Prerequisite: Completion of the five-part Shambhala Art program.
Vision means "to see, to perceive, to imagine with wisdom." As a Shambhala Art educator or graduate of the Shambhala Art Program, you have been on a quest to see. In Part 1 we learned to connect to our senses; if we relax, our sense perceptions and sense consciousnesses naturally order themselves, and our filters and projections begin to dissolve. Part 2 involved discovering that there are two things that shape our experience and our communication of that experience: our felt sense and our thought sense. In Part 3 we found that the creative process is completely dependent on the process of perception and “seeing” clearly. Part 4 is about perceiving the elemental qualities of phenomena: the seasons, colors, sounds, shapes, the way we listen and speak, the way we think. Part 5 is about the workability of things and the possibilities for change.
What is the next step? It is exploring vision and all that it means, including enlightened vision. What would be an example of enlightened vision? Imagine that we have been looking at a thangka (a Tibetan painted scroll) and its central figure is the Primordial Rigden. Suddenly, you are the Rigden looking out. What would that vision be? What would you see? How would you express it? How can we even presume an enlightened vision for ourselves? Traditionally, Vajrayana teachings tell us we are already enlightened, but we don’t recognize it because we are so busy confusing ourselves. The creative process is about play, discovery, contemplation, and meditation in action—these actions could be seen as a means to un-confuse ourselves and an opportunity to glimpse enlightened vision. Enlightened vision is where we not only see clearly but know what is, so that we can act, or not act, decisively in manifesting that vision.
Though the retreat has a theme, it is co-created by all participants. In past retreats we’ve enjoyed structured as well as open time in order to work on personal explorations, either alone or in collaboration with our peers. Time will also be given to viewing a Chögyam Trungpa DVD of Visual Dharma talks. There will be an optional evening group activity, to be determined.
You’re encouraged to bring your creative materials of choice. Some materials will be available for out of towners i.e. large paper, tempera paint and all sizes and shapes of brushes. There will also be a large screen monitor available to display digital pictures and video from most computers and smart phones.
For Shambhala Art Educators: Participation in this program meets the biannual retreat or intensive requirement.
Location: Westside Shambhala is 10-15 minutes north of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and two miles from Venice beach. It is situated behind 3871 Grandview, entry through the alley between “Under the Sea” and “Green Coast Hydroponics”, which is directly across the street from “BMC Building Supply”.
View Google Map Photos of entry: https://la.shambhala.org/westside-shambhala/
Housing: If you’d like to inquire about staying with a community member, please contact our housing coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Other popular options are motels or Airbnb within walking distance. We will provide a list on request.
Steven Saitzyk: “I enjoy the Shambhala Art Educator/Graduate Retreat because I get to be a participant and not just a director.” Steve is the international Director of Shambhala Art and one of the founders of the Shambhala Art Program. He is an Adjunct Professor Humanities and Sciences at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena California. He is also a painter and published author. See: www.stevensaitzyk.com
He began his studies of Dharma Art and Vajrayana Iconography with Chögyam Trungpa in 1974 and since has practiced and taught meditation internationally for more than forty-five years. He is also a painter, author, and his current book is titled, “Place Your Thoughts Here: Meditation for the Creative Mind.”
Anne Anderson Saitzyk: “I had an art/meditation breakthrough at one of these retreats, so I’m there! I also enjoy the supportive experience of being with my tribe.” Anne serves as Director of Contemplative Arts at Shambhala Meditation Center of Los Angeles and co-founded Contemplative Creativity Lab. She met the Shambhala Buddhist dharma through the Dharma Art program in 1997 and is Assistant Director of Shambhala Art. She received her MFA from Claremont Graduate University, has been teaching at Art Center College of Design for 25 years and occasionally teaches in other parts of the world.