Samantabadhra in union with his consort Samantabadhri is possibly one of the most familiar images of Tibetan Tantric Buddhist art in the Western world. He is unmistakably deep blue in color, symbolizing the sky and emptiness of mind; she is white in color, symbolizing clarity of mind. Totally nude and without ornaments, they are free from all thought constructs and have the ability to perceive the empty nature of the mind directly. Another emanation of Adi Buddha, they represent the ever-present potential for Buddhahood that has always been and always will be.
'In the Beginning' depicts the simultaneous emergence in sacred union of divine masculine (compassionate method) and feminine (wisdom) principles from the void or nothingness. It is only in our manifest world of duality that we experience a separation. Our life's quest then becomes returning to that original state of oneness. The world's troubles would cease if each one of us could take responsibility for balancing our own inner masculine and feminine energies. It has nothing to do with sex or gender, and is why I am so devoted to telling about the symbolism of 'yab yum'.
A pair of dragonflies accompanies the deities on their emergence from the void. They symbolize going past self-created illusions that limit our growing and changing. Inhabitants of both water and air, they are fantastic fliers that can dart like light, change directions and even go backwards as the need arises. Dragonflies are powerful reminders that we are light and can reflect light in powerful ways if we choose to do so. 'Let there be light' is the divine prompting to allow your own light to shine in a new vision.
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.