Contemplative Arts

Contemplative arts comprise a number of disciplines and activities that integrate art and culture with everyday life. Each of these represents a genuine contemplative path. Together they bring beauty, vividness and wisdom to our lives and culture. The outlines below are a sampler.

For details about contemplative arts activities at the Kootenay Shambhala Centre, email us at nelsonbuddha@gmail.com.

Shambhala Art

Shambhala Art can be seen as a process, a product, and an arts education program based on teachings by Chögyam Trungpa. As a process, it brings wakefulness to the creative and viewing processes through contemplation and meditation. As a product, it is art that wakes us up. The program explores the creative process and the product we call art from a viewpoint that helps us see things as they are, rather than how we imagine they are. To learn more see the website Shambhala Art.

Kalapa Ikebana

Initiated by Chögyam Trungpa, Kalapa Ikebana is a school of flower arranging that mixes traditional ikebana teachings and contemplative meditation. Training involves working with space and form in ways that help bring both arranger and viewer fully into the present moment. To learn more watch the video Born in a Broken Heart: Ikebana, a Smile Mixed with Tears.

Miksang Photography

Miksang is a Tibetan word that means “good eye.” This discipline involves synchronizing eye and mind, discovering the world’s vividness moment by moment, and expressing that discovery in photography. Miksang training incorporates visual exercises and photographic assignments. It is ultimately about seeing with our eyes wide open and our awareness fully present. To learn more see the website Nalanda Miksang International.

Maitri Five Wisdom Energies

This practice is based on the principles of the five buddha families of Tibetan tantra. Each buddha family emphasizes a particular wisdom energy, and each wisdom energy has its own confused aspect. As we learn to befriend the various manifestations of these energies, we discover a basis for relating with ourselves and our world—family, work, money, arts, and the rest—more fully and more skillfully. To learn more see Maitri on Shambhala’s central website.