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

Upcoming events (5+)

Contemplative Creativity Lab: Chance Operations with Carolyn Sykes

Shambhala Meditation Center

“I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I'm doing.” ― John Cage The 20th century composer John Cage was an artist and musician who became fascinated with the process and results of using chance to create his works of art and music. He used the I-ching extensively and also just the simple method of drawing out of a hat. In Buddhism we talk about "auspicious coincidence". If one can relax ego and open to the surprise of chance, wonderful and amazing things can arise! We will be playing with this idea using sound, words, movement, ideas, and creating some fun collaborative "events" using chance operations. Cage described music as "a purposeless play" which is "an affirmation of life – not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we're living". Carolyn Sykes is a harpist, and has been performing in Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States for the past 30 years. She moved to the United States from Australia in 1987, and discovered Shambhala in 1999 when she visited the Shambhala center in Los Angeles to listen to a week of Khandro Rinpoche’s teachings. Since then, she has become a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s, studying and practicing on the Scorpion Seal path. Carolyn is Director of Culture and Decorum at Shambhala Los Angeles and is a qualified and experienced Shambhala Art teacher. No art or meditation experience is required. All are welcome; Please note the location. Suggested donation is $15 - 20. Contemplative Creativity Lab alternates between Westside Shambhala and Eagle Rock Shambhala Centers. There will also be occasional Labs at the Orange County Shambhala Center. What is Contemplative Creativity Lab? Founded in 2013, we are a group of trained Shambhala Art Educators who lead explorations of the Dharma Art teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Special Guests who present their passion. Every month is different and have included ink and brush, movement, music, photography, writing and poetry. What links these is the ground of meditation which allows for fresh perception to be in the forefront, rather than trying to make "art". So, we give meditation instruction and sit for a short time before we move into a meditation-in-activity. Creating from that place of open mind/heart we call "Square One". Please check it out! You can see the teacher biographies here: (http://la.shambhala.org/ongoing-offerings/creativity-lab/) Suggested Reading: True Perception by Chögyam Trungpa. Good to bring a notebook or sketchbook. Doors open 30 minutes early for tea and mingling. We occasionally offer special All Day Creativity Labs. https://www.facebook.com/contemplativecreativitylab/info

Contemplative Mark Making with Joshua Northcutt

Westside Shambhala Center

In Meditation, the connection to the breath connects us to the present moment. In the same way, each time we make a mark we connect with the moment of now. In this Contemplative Mark Making Creativity Lab the Group will Practice sitting meditation followed by experiential exercises. No previous drawing or art experience needed. Bring a notebook, pens and pencils. Paper and mark making supplies will also be provided. About Joshua Northcutt: My family encouraged me to draw and keep a sketch book at age 10. I fondly sketched and doodled in my classroom notebooks from preschool to high school and formally studied art after Nursing School. I received my BA in Studio Arts in 2007 from the University of Hawaii with a focus on Painting and Drawing. I began studying Buddhism in 1994. Since visiting the Hawaii Shambhala Group in 2010, I’ve been actively engaged in the path, including training both as a Shambhala Art teacher and Shambhala Path Meditation Instructor. Based on the Dharma Art Teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. The Dharma Art teachings unlock a non-conceptual sense of knowing that is available to all. No art or meditation experience is required. All are welcome; Please note the location. Contemplative Creativity Lab alternates between Westside Shambhala and Eagle Rock Shambhala Centers. There will also be occasional Labs at the Orange County Shambhala Center. Suggested donation is $15 - 20. What is Contemplative Creativity Lab? Founded in 2013, we are a group of trained Shambhala Art Educators and Special Guests who lead explorations of the Dharma Art teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Every month is different and have included ink and brush, movement, photography and poetry. What links these is the ground of meditation which allows for fresh perception to be in the forefront, rather than trying to make "art". So, we give meditation instruction and sit for a short time before we move into a meditation-in-activity. Creating from that place of open mind/heart we call "Square One". Please check it out! You can see the teacher biographies here: (http://la.shambhala.org/ongoing-offerings/creativity-lab/) Suggested Reading: True Perception by Chögyam Trungpa. Good to bring a notebook or sketchbook. Doors open 30 minutes early for tea and mingling. We occasionally offer special All Day Creativity Labs. https://www.facebook.com/contemplativecreativitylab/info

Community Circle: Knitting and other Stitch Crafts With Ed Anolin

Shambhala Meditation Center

Community Circle: Knitting and other Stitch Crafts With Ed Anolin Suggested Donation $10. Shambhala Community Circle is an occasional Pop-Up event where members and friends can showcase and share, discuss and enjoy. Less a “class”, but more about making friends, supporting each other and sharing ideas. You are invited! For our first Circle, long-time L.A. Shambhala Center member Ed Anolin will present some of his projects and talk about what he finds beautiful about knitting and other stitch crafts and why he enjoys these practices. He’s also willing to do a little “clinic” if you have questions. You’re invited to bring your own stitch crafting projects to work on for the second part of the Circle – or if you’re not into that, bring a sketchbook or other project or just yourself! Community Circle Basic Schedule: 10:30 Welcome / Meditation 11:00 Community member (pre-arranged) will Show and Tell 12:00 Break 12:15 Working on your own project, or simply enjoying each other’s company over tea in the community room. Tea and snacks will be available. 1:00 End. Contemplative Creativity Lab alternates between Westside Shambhala and Eagle Rock Shambhala Centers. There will also be occasional Labs at the Orange County Shambhala Center. And an occasional Pop-Up Community Circle Event will replace our usual Lab. https://www.facebook.com/contemplativecreativitylab/info

Creativity Lab: exploring creative process from a meditative discipline

Based on the Dharma Art Teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. The Dharma Art teachings unlock a non-conceptual sense of knowing that is available to all. No art or meditation experience is required. All are welcome; Please note the location. Contemplative Creativity Lab alternates between Westside Shambhala and Eagle Rock Shambhala Centers. There will also be occasional Labs at the Orange County Shambhala Center. Suggested donation is $15 - 20. What is Contemplative Creativity Lab? Founded in 2013, we are a group of trained Shambhala Art Educators and Special Guests who lead explorations of the Dharma Art teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Every month is different and have included ink and brush, movement, photography and poetry. What links these is the ground of meditation which allows for fresh perception to be in the forefront, rather than trying to make "art". So, we give meditation instruction and sit for a short time before we move into a meditation-in-activity. Creating from that place of open mind/heart we call "Square One". Please check it out! You can see the teacher biographies here: (http://la.shambhala.org/ongoing-offerings/creativity-lab/) Suggested Reading: True Perception by Chögyam Trungpa. Good to bring a notebook or sketchbook. Doors open 30 minutes early for tea and mingling. We occasionally offer special All Day Creativity Labs. https://www.facebook.com/contemplativecreativitylab/info

Past events (89)

Calligraphy is a Celebration of Nowness with Anne Saitzyk

Westside Shambhala Center

Photos (291)