top of page

Current Courses

Current Courses: Inventory

Contemplative Haiku: The Masters and the Tradition (Open)

“ Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the Masters; seek what they sought”-Basho

   A per-requisite for this course is the completion of a Moon and Sun introductory Haiku course. (There is a brief introductory course offered in June/July. Go to for details and registration.)

Two separate sessions:  

Sat. Jul. 22th, 29th, Aug. 5th ,12th, 26th; 12pm-2pm Est.

Thurs. Jul. 20th, 27th, 3rd, 10th, 24th; 6:30pm – 8:30pm Est.

  For those who seek to enter the Way of Haiku as an aesthetic liberation practice it is helpful to study and contemplate the ways of the Haiku Masters. Besides the four canonical Masters – Basho, Buson, Issa and Shiki – we will consider many other less well known haiku practitioners including the women adepts. Also we explore the relationship between Haiku, Zen and the tradition of the Death Haiku.


Heaven and Earth: Contemplative Landscape Photography (Open)

“Traditionally it is said that when human beings live in harmony with the principles of heaven and earth, then the four seasons and the elements of the world will also work together harmoniously. Then there is no fear and humans begin to join in, as they deserve, in living in the world. They have heaven above and earth below and they appreciate the trees and greenery and so on. They begin to appreciate all of this.” - Chogyam Trungpa; Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior

Three Separate Sessions:

1. Sun. Jul 16th, 30th, Aug 13th, 27th, Sept 17th, Oct,8th 11am-1pm Est.
Fee: $108 CAN
Register: Dorje Denma Ling (

2. Sat. July 15th, 29th, Aug 12th, 26th, Sept 9th, 30 4-6 Est.
Fee:  $120- $150 CAN

3. Mon. July 17yh, 31st, Aug 14th, 28th, Sept 18th, Oct 2nd  6:30- 7:30 Est.
Fee: $120 -$150 CAN

   This contemplative photography Landscape course explores landscapes from an Eastern contemplative art orientation rather than the traditional Western scenic approach. This contemplative landscape way gives emphasis to landscape visual forms, space and a sensibility of stillness rather than the conventional landscape formats of dramatic effect.

   The course includes resource teachings from contemplative aesthetics, Daoism and Chinese Landscape Paintings. Also it includes a consideration of Western contemplative landscape photographers such as Edward Weston and Ansel Adams.

   The course proceeds through teachings, photographic assignments and image reviews.  You need a digital camera with a “ long lens – at least 180” 


Moon and Sun: A Short  Introduction to Contemplative Haiku (Open)

  “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

Two separate sessions:

Sun. Jun. 16th, Jul. 2nd, 9th;  3pm-5pm Est.

Thurs. Jun. 22nd, 29th, Jul. 12th  6:30pm -7:30pm Est.

Fee: $90 - $120 CAN


 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. 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.

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

No writing experience necessary.


Contemplative Photography and Liberation: The outer and inner teachings (Open)

“ If you are able to relax – relax to a cloud by looking at it, relax to a drop of rain and experience its genuiness – you can see the unconditionally of reality…you experience a vast realm of perceptions unfolding…the realm of perception is limitless, so limitless that perception itself is primordial…there are endless fields of perception.”

   The course proceeds through teachings, assignments and assignment reviews. No photographic experience necessary but one needs a digital camera. (a phone camera is workable)

Two separate Zoom sessions:

  1. Shambhala Online

Sat. Jun 3rd-24th, Jul 8th; 1pm-3pm Est.


 2.Drala Image

Fri. Jun 2nd-23rd, Jul 7th; 7:30pm - 9:30pm Est.

Fee: $120 -$140 CAN


Chogyam Trungpa, Shambhala Sacred Path of the Warrior

    This course will take you on a deep dive into the world of contemplative photography and is open to everyone. No previous photographic experience necessary.

   A basic introduction to the practice of contemplative photography will be explored – as well as the liberation aspects of this practice. The direct perception experiences resonate with more primordial depths of insight. So it is both a contemplative art  and dharma practice. We will consider how the liberation features of contemplative art resonate with the liberation features of Shambhala, the Buddhadharma and Daoism.

  The “clear seeing” you will experience as part of this course opens up many realms of perception that we typically do not engage in our daily life. We will explore some fields of perception such as impressionism, flowers and weeds, and ordinary world magic.  

  We will contemplate some Chogyam Trungpa texts from the books True Perception and Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior. (if you do not have these books excerpts will be provided)

     For more discussion of the contemplative way of liberation consult the blog post on this website: “ Contemplative art and liberation: how it works ”


Metropolis Perceived (Open)

Two separate sessions.

1. Sat. Jun 25th, Jul 9th, 23rd, Aug 6th; 11am-1pm Est.

Fee: $130 CAN

2. Fri. Jun 30th, Jul 14th, 28th, Aug 11th; 7:30pm -9:30pm Est.
Fee: $120-$140 CAN

Many of us live in urban environments. Sometimes they are dense and intense urban environments: the Metropolis.

   Whether it is a town, city or Metropolis this urban space is a kaleidoscope of visual forms, colours, reflections, signage, and shop windows, street traffic of vehicles and people and so forth.

   This course explores this urban orderly chaos at the register of perception: the urban as a visual display. The assignments include urban visual forms, urban impressionism and street people photography, pop culture, surrealistic through the looking glass and so forth. It is a visual mash-up exploration.

   Sometimes this urban metropolis intensity can seem overwhelming. Here we transform this energy into a contemplative vivid space of visual clarity, art and appreciation.  

   The course proceeds through teachings, assignments and assignment reviews.  No previous photographic or Miksang experience necessary. The course will include a basic introduction to Miksang photography. You need a digital camera. ( a good phone camera will work.)  Also, of course, you need access to an urban environment.

  Metropolis Perceived is also presented in a French speaking
community Mondays  6:30pm -8:30pm Est.



Orderly Chaos and Found Modern Art (Closed)

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

Fri. Mar. 24th, 31st, Apr. 7th-21st; 7:30pm-9:30pm Est.

Sun. Apr. 2nd, 16th, 23rd, May. 7th, 14th; 3pm-5pm Est.

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.

There is no prerequisite for this course.

" Following this course, in the Summer, we will offer a related
AbsoluteEye Found Modern Art course: Assemblage Artists.  It will
contemplate the works of artists Robert Rauchenberg and Tom Wesslmann;
the works of photographers Edward Weston and Lee Frielander, the
Assemblage theories of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze  and the
Tantric teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche."


Moon and Sun Haiku Gathering (Open)

No charge, but a donation would be welcome.

Sun. Jun. 25th; 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.


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


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:

bottom of page