Way of the Bodhisattva Warrior: A Year of Deep Study and Practice of the Shambhala Mahayana

with Acharya Susan Chapman, Shastri Joachim Sehrbrock, Shastri Mariel Gomez, Shastri John Fox

November 2nd—August 24th -Date postponed or cancelled

Date details +
  • $580 Program Price
  • $620 Generosity Price
  • $290 Combine
Room: #208 - 256 West 7 Avenue


Way of the Bodhisattva Warrior Overview

In these turbulent times, the Mahayana teachings are more relevant than ever. “The Way of the Bodhisattva Warrior” is intended to create a communal space which allows members to meet, study, and practice the Mahayana ("Great Vehicle") teachings on wisdom and compassion

The Way of the Bodhisattva Warrior is a year-long study and practice of the Mahayana Buddhist teachings. There are three components to this path: study, meditation and the post-meditation practice of Lojong, or ‘mind training’ that offer guidance on being in relationship with each other. To accomplish this program, we need to build community from the ground up, in small groups of sangha members, called ‘Warrior Circles’.

The Way of the Bodhisattva Warrior includes five retreats, taught by senior teachers, and regular kindness circles (small community gatherings) facilitated by selected hosts. The entire path is as follows: 


Way of the Bodhisattva Warrior Retreat Weekend

The first weekend is an introduction to a year of personal training in the Shambhala Mahayana teachings, supported by the study traditional Mahayana texts and practices. The retreat will present an overview of the four stages of the Bodhisattva warrior:

  1. Tiger: Empathy, Unconditional Friendliness & Self-compassion
  2. Snow Lion: Relative Bodhicitta, Equanimity, Lojong: Training the mind/heart 
  3. Garuda: Emptiness & Exchange, Absolute Bodhicitta, Working with projections, Twofold egolessness 
  4. Dragon: Compassionate Engagement
It will start on Friday night and end on Sunday evening:
  • Friday night, 11/2/18 6.30-9 pm
  • Saturday, 11/3/18 9am to 6pm
  • Sunday, 11/4/18 9am to 6p 


Warrior Circles

Warrior Circles are study salons for the Way of the Bodhisattva Warrior. They consist of 5-8 members, facilitated by local mentors. Each of these small communities is encouraged to meet regularly before a one-day retreat (see below). We will have multiple tracks for study of Mahayana teachings based on participants' interest and prerequisites:

  1. Pema Chodron Track: warrior circles listen to DVD’s and audio teachings by Pema on the path of the bodhisattva warrior. Includes No Time To Lose, commentary on Shantideva’s text. (Pre-requisite: JIEL, Level 3)
  2. Profound Treasury Track: warrior circles on chapters from Hinayana and Mahayana teachings of Chogyam Trungpa. (Pre-requisite: Level 5, Karma and the Nidanas, Four Foundations of Mindfulness)
  3. Lojong Track: warrior circles use one of several Lojong texts. Focus on teachings of absolute and relative bodhicitta, four reminders. (Pre-requisite: Rigden Weekend or Bodhisattva Vow)
  4. Madyamika track: (TBD)

These small communities will be meeting on Sunday mornings (or another agreed-upon time) and are also the units of social engagement in everyday life as well as community settings throughout the year. Each community will have opportunities to practice the teachings as a team by holding the container for centre events and programs as well as other larger-community engagements. This becomes the basis for truly turning the heart of goodness outward for the benefit of others. 


One-Day Retreats

There will be four one-day retreats, which will provide an opportunity for deeper study, including:

  1. Season of the Moon Tiger: The Four Immeasurables (12/8/18 9am to 6pm)
  2. Season of the Moon Lion: Bodhichitta and the Supreme Thought (3/9/19 9am to 6pm)
  3. Season of the Moon Garuda: Absolute Bodhicitta and Prajnaparamita (6/1/19 9am to 6pm)
  4. Season of the Moon Dragon: Kindness in Action and Three-Fold Purity (8/24/19 9 am to 9pm)

Bodhisattva Vow

Participants will have an opportunity to take the Bodhisattva vow in the spring of 2019. This vow is a deep commitment to the practice of awakening the heart (bodhicitta) and dedicating oneself to the well-being of others and society. Everyone who has taken the Refuge Vow may take the Bodhisattva Vow. 

  • Bodhisattva Vow: Sunday, March 10, 2019 from 9am to 5pm


Prerequisites: Everyone who has completed Shambhala Training Level III or higher is welcome. Membership in the Vancouver Shambhala Centre is encouraged for everyone who wishes to participate.

Costs: The cost of the entire year path is $580. You can also register for the Introduction to the Mahayana weekend as a standalone program by clicking here.

Installments: The cost for the year can be paid up front in its entirety or in two installments (one at registration and one in January 2019). To pay in instalments do the following:

  1. Click the registration button below
  2. On the registration page click the "Combine" price as your first installment
  3. Proceed with your PayPal credit card payment


The generosity policy applies and nobody will be turned away. 

Register: To register, please click the registration button at the bottom of this page. 



Acharya Susan Chapman

Acharya Susan Chapman has been a student of Shambhala since 1974. She has an MA in Buddhist and Western Psychology from Naropa University, worked with victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, and is a licensed Marital and Family Therapist. She has one grown child. With her husband Jerry she founded the Juneau Shambhala Center and later completed Gampo Abbey’s three year retreat, where she went on to serve as druppon “retreat leader” for six more years.

After moving back to Vancouver, Susan started a business which offers workshops and training in mindful communication, and is on the faculty of Karuna Training, teaching twice yearly in Europe. She was empowered as a Shastri in 2010. In April she published her book, The five Keys to Mindful Communication. The Sakyong gave her the acharya name Jinlap Wangmo “Blessing Lady.”