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Shambhala Arts Festival at C. J. Jung Center

The Good Eye

The living tradition of Buddhism, passed from teacher to student, is a set of instructions and techniques for developing coping strategies to deal with the insanity and ignorance in ourselves and the world. Its wisdoms are particularly relevant today. Buddhist teachings proclaim the possibility of awakening wisdom and compassion in every human being through a practice of meditation that develops mindfulness and awareness clarifying the mind, opening the heart and cultivating practical methods to live with the realities of life.

The Shambhalian vision is based on the contemplative teachings of Buddhism, and cannot be fully described as a religion, philosophy, or psychology. It is better described as a modern expression of the contemporary spiritual journey or way of life available to followers of any tradition. The founder of Shambhala Buddhism, Chogyam Trunpa, called the Buddhist path a “journey without goal,” in that spiritual awakening can occur in the present moment, any time, anywhere.

The Shambhala Meditation Group of Buffalo is hosting a series of events over March and April centered on the appreciation of “Dharma Arts.” The group is part of the international student body following the teachings of Trunpa, the Tibetan meditation master and multicultural artist poet. Trunpa described Dharma Arts as “creative works that spring from the awakened state, characterized by directness, unselfconscious, and non-aggressive.”

Trudy Stern, an organizer of the annual two-month arts festival, believes this year’s event to be the most ambitious to date. Beginning with a group art exhibit at the Jung Gallery titled First Thought, Best Thought, it features work created by meditation group members and runs through April 28. The festival also featured a film screened at Jung Center exploring the conflict between ancient traditions and modern power struggles in the Himalayas. Contemplative poetry readings and workshops in writing and “Miksang,” or “Good Eye,” contemplative photography are also offered during the festival. A reception and artist’s panel discussion will be held on April 13, 6-9pm.

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