Community building requires community healing. And what does that look like?

"Staying ‘home’ and not venturing out from our own group comes from woundedness, and stagnates our growth. To bridge means loosening our borders, not closing off to others….To bridge is to attempt community, and for that we must risk being open to personal, political, and spiritual intimacy, to risk being wounded."- Gloria Anzaldua

"Quedarse en la casa'' y no aventurarse fuera de nuestro propio grupo viene donde estamos heridos y proviene nuestro crecimiento. Para hacer puentes signifa que abriemos mas de nuestras fronteras y que no cierremos a otros… Para hacer puentes es intentar comunidad, y para eso tenemos que corre el riesgo de ser abierto a personal, político y espiritual intimidad, a correr el riesgo de ser heridos. "
Gloria Anzaldua

Everybody is waiting for the movement to happen ! And we dont realize we are the movement. Its me and you coming together and having some honest and maybe painful truthtelling between us. But there is probably some beautiful thing we will create together as a result. I want to speak to each person in my community.Let's get the party going.

Todo el mundo está esperando a que el movimiento a ocurrir! Y nosotros no darse cuenta de que somos el movimiento. Comienza la communidad cuando usted y yo tienemos algunos conversaciones doloroso pero verdarosos . Pero es probable que algunos bellos cosas que es probablemente vamos a crear juntos . Quiero hablar con cada person en mi communidad.Vamos a comienzar esta fiesta !

Friday, June 27, 2008

Shambhala Art

Genuine art tells the truth. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Shambhala Art is the essence of enlightened society, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
Shambhala Art is a process, a product, and an arts education program. As a process, it brings wakefulness and awareness to the creative and viewing processes through the integration of contemplation and meditation.
As a product, it is art that wakes people up. 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 Institute. He was an artist, poet, and author of over a dozen books on subjects ranging from psychology to iconography. Volume 7 of the Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche focuses specifically on his Dharma Art teachings. 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.
To artist or non-artist, the creative process often seems mysterious and magical. How do we give a physical reality to some ephemeral inspiration and in turn communicate its essential nature beyond the limits of its container? Shambhala Art’s purpose is to explore the creative and viewing processes and the product we call art from the viewpoint of a meditative discipline. It is a viewpoint that encourages us to see things as they are, rather than just how we think or imagine they are. Shambhala Art does not teach a particular skill or technique such as painting, sculpture, or dance. It is about the source of inspiration, its manifestation, and how it speaks to us. Once a view and a path are established it can be put into practice within any artistic discipline.
Although the Shambhala Art teachings are inspired by Shambhala Buddhism, they are not in any way religious or about adopting a religion. Joining meditation and contemplation with art making and art viewing is pre-religion. They are about discovery and play, and the universal nature of the creative and viewing process and what the result communicates.

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

The Five-Part Program

Part One: Coming to Your Senses

The practice of dharma art is a way to use our lives to communicate without confusion the primordial and magical nature of what we see, hear, and touch. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
First thought is best in art. Wm. Blake
Art has more to do with perception than talent. Without clarity, all we express is our inability to accurately perceive. The creative process requires that we first perceive our world as it is before we can represent it in an art form or use it as a launching pad for expression. Part One is the exploration of the nature of our perceptions and how our thoughts influence what we perceive. We learn through a meditative discipline the source of creativity and the meaning of pure expression, which transcends the limitations of self-referencing expression. As we learn to rest in “square one” where our mind and body is synchronized, our expression becomes vivid, possessing greater richness and accuracy by being true to things as they are.
Part Two: Seeing Things as They Are
The map is not the territory. Alfred Korzbyski
The truth of the thing is not the think of it but the feel of it. Stanley Kubrick
One eye sees, the other feels. Paul Klee

Symbol, in this sense, is not a “sign” representing some philosophical or religious principle; it is the demonstration of the living qualities of what is. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
Part Two deepens our experience and understanding of things as they are. Seeing things as they are means perceiving things absent the influences of our prejudices, thoughts, ideas, and attachments. For many, we have little clarity regarding the difference between our thoughts about things and the things themselves. Perceiving this difference is fundamental to understanding the way art communicates itself. It is said that one of the things that makes art, art, is that it conveys itself through signs and symbols. From a contemplative viewpoint, signs have more to do with communicating information and symbols are about communicating experience. If we wish our art to convey a felt experience as well as information, then we need to clarify the vehicles: Symbols and signs.
Part Three: The Creative Process
“The eye of desire dirties and distorts. Only when we desire nothing, only when our gaze becomes pure contemplation, does the soul of things (which is beauty) open itself to us.” Hermann Hesse
There is such a thing as unconditional expression that does not come from self or other. It manifests out of nowhere like mushrooms in a meadow, like hailstones, like thundershowers. Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
In Part Three we learn that the creative process is not unique to those who call themselves artists. The creative process begins with coming to our senses and facing a blank piece of paper, an empty stage, an idle instrument, or an unplanted garden. Out of that space inspiration can take form and build to a result that has a life and energy of its own. The creative process is only half of the equation; the balance is in the viewing process. Viewing is a not a passive activity where all the effort is supplied by the maker of the work. The viewer must be wakeful and aware to what is there to fully perceive it. The viewer, as opposed to the maker, begins with the completed form, the result. Yet, as if through magic, by the viewer opening up, the original inspiration of the maker can be glimpsed and shared.
Part Four: The Power of Display
The artist's world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep. –Paul Strand
Things as they are appear in many shapes, patterns, colors, seasons, emotions and wisdoms. Cultures throughout history have developed systems to merge their intuitive experience with their collective knowledge and display it through their arts. 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 and how in spite of all our differences, we do manage to communicate. In this part we learn how 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
Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction. Pablo Picasso
Some feel that if an idea or inspiration is clear, or pure, then whatever is produced will automatically be the same. However, the gap between inspiration and manifestation can be huge and filled with obstacles, negativity, and self-consciousness. These challenges can be worked with through a four fold process, or 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 Dharma Art teachings of the Four Actions are used as the vehicles for true compassionate action and pure expression where obstacles become challenges and negativity is transformed into greater vision and truth. The Four Actions describe not only how to work with a challenging creative process, but how the final product we call art speaks to us.