Coronavirus (COVID-19) Precautions


On 13 March 2020, the State of Vermont declared a State of Emergency. The declaration of emergency responds mainly to state government procedures for handling coronavirus in its workplaces but also provides general guidance for all Vermonters.

We have cancelled or moved online all of our programs. Please see the program pages for details.

Resources for Montpelier Shambhala Center members

  1. Authoritative sources
    1. United States Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Community and home preparation
    2. Vermont Department of Health — COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment

What you can do

  1. Familiarize yourself with good information. Wash your hands regularly. Get plenty of rest. Recognize that you may acquire, already have, or have had this illness without being aware of it. Be kind to yourself.
  2. If you are not feeling well for any reason, please stay home and take care of yourself. Follow the guidelines above. We hope to see you when you are feeling better
  3. When visiting the Shambhala Meditation Center:
    1. Try to limit the use of shared implements by bringing your favorite water bottle or travel mug. (Please bring them home with you.)
    2. Help clean at the end of a program. This could be considered a natural extension of straightening up the cushions.
    3. Self-isolate while sitting. Practically, this means leaving space between people.


Response to this situation can be framed in regard to societal health, going beyond the fear of our own personal situations and practicing care for others – particularly those more vulnerable. Each of us is subject to the countless external interactions we’ve experienced, and to some extent, that is out of our control.

We can control our responses, and those efforts can influence the spread of the disease. This is the focus or our response. Mitigating the spread has a powerful ripple effect on the society at large:

If we practice protective measures, our effort will buy time and resources for health care providers to handle the expected growth of cases. If those cases stay below the capacity limit, then they will be able to keep themselves and us safe. The red spike in cases  above is a worst-case scenario for health providers. It’s so critical to not burn out our health care workers!


In such times of concern, noticing our our personal tendencies to amplify or downplay, continuing to practice – whether together or at home – are valuable, grounding and remind us of our larger perspective. We can work as a community to reduce the spread and intensity of coronavirus within our sphere of control, which is the Montpelier Shambhala Center itself.


  1. At this time, we have decided to temporarily close the Montpelier Shambhala Center until at least April 5. This only affects regular sitting practice on Wednesdays and Sundays at this time and the April 1st Open House. We have also postponed Shambhala Training Level 3, April 3-5 and are working to find a new date to hold the training.
  2. Once the Montpelier Shambhala Center re-opens, we will continue to practice social distancing by having cushions spread farther apart, limiting the number of people in our space at any one time, disinfecting the center after every use, having sufficient supplies of hand sanitizer available, and being extra thorough with washing of dishes and cups.
  3. Meditation instruction will still be available over the phone. Email Robert O’Keefe at [email protected] if you would like to arrange a session with your meditation instructor.
  4. The Teacher Team and Umdzes will meet soon to discuss what kinds of programs we could offer on-line, for those with access to a computer. Stay tuned to our website for more announcements.