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 Daycare
Family Camp
Children’s Day
General Resources for Families


Shambhala Daycare childcare 3 Screen Shot 2013-03-02 at 4.58.28 PM

Childcare will be available every Sunday at the Shambhala Center,

from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM except as noted below.

Please check back here for updates to the Childcare schedule and announcements.

Shambhala childcare runs concurrently with Sunday Morning Meditation and Discussion.

There are no age restrictions but we do ask that you contact us in advance if your child is new to Shambhala Daycare, is 3 years or younger, or has special needs. And if you’ll be arriving later than 11:00 AM, please call ahead to let us know you’re on your way.

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

The purpose of the daycare is to support families in their practice by embracing their children’s presence at the Shambhala Center. The daycare 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 Daycare 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 daycare. 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 daycare.

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 Lee Oatey-Crouse and Robin Willett. Please contact Robin with any questions, comments, or to volunteer.

Annual Summer Family Camp

Family Camp & Rites of Warriorship 2014

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:


Sun Camp 2013

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:


Children’s Day

Each December, at the darkest time of year, we gather to celebrate our children as bright reminders of the future and of the unquenchable light of Basic Goodness.

Find out more about Children’s Day here: http://www.shambhala.org/community/childrensday.php

Children’s Day 2014 at Seattle Shambhala Center

This year we will celebrate Children’s Day and the Winter Solstice on Sunday, December 21 with festivities including a children’s performance of the  Iliana play with the King and Queen presiding., crafts, potluck dinner, goodies, and much more!

Come celebrate community and our children as reminders of the unquenchable light of basic goodness. Family and friends are all warmly welcome during any part of the day.

The Iliana play to be performed by the children (and some adults) is based on the story, Iliana, A Winter Solstice Tale, by Walter Fordham,  http://www.lionsroar.com/iliana-a-winter-solstice-tale/

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

For more information including a full schedule see: http://seattle.shambhala.org/program-details/?id=204714

Questions? Please contact Robin Willett: 425-442-4547 or robinwillett@comcast.net

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. Thank you for your donations to residents of the Union Hotel, and applause for the music played by the Slender Young Men.

General Resources for Families

Families and Children in Shambhala


Families and Children Resources Guide

Shambhala Songs:

Shambhala Canon (Unborn Unborn)

We are the Warriors

Empowering our Lives With Meaning:
A Monastic Youth Dathun


Additional Resources

Seattle Neufeld Community

Slow Family Living

New Parent Groups, Programs for Early Parent Support – PEPS

Parenting as Path: A Blog on Mindful Parenting