The essence of art is the discovery of the senses...

Artist and teacher Herbert Elsky about Dharma Art: Usually art is considered as something extra or special in our lives which is created by people who are especially talented, but according to the Shambhala teachings, art is something vital which everyone has the potential to actualize.
It is vital because it concerns our perception, and how we perceive the world affects everything we do and say. From that point of view art is a way of seeing and being. It concerns not only our senses but our conception of reality all together.
We are always expressing ourselves in everything that we do. Our posture, how we dress, every gesture that we make, every word that we speak is a self-portrait. How we manifest, affects us and the world around us and so lets project something honest and beautiful.

Connecting art and dharma is a way for each of us to express our personal genuineness without imitating others. It is incredibly intimate. As is said, « to find your own voice », not just in painting and conventional ideas about art, but in everything we do so that our whole life feels healthy and complete.
In that way we can develop something to share with friends, family, and our community. It might take the form of writing, cooking, decorating, singing, photography, sculpture, sports, etc. Everyone has their seed of creativity to develop in their own way.

Having something to share makes you rich! It is our offering to the world.
What is it that we genuinely want to say from deep inside ourselves?
How do we discover that? And what stops it?
Maybe we feel a longing to express ourselves but often we are stopped by fear and embarrassment, or we feel that we do not have the time or the skills to proceed. Perhaps, when we want to create, our mind just becomes a blank.

The point of Shambhala Art is to provide tools to learn and discover the resources we each have within us already, and to show a way to express ourselves which is not just clever, shocking, or masterful technique, but expression that actually touches the heart and radiates something positive to the world.

For me the essence of art is the discovery and appreciation of the senses. I like the sense of aliveness and being in the moment, in the unknown, even if it is uncomfortable. You never know what you might discover!

Herbert Elsky is an American artist who has now been living in France since 1995.
In the U.S. he created and exhibited transparent sculptures made of polyester resin for more than twenty five years. After moving to France his work changed dramatically. During the winter of 2004 he created the La Baluba Theatre, a space for performing visual and sound compositions and experiments.
He has taught contemplative art programs in the U.S. and throughout Europe for more than twenty five years.