Although not a Tantric goddess as are the Taras, Quan Yin (Kuan Yin), Goddess of Compassion and Healing, is one of the most popular and revered deities in all of Asia. Her name roughly translates as 'The One Who Hears the Cries of the World.' Her mantra is 'Om Mani Padme Hum.' Many believe she is the female representation of Avalokitesvara, the thousand-armed Tibetan God of Compassion. Just as Catholic Christianity has provided the faithful with an antidote to theological patriarchy in the Virgin Mary, so Buddhism has evolved a feminine bodhisattva named Quan Yin. In the Tantric sense, inherent forces continually strive to balance and harmonize the powerful polarities of masculine and feminine. She is often depicted in flowing robes of white for purity and holding a willow branch in one hand and in the other a vase pouring out her compassion on the world.
The inspiration for 'Celestial Blessings' is from an illustration in one of my favorite childhood storybooks. The goddess appears as the young Miao Shan who, according to legend, meditated alone in a grotto for many years to attain perfection before becoming known as Quan Yin. The petals of her lotus palace are embellished with motifs from antique Chinese porcelain symbolizing good fortune and a happy marriage as well as the immortal lovebirds from the beloved Blue Willow dinnerware originating in England over 200 years ago. Her 'cloud throne' was fashioned by Mother Nature. The willow branch or wand, a symbol of wisdom and healing the earth and its people, has been used in rituals and storytelling in a variety of cultures throughout the world since the beginning of time.
Nadean O'Brien, Huntington Beach, CA Member Since December 2006 Artist Statement I WAS BORN CREATIVE, but as a child showed little interest in drawing or painting. My parents who had met at an art gallery sustained hope I would follow in the footsteps of my talented aunt noted for her lovely landscapes. I, however, had other worlds to explore before discovering the beautiful and sensuous meditative art of Asia and Tibet as well as the work of Carl Jung who introduced the "personal mandala" to the western world. Here was art with power, passion and purpose, the art of self-realization and enlightenment, an art form that caught my imagination and gave my life focus almost two decades ago!
As I picked up my brush and began to paint, I became caught up in my own transformation to artist/healer and teacher, expressing this metamorphosis on canvas in Tibetan Tantric Buddhist symbolism depicting the sacred union of our inner masculine and feminine. The mystical "yab yum" (literally father mother) is often mistaken to represent human sexuality, but instead portrays graphically the inner wholeness or balance we must first achieve to realize our highest human potential. This ancient message is still relevant today.
More recently, fate and fortune have provided for expression of my particular talents and skills via digital painting rather than acrylic paint and canvas. With great joy and excitement, I watch a new generation of my unique mandalas evolving in a medium that is ideally suited by its added depth and dimension to spiritual art. I will continue to share my love and passion as before.
My artwork has been displayed at Mills College, Esalen, Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles, and Chopra Centers throughout the United States as well as in private collections and corporate settings the world over.