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:
“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.