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Category: Shambhala

Sangha as Post-Breakup Cohabitation

That awkward period when you’re no longer in a relationship with someone, but you still have to live together — ever been in that situation? If you haven’t, it’s a period of time that is marked by “in-your-face” and subtle complexities: Are we both allowed in the bathroom at the same time? Should you wish each other…
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Whole Life Stroke: Arrival, Kālacakra, and Shambhala Art

Warning: This post contains spoilers about the movie, Arrival. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche once said, “It’s possible to make a brush stroke that expresses your whole life.” It is a statement that is audacious and bold, and typical from a man who had a deep understanding of life and art. But is it possible? After seeing…
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The Clothes Hamper as Practice

This was written for the Phoenix Shambhala Center blog. My name is Stuart, your Culture and Decorum representative, and I have a confession: I’m a very messy person. And I can also confess that it was my messiness that, in a Shambhala sense, provided an opportunity for wakefulness and for an on-going practice of kindness.…
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Brush Stroke at the Zendo

I am continuing my journey on the path of contemplative arts, this time in Santa Fe at the Upaya Zen Center. Since the Shambhala Art intensive I’ve done brush strokes after many of my sittings, and recently I’ve started to copy characters from Kaz Tanahashi’s book, The Heart of the Brush. Since Shambhala does not have a calligraphy program and…
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Kado Workshop Reflections

To paraphrase Shibata Sensei, “We don’t work with what we want. We work with what we are given.” Kado is the “Flower Way” or Path of Flowers. Like Shambhala Art, kado is not a practice of making flower arrangements. It is a process that has the intent of making us more aware, awake, and clear. As…
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Understanding the “Lightened” Part of Enlightened Society

I have been retaking the Shambhala Online course Fearlessness in Everyday Life with my local Phoenix sangha. In our discussion at the end of last night’s session, we were discussing the concept of sadness that Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s writing. One of the participants asked where this sadness comes from. With tears in my own eyes,…
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Shambhala Art Intensive (Day 5: Art in Everyday Life)

I am so grateful for the presence of these teachings in the Shambhala system, and grateful to the teachers—Steve, Amanda, and Anne—for manifesting these teachings in such a vivid and powerful way. I’m very much looking forward to continuing my journey with “art in everyday life.” Ki ki so so! Today was the final day…
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Shambhala Arts Intensive (Day 4: The Power of Display)

The mandala principal helps us to understand that art cannot be separate from our approach to the dharma. How we approach beauty and elegance in our life is how we experience the dharma. Though I didn’t mention it yesterday another big part of our Day 3 was working on object arrangement. We translated the idea…
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Shambhala Art Intensive (Day 3: The Creative Process)

When I return to square one, there’s no weight from previous actions. I can make my next step with openness and freshness. Today was an incredible day in the workshop. One of my greatest pleasures in my recent Dorje Kasung training in New Mexico was our mess followed by sake and calligraphy. It brought an…
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