Drala Hikes

with Ernie Lynk

“… if we open our eyes, if we open our minds, if we open our hearts, we will find that this world is a magical place. It is magical not because it tricks us or changes unexpectedly into something else, but because it can be so vividly and brilliantly.”

-Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche


‘Drala’ is a Tibetan word signifying the elemental presence of the world that is available to us through our sense perceptions. When we open to trees, flowers, a creek or clouds we encounter an actual wisdom that is not separate from our own. Beholding a river or a tree is much more than merely looking at a river or a tree: potentially we are meeting the dralas. When we encounter the power and beauty of nature it is our practice not just to notice this beauty but to stop and linger with it, to listen, to let it penetrate us.

Drala Hikes are an opportunity to experience the power of nature in connection with our mindfulness practice. On our hikes, we practice mindfulness, hiking in silence and intimately experiencing nature’s vivid energies. We hike fairly slowly in silence, stopping several times for meditation and contemplation.

Most people that exercise regularly and are considered in good health by their doctor do well on the hike. Trail hiking is a lot different than walking in town, the same distance as street walking requires more energy when trail hiking.

Drala Hikes are open to anyone with who has had mindfulness/awareness (vipashana, shamatha) meditation instruction at a Shambhala Meditation Center or Group. Meditation as practiced on the hike is not well suited for beginners. We treat the outdoor environment as our meditation hall and the same protocols will apply to the hike as to the meditation hall.

Please do bring: good shoes, layered clothing, bug spray, sunblock, a bag lunch and plenty of water.

Ernie Lynk is a Certified Interpretive Guide with over 30 years of experience leading outdoor adventures for American Youth Hostels, the Sierra Club, Boy Scouts of America and other groups. He is currently a chief administrator and advisor for the Miami-Dade County Parks system and has been meditating in the Shambhala tradition since 2012.