Our Community and History

“Sangha” is the Sanskrit term for “community of practitioners” – one of the three jewels of Buddhism. This Shambhala Meditation Center is home to a wonderfully diverse community who share a genuine connection to contemplative practice and the aspiration to realize a more wakeful, sane society. Friends and members of the Shambhala Center are welcome to attend celebrations, practice events, meetings and gatherings of special interest groups.

Our History

What is now Lexington Shambhala Meditation Center began in 1975, as a small group of dedicated individuals interested in Buddhist meditation. Originally, this group was a Vajradhatu Dharma Study Group, led by the parent organization established by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder, Colorado.

Around 1980, due to the number of dues-paying members and offered programs, Lexington’s Vajradhatu group officially became a Dharmadhatu, with a full, working executive committee. We were fully committed to practice, reporting all of our practice hours. The Lexington Dharmadhatu asserted that meditation was a key to their everyday life, living together in a “practice house.” This went on for many years, in several locations. In addition to the “practice house,” we had two “public spaces,” including a stint at a doctor’s office in an old house near campus, as well as a wonderful space at the back of a shopping center. This went on until we no longer wanted to put up with leaky roofs and ambient noise. In the fall of 1995, Lexington’s Dharmadhatu purchased a building on Maxwell Street. It was shortly after this move that we became a Shambhala Center, a title which soon replaced all Dharmadhatus.

This was a time of major shifts: we were now operating on our own, in our own space; and secondly, we were no longer strictly a Buddhist organization. The Shambhala Center, in Lexington and elsewhere, was made up of three “gates”: Dharmadhatu, Shambhala Training, and Nalanda (contemplative arts). The Sakyong Mipham continued to refine this structure over the following years, and today we are Shambhala Buddhists–merging the lineage of Shambhala with the wisdom and traditions of both the Kagyü and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.
Today, we offer more programs and opportunities than ever, encouraging individuals of all traditions to embrace their basic sanity and actively engage with the world.

We are shifting again; we purchased the commercial building next door to the Maxwell Street house, and as of June 10, 2017 this will be our Center. The Maxwell building has been sold, and we have remodeled the new location. Programs began in this building in January, 2019.

Our Leadership

Our Council is made up of six people, and is assisted by support group coordinators, who each serve key roles in maintaining the well-being and path of the Lexington Shambhala sangha. This configuration allows us to distribute leadership opportunities and responsibilities to more members of the community.  If you wish to contact anyone in this list, please see our Contact Us page.

Director – Craig Sargent
Finance – Neil Griggs
Culture and Decorum – currently recruiting for this position
Societal Health and Well Being – Susan Smith
Practice and Education – Lucia Gilchrist
Rusung – currently recruiting for this position

Support Areas
Publicity – Cheryl Fletcher, Doraine Bailey, Craig Sargent
Grounds –