Rachel Faro is privileged to offer several workshops that reflect her experience and knowledge in music, music business and three decades of meditation practice.  These workshops offer participants many opportunities for self-expression, dialogue with others and in some cases the creation and performance of musical and literary works.  All workshops integrate elements of meditation and principles of compassion and energy as embodied in Rachel's study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism, Shambhala and spiritual paths, allowing participants to discover their own wisdom and inspiration.

Music, Meditation and the Creative Process
Meditation and making music both require us to be totally present and in the moment.  How can a sense of space and emptiness give rise to the music that is always there.  For musicians and listeners alike.

Artist As Entrepreneur: Finding A Balance Between Left & Right Brain
How to keep the flow of creativity going in between the numbers, social media and blah blah blah.

The Art of Song:  Basic Human Expression
If you can walk you can dance.  If you can talk you can sing.  Where do songs come from?  Many songwriters say that they don't feel as if they "own" their work, that it is simply discovered.  In this workshop we discover how our own voice gives rise to songs, the ultimate self-expression.




Evening workshop
1. Meditation and Deep Listening
2. Talk and Lively Discussion
3. Dharma Jam

Day-long workshop
1. Meditation
2. Exercises in melody and rhythm
3. Collaborative exercises
4. Creating new music
5. Dharma Jam

An evening seminar

 Music, Meditation, and the Creative Process

If we can walk we can dance, if we can talk we can sing -- it's a sense of joy and playfulness that brings music forth.   How can we generate that energy and manifest music that both listener and creator can enjoy.

Where does music come from? For a musician it seems to arise from space, from nowhere in particular.  For many musicians it truly does feel like a 'gift' because there is a sense that you don't personally own it, you simply discover it. 

There are many ways that music 

Although modern culture may produce sounds that embody aggression and confusion, music from a Shambhala point of view embodies basic goodness, naturalness, confidence and openness. 

Meditation and the creative process begin to be inseparable -- we don't 'make' the music, we simply allow it to happen. 

How are these qualities expressed in music? How is music an expression of joining heaven and earth, the path of meditation? What is the process of making music in relation to our individual path in life? 

There are many musicians who do not meditate and make great music, so we are not saying you must meditate to make music. But many musicians have something like meditation without knowing it – they find a way to stay present, to locate that inner space. But there is also no doubt that practicing meditation will help a musician. 

Meditators and musicians have practice in common.  It’s training. 

Discipline: training in an instrument makes you better. Training in sports makes you better able to deal with your mind. Western maestro: crazy egomaniac; Eastern sensai – skilled guru. As you train in meditation you develop gentleness, awareness and ultimately you experience your heart. Saudade (sauda – ge) - Genuine heart of sadness. “Nostalgia for the present”. 

As you develop awareness you develop intuition, or prajna – you just “know”. This is beyond knowing the notes, this is just “knowing”. And as you touch your heart you develop kindness. This combination of awareness and kindness enables you to play with other musicians in a band. 

Lose yourself, you are not absorbed in “self”, 

You have your discipline, your training; and you have your awareness, your intuition, your ‘knowing”. You take those two things – like two sticks that you rub together which create a spark. That spark is the job and inspiration that lifts you out of yourself. 

What is music?  One might say that music and meditation are purely human activities. Bird sing, dolphins sing but these kind of constructed musical creations are human.  From a listener’s point of view, the music that causes you to laugh and cry, to appreciate you. In Shambhala and in Japanese culture, we say that human beings are a product of joining heaven and earth. When you meditate you have your body, the earth, sitting on the earth. And you have your mind, your vast spacious mind, through which things come and go but it’s basic nature is heaven. 

In music you have rhythm: the rhythm of your heart, your breath. You have harmony and melody, basic instrument voice which you might call heaven. Joining rhythm and melody creates music. 

An example of heaven is Samuel Barber. An example of earth is Zakir, and an example of both is Djavan.

The outer space is discipline; instruments and voice, song, hinayana. The inner space is emotional meaning and connection with others; Mahayana. 

And the secret? Vajrayana - transforming poison into medicine; Vibration/mantra of vowels and consonants, basic words and syllables. 

Nirmanakaya, body; Sambhogakaya, speech; Nirmanakaya, mind. 

Joining heaven and earth to create a song. 

RACHEL FARO is the founder and coordinator emeritus of the Miami Shambhala Meditation Group. A close student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, she has been practicing, studying and teaching within the Tibetan Buddhist and Shambhala lineages for over thirty years. She is also a well-known singer/songwriter, RCA recording artist, a Grammy-nominated record producer, film composer and the president of Ashe Records, a world music record label.