Renovations: Next round in August!

Over the last couple of years we have gradually been working to uplift the Toronto Shambhala Centre. (scroll through the blog for some history). Here’s how Heather Alinsangan, our centre director, described the work:

On Tuesday, August 2 we will begin the next phase of much-needed renovations to uplift the room we use for meditation instruction (and many other activities), and the Vajrayana Shrine Room.

What exactly are we doing? The meditation instruction room will be made much more accessible, bright, and welcoming by inserting double glass doors on the window wall (sound has been taken into consideration), installing a new floor covering, improving the lighting, and adding a fresh coat of paint. The room will clearly reflect Shambhala with decor and iconography to support meditation instruction and other social and community activities. One of the great advantages of the double glass doors is that we will be able to use this room for community events, creating a seamless flow with the adjacent community room.

The Vajrayana Shrine Room is a dedicated space for students to practice the inner teachings of the Shambhala Buddhist path, which are received from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and the Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Renovations will include improved lighting and storage, as well as a larger and improved configuration of the shrine. The intention is to create the most supportive environment to practice the Shambhala Vajrayana teachings that the Sakyong continues to unfold.

Schedule: Renovations will occur over a two-week period, from Tuesday, August 2–Sunday, August 14, during the day. The Rigden Shrine Room will not be affected, but it will not be possible to use the two rooms being renovated during that period.

Program/Activity Changes:

Evening Group Meditation (Tues. and Wed. 7-8 pm), Evening  Classes, and Refuge Recovery will not be affected by the renovations. However, if anyone is sensitive to dust or paint please consider returning when the renovations are completed.


  • Learn to Meditate (Sat. Aug. 6)
  • Sunday Morning Sit (Sun. Aug. 7)
  • Thursday Morning Sit (Thurs. Aug. 4 and 11)
  • Vajrayogini: Five Wisdoms with John McQuade (Sat. Aug. 13 and Sun. Aug. 14)

Meditation Instruction August 2-14.

Meditation Instruction will be offered during the first 20 minutes of the Group Meditation Tuesdays (Aug. 2 and 9) and Wednesdays (Aug. 3 and 10) evenings starting at 7:00 pm.

Anyone who would like more detailed meditation instruction and discussion is invited to attend any of our open house events Tuesdays and Wednesdays evenings or Thursday morning outside of the renovation dates (Aug 2-14).  Please also consider our morning program: Introduction to Meditation on Saturday August 6 or Saturday September 3rd ($20 or PWYC).

The main shrine room, in process

The main shrine room, in process

Volunteers are most definitely needed! Fred Cohen, the lead contractor for the renovations has assembled his team, but volunteers are needed to make the work flow more efficiently. During the first several days, two or three able-bodied people are needed to carry supplies from the freight elevator on the 2nd floor to the 3rd floor, remove debris, clean up, and help as needed. There are other opportunities to help throughout the schedule, but especially with the painting towards the end of the 2nd week. Please contact Margaret  if you are able to help during the day from 9 am to 6 pm. We need you and it is fun!

Contributions to the cost of the renovations are most welcome. The total cost is expected to be about $16,000. We have received a single donation of $8,000 which is a tremendous gift and other donations totalling $1,000 to date. Thank you! Our centre is able to offer so much because of the generosity of members and others who support the basic principles of Shambhala. These renovations are another way of manifesting our inherent basic goodness and will be another step in creating an environment where society, culture, and practice will flourish. If that is something you support, please make a donation today by going to

Yours in the vision of enlightened society,

Heather Alinsangan

Centre Director