The Mandala of Elements: Opening to the Wisdom of the Five Buddha Families

with Kathryn Rile

October 16th—November 20th

Date details +
  • $150 Program Price
  • $175 Patron Price
Room: Main Shrine Room

The five buddha families provide the means to work with ourselves and our world. They bridge the gap between mystical experience and everyday life.… (These teachings are) unique, magical, outrageous, mind-blowing and extremely simple at the same time.  
—Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche 

We carry the Five Buddha Families around as part of our psyche—our own mandala of colors. As we contemplate them we become increasingly aware of these energies in our lives, how they arise during our days in various situations. Each of the buddha families represents an aspect of awakened energy and has a specific style of being constricted or blocked. Each family relates to an element, earth, water, fire, air, and space. And, like the facets of a precious crystal, together they compose a whole. 

Through studying and contemplating these energies we gain insight into ourselves. We begin to see patterns in our world, our relationships, and our own mind as we recognize these energies at play. The Buddha families are an effective tool for working with our emotions. 

The Five Buddha Families are part of a series of Traditional Buddhist instructions that arise from the teachings on death and dying. They are also a key component in Buddhist Psychology, and it is through this lens that we will approach the topic.

In this class you will gain a foundational understanding of the Five Buddha Families and how they relate to your very individual experience of your mind. The Five Buddha Families are a remarkable tool for understanding and working with your own emotional energies and those of the people you interact with. 

The class will include guided meditation, experiential processes for connecting with our emotions, movement exercises, and deep exploration into the topic through talks and discussion. You will be introduced to one Buddha family each week and asked to do related readings and work with the energies between classes. 

Kathryn rileKathryn Rile has been a student of Shambhala for over 15 years. She has deep experiential training in working with the Buddha Families’ elemental energies as a practice. Kathryn is currently enrolled in the Karuna Training Graduate Program and has completed the Maitri Space Awareness Teacher’s Training at Naropa. 

Kathryn is a member of the San Francisco and Berkeley Shambhala Centers and is the Director of Communications for Northern California Shambhala. She works professionally doing design and communications for small businesses and nonprofits. Kathryn is a ceramic artist, the mother of two children, and lives in Western Marin County.

The Text
The text for the class is Luminous Emptiness: Understanding the Tibetan Book of the Dead by Francesca Fremantle. It is available new through Shambhala Publications and on Amazon and other online book sellers. It can be found used as well as on Kindle. It is ideal if you can purchase it before the first class. 

Program Price $150
Patron Price $175
Or write in what you can afford. Suggested minimum $75.
Nobody will be turned away for lack of funds. 

Paying the patron price helps to fund those who cannot pay the full program price. 

Please register online and pay in advance to reserve your space.

If you have any questions, please contact Kathryn kathrynrile [at] icloud [dot] com.





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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