We hosted another wonderful Shambhala retreat – maybe the 8th or so held here so far. This time it was an art retreat and as such had quite a different feel to the usual retreats. Mary Anne Botha, with assistance from Andras Hajdu, ran the retreat. The week-long program drew from the teachings on the creative process developed by Tibetan meditation teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the founder of Shambhala Buddhism
This is how Mary Anne described the retreat.
To artist or non-artist, the creative process often seems mysterious and magical. As a training Shambhala Art explores making art from the viewpoint of a meditative discipline.
Working with this training as a group on retreat together, we discovered that if we were not too eager to prove something we could welcome the open space of not knowing, of playing.
And when inspiration arose out of that space, we dared to make a stroke, to make a sound, or position an object - with awareness and precision.
And from Andrew Putter:
"By giving us the opportunity to work in a wide variety of art forms – including acting, singing, writing, calligraphy and object arranging – and coupling perceptual and expressive exercises with meditation, study and contemplation – teachers Mary Anne Botha and Andras Hajdu skilfully introduced us to artistic expression as a potential path of awakening.
The trick is to use the artmaking process – no matter what you’re making – as a support to bring you back to the vividness and spaciousness of the present moment… in this way, it’s no different to meditation."
Those interested in Shambhala Buddhism the following may be of interest.
SHAMBHALA takes its name from a legendary kingdom famous for being an enlightened society. Today, the global Shambhala network brings together people of all ages and from all walks of life who are interested in exploring our own minds, transforming our experience, and awakening our potential for enlightened society.
Shambhala is based on trust in human dignity. We offer a path of meditation practice and contemplative arts oriented towards modern life. Our communities around the world cultivate kindness, bravery, and genuine dialogue. Our vision is to inspire compassionate, sustainable, and just human societies.
And to find out about Shambhala South Africa can go to on shambhala.org , and by following the Cape Town group on capetown.shambhala.info
Feedback to Fynbos Estate
Thought I’d share some of the comments that came back from the Shambhala Meditation and Art Retreat evaluation sheet question
“How suitable was the venue?” . You scored 46 out of a possible 50!
- 5 out of 5! Perfect! Wonderful!
- Wonderful venue and farm environment, super food and great hosts at Fynbos Mountain Estate
- As venues go this is right up there!
- Beautiful Place, wonderful hosts
- Beautiful, generous, unpretentious
- Very conducive, relaxing, connecting to nature, good food, pleasant sleeping arrangements created a good ambience
- The venue is intimate, comfortable, beautiful, and restful and the food is delicious. And it is conveniently close to Cape Town.
- glad we were not in the pavilion given the weather and the flies
- improvements such as better ventilation and lighting can be made in some of the bedrooms