Jan 11 2024
Stepping into Meditation + Community - Namchak

Stepping into Meditation and Community Eight-Week Course (Thursdays)

Live Online Zoom Course - Meets Every Thursday

In our busy lives, sometimes it is challenging to prioritize a meditation practice. We are not taught to “just sit there.” Many of us are constantly on the move with a never-ending to-do list.

But just think— how would your life change if you did make a shift into more intentional stillness? What would it feel like to experience the joy of just being? How would your relationship to yourself and others change if you were able to cultivate more presence and compassion?

Starting in January, we are offering an opportunity to support you in exploring these questions through our “Stepping into Meditation and Community” course. This is an online, interactive, eight-week course that will guide you to the most present, compassionate, and connected aspects of yourself. Through inner exploration and engaging with community, you will learn accessible, time-tested Tibetan Buddhist practices that will allow you to awaken into deeper peace, joy, compassion and balance in three spheres of engagement in your life: personal, community, and the world.

The content covered in this course will provide a foundational framework for Namchak practices, culture, and sangha (community) skills. This course is a great starting point for those who are just stepping into meditation and Namchak and want to create the habit of a daily practice, supported by others doing the same. This is also a great place to start for the more experienced practitioner who is looking for connection with the Namchak Sangha.

If it is possible, we also encourage you to invite local friends, family members, partners, neighbors, and co-workers to take this course with you. We are hoping to support you in cultivating a local sangha and creating a weekly ritual of joining this class together in a shared space!

Course Overview

The purpose of this course is to support us in coming home to our truer selves—the most present, compassionate, and connected parts of ourselves. We will learn accessible, time-tested, and lab-tested Tibetan Buddhist practices that will allow us to awaken into deeper peace, joy, compassion, and equanimity in three spheres of engagement in our life: personal, community, and the world. The content covered in this 8-week course will provide a foundational framework for Namchak practices, culture, and sangha (community) skills. 

Course Outline

  • Week 1: Course Overview, Intention Sharing & Community Foundations
  • Week 2: Four Noble Truths, Intention Deepening & Mindful Body Scan
  • Week 3: Introduction to Shamata & The Six Perfections
  • Week 4: Shamata Review, Mind of the Meditator & Working with Obstacles to Our Practice
  • Week 5: Loving Kindness Practice Starting with Ourselves
  • Week 6: Introduction to Tonglen- A Compassion Practice of Giving and Receiving
  • Week 7: Engaged Bodhicitta: Exploring our Work in the World
  • Week 8: Bringing it All Together & Carrying the Gems Forward (Course Conclusion)
  • Week 9: Optional Learning Circle Transition


Details – Online via Zoom:

We will meet for eight consecutive 90-minute weekly sessions on Thursday mornings. Each session will be led by Namchak facilitator Emily Ballentine.

  • Jan 11, 2024 10:00 AM MDT
  • Jan 18, 2024 10:00 AM MDT
  • Jan 25, 2024 10:00 AM MDT
  • Feb 1, 2024 10:00 AM MDT
  • Feb 8, 2024 10:00 AM MDT
  • Feb 15, 2024 10:00 AM MDT
  • Feb 22, 2024 10:00 AM MDT
  • Feb 29, 2024 10:00 AM MDT
  • Mar 7, 2024 10:00 AM (Optional Learning Circle Transition) MDT

Login Info

The Zoom link will be provided upon registration and a reminder email will be sent out each week with the login info. Please note: Confirmation emails from Eventbrite often end up in spam/promotions tab. Please check there if you do not see the confirmation email with the Zoom info.


Our intention is to make this workshop financially accessible to all, so we offer a tiered fee structure. Please choose whichever level works best for you.

If program costs present a financial barrier or you are interested in a stipend to offset the cost of childcare, please contact [email protected].

Invite a Friend! 

Sangha or community, is one of our favorite elements of the Buddhist path. That’s why we’re happy to share that when you register for the Stepping into Meditation and Community course, you can bring a friend, family member, or loved one to the course for free!

Upon registering for the course, you’ll receive a discount code via email for your guest to use for complimentary registration. They simply have to register for the course through our website and use the promotional code that you received in your email. We look forward to seeing you and your friend at our next course! Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Course Testimonial:

“Connecting with others who were, just like me, wanting to learn more about the Dharma, develop a daily practice, and be a part of something special has made this tumultuous and overly uncertain year a lot more enjoyable and gratifying. I loved the weekly conversations, the learning about Tibetan Buddhism and meditation methods, and the camaraderie that grew in spite of and because of our differences. I hold the greatest gratitude for Namchak for hosting these events and I’m looking forward to being a part of many more.” – Laura

About Emily:

Emily has been a student of Namchak since 2018. She has enjoyed contributing to many Namchak endeavors over the years, including serving on the Community Advisory Board and assisting in the creation of the Compassion in Action Network. Now, Emily serves as the Community Engagement and Programming Specialist, supporting students across all Namchak offerings. Prior to her current role with Namchak, Emily worked as a research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania, conducting clinical research on anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Emily’s passion for mental health led her to Temple University, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Today, she is an enthusiastic practitioner who enjoys cultivating sangha (community) and deepening into Vajryana wisdom and practice.

Our Community Commitments

In order to co-create a brave, inclusive, anti-oppressive, and learning-centered space, in our community, we each agree to:

  • Be inclusive of diverse opinions and backgrounds through treating each other with respect and appreciation.
  • Commit to words and actions of non-harm within our group interactions.
  • Learn by immersing in and committing to the practices at hand.
  • Hold personal sharing in confidence.
  • Be present, practice mindful listening, and not offer unsolicited advice.
  • Allow and invite for equal sharing of voices as well as the right to pass.
  • Take care not to speak for others in the group.
  • Assume good intent and come from a place of curiosity and care.
  • Come as we are with permission to be “raggedy.”
  • Be mindful of and take personal and collective responsibility for our own biases including the use of language that may “other,” “cancel,” or dehumanize any person, groups of people, and/or their experiences.
  • Ask for consent before hugging or initiating physical contact during in-person gatherings.
  • Use the “Ouch/Oops” tool to address hurtful comments and language in the moment and to allow space for repair.*

We aspire for this sangha to be a place of refuge

*Ouch/Oops . This is a tool for addressing hurtful comments/language in the moment. If someone says something hurtful, anyone can bring attention to it in the moment by saying “Ouch” and then explaining what was hurtful. If it is a word choice issue, be sure to give the first speaker the chance to rephrase and try again (remember, it’s okay to be raggedy, and we are all assuming good intent!) When someone says something that comes out wrong or hurts someone else, they should start with “Oops” – first, acknowledge the impact of their words, and then try again. This can also be done outside of the event if someone feels an “Ouch,” but does not feel comfortable sharing it with the group at that time. We aspire for this sangha to be a place of refuge.