Our community is diverse, capable, and heartfelt. Our members and friends include dedicated senior teachers who have walked the Shambhala Buddhist path for many years, and enthusiastic newcomers who are just discovering our teachings on realizing basic goodness and building enlightened society.  You’ll find resources detailing issues and/or events affecting our global community, our local community and our Gainesville sangha.

Shambhala Culture, Crisis, Conduct & Care

Here are links to statements, media, letters and concerning issues of sexual misconduct, unaddressed harm, prejudicial attitudes/actions.

A Statement from Shambhala Gainesville regarding the unjust treatment of people of color

A Statement from Shambhala Gainesville about the Queer & Trans community

Shambhala Gainesville on the current  GLOBAL Shambhala Community Crisis

Shambhala Gainesville: Healing Harm Statement

Shambhala Code of Conduct Hub

Council Meetings

Our council meets monthly typically on the second Monday of the month depending on scheduled classes.   During the corona virus pandemic, we will meet online.   For date of next meeting and the link, please email [email protected]

Council Minutes

Minutes from December 2019 through 2020

Council Minutes, January 18, 2021

Council Minutes, February 18, 2021

Council Minutes, March 15, 2021

Council Minutes, April 12, 2021

Council Minutes, May 12, 2021

Council Minutes, June 14, 2021

Council Minutes, July 14, 2021

Council Minutes, September 8, 2021

Council Minutes, October 13, 2021

Council Members

Jan Jan Snyder is the Director for the Shambhala Gainesville sangha. A clinical psychologist in private practice for over 35 years, Jan has been actively engaged in the Shambhala community since 2007 and attended Scorpion Seal Assembly 2 in 2019.   She is authorized as a Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor (SPMI) and has been certified to teach several Shambhala classes. Jan lives on 3 1/2 acres in SW Gainesville with her husband, several standard poodles…and 33 chickens.  She enjoys kayaking, biking, swimming, and hiking (most any activity in nature!).


Nora Wiser is our Practice & Education Coordinator.  A small business owner/operator for 20 years, she retired in 2012 and now spends time teaching yoga, serving the Shambhala Gainesville  sangha in several capacities, and facilitating courses for Shambhala Online.  Nora started on the Shambhala Path in 2007 and attended Scorpion Seal Assembly 2 in 2019.   Authorized as a Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor (SPMI), she is also certified to teach several Shambhala classes.  Most recently she is focusing on Buddhist death and dying teachings and practice.  She enjoys reading, cooking, hiking, kayaking and yoga.  Nora and her husband Randy are “snowbirds” dividing their time between Gainesville, Florida, and Traverse City, Michigan.



Anna Rahman joined Shambhala as a member in 2017.  She serves as a council member and part of Karma cleaning crew. Anna loves trees and nature in general. As a native of Switzerland she enjoys the Alps any way she can. Here in Florida the springs all around are a favorite. She maintains a private practice as a therapist (massage, Reiki, Himalayan Salt Stones). Anna enjoys books about American history (fiction and non fiction).




Amber Paxton is a council member and also leads the Queer and Trans dharma group. By day she is a nurse and manager at a busy OB/gyn office. Amber took Buddhist refuge vows in 2006 and joined the Shambhala community in 2013. She lives in NW Gainesville with her wife, their 2 dogs, and 3 cats. “I love being in nature. I love starting the day sitting on the deck with my wife and a cup of coffee, listening to the birds and watching the trees sway.”




Alice Kelly became a member of Seattle Shambhala in 1987. She moved back to Florida in 2016 and splits her time between Gainesville, Cocoa, and Seattle.  Alice serves Shambhala Gainesville as the membership chair.








Sean Ochal is our Council Member At-Large. He is a visual communicator by trade and strives to inject humor, creativity, positive experiences, and inspiration into his daily work. Originally from Pennsylvania and a lover of nature, he enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, and being near mountains and trees. He started on the Shambhala path in 2018 and is part of the Queer and Trans Dharma Group. He values deep connection, self-exploration, equality, inclusivity, and witty banter filled with puns.



Council Hall of Fame


L Laura Simmons: 2018-2020 (Membership)

R Kim Heiss – 2018-2020  (Building services, yoga, Karma cleaners)


In Memoriam

Harold McKnight (1944 – 2020)

Sangha gatherings:

Code of Conduct presentation for the Southeast Region, September 26. 2021


Harvest of Peace celebrated at Depot Park and Soma Art Media Hub on September 18, 2021



Earth Day Sit A Thon  –  April 24th

Congratulations!  We raised nearly $8000!




New Year’s Lhasang and Memorial Garden Dedication, January 3, 2021


Awakened Heart – Level IV Shambhala Training with Jonathan Barbieri and Jan Snyder, July 31 – August 2, 2020

Social distancing on July 10. 2020

Social distancing as we begin to emerge from self-isolation  May 16, 2020

Outrageous & Inscrutable with Shastri Will Ryken, April 4-5, 2020

Book launch for “The Power of Bhakti”by David Wolf, PhD with Satvatove group

Who Am I? the Basic Goodness of Being Human (BG 1) with Shastri Bill Brauer and Ella Reznikova, February 15-16, 2020

2019 Community Meeting & Holiday Gathering

Meek and Perky: with Shastri Brett Ferrigan, November 16-18, 2019

Joy in Everyday Life (JIEL):  Fall, 2019

Drala:  July 27-28, 2019 with Shastri Gayle Van Gils


Dharma Movie Night – June, 2018

Contentment in Everyday Life with Jan Snyder: April – May, 2019





Gainesville LGBTQ Pride Day:  October 20, 2018


Rigden Weekend:  Sept 28 – 30, 2018


Wisdom in Everyday Life:  July 6-8, 2018

Shambhala Training Level I with Shastri Brett Ferrigan:  May 26-27, 2018

Fearlessness in Everyday Life: May 4-6, 2018

Shambhala Training Level I with Shastri Will Ryken:  April 20-22, 2018

Shambhala Training Level V with Nick Kranz: March 2-4, 2018

Shambhala Day – Year of the Earth Dog observed: Febuary 17, 2018

Shambhala Training Level IV with Paula Bickford: January 20-21, 2018

Happier at Work with Shastri Gayle Van Gils: January 13

Contentment in Everyday Life with Jan Snyder and Nora Wiser: Dec 2-4


Shambhala Training Level III with Will Ryken: Nov 4 – 5


Shambhala Training Level II with Shastri Brett Ferrigan:  Sept 30 – Oct 1


Dharma Night: August 11, 2017

Dharma Night: June 9, 2017


Level I with Rachel Faro: June 2-4, 2017

Level V with Shastri Ferrigan: May 5-7, 2017

Shambhala Day Celebration: March 5, 2017


Shambhala Training – Level IV: February 11-12 with Paula Bickford



Open House – February 5, 2017


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Mala Workshop – February 4, 2017 with Toni Miller

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Shambhala Training – Level III: November 11-13, 2016 with Richard White

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An evening with Peace Activist and Author Scott Brown:  October 18: 2016


Shambhala Training – Level II: September 17-18, 2016 with Travis May


Shambhala Training – Level I: June 17-19, 2016 with Shastri Brett Ferrigan


Pottery Outing:  June 5, 2016




Basic Goodness 3:  May, 2016 (Teachers: Will Ryken and Paula Bickford)

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Open House:  April 16th, 2016

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Moving weekend.  Feb 26th – 28th, 2016

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Basic Goodness I – Who Am I?   January, 2016 with Shasti Gayle & G Van Gils


Talk by Paula Bickford from the St. Petersburg Shambhala centre, November 29, 2015, on unconventional protection in the face of fear.

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Dharma Night on November 13, 2015

Dharma Night

Ikebana Class with Brooke Pohl September 19-20, 2015

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Wisdom in Everyday Life October 23-25, 2015


Dharma Night October 9, 2015

Dharma Night