127 cm x 102 cm
This is a painting in the style of an old, folded and shelved page from a wizard's Grimoire. In typical me fashion, I have mixed metaphors of course, so I will explain. (I've hyper linked a couple of sites that can offer deeper insight, but I would erg anyone interested to do a good googling.)
Most obviously we have the six pointed star, Known by many names, including hexagram, Star of David, Vajrayogini's double tetrahedron phenomenal source, Anahata, Om and Hrim as man and Heaven and my favorite, the Shakti and Shiva in eternal loving embrace.
It is in this state of Love union and all arising phenomena that I have painted the star.
Central to this spell is the Enochian Tablet of Union, written in Enochian script. In Roman - EXARP, HCOMA, NANTA, BITOM, The four lines represent the four angelic Rules of the four elements. EXARP is of Air, HCOMA of Water, NANTA of Fire and BITOM of Earth. In the first column is the most powerful angelic ruler of spirit, EHNB..Typically the Tablet would be positioned centrally to the four elemental tablets where their powers would amplify. I have placed it as my central spell but surrounded it instead with four of Solomon's seals coupled with an appropriate Sanskrit mantra, written instead in the ancient 'witching' language of Theban.
The very top triangle is left void. Like an 'empty spoon' ready to be filled. It is marked with the trinity of the ultimate - Sat C(h)it Ananda - Absolute truth being, fully awake consciousness and ultimate Bliss (respectively) written in Sanskrit.
So, in conclusion, this 'Grimoire page' is of the "manifestation of unification of the
seemingly impossible inner desire" spell.
Tantric Visualization of Purifying #1 (03/20/15)
13"x17" (31.5cm x 43)
This is my 2nd piece I've ever painted on this particular ahimsa silk, with it's forest green and browns surrounding the glow of the golden tipped flames and the luminescence of pristine awareness from the Buddhas down the khatvanga into the melting skullcap of nectars. Joined below the mantra and converging with the lightrays, are the primordial sounds of OM AH HUM
Purifying hindrances with wrathful action mantra
OM KHANDAROHI HUM HUM PHAT
Purifying all dualistic appearances with emptiness mantra
OM SVABHAVA SHUDDHA SARVA DHARMA SVABHAVA SHUDDHO HAM
For those who would like to understand more about this tantric meditation and what is in this painting, in greater detail, I am going to quote directly from the LONG SADHANA OF VAJRAYOGINI According to the pure and unbroken lineage tradition of the Indian Mahasiddha Naropa (1016 – 1100 C.E.)
Composed by Kyabje Pabongka Rinpoche (1878 – 1941 C.E.)
Everything becomes Empty. Within a state of Emptiness,
from YAM comes a wind mandala,
from RAM a fire mandala,
from three AH's A a tripod of three human heads,
on top of which >
from AH comes a broad and expansive skullcup.
Inside it, from [In a counter-clockwise direction]
[the east\ a white] OM [transforms into yellow excrement]
[the north\ a green] KHAM [transforms into white brain]
[the west\ a red] AM [transforms into white sperm]
[the south\ a yellow] TRAM [transforms into red blood]
[the center\ a blue] HUM [transforms into blue urine] arise the five nectars,
[In a clockwise direction]
[the southeast\ a white] LAM [transforms into dark ox meat]
[the southwest\ a blue] MAM [transforms into red dog meat]
[the northwest\a red] PAM [transforms into white elephant meat]
[the northeast\ a green] TAM [transforms into green horse meat]
[the centre\a red] BAM [transforms into red human flesh] arise the five meats,
each marked with these syllables.
By the wind moving and the fire blazing, the substances inside the skullcup melts.
On top of these, from HUM there arises a white, upside-down khatvanga, which falls into the skullcup and melts, whereby these substances become nectar, the colour of mercury.
Above this appear three garland strings of the Sanskrit vowels and consonants stacked on top of each other. These transform into OM AH HUM, from which light rays emanate and hook back nectar of pristine awareness from the hearts of all the Buddhas, Vira-heroes and Yoginis of the ten directions.
By this being added to the nectar in the skullcup, the nectar increases and becomes inexhaustible.
Blessing with the 3 syllable mantra OM AH HUM
Generating the Mind of all Yogas #2 (03/19/15)
11"x16" (28cm x 39cm)
In this piece, we visualize a moon disk, here, sitting above a pink lotus at our heart with a pure white dorje sitting above it. I have painted her hands in the 'BAM' mudra, the seed syllable for Vajrayogini.
This meditation will bring a radiant pure 'Zen light' calm clarity.
She wears a small amount of gold jewelry, notably an upward spiral on her right wrist (the 'beginnings' quadrant of a mandala) and her earrings are Carl Jung's 'squaring the circle' of wholeness in the 'fully conscious' section of a mandala. Her pale golden eyes reflecting the glow of the pure white Dorje. Her breasts are full and youthful and her nipples erect, as is often represented in images of Vajrayogini which has powerful secret Tantric meaning (not sexual).
The most obvious factor of course, is the otherworldly colour of her skin, which is turquoise - a colour of healing and clear waters, a feminine principle of emotional wisdom and the 'cosmic waters' in which we all swim. At her crown (also accessed via her intuitive third eye) is the sacred geometric Metatron's cube. (Greek Meta+Tron meaning Beyond+Matrix.)
She stands in front of an aged gilded wall - similar to the gilded artworks of ancient China.generating the mind of all yogas
Prajmaparamita Sutra (10/23/15)
(My article on becoming the Yidam/Deity is worth reading as it adds extra thoughts not included in this editorial)
Dating back over 2500 years, they say this ultimate truth was realized by Shakyamuni Buddha. He entrusted this wisdom to the ocean dwelling Nagas who then protected the texts in their watery depths until humanity was ready. They offered them back to the earthly world, around approximately 100BCE. For many hundreds of years this sutra was bending peoples' mind until it bridged the disciplines of intellectual conceptualization to Tantric visualizations, personifying this ultimate truth of reality in exquisite form with the wordless language of figurative symbol. There was now another way practitioners could learn to understand this Perfect Wisdom. By devotion, reverence and embodiment of the creative divine feminine and Immortal Mother.
As most of us know today, at the absolute core of our reality, nothing recognizable to us exists. That is to say, that at the fundamental level everything is energetic and does not hold form inherently. In fact, according to today's discoveries, some of the smallest measurable particles do not even seem to reside in this reality for more than a milli flash of a moment, vanishing as fast as they reappear; giving a possible modern scientific validity to the "realms of existence" as understood by the ancients.
Embodying the Heart Sutra of Prajnaparamita is embodying the heart of this reality.
A conversation about Prajnaparmita is a discussion on the fundamental nature of reality. So here is a simple analogy on emptiness and embodiment.
There is an analogy about consciousness being like water. Water is water. It fills a container assuming its shape, but remains water even once the container breaks. It has the ability to remain H2O even under external circumstances that require it to adapt its state to that of solid or vapor. Thus water is often the analogy for the experience of emotions and sometimes of reincarnation.
I also have an analogy of air. And balloons. Air is typically the analogy for intellect and spirit. Air in this case I'm using it to represent something like the other side of the Plank constant if you will, beyond the photon, maybe even slipping into the 96% 'dark universe' and ambiguously dancing between the veil of all realities. The void. The Śūnyatā. Our formless true nature beyond intellect, feelings, consciousness, in fact beyond anything we regard as 'real' or anything we can grasp with words.
Unlike water, air is invisible to the naked eye and we can not hold it. We only perceive its influence and on occasion see the debris it carries or vapor sucked into its vortex. We know we need it to be alive. We know that within this closed biosphere called Earth, there's not one breath we breath that has not passed and processed through every organic entity on this planet since its creation. It changes vitesse from stillness to utterly destructive maelstrom. But it is always still simply air.
Air does not change state. It is as it always is, even with fluctuating chemical measurement or whirlwind speed, it is still air. Always air.
Now think of a balloon. Air fills it. The balloon is now identifiable as independent and tangible. Then eventually, one day, it explodes or deflates and the balloon is no longer. But the air is still there and now free again. It was always invisible unchanging air that simply held form for a while.
The essence of the Heart Sutra states that nothing inherently exists.
"Existence" only appears and typically experienced when adopting form. Quantum Mechanics' discoveries suggests a very similar thing. In fact, at the quantum level existence as we recognize it only seems to take form when the wave function collapses into particle. Before then, the wave is everywhere and invisible, and similarly, to our limited senses, air would seem non existent were it not for its effects. Or the balloon it fills.
Balloons, in all their diversity, need to be filled and experienced (and hopefully enjoyed) for it is only when fully inflated does the balloon truly fulfill its purpose of experience as that particular balloon. Some balloons even get transformed into cool shapes or intertwined with other balloons to make something extra complex. Some are decorated, some are small some are extra big, and all have differing colours. QM and the Heart Sutra underlines the fact that "form" is necessary in this plane. However it is transitory and superficial, differences and boundaries are merely masks and illusion and of course, the balloon is only a construct of chemical composition therefore cannot inherently exist either.
And air continues to always exist. Within as well as without of the balloon.
However there is something about the air in the balloon.
We breath in oxygen rich air, but when we exhale into the balloon, it is loaded with carbon dioxide and it can't escape.
Our life on earth is like time spent in a balloon, our organic meat-sacks called bodies and our experiences, emotional ups and downs, all those 'Kleshas' we are so attached to and guilty of, are like the 'toxic gas' in the balloon. Once we are aware of this, we want to transmute it to clean air, so that our contribution is as clean and pure as it can be, for ourselves as well as our reintegration to the whole when our balloon breaks. After all, as we know, polluted air is no fun for anyone.
Adopting the consciousness of the Prajnaparamita Sutra is the understanding of ultimately being nothing but 'air'. Of being everywhere yet invisible until you take form in your biological 'balloon'. We should fill our 'oxygen rich balloon' with as much wisdom, training and creative intellect as possible. Fill it to its maximum. But only when it explodes will our minds be liberated again. Like a high pressure valve being released. When this occurs during a life span, we transcend intellect, discover wordless wisdom and the magnificent simplicity of Being.
One day, even a balloon will feel too dense for us to embody, too heavy and its opaque bright colour a distraction that obscures our true inner nature and a translucent 'soap bubble' maybe more appropriate as the next form we'd adopt. A sky full of diverse multi coloured balloons is fun, stimulating and impressive, for a while, but a sky full of ascending pellucid, coruscating, pearly iridescent soapy bubbles with all their fragility, is sheer awe inspiring otherworldly magic.
Prajnaparamita reminds us irrelevant of form however, we are all still 'air'. Always. And we really do want to make the air as clean and oxygen rich for us ALL to thrive.
This Perfect Wisdom became personified as a beautiful evolved woman. She is older than a typical yidam, as she should be. Wisdom comes with experience typically associated with time.
She is the mother of all Buddhas because only when you begin to understand her truth can anyone start to become enlightened.
She carries her Perfect Wisdom scriptures on a pink lotus but she is born of the blue lotus of transcended wisdom.
She holds the Dorje, symbolic of clear diamond cutting wisdom.
The traditional mantra associated with the Prajnaparamita sutra is "Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha" essentially saying that everything is gone, Gone, way beyond our conceptual understanding of mundane reality.
But her real mantra is the untranslatable sound of Ultimate Wisdom
Om Ah Dhih Hum Svaha
With much gratitude to the life time's work of Dr Edward Conze who was largely responsible for his extensive research into 'rescuing' as well as translating the scriptures of Prajnaparamita, this once widely celebrated, deeply loved and highly venerated Dharmakaya Goddess, as much of her had been lost to the ravages of religious conquest.
Requesting the Deity to Remain
Another common mantra in my deity work will be the request for the deity to remain with the image. True or not, I like the concept that with my correct intention as I paint, the positive energetic attributes of the deity will remain with the piece and continue to 'share it's magic' in it's new home.
Generating Bliss #1 (03/28/15)
11"x16" (29cm x 46cm)
My 3rd painting on Ahimsa silk,
Here is my 1st version of this piece. I have painted the female figure gaining and radiating bliss, that turns a the turquoise colour of healing..
Here I have painted the female figure gaining and radiating bliss, that turns a the turquoise colour of healing..
Maybe as expected, this meditation has a sexual, male female component to it. She sits on a stylized lotus which in turn is sitting above the phenomenal source double tetrahedron with the male dorje protruding and sitting on a petal of the flower. Either side of the phenomenal source is a sun and moon.Below is the three OM-mantra and above is the request of the deity to remain. A crackle wax effect has been used to give this piece an aged look.
A tiny white joy swirl is envisioned spinning in the sex organ and a tiny spinning joy swirl in the region between the eyebrows connected by a narrow smooth clear red shaft of light running close to your spine. We focus on the counter clock-wise spin in our sex organ then let the bliss feeling rise slowly to our heart.Then we imagine the red swirl spin up to the top of our head, then descend, down the spine light and to the heart where the swirls spin until the join to create a pink swirl as we focus upon the clear light of emptiness.
For artistic purposes, the swirl at the heart occasionally radiates as apposed to the reduction into nothingness.
Here I have painted the female figure gaining and radiating bliss, that turns a the turquoise colour of healing.
18"x10.5" (45cm x 27cm)
Om Ah Hum are the primordial sounds of creation ( more on mantras I use here ) sitting on the petals that are surrounding the double dorje that sits on a moon disk within a dark pink lotus. There are little dark pink flowers intertwining the flame circle. And subtly interwoven is Metatron's cube. There is much creation/male/female symbolism in this piece.
It sits on something resembling an old dirty white/grey marble tile, though naturally it is Ahimsa silk :)
Generating the Mind of all Yogas #1 11"x16" (28cm x 39cm)
In this piece, we visualize a moon disk at our heart with a pure white dorje sitting above it. I have painted her hands in the 'BAM' mudra, the seed syllable for Vajrayogini.
This meditation will bring a radiant pure 'Zen light' calm clarity.
She wears gold jewelry with a blueish stone at her throat (colour attributed to the throat chakra of communication), a simplified, jewel free 5 skull Dhyani Buddha crown, also known as the Five Wisdom Tathāgatas representations of the five qualities of the Buddha, with a pink lotus starting to bloom at the crown of her head. Her pale golden eyes reflecting the glow of the pure white Dorje. Her breasts are full and youthful and her nipples erect, as is often represented in images of Vajrayogini which has powerful secret Tantric meaning (not sexual).
'Etched' into the 'aged' and shades of brown distressed looking background, written in Sanskrit, is the mantra below.
Generating Bliss #2 22.5" x 15" (57cm x 38cm)
originally posted 26/03/2015
Here is my 2nd version of this piece.
Here I have painted the female figure gaining and radiating bliss in the form of a lotus sphere.
Maybe as expected, this meditation has a sexual, male female component to it. She sits on a stylized lotus which in turn is sitting above the phenomenal source double tetrahedron with the male dorje protruding, Either side of the phenomenal source is a sun and moon. Below is the three OM-mantra and above, very faintly is the request of the deity to remain.
This version is something like a picture within a picture, in so much that the Dakini image is as if it is sitting on a separate piece of faded silk or parchment sitting above a wall with the inscription of the mantra, and against a gilded wall.
A tiny white joy swirl is envisioned spinning in the sex organ and a tiny spinning joy swirl in the region between the eyebrows connected by a narrow smooth clear red shaft of light running close to the spine. We focus on the counter clock-wise spin in our sex organ and let the bliss feeling rise slowly to our heart. We then imagine the red swirl in our third eye spinning, moving up to the top of our head, then descend, down the spine light and to the heart where the swirls spin until they join to create a pink swirl, and all the while we focus upon the clear light of emptiness.
For artistic purposes, the swirl at the heart occasionally radiates as apposed to the reduction into nothingness which is what this meditation call for.
Here I have painted the female figure almost faded into the lotus blooming from her heart center, representing the loss of ego identity in favor of the great bliss. The lotus is almost vaginal in subtle representation and the dorje protruding from the phenomenal source double tetrahedron, from which a white stream ascends towards the lower joy swirl of the seated figure.
For more versions of this piece, please follow this link .
Mahakala Owl 23" x 16" ( 59cm x 39cm ) originally posted on the 5th April 2015
For a while, owl images seemed to be requesting my attention. At this point I still do not know if there is any particular reason, but it's been enough to warrant a painting. After a period of allowing, the owl that manifested in the sketches was of the Eurasian eagle-owl, as it turns out, one of the most feared. But us humans often fear the most profound and it seems that this owl is the most magical, maybe one of the most archetypal owls to accompany wizards, witches and magicians in general.
I love the symbolism of the owl. Loved or feared, nearly every tribe in history on this earth, has held the owl in a special place.
This particular bird is very much associated with intuition and seeing what is not ordinarily perceived. The 'all seeing eye' of wisdom and the removal of karmic obstacles. Intuition being found in the pineal / third eye chakra - Ajna - and the chakra mandala image is embedded within the owl's face, the seed syllable OM (or AUM) subtly on the beak and the feathers have morphed into the flames of pristine awareness.
In addition, the owl associates with death and rebirth, Plutonic and scorpionic energy. Combined with the abilities to see through the veil, this can all be very scary stuff for both the person for whom the owl keeps company and for those on the 'receiving' side of the 'owl keeper's' insight. No wonder the owl was feared. Not the harbinger of mortal death, (as some cultures label it) but in reality, the death of a chapter, the death of ego. The transmutation of one paradigm to another and the naked vulnerability of being truly seen.
The owl is also lunar. Again highly intuitive, with an emotional bias. Love.
Here, the owl has the Goddess protective energy. 'She' has been associated with the Greek goddess Athena, the Goddess of wisdom and protector of her city.
So the owl will protect through profound changes. Nothing to be feared. If the owl is a messenger, it is the messenger of ultimate truth.
In Sanskrit, wisdom can be translated as PrajJa. This means supreme insight, discriminating knowledge and intuitive apprehension.
In Sanskrit, Protector translated as Tara* is Mahākāla, and Mahākāla is primordial in that 'He' is beyond time and death.
which takes me to “chöd” and to -
Trekchö . A practice of primordial purity. Sogyal Rinpoche explained that
"Trekchö means cutting through delusion with fierce, direct thoroughness. Essentially delusion is cut through with the irresistible force of the view of rigpa, like a knife cleaving through butter or a karate expert demolishing a pile of bricks. The whole fantastical edifice of delusion collapses, as if you were blasting its keystone away. Delusion is cut through, and the primordial purity and natural simplicity of the nature of mind is laid bare"
I find this connection curious, as I had already painted this owl in the form of a Mahakala mask. The 'mask' is adorned with the 5 wisdom skulls which represents the transmutation of the five negative afflictions of human nature into positive virtues.
I have set the 'mask' in the blackness of space. (Traditional Mahakala masks are black typically representing the void and ultimate reality) with subtle echos of Metatron's cube whispering the secrets of reality beyond the matrix. The key to divine purpose through the veils of illusion.
This Blackness lightens into magical hues of spacial nebular purples. There is a moon in the top right (when looking at the picture) enveloped by a protective owl and in the lower right, in the nether regions of space, is Pluto with a scorpion, reminding us that some of the most important happenings occur in the unseen.
Connecting them are two words in stacked Sanskrit. The word for WISDOM and PROTECTOR.
So, to wit ( - towoo ;) ) this owl is loving protection through profound metamorphosis revealing awareness of the truth. Wisdom protects us.
The change is personal, but quite possibly involve others, as we are all relational in the mundane.
The 'bullshit radar' is up and running on high efficiency and this can rattle nerves of either oneself or others. People's biggest fear ? suffering. We suffer when we grip too hard to our illusions and stories we tell ourselves, our justifications for behavior that keep us bound in our comfort zones.
I'm not sure if it's my comfort zone in question as I paint this (I know it is a factor, regardless) or that it's my eyes finally seeing through the mists of the illusional stories I've been told, in any case, hitching a ride on the back of this giant bird and swooping silently down the mountain and over the forests in the blackness of Bardo night, knowing, without question that there is ultimate protection as the death of one day will birth a new one.