Intermediate Ikebana Class: Gentle Courage

About us

Ikebana, the contemplative practice of arranging flowers, is the genuine expression of the sacredness of the world. Sacredness means that everything and everyone is complete, that fundamentally, nothing else is needed, and that everything is perfect “just as it is”. Everything is a reflection of sacred order in the contemplative Ikebana dish. With this simple and profound base of understanding, the ikebana practitioner can open oneself to the freshness, harmony and natural brilliance of the world.

In a small class setting, the intermediate student will be provided with instruction for at least 3 Variation forms of Ikebana. The intermediate student will be encouraged to pursue a self-paced path of Ikebana with skilled guidance by ikebana instructors. Each student is encouraged to provide his or her own flower and branch materials, ikebana dishes, and tools.

All Ikebana students are encouraged to explore the meanings of this principle throughout their meditation, contemplation and ikebana practices.

Prerequisites: The intermediate Ikebana student is expected to demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the natural hierarchy, or sacred order, of the principles of Heaven, Earth and Human. This student is also expected to have a basic understanding of the beginning principles and forms of Ikebana arranging, and is required to have attended at least two beginning ikebana classes (The Heart of Flowers series) prior to enrollment in the Intermediate—Gentle Courage series of classes. *

*As a special option, students can also create an Ikebana arrangement and request authorization by the Ikebana instructor to attend an Intermediate class. If you would like to do this, please take a photo of your arrangement and email it to the class coordinator

Early registration is strongly recommended as the class will be limited to 10 students (a waiting list will be created if needed). Full payment is required for registration. The fee for this class is $50.

If you have any questions, please contact Chris at

Toby Bernal is an Austin Native and a man of many talents. Currently he is the Master Gardener for the American Botanical Council. As a member of The Austin Shambhala Center he is the Garden Volunteer Coordinator and a Teacher in the practice of Kyudo, a form of Japanese archery, since 2007. During this time he has been a student of the late Shibata and now his son, Shibata Sensei XXI. In 2010 Toby started Ikebana with Shastri Iris Ramos, leading many Nydia day arrangements, co-teaching many classes, and advising the Ikebana society on large-scale style. In the last year because of his work both in Kyudo and Ikebana the Kalapa Court has given him the award of Elegance.

Leslie Ernst is a visual artist and graphic designer who serve as an art director at The University of Texas at Austin. A member of the Austin Shambhala Meditation Center, she has been studying and practicing Ikebana with Shastri Iris Ramos for eight years. She has a deep love of gardens and all things blooming.


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