Families and Children


May the heart of our community be warmed by the laughter of children, energized by the passion of teenagers, inspired by the pure vision of young adults, enriched by the generosity of parents, strengthened by the discipline of adults, stabilized by the wisdom of the elders and altogether held and guided by the lineage.


Children’s Programs at the Seattle Shambhala Center

Shambhala Child Care
Bodhi School
Family Camp
Children’s Day
General Resources for Families

Become a Volunteer
Our Family & Children Programs are about creating a space for children to connect to their own goodness, wisdom, kindness, and strength. Volunteering to support this environment is an expression of generosity and commitment to our children and the offerings Seattle Shambhala Center provides.

Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Dierdre to discuss volunteer opportunities.


Shambhala Child Care

Shambhala Child Care runs concurrently with Sunday Morning Meditation and Discussion from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM. Parents must stay on site. During check-in please  provide a cash or check donation of $10 ($5 for each additional child).

NOTE: Please check back here for updates to the Child Care schedule and announcements.

There are no age restrictions but we do ask that you contact us in advance if your child is new to Shambhala Child Care, is 3 years or younger, or has special needs.

Parents are invited to participate in child care with children younger than 2 years old. Children 12 years or older, young adults, and elderly family members who enjoy being with children are encouraged to participate or volunteer with the child care team.

The purpose of the child care is to support families in their practice by embracing their children’s presence at the Shambhala Center. The child care provides children a place of belonging in a spiritual community as well as an opportunity for familiarity and comfort to develop before entering the future Children’s program.

Shambhala Child Care has no set curriculum. Exposure to stories and activities with Shambhala Buddhist themes and simple activities to cultivate awareness may be introduced when appropriate. Kindness, cooperation, caring, respect, and responsibility to community are all values of the child care. We emphasize working together, caring for the Center, discovery, and celebrating the natural world.  Physical exercise, art, and meditation are some of the common activities of the child care.

Outdoor activities are an important part of experiencing the world through the senses and developing mindfulness, so please ensure children are prepared with rain boots, clothes that can get muddy, appropriate outerwear for rain, snow, sun, etc., and maybe even an extra set of pants.

Shambhala Daycare is coordinated by Robin Willett and the Child Care Team. Please contact Robin with any questions or comments.

Bodhi School

A time for children between 8 and 11 to explore Shambhala culture and studies. Held one Sunday a month through December 2015 at the Seattle Shambhala Center. Children will be encouraged to develop a regular meditation practice. Outings, one overnight, and a community project in skillful caring will occur along the way.

The Bodhi School fall session will begin on October 11, 2015. Please visit the Bodhi School Information and Registration page for more details. http://seattle.shambhala.org/program-details/?id=219151

Annual Summer Family Camp

Family Camp & Rites of Warriorship

There will be no Washington state family camp for summer 2015.  Stay tuned for details for summer 2016.

2014 Camps
August 8-11, Family Camp at Windhorse Retreat Center, Whidbey Island, WA
August 4-10, Shambhala Mountain Center, Colorado
August 2-10, Karme Choling, Vermont

What’s family camp like? 

Seattle Shambhala Center’s Family Camp 2012 Mischievous_2
Our community held its first family camp last summer at beautiful Windhorse Retreat Center on Whidbey Island. Click on the link below for a description and slideshow of the three-day event. Family Camp 2012

And, check out this video of Family Camp at Karme Choling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0_iSuK_QqI&feature=youtu.be

Shambhala Sun Camp 2015
Shambhala Sun Camp is an outdoor sleep-away summer camp for children ages 10-16 with locations in Colorado, Nova Scotia and France.  Sessions take place in July and August.  For more information go to:http://shambhalasuncamp.org/


Children’s Day

The Children’s Day Celebration on the Winter Solstice is one of four high seasonal celebration days, or Nyida Days in the Tibetan tradition, with a special focus on children and the nourishing light and warmth of community in the midst of the cold and wet abundance of our Northwest winter season. It’s a time too, for slowing down and reflecting.

Find out more about Children’s Day here: http://shambhalatimes.org/2014/12/28/celebrating-childrens-day-2/

How do the King and Queen celebrate Children’s Day in the magical city called Kalapa, which is the capital of the Kingdom of Shambhala?  Find out in  A Children’s Day Story by Martin Janowitz

Children’s Day 2012 at Seattle Shambhala Center
On December 16, 2012, Iliana and her dignity companions, the local King and Queen of Shambhala, and sangha celebrated a magical and lively Children’s Day and Winter Solstice.


General Resources for Families

Shambhala Articles

Family Meditation http://shambhalatimes.org/2013/03/30/family-meditation-2/

Drala Kids http://shambhalatimes.org/2011/08/31/drala-kids/

Shambhala Songs

Shambhala Canon (Unborn Unborn)

We are the Warriors

Additional Resources:

A Monastic Youth Dathun

Slow Family Living

New Parent Groups, Programs for Early Parent Support – PEPS