Thursday, September 26, 2019


Zen practice helps us to become intimate with ourselves, and through this, with the world at large. Few joys are greater than practicing this with others.  Eihei Peter Levitt

Zen Meditation and Study Retreat
 For Beginning and Experienced Meditators alike.

7:00 p.m. Thursday, October 24 to

 1:30 p.m. Sunday, October 27, 2019
at the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga

This retreat combines seated and walking meditation, dharma talks, 
discussion and study of zen texts and the self 
in traditional and creative ways.

In order to create the most beneficial retreat, spots are limited.   
Please register early.

Thurs night: 7 to 9 PM; Friday and Saturday 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM; 
Sunday 9:00 AM  1:30PM.

Led by Eihei Peter Levitt
poet, translator, founding teacher Salt Spring Zen Circle 

 $180 - $225 (includes three delicious vegetarian lunches)

Billeting is provided on First Come First Served basis.

Donations for teachings gratefully accepted.

For Information and Registration please click this link, paste it into your browser, or type it in if it fails to copy easily:

Tuesday, February 19, 2019


Salt Spring Zen Circle, which practices in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, author of the classic Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, will be offering our annual Spring Retreat, called sesshin, at the beautiful Gatehouse and gardens of Stowel Lake Farm on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia. The retreat begins at 7:00 PM on Thursday, April 4th, and ends at 3:00 PM on Sunday, April 7th.

Beginning and experienced meditators are most welcome to attend. We ask those new to meditation to read the guidelines regarding this retreat carefully. We encourage participants to maximize the benefits of this session by making this a residential retreat at Stowel Lake Farm. In addition, a very limited number of free billets are available for off island participants who would like to stay with sangha members.**

Known for his warmth, humour, clarity and the depth of his teachings, poet and founding teacher of Salt Spring Zen Circle, Eihei Peter Levitt, will lead this traditional Zen retreat. He has practiced Zen for almost 50 years. Award-winning author of fourteen books of poetry and prose, he also served as Editor of Thich Nhat Hanh's The Heart of Understanding; was Associate and Translation Editor of the Zen classic, The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen's Shobo Genzo (Shambhala, 2010), and coeditor, with Kazuaki Tanahashi, of The Essential Dogen: Writings of the Great Zen Master. Most recently, he is the author and translator, with Kaz Tanahashi, of The Complete Cold Mountain: Poems of the Legendary Hermit Hanshan (Shambhala Publications 2018.)
In keeping with our tradition of offering authentic practice for the least possible fee, the cost of the retreat is $170 - $220 (sliding scale) for the entire session, including all eight meals, plus voluntary dana (donation) for the practice and teachings Peter will provide. 

The cost of accommodation at the farm is separate. More information about this sesshin, accommodations at the farm, or billeting can be obtained by contacting our Registrar. Please see below.  

**We encourage those who want to make this a residential retreat, and off-island visitors who may want billeting, to register early since such accommodations are provided on a first come first served basis.

Monday, September 11, 2017


Zen practice helps us to become intimate with ourselves, and through this, with the world at large. Few joys are greater than practicing this with others.  Eihei Peter Levitt

Zen Meditation and Study Retreat
 For Beginning and Experienced Meditators alike.

7:00 p.m. Thursday, October 19 to

 1:30 p.m. Sunday, October 22, 2017
at the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga

This retreat combines seated and walking meditation, dharma talks, 
and study of zen texts and the self 
in traditional and creative ways.
In order to create the most beneficial retreat, spots are limited.   Please register early.

Thurs night: 7  9 PM; Friday and Saturday 9-5 PM; 
Sunday 9  1:30PM
(Early morning and after dinner practice is available and optional)

Led by Eihei Peter Levitt 
and members of
Salt Spring Zen Circle

 $160 - $190 (includes three delicious vegetarian lunches)

Billeting is provided on First Come First Served basis.

Donations for teachings gratefully accepted.

For Information and Registration please click this link or paste it into your browser:

Friday, December 11, 2015


 Victoria Shambhala Centre

Annual Winter Retreat: Befriending Ourselves, Befriending Our World

with Shastri Emerita Rebecca Hazell

December 27th—January 9th (2016)

Date details +
  • $275 per week Program Price
  • $300 per week Patron Price
  • $185 per week Reduced Price
  • Please see the "complete price details" and enter the amount you are paying
Room: 1st Floor Meditation Hall
Room: 1st Floor Meditation Hall
We are extending our annual winter retreat to two weeks, allowing more time to deepen our practice and to engage with the Shambhala Buddhist ​teachings more fully. This year we will explore how ​to befriend ourselves and others through precise mindfulness and insightful awareness, not only when meditating but also within daily life. ​In this way we can open our hearts fully to the beautiful, painful, brilliance of this world​. This open heart ​of compassion ​is the foundation ​of enlightened society.
The retreat will include short talks, discussion groups, contemplative lunches, and plenty of time to let your mind rest.
Prerequisites: None—everyone is welcome
Dates and times: Daily from Sunday, December 27 through Saturday, January 9, 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM. We welcome you to join us for the entire two weeks, for one week, or for one or more full days. (Please, no partial days.)
Complete price details: We are unable to offer our usual Generosity Policy for this program. If the “program price” is an obstacle for you, please consider paying the “reduced price”. If you are unable to afford the reduced price, please contact Chris Bauman at as soon as possible. For those who can offer more than the program price, we have a “patron price”. Your generosity in offering the patron price helps cover the costs for others who are not able to pay the full program price.
  • Program price: $275 per week; $45 per day
  • Patron price: $300 per week; $55 per day
  • Reduced price (limited space available): $185 per week; $30 per day
Questions? Please contact Chris Bauman at, or Joyce Rankin at

Friday, August 21, 2015

We are excited to let you know that Changling Rinpoche will be giving teachings in North America during September and October 2015.

The following schedule and topic information is current as of August 17. More information, including additional contact and registration details, will be sent as it becomes available and minor changes to the schedule may still occur. You can also see updates on our website at Lotus Speech Canada: Programs.

Vancouver, British Columbia
September 18 and 19. Teachings on The Heart Sutra.
Restricted to those with at least one empowerment.
Information and Registration: Etta Rosso

September 20. Topic TBA.
Restricted to Shambhala Vajrayana practitioners.
Location: Vancouver Shambhala Centre

Coombs, British Columbia
September 22 to 24, evenings. Teachings on Khenpo Gangshar’s Naturally Liberating Whatever You Meet.
Location: Kathok Centre
Information and Registration: Kathok Centre Events

Victoria, British Columbia
September 25 to 26. Teachings on Jigme Lingpa’s Aspiration of Ground, Path and Fruition.
Restricted to those with at least one empowerment and completion of at least one sadhana practice.
Location: Church of Truth
Information and Registration: Sandy Melnyk or Brian Menzies

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Click on Image to Enlarge:

Monday, December 01, 2014

True Expression: A Zen Immersion in Yoga, Meditation, Writing and the Arts with Poet and Zen Teacher Peter Levitt

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This summer, Zen teacher, Peter Levitt, who is also an award-winning poet, writer, and translator—and a much beloved teacher of writing and creativity—will be leading the third annual 7 day summer retreat that combines a gentle and inspiring schedule of meditation, yoga, writing and other arts. Peter will be joined by top notch yoga teachers and artists for this incredible week of intimate practice and joy.

True Expression Retreat will take place at the beautiful SS Yoga Centre on Salt Spring Island from July 19th to July 26th and, in Peter’s words, it promises to be “one of the most joyous, profound and expressive weeks I can imagine.”

Known for his gentleness, understanding, humour and warmth, Peter’s retreats and workshops have helped people to discover authentic creative expression in writing, painting and other arts since the mid 1970’s. Having also spent four decades practicing in the Zen tradition, Peter is the founding and guiding teacher of the Salt Spring Zen Circle, and is fully authorized to teach in the Zen lineage of Shunryu Suzuki-roshi, (author of the classic Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.)

As a poet, Levitt has received high praise from Governor General Award recipient, Robert Hilles, who called Peter’s last major book, Within Within, “A master work that reveals the interconnected fabric of it all in ways that will leave you stunned.”  In the same vein, legendary poet, Robert Creeley, wrote, “Peter Levitt’s poetry sounds the honour of our common dance.”

And, in speaking about Peter’s teachings, Joanna Macy, the revered peace and environmental activist, Buddhist teacher, and author wrote: 

“With this gentle and fearless guide, the way to creative self-expression becomes a path of liberation. The wisdom and practices he offers free me to walk out into the world as into my own heart—and discover that they are one.”

To learn more about True Expression Retreat, please paste this link into your browser

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mindful Relationships: Touching joy and letting go with Acharya Susan Chapman

As humans we are wired for close relationship, yet many feel isolated and alone, even in a committed partnership. With awareness, intimacy can begin to loosen the patterns of fear and doubt that keep us from receiving the love and connection we yearn for most.

Using meditation and other mindfulness practices this program explores the difference between 'red light' (closed) and 'green light' (open) patterns of intimacy, based on the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Drawing from her book, The Five Keys To Mindful Communication, author and marital therapist Susan Chapman provides practical instructions for shifting common relationship narratives of abandonment and power-struggle into the melody and dance of deep intimacy.

Whether you are single or in relationship, Mindful Relationships can provide a path to deeper, more fulfilling connection with others and the world.

About the facilitator
Susan Chapman has been a student of Shambhala since 1974 and currently serves as an Acharya or senior teacher.. She has an MA in Buddhist and Western Psychology from Naropa University, worked with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, and is a licensed Marital and Family Therapist.

The suggested program fee is $135 for both days. Some accommodation is available for those with fixed income, contact the host for more info

Please register early as space is limited.

Join the facebook invite here

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Harvest of Peace Celebration at the Shambhala Centre

Dear  Greater Victoria Buddhist Sangha

The Victoria Shambhala centre would like to invite all Buddhists in the Victoria area  to celebrate with us!

Harvest of Peace is an annual Shambhala community gathering celebrating our connection to the earth and the rich vision of a just and peaceful world. This year Harvest of Peace is SaturdaySeptember 27th.

In the spirit of a country fair expect a full afternoon and evening with great people, food from the harvest, a BBQ, games (for adults and kids), and some awesome local entertainment.

The theme is local goodness – featuring local food and fun

Schedule of events
The festivities begin at 4 pm with the traditional pre recorded address from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. At 5pm there will be old-time games and contests, tarot reading, pony rides for the kids, and a tour of our new renovations.

The BBQ and potluck starts around 6 pm followed by a best in show Pie Contest (with prizes that include free Shambhala programs and a level one) and variety talent show starting at 7:30. We will wrap up at 10 pm after a dance party clean up blitz.

During the evening we will be running a silent auction and
cash bar to fund-raise for our renovations.

Friends, family and neighbors welcome!

Food contributions for the potluck,
the theme is local food from the harvest.

If you can offer something to the BBQ that would also be very appreciated. Cash contributions for the grill are also welcome. If you make a wicked pie you are invited to enter the BEST IN SHOW PIE contest! .

Musical, poetic or artistic offerings for our variety talent night

  Volunteers needed! Do you have giant pumpkin in your garden?

Do you have a quirky talent, game or activity you want to contribute? Email Silas

Victoria Shambhala Meditation Centre
1-2033 Belmont Ave, Victoria, British Columbia V8R 3Z7

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Four Foundations Retreat

April 18th to 21st, 2014
Self-guided Ngondro • Mount Tuam, Salt Spring Island

Retreatants will be self-guided according to where they are in the Ngondro practices.
Regular scheduled pujas will also happen early morning and in the evening, when we
will recite the Green Tara/White Tara and Chenrezig/Mahakala sadhanas. This is ideal
for those wishing to start or resume their Ngondro practice, or complete it again all the
way through. Ngondro usually runs in order to include prostrations, taking refuge and
generating bodhicitta, Vajrasattva mantra recitation, mandala offering and guru yoga.

Before March 31st: $150
Cash or cheque - please make all
cheques payable to "KDOL" and
mail to 268 Mount Tuam Road,
Salt Spring Island, B.C. V8K 2W9.

After March 31st: $175
Cost includes:
retreat, accommodation, food and
transportation to and from the
ferry terminal.

Contact: For further details or to register for this retreat,
please email KDOL administrator Matthew Burrows at: or call (250) 380-8610.
Please visit
for more guidance on what to bring with you.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dharma, Karma and Astrology


 Dharma, Karma and Astrology

Click on image to enlarge

Michael O’Connor is a professional Astrologer/Numerologist with over 20 years of practice. A student of Astrology and Numerology for 30 years along with a B.A. majoring in English Literature and ongoing studies in spirituality, psychology, history and philosophy, Michael brings a wealth of knowledge to his international clientele. A popular columnist and entertaining presenter, Michael brings inspiring insights and practical wisdom to his audience.

Friday, January 24, 2014

UVIC free Lecture-Modern Buddhisim

  Thursday February 6th.

CSRS Public Lecture Series
The Study of Modernized Buddhism: What Are the Issues?
Victor Sōgen Hori, CSRS Visiting Research Fellow;
Associate Professor, McGill University
Many observers have noted (and applauded) the swift rise and dramatic spread of “modernized Buddhism” around the globe and especially in the West. In academic Buddhist Studies, research into modernized Buddhism is quickly being accepted as a new sub-field. In this new field, scholars have not yet agreed on what the basic issues are. In this lecture Victor Sōgen Hori asks a series of questions to identify the main priorities: What counts as modernized Buddhism? When and where historically does it start to arise?  What distinguishes westernization, modernization and globalization? Is modernized Buddhism “authentic” Buddhism?
Victor Sōgen Hori is Associate Professor, Japanese Religions, at McGill University. After completing his PhD (Stanford 1976), he trained as an ordained Rinzai Zen monk in Japan for thirteen years. He has published Zen Sand: The Book of Capping Phrases for Zen Kōan Practice. With two colleagues, John Harding (Lethbridge) and Alexander Soucy (St Mary’s), he has received a SSHRC grant to study The Modernization of Buddhism in Global Perspective.
Related Website
Times 16:30:00 to 17:30:00
Pricing This lecture is free and open to the public.
Sponsor CSRS

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Online Orientation to Zen Practice

"For over twenty years I had read book after book on the subjects of Zen and Buddhism, but somewhere in the back of my mind I knew all that reading was not enough. I was not DOING. The 'Orientation to Zen Buddhist Practice' course was that huge nudge I needed to get myself truly participating and practicing." - Seishin Susanne Ledingham
Discover the impact that consistent Zen practice can have on and in your life! The Zenwest Buddhist Society (formerly the Victoria Zen Centre) now offers a comprehensive Orientation to Zen Buddhist Practice training package to help you develop a stable Zen practice, no matter where you are.

Once the program has been completed, your knowledge and physical Zen practice should be well established enough for you to begin formal practice with Zenwest, and the experience you gain through practice will also ease your entry into virtually any other Zen or Buddhist group you choose to engage with.   

Online Training Materials
The online course is structured as a gradual and progressive four-week program, utilizing online videos, audio files, and a practice journal. Course materials are available at and are free for you to use any time, as often as you like, and to share as widely as you wish to. These resources are made possible through the generous support of Zenwest Members and Associates.

Course Support
In addition to the online materials, we also offer one-to-one Course Support. By registering for support, you will receive a once-weekly, 30-minute Skype support meeting with one of our training guides for each of the four weeks of the Orientation program (for a total of four meetings). These one-to-one sessions provide a forum for discussion of your experiences as you engage in the the program, and an opportunity for support and feedback from experienced practitioners regarding the challenges of establishing a consistent Zen practice.

Participation with a training guide is not required to access the online course materials, but is a requirement for completion of the Orientation to Zen program (a pre-requisite for further training with Zenwest).

To register for Course Support visit or email

Practice Assessment
When you have completed the Orientation to Zen program, if you wish to as a next step undertake further training with Zenwest or become a Zenwest Member, you must first complete a formal Practice Assessment. This can be done online, or in person. When you register for a Practice Assessment you will be contacted to arrange a mutually convenient time to conduct your assessment.

To register for a Practice Assessment visit or email

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A week long retreat at the Victoria Shambhala-Buddhist Centre

The practice of sitting meditation slows our torrent of thoughts and distractions and uncovers the stable, clear and potent quality of our mind. Adapted from the month-long Shambhala dathun, the city weekthun is an opportunity for us to connect deeply with meditation while relating it directly with our regular life. Beginners and seasoned meditators, as well as meditation practitioners of any silent tradition, are all welcome.
The week will include meetings with meditation instructors, short talks, contemplative lunches, and plenty of time to let your mind rest from the hectic pace of life. Full participation in the program will count toward the dathun requirement for Enlightened Society Assembly. Two consecutive sessions per day can be counted as the requirement for Shambhala Guides. To receive credit toward your dathun you must register for this program and attend all three sessions all seven days.
Practitioners of all levels are invited to join in this week of spacious mind, for the entire week or one or more full days. Please, no partial days.
Daily schedule: Friday, December 27, 7:00 – 9:00 PM; and Saturday, December 28 – Friday, January 3:
  • 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Opening chants and meditation
  • 12:00 – 1:30 PM: Lunch
  • 1:30 – 4:30 PM: Meditation
  • 4:30 – 5:00 PM: Tea
  • 5:00 – 7:00 PM: Meditation and closing chants
Suggested price: $300.00. Generosity Policy applies by prearrangement.
Questions ? contact: Chris Bauman at: