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Painting the Buddha: Breath, Dip the Brush and Look at your Buddha Reflection

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                                                               Rainbow Buddha Artwork: Kristena West

No matter what you do, dream work, artwork, music, crafts, you will make a reflection of your soul. So painting a Buddha is really painting the Buddha-in-you-Becoming. Like projective dreamwork, expressive arts therapy, working with images in a collage, photography, we are always re-creating our selves.

An authentic Buddhist mandala is a long process with highly disciplined painter. The cotton seeds are blessed and given to the nuns to plant, nurture, sprout, water, blossom pick and harvest all with prayers. The nuns give the woven fabric to the monks who then start the process of preparing the surface, again all with prayers. The mandala is based on mathematical principles of sacred geometry because the mandala is a "lawful" doorway or gateway to that particular deity.

Therefore, don't kid yourself, that you are creating at that level. Tibetan Thanka painters have traveled long arduous years of copying, and purification rituals that the monks go through before they are allowed to be a master painter. These paintings are not that. They are made with devotion to Buddha, yes, but unless the painter can overcome him or her-self to a level beyond the personal, these will be as sacred healing icons as the person making them is trained.  (See book Tibetan Thanka Painting by Snow Lion Press)


The Four Noble truths

The First Noble Truth is that old age, illness, and death are all forms of human suffering, and that there are many other other ways in which people suffer. The Buddha accepted the Vedic idea of endlessly successive reincarnations where life followed upon life, with much suffering inevitably attending in each of these lives. The idea of Karma further sugesting that in each existence a person's good or bad deeds would respectively impact positively or negatively on their store of "merit". It was this Karma-merit that would underpin the advantageous, or pitiful, state into which individual reincarnations would occur.

The Second Noble Truth is that suffering is closely linked to desire, a desire for being which leads from birth to death and involve ageing, illness, and mortality. There are also various desires for pleasures and for powers which, frustratingly, may not be realized.

The Third Noble Truth is that suffering can be dispelled by the abandonment of all desires.

The last of the Four Noble Truths holds that such abandonment of desires can be achieved by following the Noble Eightfold Path

The Noble Eightfold Path

Right Belief (in the Truth)

Right Intent (to do good rather than evil)

Right Speech (avoidance of untruth, slander and swearing)

Right Behaviour (avoid blameworthy behaviours)

Right Livelihood (some occupations e.g. butcher, publican, were disparaged!!!)

Right Effort (towards the good)

Right Contemplation (of the Truth)

Right Concentration (will result from following the Noble Eightfold Path)

all artwork on this page by Kristena West is Sold.

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