FAQ

(First time coming to Shambhala? Check out Getting Started on the Path.)

I have practised meditation in another tradition. Can I use that technique instead?
Practitioners from all backgrounds are welcome. We suggest that if it’s your first time at Shambhala to try our meditation technique fully so that you have a complete experience of this practice.

Do I have to be Buddhist to practise meditation or come to the Shambhala Centre?
Absolutely not! Everyone is welcome at the Shambhala Centre from any tradition, belief or non-belief. We aspire to awaken the profound kindness inherent in human society and although our lineage is Buddhist we believe that everyone can meditate and become familiar with their own mind.

What should I wear?
Wear something comfortable for you to sit on a cushion on the floor or in a chair. There are times when students will dress nicely as a practice of respect and to reflect the uplifted nature of our minds. Please feel free to be yourself.

Should I bring anything to a weekend program?
Some helpful items to bring are a notebook, closed water bottle, and a shawl, light sweater, or long sleeved shirt in case the shrine room is on the cooler side.

What is the etiquette in the shrine rooms?
We ask that you remove your shoes before you enter the shrine room (at the entrance of the centre). Closed water bottles are fine to bring in. Sometimes people bring tea to a talk (but not to meditation practice). Please turn your cell phone off or leave it outside of the shrine room in silent mode.

Is there chanting?
Chanting is done as a practice at certain programs and events at the centre. Our Wednesday evening meditation ends with about ten minutes of chanting in English. You are welcome to join in or just listen.

What is membership?
Check out our Membership Page.

What do donations, program fees and member dues pay for?
Program fees first pay for all expenses related to the program, including program food and supplies. The rest of the income from program fees, and all the income from donations and membership dues, are used to pay the operating costs of this centre. Operating costs include building expenses (rent, insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc.), office expenses, shrine and practice expenses, and our centre’s contributions to Shambhala International.

How is the Ottawa Shambhala Centre run? We are 100% volunteer run. To learn more about what volunteers do, please check out Volunteering. To learn more about local administration, please check out Our Council.

I want to take a program but I can’t afford it. What are my options?
We strive to make all programs as affordable as possible, and we are fortunate enough to be able to offer our Generosity Policy to individuals who wish to attend programs but cannot afford the supporting level tier of pricing. Learn about our Pricing Policy.

Are you wheelchair accessible?
Yes. There’s an elevator in the building. There are automatic doors at the front of the building and at the entrance to the centre. Doorways within the centre are wide enough to manoeuvre a large wheelchair. Washrooms are also accessible.

Are there accommodations available?
There are no accommodations at the centre, but there are a variety of options in Ottawa.

Do you rent your space?
Not at this time, sorry.