Photo courtesy of Shambhala Sun Camp

Dhyana Kida was 12 years old when she first attended the Shambhala Sun Camp nestled in the picturesque mountains of Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. Her parents had gone when they were her age, her brother has also attended, and then it was finally her turn.

“I fell in love and went almost every year,” Kida, now 21, says. Her story is similar to most who go: they find themselves returning to camp year after year, eventually becoming staff members that guide the next batch of camp-goers.

The Shambhala Sun Camp is held in only three places in the world: Limousin, France; Nova Scotia, Canada; and our very own northern Colorado. Shambhala Buddhism, which is inspired by the principle that every human being has a fundamental nature of basic goodness, is a philosophy that influences the camp. It stems from Tibetan Buddhism, an ancient practice that spread rapidly in the 1950s after the Chinese takeover of Tibet caused the Tibetan Buddhist teachers to leave the country. Inspired by the Dalai Lama and his practices, campers of all faiths learn about its mindfulness, meditation and awareness practices and can cultivate his or her own being — without any technology present.

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