The Benefits of Membership

Becoming a member of San Francisco Shambhala is a statement about your personal inspiration, curiosity, and commitment to the path of awakening. It means participating in a community of practitioners who aspire to relate to each other with honesty, warmth, and openness. We inspire one another to deepen our practice of mindfulness, awareness, and compassion. We also provide each other an opportunity to practice compassion and patience.

We invite anyone interested in our Center to consider becoming a member. Becoming a member of the San Francisco Shambhala Center simultaneously brings membership in Shambhala, a global community committed to cultivating mindfulness, awareness, and compassion―personally and in society.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member, please email membership [at] sfshambhala [dot] org.



Membership is a way to express appreciation for what Shambhala provides and help make it available to others. This involves three areas of engagement and support.

Practicing meditation

Making a connection to mindfulness-awareness meditation or related contemplative practice and integrating this practice into daily life is considered the best way for members to support Shambhala and benefit the world and ourselves.


Much of the work of our Center—and the work of the global Shambhala community—is done by volunteers. Giving our time and talents to the work of the community is a vital form of support and viewed as part of members’ practice.

Providing Financial Support

Berkeley Shambhala Center is a non-profit organization that relies on membership dues and donations to pay our basic operating expenses. We view generosity and financial giving as part of our practice as well. Everyone is invited to become a member at a financial level that is comfortable for you.



Suggested Monthly Tax-Deductible Contribution Levels

•  Root $500 and up
•  Trunk $200 to  $499
•  Branch $80 to $199
•  Leaf $30 to $79
•  Bud $5 to $29

You can read a full description the meaning of these levels of contribution here.

Windhorse Member
If you are unable to make a financial contribution at this time, consider becoming a Windhorse Member by contributing to the resources of the San Francisco Shambhala Center through service and non-financial gifts. Please email membership [at] sfshambhala [dot] org about this option.

Membership Form

Fill out our membership form online and our membership coordinator will be in touch with you.


Why does membership matter?

Although membership is not required to participate in much of what the Center has to offer, without our community’s financial and volunteer support, we would not be able to offer all the wonderful programs, practice sessions, and events that we do.  It is because of our members that the profound tradition of meditation is able to survive and flourish.

Payment of membership dues is the financial backbone of our Shambhala Center.


Membership Benefits

Connection with our community by becoming a member helps support your practice and strengthen your understanding of Shambhala Buddhism in many ways:

  • Ongoing meditation instruction with a personal meditation instructor
  • Membership pin
  • Eligibility to participate in Center governance and leadership committees
  • Tax-deductions for financial contributions
  • 15% discount in our bookstore
  • Automatic membership in Shambhala’s worldwide network
  • Access to member resources at
  • Community events just for members

Those who are in the sangha are warriors, because they are trying to overcome samsara. Members of the sangha support one another and care for one another. They are not perfect, but they inspire us because they are people who want to deepen their practice of mindfulness, awareness and compassion. The sangha is also a container. When we practice together, the sangha helps our discipline. We realize that there are other people around who are going through the same thing. That gives us a feeling of encouragement.
– Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche