Shambhala Art Retreat: All Five Parts

with Shastri Sandra Ladley & Anne Saitzyk

July 26th—August 1st (2014)

Date details +
  • $465 Program Price
  • $395 Student/Early Registration
  • $100 Deposit
Room: Meditation Hall
Program Registration is Closed.

Shambhala Art Retreat: All Five Parts

With Shastri Sandra Ladley and Senior Shambhala Art Teacher Anne Saitzyk

Saturday July 26, 7 - 9 pm, Opening Talk “Coming to Our Senses,” open to the public, $20

Please register separately if you are only attending the Saturday night talk.

Sunday July 27 through Friday August 1, 9 – 6 pm

 This Shambhala Art retreat will provide an opportunity for artists and non-artists alike to experience creativity and its genuine expression in all aspects of our lives.  The retreat will include teachings, meditation, awareness exercises, and creative and group processes that help to unlock a non-conceptual sense of expression that is available to all.In many traditions, artists train not only in their discipline; they also train in awareness, confidence, and compassion.  The program draws on the teachings on the creative process developed by the Tibetan meditation teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, who said of artists, “You could play a tremendous role in developing peace throughout the world.” This training builds our capacity to do so and to share it with others.  The training will close with a celebratory reception, “graduation,” and presentation of pins.

Part One: Coming to Your Senses

Clear perception is the basis of genuine art. Through a series of exercises, Part One explores the process of perception, highlighting both clarity and obscurations.


Part Two: Seeing Things As They Are

Art-making can be an inquiry into what is true. Trungpa Rinpoche taught dharma art as a way of investigating relative truth and absolute truth, which he called "sign" and "symbol." The exercises in Part Two point us in the direction of non-conceptual knowing.

Part Three: The Creative Process

Facing a blank piece of paper, an empty stage, an idle instrument, or an unplanted garden, we welcome the open space of not knowing: the Heaven principle. Out of that space, inspiration arises and we take the leap, make the mark, and begin to create, joining Heaven and Earth. Bringing awareness and heart to the process is the Human principle. Part Three explores these ancient Chinese aesthetic principles through calligraphies and object arrangements.

Part Four: The Power of Display

Things as they are appear in many shapes, patterns, colors, seasons, emotions and wisdoms. 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. 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

The gap between inspiration and manifestation can be huge and filled with obstacles, negativity, and self-consciousness. These challenges can be worked with through 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 Four Actions are used as the vehicles for true compassionate action and pure expression.

General Schedule

8:30 am                       Tea and Coffee provided

9:00 – Noon                Program Session

Noon – 2:00 pm          Contemplative Lunch, Work Assignments, Rest, Walks

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm      Program Session

4:00 – 4:30 pm            Hearty Tea and Snack provided

4:30 - 6:00 pm            Program Session, close for the evening

There may be some optional evening events offered.    



Shastri Sandra Ladley is a long-time practitioner and Senior Shambhala teacher.  She has worked as a counselor, manager and teacher in business, technology, health and creative arts settings.  She studied at Bard College and received her BA in Painting from San Francisco State University and her MA in Contemplative Psychology from Naropa University.  In addition to Shambhala teaching, Sandra currently leads creative and psycho-educational groups on topics including Radical Acceptance and Art in Everyday Life.  She is part of the team that is bringing the Karuna Training contemplative psychology program from Europe to Northern California.  She lives near Berkeley in Albany, CA.

Anne Anderson Saitzyk received her MFA in painting from Claremont Graduate University and her BFA in illustration from Art Center College of Design. She has served as Co-Director of Contemplative Arts at Shambhala Meditation Center of Los Angeles and Co-Coordinator of Westside Shambhala, a satellite of SMCLA. Anne met the Shambhala Buddhist dharma (and her future husband) through the Dharma Art program in 1997 and has since become a student of Sakyong Mipham and a Shambhala Art teacher and administrator. In her professional life, she teaches painting and drawing at Art Center College of Design and was recently a guest artist/faculty at Chung Ang University in Seoul, Korea.


$465 ($395 if registering in full by July 1, and for Seniors 65+, full-time students, low-income, and those repeating the program.)  Price includes materials fee but does not include meals or housing.  Enrollment limited to 30 participants. Please consider early enrollment and a non-refundable deposit of $100 by June 1 to secure your place.  Some scholarships/discounts may be available for early registrants.  For more information contact Amani Loutfy.


The Berkeley Shambhala Center is located at 2288 Fulton Street in downtown Berkeley.  It is easily accessible via BART and public transportation.  Parking and other information is available on the Berkeley Shambhala Center website.


Registration information will be released shortly.  After registration, participants will be emailed a reading and materials list.  Out-of-towners will also be emailed a list of local lodging.