Current Courses


Moon and Sun Haiku Gathering (Open)

No charge, but a donation would be welcome.

Sat. Oct. 22th; 5-7 pm 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.


Contemplative Haiku: A brief introduction (Open)

“When we draw down power and vastness into a single perception we are discovering and invoking magic.” –Chogyam Trungpa

Fri. Sept. 16th, 23rd, Oct. 7th: 7- 9 pm Est.

Fee: $75-$90 CAN


Haiku is a short poetic form – three lines. It expresses the ordinary occasion of the “now moment.” Contemplative Haiku explores the power and vastness of that single perception moment.

The course introduces the basic form and practice of contemplative haiku. It proceeds through haiku practice. Each person will have personal feedback for their haiku submissions (via email) and during the class we will collectively share our haiku.

No writing experience necessary. This course is required in order to
participate in the activities of the Moon and Sun haiku group and to
take more advanced courses offered this year.


Basic Goodness and Dharma Art

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 For more information:

  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)


Color Plus/Plus (Open)

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

Course Fee: $100-$120 CAN

For further information or registration:

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.


Contemplative Photography: A short introduction (Open)

“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


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

Fee: $90.00 CAN


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 No photography experience necessary, but you will need a digital camera. (Point-and-shoot or phone camera are acceptable.) For more information: and


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:


Orderly Chaos and Found Modern Art (Open)

“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)


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.  ( 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.


Ways of Seeing and the Way of Nature:
Contemplative Photography, Haiku and Deep Ecology (Closed)

Tue & Thurs Oct 12/21 – Nov 18/21
Course Fee: $149 CAN

This program engages the contemplative arts of photography and haiku in a deep and detailed exploration of Nature. Haiku is an accessible short poetic form that includes a reference to Nature.

Both arts are experienced-based – working with direct perception and direct expression. We will explore manifestations of Nature such as flowers weeds, trees, landscape, animals, weather, the elements and so forth. The course includes presentations on Eastern Aesthetics drawn from the Zen and Daoist traditions. Also, we consider both the Western and Eastern teachings on Deep Ecology which articulate our place in the functioning of Nature and the Cosmos.

No poetic or photographic experience necessary but you need some version of a digital camera.

For registration and more information: or


Contemplative Haiku and the Japanese Tradition

Every Sunday Sept. 18th to Oct. 9th ; 5 pm - 7 pm Est.

Every Thursday Sept. 15th to Oct. 13th; 6:30 pm-8:30 pm Est.

Fee: $120 – $140 CAD.


  Haiku emerged within the Japanese sublime perception aesthetics and the Zen Buddhism direct perception.

  This course will present the examples of the Haiku Masters Basho and Buson. It explores the sublime haiku aesthetics such as loneliness, simplicity, and mystery.  It engages the cutting edge Zen perception and the Death Haiku.

  The course is restricted to those who have taken a contemplative haiku course.  It will include Haiku practice. There will be personal e-mail reviews of haiku and a collective sharing and review of the community haiku.