The Los Angeles Shambhala Prayer Flag Project

Anne Saitzyk, long time Los Angeles Shambhala member and Director of Contemplative Arts, offers this update:

The Los Angeles Shambhala prayer flag project is coming to fruition. It began in the Fall of 2021 at Harvest of Peace and after a period of many months and collaborations, will be completed and exhibited for the first time on Saturday, March 5th at our Shambhala Day celebration. Each flag is a unique expression, and when linked together, will symbolize our bonds of friendship and our well-wishes for all beings.

Part one of the project began after a long awaited gathering at Harvest of Peace, where Families and friends met under the pine trees outside of our new space at The Neighborhood Church in Pasadena. Full of color and texture, with papers, paints, fabrics, sequins, glue, markers and staplers, we assembled at picnic tables, immersed in creating our flags. Friends mingled while live music played nearby. Over 40 flags were accomplished that day, (some folks made more than one), and even more flags have been sent through the mail, each signed and dated by the creator. We were delighted by the response and are excited to reveal them this Shambhala Day, the year of the Water Tiger.
Part two took place online, during January’s Contemplative Creativity Lab in collaboration with Seattle Shambhala Center. Meli-Tashi Happy of Seattle Shambhala, Jenny Hannah, and myself demonstrated techniques for creating flags. We all enjoyed creating together in our zoom squares and sharing what we made. Seattle Shambhala Center hosted an additional online social time for flag making and plans to display their flags at their local Shambhala Day celebration.

Now in the final stage, L.A. sangha member Linda Miller is stitching the accumulated groups of flags on a continuous thread, creating garlands. These will be presented at our local Shambhala Day, an in-person event at the Neighborhood Church in Pasadena on Saturday afternoon, March 5th. All of the colors and textures of our processes are expressed through a heart-felt display.

prayer flag project in display

It was made possible, not only by our members participating and offering the flag they created to this community project, but by the friends who helped to produce it. Thank you to Candace Peterson-Kahn and Jenny Hannah for your generous help in set-up and bringing so many supplies to Harvest of Peace. Thanks also to Stephanie Miller and Barbara Siracusa for offering supplies that day. Thank you to Meli-Tashi Happy and Jenny Hannah for your wonderful demonstrations at the online Flag Lab. Thank you to Linda Miller for stitching all the flags together into beautiful garlands for display. And a special Thanks to Carolyn Sykes and the Shambhala L.A. Council for supporting this idea.

We hope you are able to attend this in-person celebration and see this momentous reveal, while celebrating the fresh start of the new year ahead!

Anne Saitzyk, Director of Contemplative Arts and Contemplative Creativity Lab

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