Save the Date! Workshop November 1-2, 2019


Art and Symbolism of the Awakened Heart
Nov 1-2, 2019 

with Stephanie Johnston, senior teacher
Nalandabodhi International

Have you ever wondered how to share an experience that blows your mind?  Or explain something too mysterious to explain?  Usually we end up saying, “You’ve just got to try it!” Shakyamuni Buddha tried to express and share what is essentially inexpressible: the experience of awakening. Join Stephanie Johnston in these two insightful workshops to discover the role of art and symbolism as pointers to that ultimate experience, and to decode their enlightening messages.

Friday evening, November 1, 2019, 7-9pm
Part 1: Identifying Authentic Buddha Imagery

After Prince Gautama woke up to complete clear understanding of reality, he was called Shakyamuni Buddha, the Awakened One of the Shakya Clan. He was never a “Buddhist”, he was just someone having this great experience and wanted to share it. The difficulty was that people wanted images of him to stand for that experience, an idea he didn’t think was helpful. Would people take the image as something to be revered in itself, rather than discovering the direct experience that it symbolizes?

This illustrated workshop follows the trail of the Buddha, the Awakened One, to the iconographical form that is standard today. Join us to discover the symbols and their meaning that identify a Buddha.

Saturday, November 2, 2019, 10am-4pm
Part 2: Exploring the Many Faces of Compassion

The Buddha described the experience of clear reality as free by nature and unceasingly compassionate in expression. All activity of awakening is guided by one indestructible core value: to remove confusion and suffering without judgement or preferential treatment. Opportunities to be kind like this are available every moment of every living being’s life!

This illustrated and interactive workshop explores the unique expressions of compassion as portrayed in the visual arts since the time of Shakyamuni Buddha. Each era and culture has its own way of symbolizing Bodhisattvas, awakening embodied. Join us to discover the symbolism and meanings of enlightening compassion.



There are 3 options for registering:

Friday evening and Saturday: Non-members $130; Members $110
Friday evening only: Non-members $35; Members $30

Saturday only: Non-members $95; Members $80

Please register before Tuesday October 29, 2019 by email:

If experiencing financial constraints, please contact us.

stephanie-johnstonWorkshops are led by Stephanie Johnston, a long time art enthusiast, lover of mystery, and Tibetan Buddhist. An alumni of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design 1986, with post graduate studies in Digital Design and Communication and Museum Studies, she has spent the last 20 years as creative director for a Buddhist non-profit and teacher for Nitartha Institute for Higher Buddhist Studies. At Nitartha she designed a Buddhist Visual Literacy curriculum for the science of creative arts, one of the five main sciences of Tibetan Buddhism. In addition, she trains and supports meditation instructors.

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