Contemplative Creativity Lab: exploring creative processes that arise from meditative space

Creativity Lab meets Second Saturday of the month (generally, 11 AM – 1PM). Go to our monthly calendar here and search for “Creativity Lab.”

Alternating between Eagle Rock, and Westside (Mar Vista) centers with occasional labs at the Orange County center. Go to our MeetUp Group here to learn about the next meeting.

Open to all. No art or meditation experience necessary. 


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


True Perception The Path of Dharma Art - Creativity Lab Los AngelesWhat is this?  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!

Who can attend Creativity Lab? Artist or not, meditator or not. There will be meditation instruction and opportunities to relate these teachings to your personal projects or practice.

Recommended Reading: True Perception by Chögyam TrungpaPlace Your Thoughts Here: Meditation for the Creative Mind by Steven Saitzyk

Bring: a notebook or sketchbook and pen or pencil

Door opens: 10:30 a.m. for tea (Unless otherwise noted)

Lab starts promptly at 11 a.m. (Unless otherwise noted)

Suggested donation: $10 – 15 *

Creativity Lab contact info: Email us at [email protected] for any questions!

*This pays for our use of the center and occasional materials we will buy. Consider donating the higher amount to help pay for those who cannot donate.


Directions to Westside Shambhala Center in Mar Vista:

3877A Grand View Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066 | View Google Map

The Westside Center is situated behind 3871 Grandview. The entrance is through the alley between “Under the Sea” and “GreenCoast Hydroponics”, which is directly across the street from “STOCK Building Supply”. Also, on Sunday’s a Farmer’s Market cuts off access to Grand View from Venice Boulevard, so please come from the south via Washington Place.

Westside Shambhala Meditation Center in Mar Vista Venice LA


Facilitators of Creativity Lab:

Darryl Burnham met Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1974 and has been practicing, studying, and teaching since then. He lives in Monrovia with his wife Laura. He is a Shambhala Art teacher, a meditation instructor, contemplative photographer, musician, poet, writer, and co-leader of the Healing Circle. Practicing life constantly expands his intimacy with his teacher, the sangha, and Laura in the company of their two aged cats, Louis and Cali.

Debra Dysart has been a student and practitioner of Shambhala Buddhism since she found Pema Chodron’s Wisdom of No Escape in a Barnes and Nobles in 1997.  She also met her husband Malcolm in that same bookstore around the same time who told her about the Shambhala Center in Los Angeles.  Debra is a Shambhala Art teacher and meditation instructor, has taught contemplative writing, and is a former Co-Director of the Shambhala Meditation Center of Los Angeles.  She sings with the Verdi Chorus, a community-based opera choral group in Santa Monica.

Angela Lloyd, Shambhala Art Teacher, Creativity LabAngela Lloyd, MFA is a Shambhala Art Teacher and an award winning recording artist, master storyteller and musician. A student of Laura Simms, she started meditating at Laura Simms’ Annual Storytelling Residency in 1987 and is a member of Shambhala. She has completed levels of Miksang, a contemplative practice of photography; and is an enthusiastic member of the Dorje Kasung. Her particular interest in the Shambhala Art teachings is how language arts (speech, silence and humor) are used to create a safe container for inter-related arts experiences for body, mind and speech.

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.

Elayne Rail Since 1978, Elayne Rail has been a student of the Vidyadhara, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and currently his son, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. She is a Shambhala Training Assistant Director, Shambhala Art teacher, and the Shambhala Meditation Center Kado (“Way of Flowers”) Coordinator. Elayne is especially interested in expanding the study and contemplative practice of Kado/Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) in the Shambhala community, as part of Shambhala culture and the Shambhala-Buddhist path. She also wishes to provide opportunities for the general public to learn about this contemplative art form.

Anne Anderson Saitzyk, Shambhala Art Teacher, Creativity LabAnne Anderson Saitzyk received her MFA in painting from Claremont Graduate University and her BFA in illustration from Art Center College of Design. She has served as co-coordinator of Westside Shambhala and is currently Director of Contemplative Arts at Shambhala Meditation Center of Los Angeles. Anne met the Shambhala Buddhist dharma through the Dharma Art program in 1997 and has since become a practitioner, Shambhala Art teacher and administrator. In her professional life, she teaches painting and drawing at Art Center College of Design and occasionally in other locations in the world.

Carolyn Sykes is a harpist, and has been performing in Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States for the past 30+ years.  She came to Los Angeles 19 years ago to study for her Masters Degree at the California Institute of the Arts.  Since then she has established her private teaching and performing studio Pacific Harps, a boutique music booking agency Music For Events, and the Los Angeles harp dealership for Camac Harps.  She moved to the US from Australia in 1987, but did not discover Shambhala until 1999 when she came to the center to listen to a week of Khandro Rinpoche’s teachings.  Since then she has held roles in the mandala of the Los Angeles center that include: dekyong, membership director, community mandala director, and coordinated programs from levels to visiting teacher programs.  She is delighted to be able to teach in the Shambhala Art mandala.

Amanda Tasse, Creativity Lab, Shambhala Art TeacherAmanda Tasse is a Shambhala Art Teacher and holds a PhD in Media Arts + Practices from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. She started meditating with the Zen community and is now a member of Shambhala. She is a former Fullbright student and has won a number of awards for her animated films, including a Student Academy Award and an HBO films award. Her PhD research focused on emerging technology, mobile interactive animation, and experimental films which explore connections between wellness, feedback, visualization, contemplation, and science.


What a work of art is all about is a sense of delight. Touch here, touch there, delight. It is an appreciation of things as they are and of what one is — which produces an enormous spark. Something happens — clicks — and the poet writes poems, the painter paints pictures, the musician composes music

– Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, The Teacup and the Skullcup