Program Details

Shambhala Art: Part Four and Five

with Tom Semmes & Elaine Yuen
June 27 / 9:30 AM - June 29 / 5:00 PM

In this 3-day workshop we explore things as they are in greater depth, through the lenses of one of the most universal systems, the five elements, space, water, earth, fire, and wind. These form a mandala, or an interconnected dynamic display, through which we can appreciate our world and its many shapes, sounds, tastes, colors. Using media such as ink, objects, our bodies and voices, we will invite an expression to naturally arise that is both uniquely ours as well as universally human. 

In everyday life, of course, the gap between our inspiration and its expression can be filled with obstacles, negativity, and self-consciousness. In this workshop we will work with the four actions, that are related to the five elements--Pacifying, Enriching, Magnetizing, and Destroying-- to turn obstacles into challenges and transform confusion into clearer vision and a more truthful expression.

The course ends on Sunday with participants creating a large-scale installation that celebrates the enlightened aspects of each element and is a manifestation of enlightened society.

Prerequisite:  Shambhala Art Part 3 or equivalent.  Contact Tom Semmes at if you are unsure.

Suggested donation: $175/$140 if prepaid three weeks prior to the start of the program.

Or you may choose to make a payment at a level that works for you—this may be less or more than the suggested donation, depending on your circumstances.

For more information about our payment options, please click here.

About the teachers:
Tom Semmes has been a member of the DC center since 1988 and is an accomplished graphic designer and artist. He began studying the Shambhala Art teachings in 2001 and has found them invaluable guidance for focusing and realizing creative energy. Contact him at for more information about the workshop.

Elaine Yuen is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Naropa University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on meditation, pastoral care and Buddhist studies.  A Shambhala Buddhist practitioner since the early 1970s, she has taught Buddhist classes, Shambhala Training, Shambhala Art and Mudra Space Awareness programs locally and nationally. She was a founding member of the Mudra Theater Group in Boulder, and has been a regular columnist for the Living Religion Page of The Philadelphia Inquirer.  She finds her life to be a continuous and often surprising creative work.

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