One of Deer Park’s most vibrant and innovative program areas is exploring the relationship between art and contemplative practice. This is also an effort to revive the atmosphere of study, contemplation, and expression in Nalanda.

Several successful arts retreats have been held, bringing together Indian and international artists, poets, monks, and scholars. These week-long programs combine presentations and practical workshops in disciplines ranging from Zen poetry and classical Indian music to pottery, calligraphy, and ikebana. Participants in these arts retreats explore the connection between creative expression and spiritual transformation through practical exercises, discussion, and sharing.

Besides these multi-disciplinary arts retreats, regular workshops and courses at the Institute also offer students the opportunity to explore and develop their skills in individual artistic disciplines such as writing, photography, sacred dance and music.  Since 2010, Deer Park’s Himalayan Film School has held regular photography and film-making workshops, an initiative designed to create and inspire visual expression among Himalayan youth.