Contemplative Arts

Contemplative Arts comprise a number of secular disciplines and activities, including flower arranging and photography, that integrate art and culture with everyday life. Each of these disciplines represents a genuine contemplative path; together they bring beauty, vividness and wisdom to our lives and culture.

Shambhala Summer of Art and Music: Three nights

Explore the Contemplative Arts of the Shambhala Meditation Center of Los Angeles with three special evenings of exhibitions, interactive demonstrations and festivities.

Shambhala offers a path of meditation practice and contemplative arts based on trust in human dignity. Our communities around the world cultivate kindness, bravery, creativity, genuine dialogue and value wakefulness in every aspect of life. The Shambhala Arts are about discovery and joy in our senses and this phenomenal world, as well as a path to becoming an awake human being, whether one is an artist or not. Come celebrate the art of everyday life!

$20 suggested donation per event or $50. if all three are purchased in advance, by Saturday, June 20.

Saturday, June 27, 6 pm / Eagle Rock Shambhala Center

Kado: The Way of Flowers exhibition, workshop and party

Kado, or Ikebana, is the art of arranging flowers as meditation in action. Kado is not about trying to be artistic, or simply making a pleasant flower arrangement. Rather, its emphasis is to cultivate a way of life – a view and form of practice which leads to an awareness and appreciation for each moment and to develop respect for ourselves, others and all forms of life. Ikebana arrangements can be made from a variety of materials, almost anywhere, at any time, with a sense of playfulness. Join us for an exhibition, celebration and interactive demonstration where you can try your hand at making an arrangement.

Saturday, July 25th, 7 pm / Westside Shambhala

Poetry and Storytelling

Standing in front of a crowd to tell your story and share your truth offers a direct experience of your beating heart. The ground from which we express is a willingness to open and trust what arises. Come be a part of a fun evening of contemplation and chaos. If you’d like to present your poem or story (3 minutes in length, maximum), please send your name, email and phone number to Allison Conant at:

Saturday, August 29th, 7 pm / Eagle Rock Shambhala Center

Tiger, Lion, Garuda, Dragon: A Music Exploration of the Four Dignities

An evening of experimental music featuring accomplished LA based experimental musicians interpreting the four dignities. Curated by Rick Potts, founding member of the Los Angeles Free Music Society.

Here’s a link to some info about Rick:

And here’s some info about the LAFMS:

Shambhala Art

Shambhala Art is art that springs from clear perception and pure expression. To artist or non-artist, the creative process often seems mysterious and magical. How do we give a physical reality to some ephemeral inspiration or abstract truth? How do we create forms that communicate some essential nature beyond the limits of their container? The Shambhala Art Program’s purpose is to explore the creative process and the product we call art from the point of view of clear perception and pure expression. It is about the source of inspiration, how the creative process manifests and finally how what we create communicates that inspiration. See also and join Shambhala Art on Facebook.

Shambhala Arts Festival

The Shambhala Arts Festival is an international event during which the entire Shambhala community is invited to celebrate the arts based on Shambhala/Dharma Art principles at their Centers. This festival day is an opportunity to gather artists and help establish the roots of enlightened society. Shambhala Art explores the creative and viewing processes and the product we call art from the viewpoint of a meditative discipline. It is a viewpoint that encourages us to see things as they are, rather than how we imagine they are.

Kalapa Ikebana

In 1982, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche formed a new school of ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) inspired by his own training and vision. Kalapa Ikebana, as this school is called, promotes the study and practice of flower arranging, often working closely with masters of other schools of ikebana.


Kyudo means the way of the bow and can be described as a form of standing meditation. Under the direction of Shibata Kanjuro, Sensei and senior instructors, students learn an ancient form of archery using traditional Japanese bows. Kyudo is a form of meditation practice, not sport, and hitting the target is not considered important. The purpose of kyudo is to purify one’s heart and mind to awaken the natural dignity of being human, beyond the obstacles of ambition, aggression or confusion. For more information, contact Marian English.

Miksang Photography

Miksang is a Tibetan word that means “good eye.” A contemplative art, it is based directly on the Dharma Art teachings of the late meditation master, artist and scholar, Chögyam Trungpa, specifically by his teachings on the nature of perception. The “good” refers to our world, just as it is, is inherently rich and vivid. The “eye” reference is that in working with the practice of contemplative photography, we can tune into these qualities of our world. This journey is actually quite simple-to see with our eyes wide-open and our awareness right there. Once we have a moment of fresh perception, vivid and clear, there is a natural desire to communicate that experience. Through visual exercises and photographic assignments, Miksang is designed to allow the eye and the mind to be naturally synchronized, so that the experience of seeing could be undistracted and present.

See also and photographs by Chogyam Trungpa

Creativity Lab: exploring creative processes that arise from meditative space

First Thought, Poetry, Meditation, Movement, Brush, Square One, Collage, Object Arranging, Painting, Contemplation, Music, Photography, Discussion, Collaboration ….

We are a group of art and meditation practitioners and teachers who want to play with the Dharma Art teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and to share it with others. To let go of concepts about “Art” and collaborate. Not primarily to make stuff, but to engage each other and develop a ground of mutual trust born of curiosity, willingness to be a fool, and trust in the process of coming back to the present moment. To see where it goes. Please join us!

Anyone between the ages of 14 and 140, artist or not, meditator or not, is welcome. There will be meditation instruction and opportunities to relate these teachings to your personal projects or practice.  Recommended Reading: True Perception by Chögyam Trungpa

Maitri Five Wisdoms Practice

This practice is based on the principles of the five buddha families, each of which expresses a particular style and attitude of openness. Maintaining a posture associated with each family in five specifically designed rooms heightens the characteristic patterns of energy of each family, so that both the neurotic and sane aspects of the student’s personal style becomes apparent.

contemplative_writingContemplative Writing Practice

What happens when we bring our mind of meditation to our writing practice?  Contemplative writing intersperses meditation or contemplation with playful and exploratory writing exercises. Time is allotted to share the writing process in a supportive environment.