Rousing Confidence and Kindness: When to Soften and When to Be Sharp

with Acharya Emily Bower

January 24th (2016)

Date details +
  • $75 Program Price
  • $100 Patron Price
  • Or pay what you can afford. $40 suggested minimum. Write in the amount.
Room: Main Shrine Room

Discover wisdom through the willingness to be vulnerable, available, and open.

It may seem like every day that we turn on the news we learn of a new tragedy, a new threat that might scare us, distress us, leave us feeling anxious about our safety or our planet's future. Opening our hearts and being vulnerable may not be the obvious response to these global events, but the Shambhala teachings show us how wisdom is discovered through this very willingness to be vulnerable, available, and open.

In this daylong program, Acharya Emily Bower will lead guided contemplations that invite us to look inward. Maybe we will see aspects of ourselves that we habitually avoid. And maybe we will see wisdom and strength and kindness. How can we develop a practice, and even a habit, of relating with gentleness to our own fears and insecurities?

We will explore exercises for being with the raw energy of the present moment. What’s to be gained in being present with our mind and body? Why do we habitually turn away from that energy, seeking distraction and numbness? In rousing genuine kindness for ourselves, we can include our “flaws”—and maybe even cultivate a habit of being kind, instead of hard, toward ourselves (and others).

We will also acknowledge our wisdom and skillful means. When we get caught in habitual self-criticism or defensive self-aggrandizement, we miss the opportunity to see clearly and to sharpen our insight.

Contemplation Exercises Will Include

  • Being in the body
  • Awakening our senses
  • Tuning in to the environment
  • Being open to what we discover without judging
  • Cultivating friendliness to self and other
  • Journaling or drawing

Group Discussions
Note on how we will conduct group discussion: Unlike in a support group or a therapy session, we will NOT be sharing the details of our personal histories, but instead, we’ll have opportunities to journal, draw, take photos, contemplate, and sometimes share by speaking from our experience and feelings in the present moment.  

Who is this program for?
This program is for busy people who carry responsibilities, small and large, in their personal and/or professional lives. It offers practical tools and support for anyone who feels challenged by their personal, professional, community, and spiritual commitments.

Seasoned practitioners are warmly encouraged. Newcomers are also welcome and meditation instruction will be offered.

Acharya Emily BowerAcharya Emily Bower has been practicing in the Shambhala International community, starting in Berkeley, CA, since 1987. She was appointed an acharya, or senior teacher, in 2004, by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the spiritual leader of Shambhala International.

She is a professional book editor specializing in Buddhism and eastern philosophy, as well as in translations of the sutras for the international non-profit translation project, She is also staff blogger for Dharma Spring, a start-up online Buddhist bookstore.

Emily travels internationally to lead meditation workshops and retreats. Her home is in Los Angeles, California, where she lives with her husband, the translator Peter Alan Roberts.

For more information contact Nicole: nmarcotte [at] gmail [dot] com

Please register in advance online so that we know you are planning to attend.
Photo Credit: goodsophism





We appreciate you registering and paying online. This helps us not only to plan for the program, but speeds up the registration line on the day of the program.

Generosity Policy
The San Francisco Shambhala Center is funded solely by your membership and program donations. Thank you for your generosity as you consider what you can pay for each program at our Center. We strive to price our programs in a way that accurately reflects the financial need of our Center and the cost to us of producing the program.

We are committed to offering our programs to everyone, regardless of their financial situation. If you are unable to meet any of our listed pricing tiers please contact us to discuss your current needs. In addition to offering scholarship pricing for those in need, we also offer the option of paying for some programs in installments.

In order to request use of the Generosity Policy, please contact the person listing under the program’s contact information, or email: info [at] sfshambhala [dot] org, at least one week prior to the program you wish to attend.

What is the Patron Price?
The other aspect of our Generosity Policy is our Patron Price. Those who are able to offer more than the regular program price can select the Patron Price option.  By selecting this option, your generosity is helping to cover the costs of those who may not be able to pay the full price of the program. Thank you for your consideration, and for helping all to receive the treasure of the Shambhala Dharma.

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