Come in meditation to the serene waters of Sacred Pond for rest and restoration, and let yourself be drawn into the ancient mystery of 'Yab Yum' veiled within its depths. Swim effortlessly through earthly troubles with the noble 'Nishikigoi' (koi fish bred for color) often referred to as 'living jewels' or 'swimming flowers.' Here they number six, representing Venus rule of love, harmony, spiritual and mental balance, sincerity, truth and enlightenment. They embody beauty and abundance in the natural world, their curious whiskers depicting wisdom.
The many positive attributes associated with Koi and the attendant symbolism have made them popular subjects for oriental works of art for centuries. Eastern religions and legends abound with references to Koi. Eventually, they have become associated with 'masculine' qualities and in contemporary tattoo imagery, especially in combination with crashing waterfalls, characterize courage, the ability to attain high goals and the strength to overcome life's difficulties.
Koi also represent the condition of samsaric beings in the Buddhist sense. Inhabiting the upper level of water and knowing only about water, they are generally oblivious to what is just above. Hence, Koi are a potent symbol for ordinary human awareness. When caught in the confusion and ignorance of our minds, we are like fish without knowledge of the world above water. We are ignorant the potential that is inherent in our nature. And like Koi leaping up the waterfall, a few of us manage to experience the wider reality, often unknowingly and sometimes at great risk to life and limb.
Last but not least, two honorable Japanese Pond Snails descend to the muddy and murky pond bottom to tend the birthplace of the beautiful and pure lotus whose buds are emerging to the surface.
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.