News from Ziji Europe! – Spring 2017

Young people with Lion hearts,

Taking over the amazing initiative from Llew Watkins to keep information circuiting the European Young Meditator’s sphere is a heck of a challenge. Let us take this opportunity to thank Llew from the bottom of our overflowing hearts for keeping this going for two years. (Check out the archives here!)

Below is our (Angela’s and Lia’s) best efforts to collect all the news of various young peoples’ events that are taking place around Europe. It’s amazing and magical that these retreats are happening this year and how the energy of Ziji is manifesting in Europe and the rest of the world!!!!

Step by step this community of young people is becoming a strong family, a family who enjoy sharing experiences, being together and inspire the world!

What’s Coming Up:

Social meditation week, weekend or full day retreat in Amsterdam
May 12 – May 18

Amsterdam Shambhala centre

NEXT WEEK there is the precious opportunity to join the Amsterdam Young Sangha for a week of a few days of practicing sitting meditation together, as well as Social Meditation, under the guidance of Shastri Nick Kranz and Bartek Kociemba.

Social Meditation is a group practice that facilitates creating a culture of nowness, by bringing the wisdom of meditation into the vibrancy of social interaction. It is an ongoing form of leadership development and community building.

Together we create a safe space to be our authentic selves in a group setting. We will be able to practice two sessions a day of social meditation along with intensive sitting meditation practice.
This will allow us to explore ways in which our meditation practice can manifest in our daily lives, and how a culture of nowness can build community and openness.

Who should attend? This program is designed for anyone who would like to bring the view of meditation further into their daily life, and those wishing to develop leadership skills and learn practices to foster enlightened culture in their communities. People of all ages, cultural and practice backgrounds are warmly invited to join!

Participants can join the full weekend, full week, or one or more full days outside of the weekend. Participation during the full week counts as a regular weekthün.

For further details or if you want to come along PLEASE REGISTER HERE !!


Ziji Gar – Summer outdoor youth retreat
July 2 – July 10
Dechen Choling Meditation Retreat Centre

The Ziji Gar is a Summer Outdoor Youth Retreat from 2nd to 10th July, 2017 at Dechen Chöling in France. A group of young inspired people in their 20s and 30s will gather this summer to create a temporary outdoor community in a field near Dechen Chöling, the Dharma Place of Great Bliss. With the inspiration to explore creating an enlightened society through setting up our own simple microcosm, we look at the idea that we as human beings inherently possess wisdom, compassion and goodness.

There will be camping, cooking, meditation, yoga, singing, participant led workshops, socially engaged practices and lots and lots of fun.

There are less than 20 spots left – Register now! More info at

**We have recently secured a grant allowing us to offer a reduced rate of €200 if you cannot afford the full price. Get in touch with with questions.**


Youth Dathun
November 3 –  December 1
The Bleddfa Centre, Wales

A Dathün (literally meaning moon-session in Tibetan) is a traditional form of meditation retreat that lasts for one month. Sarah Coleman who is a very experienced teacher in the lineage of Shambhala Buddhism will be leading the retreat. Through rich and profound meditation practices, over the course of the month, we will learn to make friends with ourselves on a fundamental level.

The programme consists of individual meditation instruction, guided meditation, contemplation, and dharma talks. Each day follows a traditional schedule, with periods of sitting and walking meditation, exercises, chants, and a short work session. Functional silence is observed for most of the retreat, and main meals will be Oryoki style – a traditional Japanese mindful eating practice. This is a programme for beginning as well as advanced practitioners.

The Dathün will take place at the beautiful Bleddfa Centre near Knighton, Wales. This is a centre dedicated to exploring the relationship between Arts and Spirituality. We are also renting cottages very nearby so that we will have enough space to sleep everybody.

The Ziji Dathün is for people between the ages of 18 and 35. Because this is a retreat for young people I have made every effort to keep the costs as low as possible. To attend for the whole of the retreat costs £800 and to secure a place I need a deposit of £100 as soon as possible. As I do not want finance to be a barrier for anyone, if this is still too much for you, then please get in touch and we can try to work together to make it possible for you to attend.

There are 18 participant places on the Ziji Dathün, however at the time of writing there are only 6 places left!

For more information contact Llew Watkins at


SITA Summer Youth Retreat
August 7 – August 13
Neumühle – das Begegnungszentrum im Herzen Europas in Mettlach-Tünsdorf

Due to high demand and a waiting list during this year’s Winter Youth Retreat, we offer a Summer Youth Retreat for the first time. Just like the Winter Youth Retreats, it will give young adults an opportunity to learn and practice meditation.

The SITA Summer Youth Retreat provides a relaxed environment for combining the practice of meditation with outdoor activities; experiencing mindfulness and presence in the meditation room as well as outdoors. In summer, nature beckons us to explore, go outside, enjoy life – without any agenda, to-do lists or time pressure.

In addition to daily meditation and mindfulness practice there will be talks and workshops, yoga classes, offerings and plenty of space for spontaneity and leisure. Furthermore – and in our experience that’s the real treasure of the youth programs – we will have the opportunity to get to know like-minded peers from different nations, cook, celebrate and make music together.

During this event, we will also offer a Meditation Instructor Training for the first time! If you are interested to follow this program, click here for more information.


Ziji Histories: with Sophie Maclaren
May 6 – 18:00 CEST

On May 6th, 18:00 CEST the International Ziji Collective held an open call with Sophie Maclaren, whose work with young people in Shambhala laid the groundwork for the Ziji Collective movement in many ways. No doubt that most of you are included in this mailing list directly as a result of her work for young meditators (and the remainder indirectly) by attending youth events she was integral in founding. Sophie put immense effort behind running events and trainings for young meditators for a number of years.

In this call, the conversation was opened to hear Sophie’s story of her involvement with youth in Shambhala, and also the difficult circumstances that led to her departure in 2011. For more information, check out the Ziji Collective’s Slack Platform!

If you wish to share any thoughts or messages of appreciation with her, we are happy to collect these and pass them on. The continued energy of our young sangha in Europe is owed very much to her efforts to break new ground – a trend we hope to continue!


May the ziji collective energy be expanded to the world!


With spirit,
Lia Duggan & Angela Valencia