Art + Life Retreat: Shambhala Arts Training Parts 1 – 5

  • Casa Werma Casa Werma
  • Nov 18, 2017 - Nov 26, 2017 (9 days)
  • Colibri Suite - $989.00 Leoncita - $845.00 La Casita Shared Lodging - $645.00 Camping in the garden - $525.00 Off-site Estancia De La Era Queen Size - $901.00 Off Site El Gran Hotel Single - $701.00 Off Site El Gran Hotel…
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“Art refers to all the activities of our life, including any artistic disciplines that we practice.  It refers not only to the formal practice of art, but to the artistry of life itself—our whole being.”

 —Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche

This Art + Life Retreat will include all 5 parts of the Shambhala Art training program. It will provide an opportunity for artists and non-artists alike to experience creativity and its genuine expression in all aspects of our lives.  The retreat includes teachings, meditation, awareness exercises, plus creative and group processes that help unlock a non-conceptual sense of expression that is available to us all.  In many traditions, artists train not only in their disciplines; they also train in awareness, confidence, and compassion.  The program draws from the teachings on the creative process developed by Tibetan meditation teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who said to artists, “You could play a tremendous role in developing peace throughout the world.” In our work together, we’ll build our capacity to do so and to share our inspiration with others.  We’ll close the retreat with a celebratory reception, “graduation,” and presentation of pins.

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: Seeing Things As They Are

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.” The exercises in Part Two point us in the direction of non-conceptual knowing.

Part Three: 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 universal principles through calligraphies and object arrangements.

Part Four: The Power of Display

Things as they are appear in many shapes, patterns, colors, seasons, emotions, and wisdoms. In Part Four we focus on one of the most universal and comprehensive systems, the five elements: earth, water, fire, air (wind), and space, and how they form a Gestalt, mandala, or complete display. In learning the nature of these elements, we learn about ourselves and our unique means of expression. Diversity and totality work together to create works of art that communicate far more than the sum of their parts.

Part Five: Art in Everyday Life

The gap between inspiration and manifestation can be huge and filled with obstacles, negativity, and self-consciousness. These challenges can be worked with through four actions: Pacifying, which is achieved by clarifying; Enriching, which is attained through imbuing presence; Magnetizing, by way of assigning importance; and Destroying, through the process of editing. The Four Actions are used as the vehicles for true compassionate action and pure expression.

Materials fee: TBD

Fees do not include the text, True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art (Boston, Shambhala, 2008), which must be purchased individually.

Resources and links:

  •  How can I get a feel for what we’ll be doing on this course? What exactly is Dharma Art? See videos from previous Dharma Art courses.
  • Read an interview with leading Dharma Art Teacher Steven Saitzyk.
  • Watch a YouTube clip with one of our other Shambhala Arts Teachers, Dr. Lance Brunner, describing an alternative to “Thinking out of the box,” and how Stravinsky created and played on the edge of “the box.”

Preparatory reading:


Pay-It-Forward program tuition not including accommodations: $553 usd We invite all who are able to do so to consider paying the Pay-It-Forward tuition rate. By doing so, you make it possible for us to offer scholarships to others, particularly our Mexico sangha, while also covering the direct cost of your stay here and contributing to our year-round operations.

Please select “Pay-It-Forward Tuition Add-On” in Registration. 

Full program tuition not including accommodations: $445 usd   We invite all who are able to do so to pay the full tuition rate.  By doing so, you cover the direct cost of your stay here and contribute to our year-round operating expenses.

Subsidized program tuition not including accommodations: 30% off Full Tuition  If the full tuition is unworkable for you, please pay the subsidized rate if you can.  By doing so you contribute towards the cost of your being here and everything it takes to keep Casa Werma operating year-round.

Please type “SUBSIDIZED” in Discount Code in Registration.

Travel arrangements:

We recommend flights into Morelia airport (90 minutes away by car). We can help with travel arrangements, please inquire about options.



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Art + Life Retreat: Shambhala Arts Training Parts 1 – 5


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