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Current Courses

Current Courses: Inventory
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Haiku and Visual Haiku:
Ways of Seeing

White dew/ one drop/ on each thorn
~Buson

The course is offered in two separate session dates:

Fri. Jan 27th, Feb 3rd, 10th, 17th, Mar.10th; 7pm-9pm Est.

Register: dralaimage@gmail.com

Suggested course fee $120 - $150  (CAN)

Sat. Jan, 28th, Feb 4th, 11th, 18th, March 11th; 2-4pm Est.

Register: toronto.shambhala.org

Suggested course fee: $140 (CAN)


   Classical contemplative haiku is a simple seventeen syllable poem that expresses an occasioned experience within the vast cosmos of Nature. This Zoom course introduces this practice of contemplative haiku.

  There will be teachings assignments, personal reviews and collective sharing of our haiku. (no writing experience necessary)

   The course includes some teachings on Zen and Contemplative aesthetics such a simplicity, space, purity, sabi (poignancy), wabi ( ordinary) and yugen ( mystery). These aesthetic principles inform the subtle and sublime experience of haiku practice and expression.  

   We include a contemplation of some haiku from the great Master Buson.  Buson was also a contemplative painter and many of his haiku have a visual inflection.

   The program includes the practice of Visual Haiku. Visual Haiku is a special field of perception within Nalanda Miksang Contemplative Photography. Contemplative Photography, like haiku, opens from an occasioned perception In this case we orient to manifestations that embody – in visual ways – the expressive principles of Haiku.

    There will be assignments and image reviews. (No photographic experience necessary but you needs a digital camera. A phone camera is fine)

 For more information: dralaimage@gmail.com

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Moon and Sun: Introduction to Contemplative Haiku and Aesthetics

​“The moon and sun are travelers through Eternity…Even the days wander and each day is a journey and the journey itself is home”  ~Basho

For those interested this course opens participation in the ongoing “ Moon and Sun” community of haiku practitioners.

No writing experience necessary.

Sat. Nov. 5th- Dec. 3rd; 11am – 1pm Est.

Fee: $145 US funds or ( $108 US funds)

Register: https://www.karmecholing.org/

This course introduces the classic form of Contemplative haiku which situates an occasioned “now” within the vast cosmos of Nature.

  The course includes a consideration of the sublime aesthetics of the Japanese contemplatives- such as sabi, wabi, and yugen – as well as the elemental aesthetics of the Chinese contemplatives. Further we consider the Shambhala teachings of “authentic presence” and “ordinary magic” as energetic ways that inform contemplative practice.

  This Zoom course proceeds through teaching, haiku assignments and reviews.  Each participant will have weekly personal feedback through e-mail and will share their haiku in the Zoom sessions.

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Moon and Sun Haiku Gathering (Open)

No charge, but a donation would be welcome.

Sun.Nov. 13th; 2pm- 4pm Est.

This is an ongoing feature of the Moon and Sun haiku manifestation. Every month, we will gather around to share some of our haiku. This is only available to those who have taken a Moon and Sun haiku course. The haiku will be in the classic contemplative haiku form.
The process will be similar to the course format. Participants can send me up to five haiku via e-mail. I will respond and select some that we can read and contemplate together. There may be a haiku lesson. It will be scheduled for a two-hour session, but the actual session may be shorter.

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Basic Goodness and Dharma Art (Closed)

Sat. Sept 10th, 24th, Oct 8th ,22th; 10 -12 am Est

Fee: $100 CAN

Register through the Toronto Shambhala Center website ( or contact John at dralaimage@gmail.com) For more information: www.dralaimage.com

  The great Dharma teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche taught the Buddhadharma and transmitted the Shambhala Dharma. He also practiced and taught Dharma Art.

  This course includes some of these teachings but will give emphasis to the connection between Shambhala and Dharma Art.

   It will engage Shambhala teachings such as Basic Goodness, the Shambhala Dot-in-Space, the flash of perception, Looking and Seeing, fields of perception, authentic presence and Drala (Ordinary Magic).

   It will include contemplation of teaching from Chogyam Trungpa texts:  Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior, True Perception and Great Eastern Sun.

 There will be experienced based perception exercises but also Miksang Contemplative photography engagements. Miksang is a Tibetan word that translates a “Good Eye”. Miksang is the “Eye Dharma” that connects with Basic Goodness.

  No photographic experience necessary but you need a digital camera ( a phone camera is fine)

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Color Plus/Plus (Closed)

Sat. Sept. 10th-Oct 1st; Time: 7 pm-9 pm Eastern

Course Fee: $100-$120 CAN

For further information or registration: dralaimage@gmail.com

The first assignment in the Nalanda Miksang teaching is color as color. This first assignment abstracts color from the world reference of colorful things. Just color as color. 

This opening of color spontaneously continues to abstract until it becomes like Abstract American Art. This AbsoluteEye course will explore this natural color abstraction in the context of a study of American Abstract color artists such as Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Barnet Newman, Kenneth Noland and others.

The course will proceed through image assignments and review along with a contemplation of the works of these American artists.

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Contemplative Photography: A short introduction (Closed)

“When eye and mind are synchronized, you see more clearly, and your images are simple, strong and vivid”

Sat. Feb. 26th, Mar. 12th-19th; 2-4 PM Eastern

Fee: $90

Register: toronto.shambhala.org

Fri. Feb. 25th, Mar. 11th-18th; 6:30-8:30 PM Eastern

Fee: $90.00 CAN

Register: dralaimage@gmail.com

This course introduces the basic approach of Miksang contemplative photography. It includes teachings, assignments and image reviews. An introductory course is a prerequisite for more advanced courses offered this year. (For information on these courses, go to www.dralaimage.com.) No photography experience necessary, but you will need a digital camera. (Point-and-shoot or phone camera are acceptable.) For more information: www.miksang.org and www.dralaimage.com.

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LOOKING AND SEEING: Introduction to Contemplative Photography (Closed)

“When Eye, Mind and World are in the same place at the same time, one sees clearly, and the images are simple and vivid.”

 Sun. May 22nd - 29th, Jun. 5th, 19th, 26th: 2-4pm Est.

Fee: $120 CAD

Course includes teachings, assignments and image reviews


Teacher: John McQuade

For more information and registration go to the Toronto Shambhala Center Website: toronto.shambhala.org

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Orderly Chaos and Found Modern Art (Closed)

“Chaos should be regarded as extremely good news”-Chogyam Trungpa

Fri. Oct. 14th-Nov. 24th. 7- 9pm Est

(no session Fri. Oct 25th)

Sun. Oct. 16th – Nov 20th; 2-4 pm Est ( no session on Sun Oct 30)

 

Fee: $125 - $150 CAN (sliding scale)


Register: dralaimage@gmail.com



This course is the third level in the Nalanda Miksang pedagogy which is based on Chogyam Trungpa’s dharma art teachings of the three levels of perception.

This course lets go of all reference points and enters the free play and energy of perception. The resulting images are often abstract and are found in modern art.  (www.absoluteeye.org) This course includes studies of Modern American Art with particular reference to the work of Robert Rauschenberg.

Course includes teachings, assignments and image reviews. A pre-requisite is that you had taken an introductory Looking and Seeing course.

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