Shambhala Art – Summary of Parts 1-3 (including Heaven, Earth and Man) – Acharya Arawana Hyasahi

 I felt the best way to explain more was to include my complete notes along side some of the exercises demonstrating each of the principles described.

Did you do any reading? Were you told to bring a book? To do a reading? Primarily, there is one chapter in the true perception/ dharma art – “the five styles of creative expression” that would be good to read. Most of the study however will be from “joining heaven and earth”, which isn’t in “dharma art”- it is in “the Art of Calligraphy”. If you can get it, that is fine.

So, the end of the book- joining heaven and earth” – pg 146-end of book – primary source for weekend.
I’ve said it a couple times. What struck me in studying for this weekend is the enormous profundity of this material. The teaching Trungpa Rinpoche did in Shambhala Art is the highest teaching, and also accessible in different ways.
Very weighty on me – how we share this material in a short amount of time.Tom will have some follow up sessions. It is a LOT of material for 2 days.
The teachings are from the “visual dharma ‘ seminar that Trungpa Rinpoche gave in boulder in the summer of 1979. We have been primarily studying from the summer – this is the background material on perception, how perception work, and distinguishing ways of seeing – self, cocoon – the method of perceiving – the amount that our perceiving is colored by what the Sakyong calls the “me plan.” The shambhala art teachings help us to first notice we do that, we have all sort of frames to choose, 1st to even notice something, 2nd if it is for us or against us, we like it or don’t like it, we are trying to discern our own method of perceiving.
The exercises highlight our neurosis and our natural ability to see things as they truly are.
Anyone want to share, it’s the part 1 and part 2 investigation.
To be a human being, and live in a dharmic way, is art. Trungpa Rinpoche uses the word “dharma” synonymously with art.
Living harmoniously, to live in an artful way is this teaching.
We can of course apply it those of us that do something we call art, but the teaching is that it is something that influences our whole life.Then natural hierarchy- heaven, earth, and human.
Arranging in terms of spatial placement and time.
Look at it in terms of first spark – earth – and how to tune in from there –human.
Heaven is “the big thing” – not at all biggest. The biggest perception, that breaks through subconscious gossip. We need to review this, because we will be reviewing these principles through different lenses.Earth is the confirmation of the big thing – allows the heaven principle to be legitimate. Letting something live in us or move us.Human principle – as a perceiver – see “how do I perceive the world?”
What is my definition of communication?“Whew! Wow, I’ve done it.” Some sense of landing, being present.
It’s through perceiving rather than analyzing.

Last chapter- “Art and Society”.
It reminds us why we gather together to do this…
“It is connecting with defeating setting sun vision”- the small world of passion, aggression an ignorance.
“and transform it into Great Eastern Sun vision. That is our purpose in being here. We would like to establish….enlightened society…”
This is the background of why he taught it, and what we are supposed to do w/ it. When we realize how to be warm, there is not problem w/ introducing dharma into our art.”
So that’s the deal. You step in the door, and you are part of that stream of people trying to bring some peace to the world.

Those of us of privilege have a responsibility…

When we start to get small-minded, it is easy to lose our motivation. Any paragraph of this book is a powerful reminder of how art or artful living can be.
“It’s not self expression, it’s just expression. Things happen, there is no need to claim it as ours.”
I’m just introducing a few topics, and maybe introduce the Buddha families.

There is a 2nd chapter he entitles discipline.
Trungpa Rinpoche often says, “it’s like combing hair”, going through a topic again and again.
In this case, he outlines the psychological and physical implications of heaven- could be implementing a meeting, a dinner party, a piece of art, a webpage, whatever.
(Working on social change theater – working with an incredibly innovative agency- that sees challenged people as having gifts- they are all so genuine, unimpeded)
We call this the ‘toehold’- but there is seemingly so much oppression in the system- it just squashes- clients, demands, finances, etc. – it sucks the energy down and closes it off. How do we find the help, practices, etc. we need?

3 reflections on heaven principle

  1. Offers up numerous times the synchronization of mind and body. When they are synchronized, it is “authentic presence” – he recommends meditation before an artwork. “If we are artists, we need to live like artists, and treat our entire lives as discipline.” “Art and post art become one, like meditation and post-meditation practice become one.”
  2. Also, the tools- the relationship w/ ones brushes, cloth, eggplants, whatever. The sacredness and potential power of the tools themselves.
  3. Free from hope and fear – those of us who when we were children, were able to dance, sing whatever w/o hope and fear. Most of us unlearned that, that’s why shambhala is so into leaning into such experiences. The first thing is hope, to look at hope. wanting things to be better, more supportive, there is a sense of hopelessness- giving up expectation of a better result. Also soften up fear of inadequacy. We live in a time, in terms of job security, what is going on in the world, the fear is everywhere – it’s threatening- if not us, our family or neighbors. It’s the sense of how we work w/ hope and fear.

It is important to build up knowing feeling of wanted and unwanted- that whole arena of what it is to build capacity to live in a more curious, inquisitive way- in terms of inquisitive, it doesn’t matter if it is positive or negative.
If we are after comfortable, we will be disappointed. It’s not shutting out what we view as unhealthy, or don’t agree with.
Most of us know we can’t control bringing in the good and putting off the bad. In the end, “when we have that attitude and motivation, we are victorious. There is a general sense of even mindedness that could be called decency.”
The decency is the ability to live w/ our experience in an even minded way.

Earth principle

Earth is about workability and pliability. We have a vision of what an experience could be like. In some states, working with people is like working w/ hardened clay.  In others, it is more workable.

Earth principle is saying there’s always moisture to make it workable. The vision- heaven- rains down, makes our everyday experience workable, pliable. What does it mean? Apply the principles to art.

Human principle

Human – ‘simplicity’ – a sense of nowness, not being biased towards one side or another, a sense of freedom. One is able to be living on this earth w/ a vision.
And then the 4th is the 4 Karmas, the 4 actions, which we will cover this weekend.

(to be continued)

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