Arts at Aryaloka

Appreciation and practice of the arts is seen within the Triratna Buddhist Community as an important means of engaging the emotions in the spiritual life and of making a bridge between traditional Buddhism and Western culture. Many of our sangha members make their living in the arts or have a strong creative talent. The arts bring richness and depth to our community and a personal connection with our own practice.

Aryaloka offers many opportunities to engage in creative pursuits through classes, retreats and workshops. We also have frequent arts events – musical performances, art showings, and more – through our Arts at Aryaloka programming. Arts events are open to all and always promise to be lively and elevating.

Upcoming and Previous Arts Events:

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Mandalas as a spiritual practice

Event Dates: Sunday, February 14, 2016

MandalaRetreat_smMandalas are sacred works of art in Tibetan Buddhism. “Mandala” is a Sanskrit word that suggests a circle or sacred center that is marked off and adorned. A mandala is made up of integrated circles, squares, and other geometric shapes centered around a unifying point. Spiritually, these shapes are seen as symbols of larger sacred realms where enlightenment may take place. Mandalas are powerful symbols that can be found in various spiritual traditions, cultures, architecture, art forms, as well as in natural forms such as snowflakes and flowers.
In this workshop, we will begin with a centering meditation. Then we will examine different types of mandalas and their symbolism, and explore the traditional process of mandala making in Tibet. This will provide inspiration as we experience the process of creating and contemplating mandalas. We will explore how imagining, constructing, completing, coloring, or simply meditating on a mandala may be a meditative practice. This workshop requires no artistic ability. In fact, the process of making a mandala is more about experiencing shapes, color, and light than it is about drawing. Participants will have the opportunity to create mandalas starting at various stages of the process, from starting from scratch, to using a template, to coloring a finished mandala. We will conclude with reflection on our practice.
Paper and colored pencils will be provided. Participants are also welcome to bring their own materials if they wish.

Led by: Jo Beltre & Dh. Khemavassika
Times: Sunday, February 14th 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Venue: Aryaloka
Fee: Sliding Scale $65/50/35
Level: Open to All
Directions: Directions Page

* At Aryaloka, we strive to make our programs available to everyone regardless of their financial circumstances. Our fee structure allows you to pay according to your means. The Sustaining price is for people comfortably paying their rent or mortgage, and who can afford the occasional meal out and movie. The Sustaining price level also helps Aryaloka offer lower prices to those who could otherwise not afford to attend. Any payment above this price is a tax-deductible donation. Mid-Level prices are for those who have a regular income and are paying their mortgage or rent. Prices at this level contribute to the range of Aryaloka’s operating costs. The Base-Level price is for those without an income or with an income low enough that making ends meet is a challenge. Those whose circumstances are not included above can call the office to arrange alternate pricing.

* Retreat participants are asked to work together to prepare and clean up after meals and to help with general cleanup at the end of the retreat.

Aryaloka Drawing Group

Event Dates: Sundays, Jan. 3rd, Feb. 7th, Mar. 6th, May. 1st, and Jun. 5th

drawinggroup_smThis monthly informal drawing group grew out of a Drawing and Meditation Workshop and it’s a great way to meet up with other artistic spiritual friends.

We meet from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at Akashaloka (the building behind the Aryaloka domes).

Bring your own art supplies. While a simple pencil and drawing pad is enough, feel free to bring anything else you may have. Sign-ups not necessary and we will have a Dana bowl for donations. For more information or any questions e-mail Eric Ebbeson at

Led by:  Eric Ebbeson
Times: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Venue: Akashaloka
Fee: Donations Appreciated
Level: Open to All
Directions: Directions Page
The Generosity Kula invites everyone – each time time they come to Aryaloka – to bring one item for our collection boxes in the entryway. We are collecting non-perishable food items, personal care/cleaning products, or warm clothing items. Your generosity makes such a difference in many people’s lives! We thank you for your past donations and encourage you to continue. With gratitude, the Generosity Kula.