Namaste Connections 2007
oil on canvas
72" x 48"
Namaste is the word used at the close of yoga classes I attend and is a salutation to recognize the divinity within another person. Namaste Connections is about honoring the divinity of others and discovering the divinity and peace within oneself. In this painting, I use many symbols found in Buddhism such as the Tibetan singing prayer bowl, the "All Powerful 10" Mantra representing the cosmos, the 8-Spoked Wheel representing the Buddha's Dharma, and the blue star used in 91-point guided meditation.
Through my travels in Japan, I have seen many statues of Buddha and Bodhisattvas. Two statues have been tremendously inspirational. The first is the Miroku Buddha, the Buddha of the future, in Kyoto. This 7-century statue's form is flowing and sublime with the natural woodgrain beautifully showing through. The second is the portrait statue of Ganjin, a Chinese Monk who lost his eye sight in the course of 6 attempts to come to Japan. While the statue was made in 763, it is a remarkably real portrait that captures the sense of calm meditation of Ganjin. The fact that it is a portrait of Ganjin instead of an idealized Buddha statue brings the sense that the qualities of meditation are indeed assessible to all. The central figure in my painting is not meant to be Buddha, but a person who can be anybody. Yes, there is much going on in this painting. I hope that even in the complexity of all you see here, there is a sense of peace in this painting. Namaste.
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