Ways of Seeing and The Way of Nature: Contemplative Photography, Haiku and Deep Ecology

John McQuade

September 29–October 3, 2021

Tuition $300 + 4 nights
This program has been canceled and will be rescheduled.

When eye, heart and world are in the same place, at the same time, your experience is direct and your art expressions are spontaneous and vivid.

This program engages the contemplative arts of Nalanda Miksang photography and haiku. Haiku is a short contemplative poetic form that contains references to Nature. Nalanda Miksang photography is based on the Dharma Art teachings of Chögyam Trungpa.

Both arts are experience based — working from direct perception to direct expression. In the Eastern traditions, such contemplative arts are call “ways” — ways of being with the Way of Nature as a way of engaging a basic harmony. These contemplative arts, besides making brilliant photographic and written images, connect us with the deep ecology of finding our place with this Earth.

Who Should Attend

There are no prerequisites for this program. Basic instruction in photography and haiku will be provided.

If you are a photographer, connecting with a strong “first perception” will enhance the art impact of the final image. If you are a writer, direct perception will connect you with the energy of inspiration. If you engage in meditation, connecting with direct perception will bring insight into your post-meditation experience.

Please review SMC’s COVID-19 Policy before visiting SMC.


John McQuade 2021

John McQuade

John McQuade is the founder of Nalanda Miksang Photography, and has established Nalanda Miksang teachers in North America, Europe and Australia. He is also co-author of two books in his field: Looking and Seeing, and Heart of Photography. He is currently on the faculty of the Halliburton School of Art and Design and is completing a PhD on the classic photographer, Edward Weston.

John is also a practising Buddhist, having studied with Chogyam Trungpa from 1979 until Rinpoche’s death in 1987. Besides being an accomplished meditation master, Trungpa Rinpoche was also an artist, a poet and a photographer. Nalanda Miksang contemplative photography is based on the Dharma Art teachings of Chogyam Trungpa.

After Trungpa Rinpoche’s death, John continued his Buddhist and Shambhala studies with Sakyong Mipham, Rinpoche. As an active member of the Shambhala community, John served on the Toronto Shambhala Executive Committee for 20 years, including two terms as Director. He is a Shambhala Training teacher, a certified meditation instructor, and a Buddha Families – Maitri Space Awareness Teacher.  John also studies and practices Qigong with Eva Wong — a lineage holder in Traditional Chinese Qigong and long-time Feng Shui consultant to the Shambhala community.

Program Details

Registration takes place from 2– 5 pm on your program start date. All participants and volunteer staff must check in at our Guest Registration house. Please arrive before 5 pm to check-in and settle into your accommodations. Your program begins with dinner, followed by an orientation. The Guest Registration house closes at 5 pm after which no one is available to provide information or orient you to your accommodations. All programs usually end at 12:30 pm on the program's departure date, followed by lunch. Further specifics regarding your program's schedule will be available upon arrival. If applicable, you will receive an email from the program coordinator in the week prior to your program with any additional information you may need.