Family Program

About our Growing Brave Family Program

Our family program for families with children between 3 and 12 years old is based on the Sitting Together curriculum developed by Sumi Loundon Kim. We have customized it based on both of our dual lineages – the secular Shambhala lineage, which includes people of all or no religions, as well as the Kagyü and Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist lineages. The Shambhala Family Program is based on the principles that all children and parents embody innate goodness, curiosity, and kindness. We explore Buddhist and Shambhala themes through play, music, art, and stories while incorporating simple, age appropriate mindfulness activities. We welcome families from any or no religious backgrounds to attend.

While lessons do build on each other, there are no prerequisites for attending any particular lesson. However, children and adults who do attend all lessons in a particular unit will receive a pin in a ceremony during the last class of the unit. The units are meditation, kindness, ethics, character, nature, and Shambhala culture.

A single class costs $10/family. A semester costs $30/family. Our financial generosity policy is available for families who would like to attend, but need assistance.

Note that beginning 2020, Growing Brave will meet every 2nd Sunday, from 11 AM to 12 PM (except April, May, and December, to accommodate other celebrations), and will be preceded by breakfast at 9 AM and meditation (with instruction available) for adults and play for children at 10 AM. Please register as space is limited, or contact [email protected] for more information.

2020 Scheduled Classes – Kindness

Spring Semester

Date Topic (Children/Parents)
Jan 12, 2020 Family/Igniting lovingkindness
Feb 9, 2020 Celebrating Shambhala Day (Lunar New Year Shambhala culture)
Mar 8, 2020 Planting Seeds of Peace (Spring Equinox Shambhala culture)
Apr 19, 2020 Acts of Kindness/Lovingkindness for oneself

Summer Session

Date Topic
May 17, 2020 Friends/Lovingkindness for a friend and a neutral person
Jun 14, 2020 Celebrating Midsummer (Summer solstice Shambhala culture)
Jul 12, 2020 Circle of Kindness/Working with anger
Aug 9, 2020 Anger and Forgiveness/Forgiveness

Fall Semester

Date Topic
Sep 13, 2020 Celebrating Harvest of Peace (Autumnal equinox Shambhala culture)
Oct 11, 2020 Difficult People/Lovingkindness for difficult people
Nov 8, 2020 All Beings/Lovingkindness for all beings
Dec 6, 2020 Celebrating Children’s Day (Winter solstice Shambhala culture)

We also meet monthly to talk and play outside, where there aren’t so many rules to follow (no touching the shrines, sit still on your cushion, etc.) and we can have fun together socially. Here’s what we have planned for 2020:

2020 Field Trips and Social Events

Date Topic
Mar 1, 2020 Shambhala Day celebration
Mar 21, 2020 Bonfire to celebrate spring
Apr 3-5, 2020 Spring camping trip to Enchanted Rock
Apr 18, 2020 Meet at San Antonio Earth Day celebration
May 23, 2020 Field trip to Phuoc Hue Buddhist Temple to see statue garden
June 2020 Midsummer celebration
July 2020 Kayaking trip
Aug 2020 Pool party and BBQ
Sept 2020 Harvest of Peace celebration
Oct 2020 Fall camping trip
Nov 2020 Holiday baking and crafts party
Dec 2020 Children’s Day celebration

Attending a Growing Brave Class

Growing Brave is co-scheduled with Shambhala Café, which starts with breakfast at 9 AM and meditation (with instruction if desired) for adults and play for children at 10 AM. Growing Brave families are welcome to come for breakfast at 9 AM and stay for both meditation practice/play and the lesson.

The Growing Brave program starts at 11 AM. Please have children go to the bathroom before the program starts. After the opening ceremony, parents are welcome to go to the main meditation hall for the parents’ talk.

To help make lessons age-appropriate, we will sometimes split children who can read (approx. grade 1 and above) from children who cannot after the opening ceremony.

Parents, no drop-offs, please. This is a family program with separate sessions for adults and children, to help your whole family practice together.

When you register, please register once per family and indicate the number of children and adults in the comment box.