Shambhala Cuenca officially began in June of 2015 when we received notice from Shambhala International that we had been accepted as a Shambhala Meditation Group. Our first Council meeting was June 3, 2015.
For the more than 3 years previous to this, Shambhala practitioners, Lucy Altemus and Craig Adams had been hosting meditation in the upstairs of the Windhorse Café. Their vision was always that of our leader Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, namely “to bring people together around good food, strong community and a committed meditation practice” (and yes, that order). Our decision to apply for official membership in the international Shambhala sangha was partly sparked by the visit of Tom Adducci, Director of Shambhala Chicago, to Cuenca in February 2015.
Now that we have been “official” for a year now, we have regular Sunday exercise, meditation, quarterly Sadhana (liturgy) practice, interspersed with occasional social events. Several dharma study classes are offered each year as well as a one day “Ninthun” retreat.
After the Sunday practice, held upstairs in the Windhorse Café building, meditators like to hang out downstairs in the café to catch up on each others lives and enjoy lively conversation.