I had been listening to Pema Chodron cds and reading her books for years. Although, when I tried meditation, it was extremely difficult for me.  After moving to Marin I enrolled in a Level 1 class (called The Art of Being Human) at Tamalpais Shambhala. The kindness and warmth of the teacher and volunteer staff was a breath of fresh air. The people were so genuine and real. It inspired me to take a book class and I found I loved hearing what others had to say about the teachings and applying them to their lives. Although it was hard for me at first, because I am not the most comfortable in groups, I found that I could make the teachings more real for me by studying them with others. I began to see life in a different way.

Finding this community was such a gift and a relief. I wish that for others – that they could connect with people from the heart and have these precious teachings – this precious wisdom – in their life. That they, like me, could be taught about this “discipline of gentleness” to oneself (so important) and to others.

Meditation is now a different exercise for me, since now I realize that meditation is a time to practice this “discipline of gentleness” – a time of non-judgement, warmth, and kindness – so that these may be carried on to the rest of life.


Becoming a member of the Tamalpais Shambhala Meditation Center is a statement about your personal inspiration, curiosity, and commitment to the path of awakening. It means participating in a community of practitioners who aspire to relate to each other with honesty, warmth, and openness. We inspire each other to deepen our practice of mindfulness, awareness and compassion. We also provide each other an opportunity to practice compassion and patience.

Membership at Tamalpais Shambhala is an expression of appreciation for the Shambhala teachings and community. Through membership one both receives special benefits, and may offer greater support to the center through group practice participation, community participation, volunteering or contributing financially.

Shambhala is more than a place to meditate and take classes. If you are inspired, it can become a lab for living in a different kind of culture — the culture of a community that practices these teachings with each other, and learns together how we might create a society based on basic goodness. In a world of isolation and individual consumerism, we can’t underestimate the value of that connectivity and sense of community. Community is part of our practice in Shambhala.

We invite anyone interested in our Shambhala Center to consider becoming a member. Becoming a member of our center simultaneously brings membership in Shambhala, a global community committed to cultivating mindfulness, awareness and compassion – personally and in society.

Membership is a way to express appreciation for what Shambhala provides and help make it available to others. This involves three areas of engagement and support:

Practicing meditation

Making a connection to mindfulness-awareness meditation or related contemplative practice and integrating this practice into daily life is considered the best way for members to support Shambhala and benefit the world and ourselves.


All of the work of our Center and much of the work of the Shambhala global community is done by volunteers. Giving our time and talents to the work of the community is a vital form of support and viewed as part of members’ practice.

Providing financial support

We rely on membership dues to pay our basic operating expenses and view financial giving as part of our practice as well. Our suggested level of membership is $40.00 per month. Patrons are invited to give more. In the end any amount you can give is greatly appreciated.

To download a TSMG Membership Form – click here

Why does membership matter?

Although membership is not required to participate in much of what the Center has to offer, without our community’s financial and volunteer support, we would not be able to offer all the wonderful programs, practice sessions, and events that we do.  It is because of our members that the profound tradition of meditation is able to survive and flourish. Payment of membership dues is the financial backbone of our Shambhala Center.

What are the benefits of membership?

Connection with our community by becoming a member helps support your practice and strengthen your understanding of Shambhala Buddhism in many ways:

  • Members receive ongoing meditation instruction with a personal meditation instructor
  • After one year, members may become more involved in opening the center, welcoming participants, being time-keeper at open house events and possibly joining our governing council.
  • Membership pin
  • Automatic membership in Shambhala’s world-wide network
  • Access to member resources at

Please contact Bill Smith by e-mailing our main e-mail address: if you have further questions about becoming a member.

To download a membership form: TSMG Membership Form – click here 

When complete please bring to Tamalpais Shambhala and hand it to one of our council members or mail it to our address (734 A Street, Suite One, San Rafael, CA 94901). You could also scan and e-mail the completed form (though it cannot be filled out on-line) to the e-mail address. You may also pick up the form when visiting our center.

Already a Member? Want to increase your Monthly Membership Dues? You can also use the membership form to increase your dues. Check the box that says “Change Donation Amount,” fill out as appropriate and bring, mail or scan and e-mail your complete updated form per the above instructions.

Those who are in the sangha are warriors, because they are trying to overcome samsara. Members of the sangha support one another and care for one another. They are not perfect, but they inspire us because they are people who want to deepen their practice of mindfulness, awareness and compassion. The sangha is also a container. When we practice together, the sangha helps our discipline. We realize that there are other people around who are going through the same thing. That gives us a feeling of encouragement.
– Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

If you are not interested in becoming a member at this time but would like to make a donation, please click  below.

Click here to make a donation to Tamalpais Shambhala.