What is now Lexington Shambhala Meditation Center began in 1975, as a small group of dedicated individuals interested in Buddhist meditation. Originally, this group was a Vajradhatu Dharma Study Group, led by the parent organization established by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder, Colorado.
Around 1980, due to the number of dues-paying members and offered programs, Lexington's Vajradhatu group officially became a Dharmadhatu, with a full, working executive committee. We were fully committed to practice, reporting all of our practice hours. The Lexington Dharmadhatu asserted that meditation was a key to their everyday life, living together in a "practice house." This went on for many years, in several locations.
In addition to the "practice house," we had two "public spaces," including a stint at a doctor's office in an old house near campus, as well as a wonderful space at the back of a shopping center. This went on until we no longer wanted to put up with leaky roofs and ambient noise. In the fall of 1995, Lexington's Dharmadhatu purchased the building we now own. It was shortly after this move that we became a Shambhala Center, a title which soon replaced all Dharmadhatus.
This was a time of major shifts: we were now operating on our own, in our own space; and secondly, we were no longer strictly a Buddhist organization. The Shambhala Center, in Lexington and elsewhere, was made up of three "gates": Dharmadhatu, Shambhala Training, and Nalanda (contemplative arts). The Sakyong Mipham continued to refine this structure over the following years, and today we are Shambhala Buddhists--merging the lineage of Shambhala with the wisdom and traditions of both the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.
Today, we offer more programs and opportunities than ever, encouraging individuals of all traditions to embrace their basic sanity and actively engage with the world.
Our Council is made up of six people, and is assisted by group coordinators, who each serve key roles in maintaining the wellbeing and path of the Lexington Shambhala sangha. This configuration allows us to distribute leadership opportunities and responsibilities to more members of the community.
Director of Societal
Health and Well Being
Practice & Education
Susan Smith-Sargent (pro tem)
Culture & Decorum