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Guan Yin the female Buddha with Carmen MensinkBuddhist art course in Sri Lanka with Carmen MensinkPaint a female Buddha with artist Carmen Mensink
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A Chinese brochure with information on Tibetan Thangka Courses can be downloaded here

Feb/March 2017:
Buddhist Art Retreat in Sri Lanka

paint Kuan Yin according to the appropriate thangka proportionsdrawing and paint a Kuan Yin Buddha in Asiapaint the buddha of great compassion Guanyin
paint a buddha according to the appropriate thangka proportionslearn about Buddhism in Sri Lanka with this course in meditation and artcombination of vacation and art course

NEW! 10-day Buddhist Art Retreat incl. sightseeing tour in Sri Lanka

Feb 23/March 5, 2017

Guan Yin

the Buddha of Great Compassion

In this retreat we will draw this beautiful image according to the tradition of Tibetan Buddhist
Thangka (scroll painting). This new 10-day Buddhist Art retreat is extra special, because it includes
a sightseeing tour where we visit the best Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka.
...This makes it such a wonderful opportunity to combine with vacation!

In different Buddhist traditions Guan Yin (also written as Kuan Yin or Guanshiyin) may be depicted
as either a male or female manifestation of Great Compassion. Many Buddhist agree that Guan Yin
came from the male bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
When Buddhism came from India to East-Asia and became popular, many Buddhists transformed
Avalokitesvara into a female deity named Guan Yin, also known as the Goddess of Mercy.

The name Guan Yin is short for Guan Shi Yin, meaning "Observing the Sounds of the World,"
which indicates her compassionate ability to listen for pleas of help of those who need her.
It is said that Guan Yin can take any form to help others. That's why she can be represented in both
a male or female body (although the latter is more common).
Due to her symbolization of compassion, that goes for animals as well, Guanyin is also associated
with vegetarianism.

In this special Buddhist drawing and painting retreat we will work with two different forms of Guan Yin
(standing and sitting)
and besides this you will learn all about this beautiful deity through lectures and
make contact with this energy of compassion through meditations.

You can either choose to draw and color Guan Yin with colored pencils or paint your drawing and
learn how to work with the special thangka (tibetan scroll) painting techniques.
Experience in drawing/painting is not necessary.

Optional: instead of Guan Yin you can also choose to draw/paint Buddha Shakyamuni or
You can also use this retreat to complete your previous thangka drawings and paintings.

About the teacher: Carmen Mensink is an internationally renowned painter of Tibetan Buddhist Art.
This is called 'Thangka': scroll paintings of Buddhas and mandalas. Carmen is based in Amsterdam,
the Netherlands, and teaches this beautiful ancient art (which also includes Buddhist meditation and
philosophy) all around the world.

Thu Feb 23 to Sun March 5. Sightseeing tour on (date will follow)
More on the course schedule:
On the first evening we will get to know each other and start with
a slideshow & talk on our subject Guan Yin.
All following days start with a meditation in the morning and drawing sessions in the morning and afternoon.
Later in the week we will turn to coloring and/or painting sessions, and you will learn how to apply
the special thangka painting techniques. There will be a lot of individual guidance. In the evenings there will be
a slideshow & talk or free time. On (date will follow) our sightseeing tour starts to the famous Buddhist sites of Anuradhapura,
Dambulla Cave temples and Aukana Buddha. We spend the night in a hotel in Anuradhapura. On (date will follow) we travel to Polonnaruwa and spend the day there before we travel back to the Paramita Center. Here you can find more info on the sightseeing tour.
Our last day at the Centre you can choose to do some more sightseeing on your own (or with other students) or work some
more on your artwork. The evening is concluded with a dedication. Jan 24th after breakfast we are brought back to the airport.

Buddhist Art Course: S$(will follow) for Buddhist Library members, S$(will follow) for non-members + Accommodation
(7 nights at the Centre and 2 nights in hotel during sightseeing tour), food, local transport & 2 days tour fees: S$(will follow)
= total S$(will follow) for BL-members, S$(will follow) for non-members.
For people from Europe and the US: S$(will follow) equals around €(will follow) or $(will follow).
You have to get the flight yourself.
Free transport from Colombo airport to the Centre and vice versa will be provided on Thu 23rd and Sun 5th.
If you fly in from Singapore, please contact the Buddhist Library for group discount on flights.

Materials to bring:
If you want to draw:
2 large (A2 or larger) drawing paper, long 50cm ruler, (mechanical) pencil and eraser.
Optional: good quality colored pencils (like Prismacolor Premier)
If you want to paint:
A sturdy paper that is suitable for painting or a piece of prepared canvas (A2 or larger,
surface as fine and smooth as possible), a long 50cm ruler, a (mechanical) pencil, an eraser, gouache paints
or acrylic paints and brushes (fine and medium). Easiest for traveling is if you can put the paper in a tube.

Paramita International Buddhist Centre, Kadugannawa, Sri Lanka (about 100km from Colombo)
The participants will gather at the Colombo Airport and transport will be provided from the Airport to the Paramita Centre

Organization & Registrations:

Latest Newsletter about the Buddhist Art Retreat on Sri Lanka

An A4 Flyer on the GuanYin Buddhist Art Course can be downloaded here

In the meantime you can check out the pictures of past thangka tours in Asia:
Pictures of the 2013 Singapore & Malaysia Thangka Classes

beautiful female Buddha by one of Carmen's studentsBuddhist art in Singapore

Some of the places where Carmen teaches or has been teaching:

Guanyin or Kwan YinBuddha drawingthangka painting classes in Singapore

buddha healing of tibetan medicineBuddhist drawing classmedicine Budda painting class in Singapore

the Buddhist Library in Singaporeexplaination of Thangka PaintingDrawing of Carmen's Thangka Student

Thangka students working on their Buddhist DrawingThnagka group picturevegetarian food at lunch time in the thangka course

The Buddhist Library, Singapore

thangka buddha headsMaking Buddhist art with thangka painter Carmen Mensinkthangka drawers of the asian classics institute with carmen

The Asian Classics Institute, Singapore

Private thangka teachingsthangka students make tibetan art under the guidance of Carmen Mensinkcarmen with thangka students

Private Thangka Teachings for a small group, Singapore

palm trees and sky scrapers in Kuala Lumpurthangka students make a buddha face in the thangka classshowing how to draw the eyes of the Buddha following the tibetan tradition

students of thangka painting in Malaysiathangka group pic after thangka workshopwith meditation and effort everybody can create a Buddha face according to thangka tradition

Losang Dragpa Centre, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

"Carmen is a spiritual gift from, and she is brilliant, noble, kind, and clear. Her teaching is done with clarity and kindness.

I have felt that she was patient with me, as I struggled with the grid - the underpinning of the of the portrait. And she celebrated with me as I drew.
I am so grateful to her - and to be within this beautiful atmosphere - with people who are kind and full of grace and talents..."

Irena Delahuntey, Connecticut, USA
Participant at the Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

"Clear & simple with the indepth essence of a profound meditation!"

George Pierson, Philadelphia, USA
Participant at the Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

"We had a really fun five days, Carmen was really a dedicated teacher, it was amazing how we all didn't really know what we were doing at first, but got guided through the process and we all ended up making nice stuff IMO.

...We did a cool meditation every morning that was tied into the specific buddha that we were all drawing/painting, was a nice time.

Carmen's great - sincere, supportive, humble & enthusiastic."

Vlad Lewis, Massachusetts, USA
Participant at the Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY