Surmang Kagyu Retreat Center Contemplative Arts Program

    Dharma Art

    “Genuine inspiration is not particularly dramatic.  It’s very ordinary.  It comes from settling down in your environment and accepting situations as natural.  Out of that you begin to realize that you can dance with them.  So inspiration comes from acceptance rather than from having a sudden flash of good gimmick coming up in your mind.  Natural inspiration is simply having something somewhere that you can relate with, so it has a sense of stableness and solidity.  Inspiration has two parts: openness and clear vision, or in Sanskrit, shunyata and prajna.  Both are based on the notion of original mind, traditionally known as Buddha mind, which is blank, nonterritorial, noncompetitive, and open.”

     - Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

     Dharma Art essentially uses art forms as the method for recognizing natural awareness or ordinary experience.  In this respect, the approach taken to art is quite different from the general view of artistic endeavor assumed in the west. 
         Trungpa Rinpoche and the Vajra Regent both were remarkable Dharma artists.  The main forms that they engaged were the Doha ,or spontaneous poetry of realization, brush calligraphy, environmental art and flower arranging. 
         At Surmang Kagyu Retreat Center we use two fundamental contemplative art forms that were propagated throughout Trungpa Rinpoche's sangha-- Kyudo, contemplative Japanese Archery, and Shado-- Brush calligraphy.

         We hold a Kyudo Retreat every spring in which we explore these forms.  Kyudo and shado training are a regular part of the Dzogchen Seminary in the fall and winter.  Weekly classes are open to all students who have completed the "Touch and Go" meditation program at DMC and have made a commitment to continuing their training in meditation.



    joe doing kyudoTashi can be reached at the main phone number (207) 607-3392  for more information.

                                                                            Sherab Namgyal Joseph Armstrong doing Kyudo DMC