Sacred World Assembly

31 July 2017 - 22 August 2017
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
Acharya Adam Lobel
Acharya Barbara Märtens


Sacred World Assembly is a complete entrance into the sacred outlook of Shambhala. Having been introduced to one’s own basic goodness, the basic goodness of all beings and society itself, and having been introduced to the great mahayana path, the warrior is now invited into the full magic of the sacred world.

This advanced program, Sacred World Assembly (formerly Vajrayana Seminary) is designed to deepen students’ practice and understanding of the Buddhist and Shambhala Vajrayana teachings and to enter them into a sacred relationship with the Viracharya guru, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche — helping him to create an enlightened society.

Sacred World Assembly will be led by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and two senior teachers, Acharya Adam Lobel and Acharya Barbara Märtens. This Assembly authorizes students to begin their Shambhala Ngöndro, the preliminary practices for receiving the Rigden Abhisheka and beginning Werma Sadhana practice.


Students applying to Sacred World Assembly will need to have completed the following in advance of the program:

Enlightened Society Assembly and its prerequisites.
Warrior Assembly and its prerequisites.
A 3-5 day solitary shamatha-vipashyana retreat.
Having completed a total of four weekthuns before Sacred World Assembly. These could have been done together in dathun format or separately over the course of several years.
Two recommendations – from your Meditation Instructor, Center Director and/or Practice and Education Director
Refuge and bodhisattva vows, which are required before receiving vajrayana transmission.

Bodhisattva vows will be offered for those who are unable to receive the vow before hand (however, you are strongly encouraged to make every effort to have taken this vow before SWA.)

Once accepted to the Assembly, all participants must complete the Shambhala Online course, Entering the Vajra World, and class-related practice requirements, prior to the start of the Assembly. More information on this course will be provided in your acceptance letter from the Office of Practice and Education.

Applying & Registering for SWA

Attending Sacred World Assembly is a two-part process that includes applying to the program with the Shambhala International Office of Practice and Education and registering with Dechen Chöling center. Before you register for this programme, make sure you have applied with Shambhala International and that your application is approved.

1. Application - Deadline May 1, 2017

Your online application should be submitted by May 1, 2017 to the Office of Practice and Education, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The applications are fully reviewed in order to ensure that each participant is adequately prepared. Note that applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. If a program reaches capacity before the deadline date, we will close the program from accepting new applications. If you have already started an application you will be able to submit it for review, but you may be put on a waiting list.

Click here to apply

2 - Registration - deadline June 19

Registering with Dechen Chöling Center allows you to pay for the program and requested housing. Registering for housing submits your housing preference, but does not guarantee it. Importantly, registration with Dechen Chöling alone does not guarantee your attendance at Sacred World Assembly. Please do not make airplane reservations until you have received your full acceptance from the Office of Practice and Education.

Click here to register


Sacred World Assembly will be led by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and two senior teachers, Kalapa Acharya Adam Lobel and Acharya Barbara Märtens.

Acharya Barbara Märtens

BarbaraMartinsBarbara Märtens is trained in cultural pedagogy, Zen-arts and contemplative psychology; She teaches various Meditation and Buddhist courses in Europe including Maitri Space Awareness practice and other contemplative approaches to art, work, and to life in general. Her special emphasis lies in training sense perception and creative expression in individual and group work. She is an Acharya in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition with more than 20 years of practice. She is a member of faculty in Karuna and Upaya, an organization for contemplative psychology, health and art. Barbara has two grown up children and lives in Hamburg, Germany.


Kalapa Acharya Adam Lobel


Adam Lobel is a teacher in the Shambhala tradition, a Buddhist minister, and a scholar of philosophy and religion.

He was named an Acharya in 2004 and completed a Masters of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, where he is helping to establish a track for Buddhist ministers and chaplains.  His research focuses on philosophy, phenomenology, meditation, and the Great Perfection tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. In 2008, the Sakyong named Acharya Lobel the Kalapa Acharya. The Kalapa Acharya presides over the Pillar of Practice and Education within Shambhala. Acharya Lobel is particularly responsible for curriculum and path development as well as training Shambhala teachers.


Practical information

Arrival day (Monday 31 July): Intro talk at 8 pm. You're encouraged to come from 3pm in order to register and settle in your room. Dinner is served at 6.45 pm.
Departure day (Tuesday 22 August): You may leave anytime (no program). You're welcome to stay for lunch. Language:  Retreat taught in English. Translation available at no extra costs upon request to be done as early as possible.

Extra fees: The price of your stay displayed below includes the program fee, full board (standard accommodation and organic meals) and the Sakyong's honorarium. Not included are the Programme Support Fee (€30, formerly known as Application Fee) and the material fee (approximately €240). Additional you may be required to pay the annual Dechen Chöling membership fee (€15) if SWA is your first program done at Dechen Choling this calendar year.


Please note: To register for this program you should be a member of your local Shambhala Meditation centre/group or be a member of Shambhala Europe/International. If you don’t have contact to a centre close by, you can become a member of Shambhala Europe by contacting

Price of your stay

Standard 2298 euro

Standard price: global tarif including the program fee, full board comprising standard accommodation (Dechen Chöling tent) and organic meals.

Other services

  • You may select a single or double room during online registration (if available, we’ll confirm by mail after registration).
  • Shuttle transport or taxi (all year round) and child care options (July/August) are available.
  • The insurance covering you during your stay (third party liability) is included in the yearly required membership fee for the Association Shambhala Europe (15 €).

We would like finances not to be a barrier to your participation. If needed, Dechen Chöling can propose several financial assistance options (monthly payment, scholarship…).
Do not hesitate to contact us: