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Courses and Workshops

~ Find Your Flow, Your Happiness, and Well-being

Current Course:

The Art of Meditation

Benfeita, Coimbra, Portugal

(Dates and Exact Location to be announced)

What is Creative Flow? - THE HOUSE OF FLOW1

The Art of Meditation: In this six-week course we will cover all of the details of starting and sustaining a meditation practice that will still the mind and bring about a deep state of clarity and centeredness.

Dzogchen is a Tibetan style of “pure being” meditation that is profoundly simple yet powerful. It can be learned by anyone – whether you’re a beginner or experienced meditator. In this course we’ll discover how this ancient practice can open us up to the flow of life, quiet our minds, and give us more happiness and clarity in our daily lives. We’ll cover all aspects of the practice, including how to overcome obstacles to this or any sitting meditation practice, how to achieve consistency and discipline, and how to amp up our practice and make it blissful. We will debunk common myths and misconceptions about how to effectively practice meditation, and touch upon some of the fundamental teachings of the path of awakening according to some of the ancient as well as modern wisdom traditions.

This course is for beginners as well as experienced meditators – anyone who has already begun a practice and would like to go deeper. The practice offered is not religious, nor do you need to change any spiritual beliefs in order to practice it.

We will hold one session per week (day and time to be announced). Students will be expected to commit to a short, daily practice. Class will be one hour long, in the afternoon or evening.

Cost of the course: 36.00 Euros for all six sessions – A discount will be given to those who cannot afford the cost of the course. Also, you will need to bring your own cushion and zabuton (blanket or padding that goes under your cushion) and warm clothing if necessary. You can also bring a meditation stool if you have one or sit in a chair which will be provided. Exact location and time to be announced.


About the teacher:

Douglas Paul Smith is the author of the book, ‘The Infinite Artist,’ and the founder of The House of Flow. Since 1999, Douglas has been a practitioner of Yogic and Buddhist meditation in the traditions of Tibetan Gelugpa, Shambhala, and Soto and Rinzai Zen Buddhism, as well as in Vipassana, Insight methods as taught by Sayadaw U. Pandita. His life’s work has been to explore the Self and to combine sitting meditation with creativity practices, following the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and traditions of creativity found in Zen Buddhism. Douglas is a graduate of Asian Classics Institute Los Angeles, and Shambhala Art International. He has taught meditation and contemplative art-making in the United States in Los Angeles, at Inner Way LA (formerly Asian Classics Institute), and at Three Jewels Buddhist Center in New York City, and Three Jewels in Tucson, Arizona.

Upcoming Course:

Meditation for the Artist

in Coja, Central Portugal

Dates and Location to be announced.

Meditation for the Artist 2

Meditation for the Artist is a free workshop followed by a seven week course, where we use meditation together with the creative process to wake ourselves up to our creative potential. We will learn to transcend the thinking mind, to see more clearly and to create with authenticity. By delving deep into our Flow, we sharpen our innate intelligence, going beyond the illusion of separation toward an experience of the sublime.

This seven week course will teach meditation and include contemplative art exercises (‘Art as Meditation’) to awaken both the creative and viewing processes. The first three weeks will focus on perceptual and awareness exercises, meditation, and expressive brush and ink painting that will assist you in experiencing the creative process with fresh eyes, heightened senses, and an open mind and heart.

During the second half of the course, we will incorporate object arrangement and exploratory painting exercises, using these methods as a practice of creative mindfulness that you can apply to any creative medium. In addition, you will learn simple, easy methods for accessing the creative Flow state, and discover how to direct emotions and to dissolve blocks using the creative process itself.


Douglas Paul Smith is the author of the book, ‘The Infinite Artist.’ He is the founder of The House of Flow, which empowers artists and creative people to find their true potential and authenticity, and to achieve their creative goals. Douglas’ passion for creativity coaching was born from a decade of teaching ‘Art As Meditation’ classes in the United States — his own version of the Eastern principles of creativity as taught by the late Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche in the 1970s and 80s. As well as being a professional visual artist and designer for over 25 years, Douglas also studied Yogic philosophy and meditation extensively in the traditions of Tibetan Gelugpa, Shambhala, and Soto Zen Buddhism, and is formally trained as a Contemplative Arts Instructor at Shambhala Art International, in Los Angeles, California.

Past Courses:

Transform Resistance, Fear, and Anxiety

Using a Creative Practice

(April, 2020)


As part of Inner Way LA’s Arts Program, Artist and author Douglas Paul Smith teaches this 4-week course / creativity workshop on how to use the creative process to liberate ourselves from resistance, fear, and the emotions that hold us back in life. Learn how to transform your fears and resistance into emotional stability, a sense of interconnectedness, and peace of mind. We will learn how to develop our own unique creative practice and easily drop into our flow. Not just for ‘creative’ types, this course will help anyone who wants to take a leap into their creative and spiritual potential.

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Past Courses and Creativity Workshops Flyers…

more Workshop Testimonials​

I feel like we have been so fortunate to have you at this retreat – you are a natural teacher and I like the way you approached the topic of Creativity/Dharma Art. I feel like you triggered a felt sense in your class which I found extremely helpful – you made it so accessible, helping us to drop into that deeper awareness.

​​—Victoria, Z., Melbourne, Australia

Thanks for the class last Saturday….Somehow in tapping into the emotions as instructed, prior to dipping our hands into the pools of paint, something deeper and more profound than just fingerpainting manifested, both in the heart and on the page.
I would do it again, anytime. Thank you for the intuitive teaching, and for your presence.

​​—Peter H., Los Angeles, CA

Douglas guides the class in a gentle and compassionate way, bringing meditation and openness to the practice of intuitive ‘art.’  As a total novice I felt comfortable and the class left me peaceful and contemplative.

​—Claire T., Los Angeles, CA

Douglas gently lead our group through exploring our physicality, presence and full range of emotions through free artistic expression. Besides being fun, the experience was clarifying, liberating and empowering, giving me a deeper and more direct connection to my human experience and my creativity.

​​—Dmitriy Y., Los Angeles, CA

Douglas is an exceptional teacher. He brought us to a place we could express ourselves openly in a way to better learn about ourselves and to just “let go” and be open.

​—Laurie S., Los Angeles, CA

I think this practice is an entertaining way to connect with yourself. For me, it wasn’t that much about creativity but rather tapping into your emotions. I enjoyed Douglas’ intuitive guidance. He really helped me to “stay out of my own way.” Thank you.

​​—Andrew P., Los Angeles, CA

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