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Dec 13
International Programs
Shambhala Training Arrives in Russia

Shambhala Training arrived in Moscow for the very first time last month. The program was co-directed by Shastri Bill Brauer and his wife Ella Reznikova, who traveled from their home in Barnet, Vermont for this historic occasion.

Though not the first time Shambhala teachers have taught in Moscow, it was the first time Shambhala Training Levels have been offered. The weekend program was hosted by a professional organization called Technologies of Abundance, a Russian company that offers leadership training in conjunction with the small but growing Forming Shambhala Group who coordinated the training.

About this historic event, President Richard Reoch said: “This was a significant moment in the unfolding of Shambhala vision. It was the result of many hearts and minds working together, tremendous energy on the part of all our Shambhala members and friends in Russia, a lot of international collaboration, and the terrific inspiration that Ella and Bill brought with them for this first-ever Shambhala Training event in Moscow.”

Brand new meditators joined established practitioners for a total of 20 participants. Moscow’s society has greatly transformed. Today people in Moscow have many more opportunities to explore their experience than twenty years ago. Now it boasts a society ripe for the practice of meditation.”

Russian Voices of Basic Goodness
The Shambhala Times is pleased to present these written excerpts from participants, eager to share their experience.

Due to this seminar, I have a new feeling of the value of meditation. I felt on my skin inner barriers preventing me from discovering my basic goodness and opening to the world. I saw precisely that I have this goodness in every moment. This is a very subtle, tender part of me that I am not used to touching, and I am so easily distracted from it in my meditation. It is scary to see how much richness I have inside of me that I practically do not use. I wish all of us could find at least 10 minutes a day to meditate, and every day open our basic goodness a little bit more to this world.

Nastya (Coordinator of the Moscow Shambhala Group)
When ordinary meditation practice begins to loose its colors and meaning, then the teachers come. They come, and I am reminded again that everything is true. Meditation is a useful practice for me personally, and as a means to understanding other people. It is inseparable from the question: what is the essence of life? All of the lectures and answers from the teachers were given in a full way and details were explained; it was hard to argue with the teachings. But the phrase that was repeated again and again, was: “do not believe if you don’t confirm it in your own experience. And if you confirm it at least once, do not reject it again.”

It is obvious that this training is useful and good. I always thought that in order to understand something, we need to run somewhere, to undo many things, to discuss it with many people. But sometimes all you need to do is to drop yourself for a few days onto a meditation cushion. These three days gave me more wisdom in comparison with a few days of my running around being busy. Before this, I was always afraid when my heart was in pain, or anxiety showed up, and now I just perceive them as cracks in my cocoon. I am learning not to be afraid of this, but just to look, and see. I cannot say that I can always do that without blinking, but as they say, people get used to everything, so it is a question of training and practice. It is good that there are endless possibilities for training, and that perfection has no limit.

This weekend illuminated for me the unnecessary heroism of practicing meditation just 10 minutes a day. It is hard to explain in words, but I feel something different. Earlier, what I perceived as the soft spot was mostly hysterical. I couldn’t help this one person, I couldn’t do anything for another, and that is why I am unworthy, drinking coffee when other people are starving. Ridiculous! But during this training I perceived that this soft spot (our heart), is really soft, big and peaceful. My mind is hysterical and blaming, but my heart is softly directed.

For those of us willing to spend three days at this Shambhala Training, it was a historic event. We experienced powerful transformation, touching into the eternal stream of wisdom, both ancient and contemporary. Our days were full of meditation and exercises that helped us connect with basic goodness and transform negative emotions into life energy. Meditation demands bravery and honesty with yourself and your effort – no matter how strange it sounds. There was intense, passionate discussion during which participants addressed Bill in Russian without waiting for translation. And most unbelievably, he would answer.

Thank you to Bill and Ella! You brought elegance, simplicity and touching openness and power. It was there. Every time the teaching is more effective, you can see more nuances.

For me the most interesting insight was how we sustain our cocoon. I read it in Trungpa’s books and it seemed simple and clear, but it is just a conceptional part of my brain. But when I really saw this process in myself in the details and appearances of things, it was like a miracle. It is easy now not to create more colorful ornaments of my mind. I do not notice all of them, but I am trying.

Olga (Director of Technology of Abundance)
One more time I saw that the heart does not open once and forever. This was painful, sad, and sweet at the same time. It was scary to enter this openness, scary to live with such tenderness towards the world. But for me to live without it is not a life – it is just existence, without budding, blossoming, and turning leaves falling, waiting for something new and un-familiar. I am enormously grateful to Bill and Ella for their brilliant training, and also for the fact that from now I will hold my heart open with more awareness. I love you, our teachers!

Click on any photo following for a slide show of photos from this historic program. All photos are courtesy of the Shambhala Russia Group.


If any Shambhala Times readers wish to know more about Shambhala in Russia or have ideas on how to help introduce our culture of kindness, please contact Mr. Vegan Aharonian, Shambhala mentor to Russia at: vegaharon {at} gmail.com, or Ella Reznikova at: rez9041 {at} yahoo.com.

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7 responses to “ Shambhala Training Arrives in Russia ”
  1. Дмитрий
    Jun 8, 2012

    Добрый день, Хью Mc Enaney.
    7.06.2012 на станции метро “Римска”, я нашел ваш кошелек, в нем имеются банковские карты,визитки и ключик.Вы можете связаться со мной для передачи вещей.

  2. Dear Hugh,
    Please email Nastya at [email protected]

  3. Hugh Mc Enaney
    Dec 21, 2011

    I am sorry I had not heard about this and would have loved to attend, an old school friend and Shambala practitioner just emailed me today about it. I would like to join a group like this here in Moscow for regular meditation practice.

  4. Gail Flynn
    Dec 15, 2011

    This looks amazing. Your generorsity, warmth and knowledge has has been shared, which is the best.I hope it spreads like fire!!

  5. Ura! Ura! Chudno! Velikolepno! Spasibo bol’shoe, dorogaya Ella, za to, chto vozmozhno sejchas Russkim ljudyam vyijti iz Kokonov!

  6. widely smiling… Reminded me again such a pleasant feelings of these programmes.Thank you, dear Bill and Ella for your long overseas trip for the aim to bring to Moscow group Shambhala teachings for first Levels.
    The article’s main picture – where is written on Russian and in English translation it means – “Cocoon” – what was the main thing to understand throughout these days. And funny is that out to city Vlad had found on one busy street with a trivial place – shop with name “Кокон” (eng. “Cocoon”), what was so similar to the topic.

  7. Titilia Cakau
    Dec 13, 2011

    Tears from my eyes. Of joy.

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