x-Shambhala Art

Shambhala Art is one of many Contemplative Art forms that are explored in Shambhala. Find more information on other Contemplative Arts.

Celebrating Creativity

To artist or non-artist, the creative process often seems mysterious and magical. The Shambhala Art program’s purpose is to explore the creative process and what we call art, from the viewpoint of a meditative discipline. It is about the source of inspiration, how the creative process manifests and finally how what we create communicates that inspiration.

Although the Shambhala Art teachings are inspired by Shambhala Buddhism, they are not in any way religious or about adopting a religion. They are about discovery and play, and the universal nature of creativity and communication.

Shambhala Art is also an international non-profit arts education program based on the Dharma Art teachings of the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the founder of Shambhala Buddhism, Shambhala International and Naropa University.

Shambhala Art is a division of Shambhala International and is presided over by his son and heir, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. The program is taught by trained and authorized Shambhala Art teachers.

See also the Shambhala Art website.

Shambhala Art Programs

See the schedule page for a list of programs coming up.

Part 1, 2 and 3 do not need to be taken sequentially.

Part 1: Coming To Your Senses
The creative process has more to do with perception than talent. It requires that we first perceive our world as it is before we can represent it in some form or use it as a launching pad for expression. Meditation helps this process by clarifying our perceptions, relaxing our relentless self-dialoguing, and revealing the source of creativity.

Part 2: Seeing Things As They Are
Through meditation we come to see things as they are as opposed to how we think or imagine they are. We discover that everything has a felt presence to it as well as a thought sense that we bring to it. What we create and perceive communicates through signs and symbols. Seeing the difference between signs and symbols, thought sense and felt sense, as well as how they work together empowers our creative and viewing processes.

Part 3: The Creative Process
The creative process can be a form of meditation-in-action when it begins with coming to our senses and arriving at “square one.” How do we go from nothing — a white page — to a first stroke, then another stroke, and a third one which expresses something about who we are, how we feel, what we want to say. How do we go from stillness to movement?

Part 4: The Power of Display
In Part Four we focus on one of the most universal systems, the five elements: earth, water, fire, air (wind), and space. By exploring these elements and their nature, we learn about ourselves and our means of expression and how we manage to communicate who we are beyond attachment to self.

Part 5: Art in Every Day Life
Here we experience the four fold process of creativity: pacifying, enriching, magnetizing or emphasizing, and destroying. These four actions indicate how to work with difficulties in the creative process and how to transform negativity and obstacles into openness and compassion.

Without seeing things as they are, it is hard to create art. Our perceptions are obscured and our mind is not fresh, so making art becomes a troubled, futile process by which we’re trying to create something based on concept.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche 


Some sample images from Shambhala Art workshops are shown below:

Entering Now: A Journey Into Shambhala Art


The two videos below are an expression of Shambhala Art and give a taste of what the workshops are about.

Part 1: Discovering Peace



The following video was created for the 10th anniversary of Shambhala Art: