Portland News Magazine

Life.Art.Being: Integrative Arts Summer Festival

June 21st, 2013 by Caitlin_Bargenquast

Hello Dear Sangha and Friends

Today I get to wear my Arts Council Chair cap (we’ve decided it is glittery and a crown and definitely has garuda feathers sprouting out at jaunty angles) and spread the news about a fantastic arts opportunity coming up July 15-20, 2013!  I am so excited to announce the inaugural Life.Art.Being: Integrative Arts Summer Festival.  This is also the first official collaboration between the Portland Shambhala Center and the Be Space movement + expressive arts studio.

This week-long immersion is intended to be a retreat from the body+mind that speeds through summer all too quickly.  The container will be dedicated to creating beauty and practicing presence with the self, the body, the other, and the mystery.  Movement artist and Naropa alum Elizabeth Russell (with whom we all fell in love at our Spring 2013 Shambhala Arts Festival) has curated an incredible line up of artists to contribute.  Feast your eyes on the rich schedule here and dive in for all or part of the week.

The lineup includes Dharma Art, Authentic Movement, Contemplative Dance Practice, a Warrior Artistry panel and more inspiring community events. The week will include not only practice but also exploration of the personal and social context for our creative practices.
   Tuesday and Thursday evenings will be held at the Portland Shambhala Center, with Lisa Stanley starting the week off with a Dharma Arts Talk.  I am thrilled to be participating as moderator for the Thursday night panel of local artists discussing contemplative movement practices and their applications to diverse fields of work.

I will also be facilitating the Wednesday night writing practice at Be Space.  For those of you who got a taste of “Action Writing” at our Spring Arts Fest (read some of the amazing poems generated here )  we will again relate to our streams of consciousness through the body and let it directly inform our written words.  We will get wild with huge pieces of paper, “shovel” with lines, and play with feedback.  This is a perfect opportunity for dancers and movers who fear the line, and for writers interested in loosening up habit and hesitation.

Of course, mine is just one of many offerings!

I look forward to exploring, playing, and cultivating beauty with all of you!

Many Blessings,
Caitlin Bargenquast

Melayna & Marc of Brooklyn Bay Have A New Show! Finally…

December 10th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

Things always take so much longer than I expect.

 Marc and I started working on a new show about relationships at least two years ago, maybe three. We started thinking we’d do a show based on an article called ‘Anatomy of a Bad Mood’ by Robert Sapolsky. It was a funny article, kind of a gender dynamics thing he wrote for a men’s magazine. But when we started working on it, it fell flat. It just wasn’t right. We had to let it go…

We tried again a few more times from different angles but it always felt forced. We were trying too hard. Again and again we had to let it go…
We wanted to create a performance that would offer something truly valuable. A piece that would not just satirize relationships but really offer understanding and a way to transform difficulties. 

And we were creating this piece about relationship together…and all our difficulties have come up.

And much has been transformed between us – and continues to in surprising and mysterious ways.

For the past three or more years, we’ve been studying experiencially the neurobiology of relationships using our own relationship as fertile ground for discovery. And now we’ve created a piece about it. 


But I have to say, I believe it is worth the wait. 

One thing I’ve come to appreciate about this project, is that you can’t rush a process like this. When a project really has integrity and something valuable is emerging, it takes the time it takes. And rushing it just creates frustration. When this piece was ready to come, it came in a big rush – seemingly out of nowhere.

I’m telling you all this not only to invite you to come experience this new performance piece yourself (See below for details). But I also wanted to share a bit about our process in case it’s helpful.

 Maybe you have a project, or an intention that seems to be taking too long. Maybe you are coming up against blocks and needing to let things go again and again. Don’t lose heart. And if you do lose heart, be kind to yourself. These things take time.

Warmly, Melanya


The Eternally Present Past

How Implicit Memory Shapes Us

Have you ever wondered why you feel the way you do? Or why you keep falling into the same patterns of relationships again and again?

You are invited on a journey to explore our inner landscape. Below our conscious awareness, bodily sensations, surges of feeling, behavioral impulses and perceptual biases continuously influence our relationships.

This transformative performance piece inquires into the neurobiology of relationship through story, poetry, movement and sound.

January 11 & 12


The Brooklyn Bay

$20 / ticket

Tickets Available Now


Jay Stewart shows work in “Little Things 12” show

December 10th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci
Please consider visiting the “Little Things 12” show at Guardino Gallery, 2939 NE Alberta.  This annual show makes it affordable to give original art as a gift to someone special or for your own home.
I am fortunate to be one of the many artists in this show of small, modestly priced art.   My work is a series of small paintings entitled “Maple Seeds Illuminated.”    I hope you’ll have a chance to see them.
Thank you.
L. Jay Stewart

The Books of Esther by Willa Schneburg

September 17th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

An Interdisciplinary Exhibit of the Life of One Woman Who “Talked” Through Writing 

September 12, 2012 – November 25, 2012

Oregon Jewish Museum

1953 NW Kearney Street, Portland

Website: ojm.org

Willa Schneberg’s mother, a first generation American, was a survivor of larynx cancer. Thus out of necessity she wrote what she would normally speak. In this body of work Schneberg utilizes ceramic sculpture, photographs, audio clips and personal objects to explore how memory, language, Jewish identity, work, disability and aging, shape people’s lives. Schneberg has created the echo of the voice no longer there, the contour of the hand that held the pen. This exhibit is about the artifacts of our lives, and how we infuse them with meaning. The Books of Esther also embodies the essential contribution of written language, and it demonstrates how one woman’s need to communicate allowed her to overcome adversity.

The Under 35 Project…

July 9th, 2012 by Lesa Ricci

….is the digital hub for a new generation of meditators.

This is a place for young meditators to share what it’s like to try to live mindfully, every day. Shambhala Publications, one of the world’s pre-eminent publishers of books on enlightened living, is hosting this conversation on what it means to bring mindfulness and compassion to every aspect of our lives. Each month we’ll contemplate a different topic—be it relationships, work, parenting, or social action—and invite you to share your experience. We have quite a few contributors from the Porltand Shambhala sangha. Check it out at: http://www.under35project.com/ 

This is a site for you: We want your personal essays, poems, screenplays, short stories, art, photography, and video, because we value your voice and want it to be heard.

Melanya Sings the Blues: Benefit Performance

September 12th, 2011 by

Willa Schneberg’s Sculpture Exhibit, Artist’s Talk & Poetry Reading

March 13th, 2011 by

Willa Schneberg’s ceramic sculpture entitled “Objects of the Sacred and Profane” will be on display from March 31 – April 24 at the Guardino Gallery, 2939 NE Alberta. The opening is March 31, Last Thursday, 6-9PM. Willa will exhibit work inspired by cases of fruits artfully displayed by Cambodian street vendors and the guard towers at Auschwitz/Birkenau. She will be showing with painter Anna Magruder. She will give an Artist Talk & Poetry Reading, Sat. April 16th, 3-4PM For more info. contact 503-281-9048 or visit www.guardinogallery.com