First Thought, Best Thought: A Dharma Art Inspired Day of Collaborative and Solo Play

September 2nd (2017)

Date details +
  • $25 Program Price
  • $40 Patron Price
  • Or pay according to your circumstances
Room: Meditation Hall

Through the simple act of taking our seat, doing nothing and allowing the mind to settle, we can rediscover the unconditioned space that is available to us in every moment.

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche referred to this “open space of blank mind” that we may catch glimpses of in meditation practice as “first thought best thought”—the open space of not-knowing, primordial mind free from doubt, fear, and concept, the birthplace of ordinary magic, out of which unselfconscious, unfiltered, spontaneous, direct, true expression can emerge.

In the Shambhala tradition this path of uncovering our fundamentally creative nature is known as the path of dharma artthe path of nonaggression.

Come explore this playful path with us on Saturday, September 2, from 9-6 pm.

All humans are welcomenonartists and artists alike. No meditation experience or artistic talent required.  

Among other first-thought practice opportunities throughout the day, whether solo or in collaboration, will be the following:

  • Cut-up poetry
  • Spontaneous ikebana / floral arranging
  • Collage-making
  • Graffiti / wall drawing
  • Watercoloring (and other painting)
  • Guitar, ukulele, thumb piano playing
  • Typing on an old typewriter
  • Continuous paper tearing
  • Continuous line drawing
  • Vowel chanting
  • Body tracing
  • Body-moving
  • Non-dominant hand portraiting
  • Aimless wandering

There will be plenty of materials, though please bring your own as you see fitmusical instruments, art implements, and the like.

We will conclude the day with individual offerings (completely optional). Please bring any art you might like to share in our final hour, whether original (i.e., your own) or unoriginal (e.g., a poem by a favorite poet). Any / all media are welcome: poems, paintings, movie shorts, illustrations, novel / nonfiction excerpts, sculptures, movement, what have you.


  • 9-10 View; brief sitting instruction; sitting, walking, sitting
  • 10-11 Community art ritual; social meditation on art ritual
  • 11-12:45 Play, solo and/or collaborative; optional aimless wandering
  • 12:45-1:00 Social meditation on play
  • 1-2 Lunch; play; optional aimless wandering
  • 2-2:30 Sitting, walking, sitting
  • 2:30-3:00 Community art ritual
  • 3-4:30 Play, solo and/or collaborative; optional aimless wandering
  • 4:30-5:00 Tea; optional aimless wandering
  • 5-5:50 Art shares
  • 5:50-6:00 Brief closing ritual

We look forward to playing with you.