Shambhala Meditation Center of Atlanta

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 11 October 2009.

Phone: 404-370-9650

Activities and Schedule

On Tuesday evenings (7:00 PM), they have an open house with meditation. All of these open houses include meditation instruction for newcomers. The first and fourth Tuesday of the month includes a talk about Shambhala training, the second includes a talk on Dharmadhatu and the third includes a talk on Nalanda. Meditation instruction, one of the most important components of our mission, is now available at the Tuesday night Open House (7:00 – 8:30 PM), on Sunday mornings (10:00-noon), a monthly ‘Introduction to Meditation’ class and Shambhala Level 1 (see their website for current dates). On Wednesday evenings, a scheduled sitting begins at 7:00 PM, which is followed by a talk. Buddhist classes are also offered on Wednesday night in six week cycles. A young Buddhist group for those in their 30s and under, now meets at 7:00 PM on the last Friday of each month. The first three Sundays of the month are for Nyinthun, an extended period of sitting from 9am to noon. On Sunday mornings, a sitting occurs from 10:00-11:30 AM, followed by a talk or reading, and group discussion. Afterwards, they host an informal social reception. Celebrations and special programs are also scheduled at the center. For example, a talk by a Tibetan Buddhist teacher was schedule for Thursday September 2 at 7:30 PM, an auction raising money for the new building on September 4 at 5:00 PM, and Padmasambhava Feast on September 20 at 7:00 PM.


Jackie Muse founded a dharma study group in 1976 that met in a house on Lenox Road in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. They moved two more times (a house on Peachtree Road in lower Buckhead and a space on Peachtree Street) as they attracted enough members and arranged enough activities to become a Dharmadhatu.
The umbrella organization (which eventually became Shambhala Training International) introduced Shambhala Training, which takes a "secular" approach to mindfulness-awareness meditation to complement the Buddhist approach of Dharmadhatu in 1981. Becaose of real estate problems Dharmadhatu and Shambhala Training separated physically in 1983. Dharmadhatu moved to a house on Highland Avenue and Shamabhala Training found a place on Zonolite Place. Dharmadhatu rejoined them two years later. The name has changed to Shambhala Buddhism, due to the unique blending of Kagyu and Nyingma lineage practices.
Shambhala Training International introduced a third gate called Nalanda, a secular "contemplative" approach, within the past few years and requested that all three gates share the same space. Their lease at Zonolite Place ended in August 1998 and after renting month to month they bought two houses on a major road (Church Street) in Decatur that were commercially zoned. Nalanda Arts is now called Shambhala Arts.


Most of the center members are white, English-speaking adults, about 30-50 years old. Even the Tibetan chants have been translated into English. White there are some members who are "dharma brats," young adults who grew up Buddhist, the center would like to attract a broader range of ages and ethnicities. The center is diverse with respect to sexual orientation.


The Shambhala Meditation Center of Altanta consisted of two buildings that were formerly residences. When the group bought the place within the past year the property was zoned for commercial use and the buildings had been unused for some time. They renovated one of the buildings fully, which now serves as a community building with a kitchen, a couple of offices, and space for social functions. The rooms are decorated with simple furniture and Asian-inspired art on white walls.
After extensive renovations, a large meditation hall is now open and seats 2,000 people. It was dedicated July 2, 2004. The new building is attracting an ever-increasing number of new visitors, a great many of them college students. The large space will allow them to host large regional gatherings of the various Shambhala centers around the Southeast U.S., as well as large public programs for well known teachers such as Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Pema Chodrin.
The center has scheduled its annual winter retreat from January 10 to February 6, inviting members to sit anytime from 7:00 - 9:00 PM on weekdays and 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM Saturdays and Sundays. February 6 is Shambhala Day, the celebration of the lunar New Year with activities scheduled all morning, concluding in a potluck at noon and a video.
Children's programs were scheduled for Sundays in October.
They have a weekly email newsletter called the Friday Flyer. Those who wish to get the email newsletter may signup on the center’s website.


My contact stressed that this was primarily an experiential path, not a scholarly path.