Shambhala Art: Parts I - V

with Acharya Arawana Hayashi and Laura Simms

April 6 - 13, 2012

Mukpo Institute This program may be taken on its own or as part of the Mukpo Institute, a three-month residential program.

Art has long been an expression of the very best society has to offer. Shambhala Art provides an opportunity for artists and for people to see their life as ‘art in everyday life'.  In many traditions, artists have trained not only in their discipline, but they also have trained their minds in awareness, confidence, and compassion. Shambhala Art allows us to experience the profound teachings on art developed by the great Tibetan meditation teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

These teachings unlock a non-conceptual sense of expression that is available to all. Experiential exercises bring us deeper understanding of ourselves as powerfully creative beings.  Trungpa Rinpoche says of artists, “You could play a tremendous role in developing peace throughout the world.” This workshop builds our capacity to do so.

The Shambhala Art Program is a 5 part introduction to the dharma art teachings of the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Shambhala Art springs from the meditative mind. Seeing the simplicity and brilliance of "things as they are" provokes genuine creativity, the expression of non-aggression.

The Shambhala Art Program looks at five topics from the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche which focus on perception and uses art-making exercises to bring our understanding into direct experience.

Part One: Coming to Your Senses

Clear perception is the basis of genuine art. Through a series of exercises, Part One explores the process of perception, highlighting both clarity and obscurations.

Part Two: Sign and Symbol

Art-making can be an inquiry into what is true. Trungpa Rinpoche taught dharma art as a way of investigating relative truth and absolute truth, which he called 'sign' and 'symbol.' Part Two through exercises points us in the direction of non-conceptual knowing.

Part Three: Heaven, Earth and Human: The Creative Process

Facing a blank piece of paper, an empty stage, an idle instrument, or an unplanted garden, we welcome the open space of not knowing—the Heaven principle. Out of that space, inspiration arises and we take the leap, make the mark, and begin to create, joining Heaven and Earth. Bringing awareness and heart to the process is the Human principle. Part Three explores these ancient Chinese aesthetic principles by making calligraphies and doing object arrangements.

Part Four: The Power of Display

The world is a display of forms, patterns, colors, emotions, and wisdoms. Using the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, space) which compose our world, we begin to see the range of our everyday expression as unique individuals within the totality. Out of this, the creative process drives us to shape our awareness as artistic expressions that display that totality within the particularity of the present moment.

Part Five: Art in Everyday Life

Along with inspiration comes obstacles and negativity. Working with these obstacles and negativities, co-emergent with inspiration, is the nature of the Shambhala Path. By using the Four Actions (pacificying (clarifying), enriching (presence), magnetizing (discrimination), and destroying (editing)), we can turn obstacles and negativities into vehicles of compassionate action, allowing the inspiration to become the timeless expression of art that is the pure nature of our relationship to the world.

Available to all, no prerequisites. However, participants may not skip any part and continue with the intensive. A list of recommended readings will be supplied on registration.

Graduates can go onto Shambhala Art Teacher Retreat April 13-17th!  Check our website!


Karmê Chöling values its commitment to making programs affordable and available to all who wish to study with us. To support this commitment we provide two program price options.

This is the actual price of the program.

We offer this discounted price to those who cannot afford the full price of the program. This price is made possible through the generosity of Karmê Chöling and our donors

Text Fee: $50

Payment Policies:
Karmê Chöling has updated its payment policies. The new policies apply to all programs that start after January 1, 2019. Please read the payment policies before proceeding with registration.

Financial Aid:
Karmê Chöling offers full-time student discounts, scholarships and other financial aid.

Program Credit:
If using existing program credit to pay for a program, you must pre-register for this program at least two weeks prior to the program start date by calling the front desk (802-633-2384 x-101 or x-103). Program credit may not be used to pay for housing or practice materials and may not be used on or after arrival day.

Please Note:
Price includes meals but not accommodations.

Online registration is not currently open.


About Acharya Arawana Hayashi

Acharya Arawana Hayashi is a dancer, choreographer and meditation teacher, and a student of both Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. She founded the Jo Ha Kyu Performance Group in Boston, and pioneered the Embodied Presence program. Acharya Hayashi teaches meditation programs all over the world, and sits on the faculty at the Presencing Institute in Cambridge, the Authentic Leadership Program at Naropa University, the Shambhala Institute for Authentic Leadership in Halifax, and the Mukpo Institute at Karmê Chöling. She also serves on the Sakyong's Council and is Chair of the Shambhala Arts Council.

About Laura Simms

LAURA SIMMS is one of the best known storytellers in the world today. Her work brings together meditation and the study of oral narrative. In addition to consulting with corporations, nongovernmental organizations and consumer businesses, she has taught storytelling as compassionate action worldwide for the past thirty five years. Presently she works with many humanitarian organizations including Search for Common Ground and Mercy Corps, Inc .A senior Shambhala teacher, she teaches Shambhala Arts and Buddhist studies.. Her most recent book is Under the Currant Leaves: essays on storytelling and compassion. She is the mother of Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone.

Share this Program: