The London Shambhala Centre began in 1976 in the living room of David and Jane Hope in Balham in 1976.  A group of students interested in hearing the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa had gathered together to study with Michael Hookham (now Rigdzin Shikpo).  Michael was an early student of Trungpa Rinpoche while he was still living in the UK.

Beginning Shambhala groups (named Dharmadhatus) were springing up all over Europe at this time and contact was made with the European Director, Michael Kohn who was then living in Amsterdam.  In 1981 the group became part of the worldwide structure that Trungpa Rinpoche had set up and in the summer of that year, Rinpoche visited London and taught a programme which was attended by over 200 people.  He also gave a public talk to over 800 people.

In 1986 the group moved to its current premises in Clapham and the Centre was officially opened by the young Sakyong, who was living and studying in London at that time.  Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche has visited and taught at the Centre on several occasions since that time.

The Shambhala Centre has gone from strength to strength and hosted teachings from a wide variety of Buddhist teachers, including Trungpa Rinpoche himself, Pema Chodren, HE Situ Rinpoche, Maizumi Roshi, Dzigar Khongtrul Rinpoche and many others.

The Centre is the centre of Shambhala activity in the UK and since its opening in 1986 has taught thousands of people to meditate, organised hundreds of weekend programmes and is host to a large community of practitioners throughout the country.