Becoming a Resident


The Warriors Who Are Fearless
A Nine-Month Monastic Residency with the Shambhala Monastic Order, beginning January 4, 2017

We are delighted to announce The Warriors Who are Fearless; an immersive nine month monastic residency at Gampo Abbey.

In the vision of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, the Shambhala Monastic Order joins the monastic lineage of the Buddha with the Shambhala terma teachings to offer an embodied expression of the dignity of enlightened society. We invite you to join this sacred training ground, deepen your practice of warriorship, and discover how immersion in monastic life enriches your practice and brings out the awakened energy of society.
Residents will participate in creating a culture of basic goodness through study, service, and community life grounded in meditation. We will begin with the teachings on the Tiger’s contentment and the Snow Lion’s joyful discipline and then leap into the fearless path of the Garuda. Study and practice will draw from the teachings of the Sakyong Lineage supplemented by material from the Mahayana Sutra tradition, including deep study of the Heart Sutra.

The Warriors who are Fearless includes:
• 4-6 hours a day of meditation practice including three hours of one’s main practice
• Yarne annual 45 day monastic retreat
• Weekly experiential classes and additional study courses
• Temporary monastic ordination offered after initial entry period
• Monastic training and community training from the view of Shambhala Buddhism
• Regular practice of Shambhala Meditation, the Shambhala Sadhana, and other core practices
• Four hours of daily service with a weekly nyithun and open day.

Prerequisites are the Refuge Vow, Shambhala Training Levels I-V, the Everyday Life Series of courses, and the Rigden Weekend. If these present logistical obstacles, we may be able to help you complete them here though this would need to be discussed in your application process.

The fee for this program is $3600 CDN, which includes food and lodging. Space is limited and applications are now being accepted for review. To request an application, please visit and find the link at the bottom of the page. Email for more information. For participants seeking a longer stay and opportunity to support the monastery, there is an optional extension during the Abbey’s three month rest period, please indicate if you are interested in this opportunity.

Please note: Acharya Pema Chodron will not be in residency during this time.

How to Apply

To apply download the application form. Complete it and email it to


Life at the Abbey

Discipline is the foundation of monastic life which provides a simplified environment conducive to waking up. Therefore, all residents are required to live by the five Buddhist precepts and adhere fully to the Abbey schedule. The five precepts are: refraining from taking life, refraining from stealing, refraining from sexual activity, refraining from lying, and refraining from intoxicants.  The schedule includes up to four hours of meditation daily, observing silence before noon and after 8 in the evening, attending morning and evening chants and other liturgical ceremonies.  Each resident also has house chores, dish clean-up, and a four-hour work period five to six days per week. Life at the Abbey is rigorous; you should be in good health if you want to consider applying to be a resident. Please read the information on Living at Gampo Abbey for a better understanding of monastic life at Gampo Abbey

Meditation Practice at the Abbey

Gampo Abbey follows the view and the meditation practices as taught by our founder, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.  The Abbey follows the forms and traditions of the Shambhala and Karma Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism.  Shamatha/vipashyana meditation as taught by the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche is the meditation technique shared by all Abbey residents.  Residents are expected to learn and practice this technique while at the Abbey.  There is also time available in the daily schedule for the preparatory practices of ngondro or other advanced practices (such as yidam practice) for those who are authorized to practice these.  Other Buddhist practices can be done during free time. 

Central to the practice life of the Abbey are various liturgical ceremonies, such as taking the daily precepts, as well as offering chants and supplications to protectors. All community members are required to participate fully in these.  Each Abbey resident meets regularly with a Meditation Instructor.

Community Life

The Abbey is a vibrant community, living and working in close quarters. Community life can be joyful as well as challenging.  It is necessary that you are willing to meet and work with these challenges. We ask that prior to coming to the Abbey, you be well grounded in Buddhism generally, and have at least six months of well-established sitting meditation experience. In order to maintain continuity in the community and to deepen the experience of contemplative life, residents are asked not to leave the Abbey for the first six months of their stay.

Shambhala Day - Gampo Abbey Welcomes
the Cape Breton Community

Cost of Staying at the Abbey

When planning for your stay as a resident at Gampo Abbey you need to consider two different types of costs — the resident's program fee, and personal living expenses.

Resident's Fee:This program resident's fee covers only a portion of the actual costs of life at the Abbey. We rely on the generosity of our donors to cover most of the operating costs of the Abbey and to help us to keep the resident's program fees low enough so that the fee will not become a barrier to those who wish to explore monastic life at the Abbey.

Personal Living Expenses: You should also budget for any additional expenses like purchases from the Abbey bookstore, stamps, long distance calls, or personal items like toiletries that can be purchased through the bi-weekly town trips.

Suggested Readings

If you are not very familiar with Tibetan Buddhism or the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche or Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, we ask you to have read at least the first two books on the list below.

Ruling Your World Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche Morgan Road Books
Shambhala, The Sacred Path of the Warrior Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche Shambhala Publications
The Myth of Freedom Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche Shambhala Publications
The Practice of Tranquility and Insight Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche Snow Lion Publications
The Wisdom of No Escape Pema Chödrön Shambhala Publications
When Things Fall Apart Pema Chödrön Shambhala Publications

Health and Well-Being

The diet at the Abbey is vegetarian. Special diets are not provided. For medicinal purposes canned tuna is available once a week on open days. Evening meals are "medicine meals" consisting of soup. Alcohol and smoking are forbidden.  The daily schedule provides one and a half hours for mind/body work including hiking, yoga, tai chi. While the discipline and schedule at the Abbey are extremely enriching, they are also rigorous and demanding. Therefore, it is important that you are in good mental, emotional and physical condition for your time at the Abbey

Daily Schedule

Although the schedule can vary occasionally, generally we work Monday through Friday. Saturday is an open day (no schedule) and Sunday is nyinthün (all day practice and silence). See the practice schedule for the usual schedule at the Abbey.

Resident Handbook

We have prepared a handbook which provides additional information on being a resident at Gampo Abbey. Click here to download the Resident Handbook .


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