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Lions Roar : September 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN SepteMBer 2009 57 Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche “Genuine art—dharma art—is simply the activity of nonaggression,” said Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Trungpa Rinpoche was one of the most im- portant Buddhist teachers of the twentieth-century, and founder of this magazine. He was also a multi-talented artist. Trained as a child in Tibet in the traditional arts of calligraphy, painting, monastic dance, and poetry, on his arrival in the West he immersed himself in the pursuit of new artistic disciplines, including Japanese flower-arranging, photography, design, and filmmaking. In addition he brought fresh approaches to the traditional arts he had been taught, as seen in this example of his calligraphy. Titled “Great Eastern Sun,” it combines Tibetan script, three of his seals, and, on the left, the mark he used in the Shambhala teachings to symbolize primordial wisdom, which he called the Ashe stroke. Trungpa Rinpoche taught extensively on the path of dharma art, which he said “springs from a certain state of mind on the part of the artist that could be called the medita- tive state. It is an attitude of directness and unselfconsciousness in one’s creative work.” Chögyam Trungpa’s many works of art and his talks on art remain a vivid and unique legacy, and a portal to understanding the power of art in everyday life as a means to influence the world. For more on these teachings, see True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art (Shambhala Publications, 2008). PHOTOBYLIZAMATTHEWS