A Designer Speaks


As a follow-up to the previous Sands of Time post, I thought readers of this blog might be interested in what Eileen Best had to say about her canvas.  I should mention that her mandala canvas is stitch-painted on 18-mesh, and approximately 18″ x 18″.

Here’s Eileen, in her own words, eloquently discussing her work:

Kalachakra sand mandala

Kalachakra sand mandala (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“This is indeed a Kalachakra Mandala. The Kalachakra  system was one of the last and most complex ‘Tantric’ systems to be brought to Tibet from India. Buddhist monks also “painted” Mandalas. I have designed/painted a few canvases of those, also.

While I designed/painted the master of the canvas you are now stitching, I would meditate before each painting session.

It took me 3 months to complete, painting 8 hours per day. When I finished I was transformed. It was incredible.

The same thing will happen to you (during and after), stitching your Mandala. It is a life-changing experience.  Enjoy.

I was fortunate to be able to see (in person) a completed sand Mandala in an LA Art museum a few years ago. I just stood there and cried.

Buddhist Monks are very, very purposeful when creating their sand Mandalas. The making of them is a source of meditation and done for specific purposes towards enlightenment. The sand Mandala, when completed, is always swept up, put in a container, then poured into a large body of water, where it creates another type of Mandala (figuratively speaking) for a few brief moments. It’s a way of practicing impermanence.

It’s VERY difficult for us Westerners to accept, this destroying (as we perceive it) of a beautiful piece of art. But to the Monks, it’s simply a way of teaching and remembering Abandonment of self, Emptiness, and Bodhicitta: liberating other beings in appropriate ways.

I’m now in the process of stitching my master of the Double Dorji Mandala and I look forward to what will happen in my life… .”

Thank you, Eileen, for your wonderful insights concerning the creation of your beautiful mandala canvases.


About Erin

Owner of Needlepoint Land, LLC. Professional in the field for more than 15 years, during which I have managed and/or worked with various high-end needlepoint shops. I enjoy teaching both beginners and advanced stitchers, and have created numerous stitch guides, with speciality thread selections, for in-store customers and private clients. I maintain contact with an extensive network of needlepoint vendors, custom artists, and, most importantly, reliable, high-quality finishers. I look forward to hearing your comments on my blog!

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