How did the Ziji Gar come about? What is its current status?

The Ziji Gar is a further development of the Summer Youth Retreat that has taken place for over ten years each summer at Dechen Chöling, a Shambhala retreat centre in France. We are developing this retreat into a self existing camp, bringing in elements from other traditions including Forest School Camps from the UK, Shambhala Sun Camp and also the Ziji Collective Summits.

The project is currently underway, we are in the process of co-designing many aspects of the camp from daily schedule to how the compost toilets will operate. Registrations open for participants on April 4th, on this website. (Registration will not be through the Dechen Choling website!) If you have any questions about registration contact us by e-mail.

What is the reason for the Ziji Gar?

The Ziji Gar is creating a space where authentic transmission of meditation can happen both for new and experienced practitioners. In the long run, making sure people receive proper instruction and have the chance to experience their own minds and hearts is the best way of safeguarding the Buddha’s teaching for future generations.

Beyond this the Ziji Gar is also a training ground for us to develop as young teachers, meditators, facilitators and coordinators.

By investigating more radical social structures and environments we are developing the resilience we may need if societal conditions do change drastically in the coming years.

What will improve in the world as a result of this?

One of the core values of our project is the intersection between meditation and social engagement. Both explicitly in the curriculum of the Ziji Gar, and also through the peer to peer knowledge sharing and participant led workshops, this will be emphasized during the program.

The inspiration generated from bringing this many people together into this powerful context will create further waves as they each return to their communities reinvigorated to help our world.