What we're about
Welcome to the Shambhala Arts Meetup! We meet second Saturday of the month, alternating between Westside Shambhala (https://la.shambhala.org/westside-shambhala/)in Mar Vista and Eagle Rock Shambhala (https://la.shambhala.org/eagle-rock/) center for Contemplative Creativity Lab. We also occasionally offer Shambhala Arts Meetups in Orange County, and offer special programs around L.A.
Our purpose is to explore the creative process from the viewpoint of a meditative discipline. Connecting with our senses, our environment, our materials and our heart, any activity becomes a meditation-in-action. We engage in simple mindfulness and awareness exercises that have the effect of quieting the critical mind in order to create from the foundation of one’s direct experience of the present moment. We call that Square One! This has the effect of cultivating insight and confidence in your unique experience and expression.
Who's invited? Anyone from 14 years old and up. No prior experience with art or meditation is needed. Just curiosity and a desire to slow down and explore your creative process.
What are the Shambhala Arts? The Shambhala Contemplative Arts integrate meditation into the creative process through a number disciplines and activities, including flower arranging, photography, writing, painting and calligraphy. Each of these disciplines represents a genuine contemplative path; together they bring beauty, vividness and wisdom to our lives and culture. We also explore the source of creativity with music, voice, and movement, indoors and out.
Although these activities are inspired by Shambhala Buddhism, they are not in any way religious or about adopting a religion. They are about discovery and play, and the universal nature of creativity and communication. Art in Everyday Life! You might find that your visual and perceptual awareness increases as you synchronize your mind, eye and senses with the world and your creative process.
True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art (http://www.shambhala.com/html/catalog/items/isbn/978-1-59030-588-1.cfm)by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche is recommended reading, but there are no prerequisites for joining us. No prior experience in meditation or art making is needed. Supplies are provided unless otherwise noted, but you're welcome to bring a sketchbook or notebook and something to write with.
Who are the Teachers? These disciplines are offered by long-time Shambhala meditation practitioners who are also artists, meditation instructors, teachers and leaders in Shambhala Los Angeles. You can see their biographies (https://la.shambhala.org/ongoing-offerings/creativity-lab/)here (https://la.shambhala.org/ongoing-offerings/creativity-lab/), (scroll down the page).
Most of them are also trained and authorized Shambhala Art teachers. (Shambhala Art is an international five-part program offered as weekends and as a biennial intensive in L.A. and other location. See Shambhalaart.org (http://www.shambhalaart.org/))
Without seeing things as they are, it is hard to create art. Our perceptions are obscured and our mind is not fresh, so making art becomes a troubled, futile process by which we’re trying to create something based on concept. – Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Spiritual Leader and Head of Shambhala International