are our future, and it is through this human connection that a culture of kindness and virtue will be passed on. Relating to the everyday challenges of family life with trust in basic goodness offers our children and society an example of an awake and joyful way to live.

At the Denver Shambhala Meditation Center, families are an integral part of our community.

Programming 1st and 3rd Sundays — September – May


Shambhala Kids

The Shambhala Kids program uses meditation, yoga, art, music, drama and other sensory-rich activities to help children:

  • develop inner strength, confidence and compassion,
  • realize the basic goodness of all sentient beings,
  • come to know the six paramitas and the four dignities of Shambhala, and
  • relax in coming to know themselves.

 

The activities offered in the Shambhala Kids program are engaging while also allowing for spaciousness, seldom permitted in today’s world. Children can be who they are in that moment: creative, active, joyful, frustrated, pensive, sad, or simply just quiet and observing.

Ages: 4-8 (Older children are welcome to serve in a leadership role. Please contact shambhalakids.smcd@gmail.com to get connected)

Cost: $10 drop in per child.

Drop In – No registration Required.  Parents are invited to register for Parenting as Path (Child participation in programming is included in Parent’s registration fee) during this time, or attend the Center’s Open House or Open Sitting Meditation Offering.  Parents are also invited to stay with young kids that want to participate as a family during these ages (4-8) for Shambhala Kids.


Dragon Club

The Dragon Club is a space for tweens to come find their voice.  In a space that allows for everyone to slow down, check in and reflect on self and the world.

Ages: 9 – 12 (Older children are welcome to serve in a leadership role.  Please contact shambhalakids.smcd@gmail.com to get connected)

Cost: $10 drop in per child.

Drop In – No registration Required.  Parents are invited to register for Parenting as Path (Child participation in programming is included in Parent’s registration fee) during this time, or attend the Center’s Open House or Open Sitting Meditation Offering.


Parenting As Path

Parenting as Path is a monthly opportunity for parents to come together to meditate, contemplate, and discuss with others on the path of being a parent.  Usually on the 1st Sunday of every month (3rd Sunday when a conflict, i.e. no programming Labor Day weekend, all programming for September 3rd Sunday!)


Our Children’s and Family Coordinator and Staff…

Amy Turino has been a public school educator for the past 16 years. She enjoys learning alongside children as they discover the world around them. Discovery through curiosity, passion and wonder are tools to understand our world and others. Through hands-on and creative experiences, Amy enjoys helping children find their voice and develop an understanding of who they are in the world and how they can use their gifts to help others. Amy loves the community and space provided within the Shambhala Meditation Center to do this work and looks forward to continuing to support and grow programming for children and families here at SMCD.  Amy currently is the SMCD Children and Families Coordinator, you can reach her at shambhalakids.smcd@gmail.com

Juliette Jack Banerjee joined the Denver Center from Washington D.C. While training in warriorship at the DC Shambhala Center, Juliette co-facilitated their Children and Families Program and led classes for youth in nature-based mindfulness activities, breathing and meditation techniques, and Kid’s Yoga. In an earlier life, she taught skiing and racing to kids of all ages, and led backpacking trips with teens throughout the Southwest. In her role leading the Dragon Club at SMCD, she continues to embrace all opportunities to synchronize the body and mind, and connect with the magic of the natural world. She loves to share this way of being, the dharma, and Shambhala principles with her teen son and the vibrant tweens of the Dragon Club.

Gwen Pollara is a mother to two wise and talented children, Luca, fifteen and Maya, eleven. Gwen has been studying Shambhala Buddhism for 15 years. She is certified to lead people in shamatha meditation practice. She also studies Hakomi Therapy which is a mindfulness somatic therapy based on the principals of non-violence, organicity and unity. In her working life, she is a declutter guru and professional organizer. She is also a certified restorative yoga instructor. In other parts of her life, Gwen enjoys writing and performing poetry, making art, communing with nature, taking care of her plants and pets and laughing with her husband, Joe. Gwen combines all of these skills to bring her wisdom and skills to create nurturing environments for others to connect to their own innate wisdom and basic goodness so that they may connect with others in deep, healing ways. 

Andra Brill, PhD is an innovator in the field of mindful parenting.  Her work can be found on the Huffington Post, Elephant Journal, Positive Parenting Solutions and HappyMindfulFamilies.com.  She has been practicing Buddhist meditation since 2004 and contemplative parenting since 2009.  Within Shambhala Andra has been a Family Camp lead teacher at SMC for many years and is a former coordinator for Families and Children at SMCD.

Families play an important role in our annual community celebrations of Harvest of Peace, Children’s Day, and Shambhala Day. There will be time for the children to be in programming where they will prepare offerings to bring to the greater community celebration — whether that is through song, art, or just connecting relationships and offering hugs to others. We honor families, and especially appreciate how children bring a rich and vibrant energy to the Center.


Regional Events for Families

Shambhala Sun Day at Boulder Shambhala Center (1st Sunday of each month)

Family Programing at Boulder Shambhala Center

Levels for Teens 2018-2019 (Across the Front Range)

Teen Programming at Fort Collins Shambhala Center

Family Camp at Shambhala Mountain Center