Mindful Mandala

Daring Dahlia: From The Flower Mandala Project

 If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change. ~Buddha

The Artful Blog recently posted new images throughout the Art Practice Site, some of which are part of a new ‘Flower Mandala Project’ in bloom. The goal of the project, being Jungian in nature, is to resonate aesthetically and as a meditation, to be both mystical and mindful. Based on an archetypal depth psychology premise Carl Jung illuminated: exploring the mandala as psychological expression of the human psyche and totality of the self. #artfulagenda #seedcenteroftheself

Follow The Artful Blog on Facebook for future updates and insight into the project and other things of interest related to both the site and blog & more.

Art Of Minimalism

“Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things” directed by Matt D’Avella, 2016. Watch-worthy spot-on social commentary of the times that examines various people dedicated to rejecting the American idea that things bring happiness, exploring the virtues of ‘less is more.’ There’s a takeaway here for everybody everywhere. #meaningfullifeofless

Sacred Scripts

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Sacred Scripts: A Meditative Journey Through Tibetan Calligraphy by  Tashi Mannox (Calligrapher) & Robin Kyte-Coles (Photographer), Mandala Publications, Available Fall 2016.

After nearly two years of dedicated work, this long-awaited book from master artisan Tashi Mannox is now ready for release. Insightful quotes written in Tibetan calligraphy are paired with photos of Buddhas from around the world, and an introduction by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, to create this collection of timeless iconography. Calligraphy has held an honored place in the spiritual traditions of Tibet. Monks dedicate their lives to mastering the many subtleties of the art, often spending years transcribing sacred Buddhist manuscripts. The carefully composed lines and deliberate spatial awareness in each work of calligraphy within Sacred Scripts encourages reflection, mindfulness, and meditation.

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Tashi Mannox At Work In The Studio~Pages From Sacred Scripts 

With its exquisite calligraphy and magnificent photographs of Buddhist imagery, Sacred Scripts presents the refined and varied artistry of Tibetan calligraphers and artists of the past. The work portrayed in this fine volume reflects the great heights of aesthetic achievement attained by master artisans who considered their accomplishments to be offerings to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. ~His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Within these pages, sacred mantras, seed syllables, and Buddhist quotes are presented in authentic Tibetan scripts. Photos of Buddha statues from around the world complement the calligraphy and create an ethereal mood of serenity. Addressing the stresses of our modern world and the demise of spiritual languages, Sacred Scripts provides insight and inspiration for attaining inner peace and well-being.

About

Tashi Mannox, an Englishman, and for many years an ordained Buddhist monk, has trained for decades in the arts of Tibetan calligraphy. Today he preserves this tradition as a vehicle to communicate and transmit dharma, all the while adapting and updating his approach within and for contemporary contexts. He identifies three streams in his work: Contemporary and Traditional, Contemporary Black on Black, and Illuminated Iconography.

In all cases Tashi’s art is an expression of his long and devoted meditative practice and spiritual realization, such that his art energetically transmits the Tibetan Buddhist View. Grounded thoroughly in the pre-modern Tibetan tradition, incorporating modernist visual schemes, and being multicultural and postmodern in drawing on other calligraphic lineages such as the spatial awareness proper to Zen calligraphic practice -while preserving the Tibetan core of style, Tashi Mannox’s art is an authentic and exemplary instance of an integral calligraphy for our age. Recognized as one of the world’s foremost contemporary Tibetan calligraphy artists, he exhibits in New York, Moscow, London & Los Angeles.

To learn more about the work of Tashi Mannox & to view a short film see previous post Planetary Collective.

Sangha Cinema

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2016 Lion’s Roar & BuddhaFest Online Film Festival

Lion’s Roar has partnered with BuddhaFest for a special opportunity to see Buddhism and art brought skillfully together through cinema, with an on-line film festival June 13th ~ July 24th 2016. Six compelling films will be featured, ranging from the dramatic feature “For the Coyotes” to the beautiful documentary on Kazuaki Tanahashi “Painting Peace.” In addition, there will be six first-release dharma talks by accomplished teachers recorded specifically for the festival from some of Lion’s Roar’s favorite teachers, including: Roshi Joan Halifax, Tara BrachDzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, Sharon SalzbergEthan Nichtern and more. Festival ticket holders will have access to all six films and talks, on demand, for the duration of the festival period.

Sacred Feminine

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This Mother’s Day, let’s contemplate the force beyond mom, the power of the feminine that gives life and that is life -that needs to be approached with respect and even awe. The Sacred Feminine. The Divine Mother in all of us. There is Divinity within each of us, and within the forces that move through and around us. We are all sparks of the Divine. As with all living things, there is a feminine and masculine element to this Divinity. Mother’s Day was originally viewed as a sacred holiday honoring the Divine Feminine Principle. We can choose to restore the more sacred aspect of Mother’s Day by honoring the Divine Feminine that exists in all of us. The place to begin, as always, is within yourself. Mother’s Day is truly for everyone.

Art Of Peace

The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

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Thich Nhat Hanh Calligraphy I Have Arrived I am Home.

Currently, the ABC Home gallery In NYC is exhibiting the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s legacy calligraphy collection. The exhibit is entitled, “I have arrived, I am home.” A collection of the Zen Master’s most intentional and treasured pieces from his 40 years of practicing the mindful art of calligraphy.

ABC Home is an interactive museum, a portal into collective creativity with seven floors of sustainable design, eco-fashion, global cooperatives, farm-to-table restaurants and a gallery and theatre space. As a design destination, ABC guides a conscious, influential participant to creatively commit to nurturing the planet while actualizing home as a sacred space. In the gallery + theatre space, ABC hosts an ongoing conversation series, various wellness events, meditations and art exhibitions, to present the community with crucial discoveries from our contemporary world.

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Thich Nhat Hanh + Mother Earth Is The Most Beautiful Bodhisattva & Peace Is Every Breath Calligraphy.

For more than 50 years Thich Nhat Hanh has been a pioneer of what is often referred to as engaged and applied Buddhism -relating the ancient wisdom to more contemporary concerns, including relationships, consumption, politics, peace, communities, and ethics. Hanh teaches mindfulness, the skills to stay happily in the present moment instead of getting lost in the past or obsessing about the future, for a healthier mind, body and soul.

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Thich Nhat Hanh Calligraphy Breathe You Are Alive.

The theory is that by maintaining our thoughts in the now, by quieting down our minds and focusing our energy in the present, we can be more productive, more creative and ultimately lead happier lives. This is no easy task given the fast pace of modern life. Hanh distils ancient Buddhist teachings into simple phrases constructed so as to resonate with modern life -more accurately modern western lives. “In my calligraphy there is ink, tea, breathing, mindfulness, and concentration” observes the monk, prolific author, poet, teacher, scholar and peace activist. Writing calligraphy, he says, is a practice of meditation. “I write the words or sentences that can remind people about the practice.” The short, sweet sentences are therefore meant as a set of tools, and the calligraphy is seen as a visual aid to enhancing their impact.

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This Moment Is Full of Wonders: Zen Calligraphy of Thich Nhat Hanh, Hardcover, 115 pgs, Chronicle Books, November 2015.

World famous Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh has inspired millions of readers in the practice of mindful living. Never before, however, have his calligraphy artworks, equally renowned, been available in book form. This Moment Is Full of Wonders collects more than 60 full-color artworks by the beloved figure in a richly textured hardcover package. As beautiful as they are inspirational, the ink-rendered phrases offer eloquent distillations of Buddhist wisdom, such as “Peace is every step,” “Be free where you are,” and “Smile to the cloud in your tea” -seemingly simple sayings that resonate with meaning. Interspersed throughout the book are iconic passages from his best-known teachings, printed on semi-transparent overlays that faintly obscure, then illuminate, the artworks beneath. At once a tool for personal growth and a visual treasure, This Moment Is Full of Wonders will delight spiritual seekers of all backgrounds.

Wellness Note

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Shiva Dreaming, Cornelia Kopp, 2005.

‘Swasthya’ is a Sanskrit word that translated means “established in oneself.” This is joyfulness, contentment, and perfect health. In our hectic lives it seems that Swasthya is an elusive concept. We tend to look for joy outside of ourselves, in our work, or with our relationships, or even with money. We think that more is better, and put our focus on the goals ahead of us, without noticing all the beauty that is among us right where we are. Fortunately, we are able to shift our focus.

Joy is within us. One way we can tap into that joy is with meditation. When we quiet ourselves we release the stresses that have accumulated, and allow the mind and body to get the rest it needs. We can further reap the benefits by supplementing our meditation practice with aromatherapy, herbal teas, warm baths, yoga and massage. Each component is an integral part of taking care of ourselves, of finding the balance that helps us to function optimally. We also need to be mindful of what we put into our bodies. Drink plenty of water to cleanse and hydrate the entire system. Eat fresh, nourishing foods. Most importantly, don’t postpone happiness. Do what you love. Be in a place of gratitude. Experience The Joy Within! #wellnesswisdom

Winter Essentials

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Pema Chödrön Awakening the Heart 2016 Engagement Calendar, A beautiful way to start a new year, putting pen to paper in this well-crafted hardcover spiral weekly engagement calendar from an inspired teacher. This book features quotes from Chödrön’s book Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change, designed to help us cultivate compassion, courage, and awareness within the challenges of daily life through mindfulness and Eastern philosophy. Insightful quotes are paired with beautifully evocative and meditative nature photography.

Pema Chödrön is a leading exponent of teachings on meditation and how they apply to everyday life. She is widely known for her charming and down-to-earth interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism for Western audiences. Pema studied under the meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and currently studies with Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. She is the resident teacher at Gampo Abbey, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, the first Tibetan monastery for Westerners. She has written several books: The Wisdom of No Escape, Start Where You Are, When Things Fall Apart, The Places that Scare You, No Time to Lose and Practicing Peace in Times of War, available from Shambhala.

Farmhouse

Farmhouse Pottery Fieldstone Hanging Bird Shelter, Winter bird feeding is one of the most popular ways for people to interact with nature, and most do it to help birds get through these tough months. Despite the widespread popularity of bird feeding, scientists are still building a basic understanding of its impacts, and whether it helps or hinders. However a number of studies show generally positive effects of bird feeding, for example, the overwinter survival of birds is enhanced. Especially true during the coldest times, when some hungry birds might otherwise lose the battle with the elements. Living in the forest, I like to provide a shelter for small birds, and find they return to nest year after year.

Love this hive inspired pottery bird house that can hang outside year-long and blend with natural surroundings seamlessly. Handmade in Woodstock Vermont by New England natives and Farmhouse Pottery founders Zoe and James Zilian, who have created a welcoming home pottery studio, workshop, and store with a modern farm aesthetic that represents farm-to-table values infused in traditionally crafted designs with authenticity and character.

Farmhouse Pottery Woodstock Vermont is in Country Living Magazine with a wonderful “Meet A Maker” feature in the latest issue. New England at its finest. A rural artisanal company with an ethos to sustain the next generation of local makers and farmers.

Valentino

Farm Sanctuary Valentino Tote Bag, This custom, hand printed organic cotton tote for carrying books or groceries compassionately, was created for Farm Sanctuary by Stephanie Conrad, an artist and animal rights advocate based in Austin Texas. Featuring Valentino Steer, Valentino was only about a day old when a horse-rescuer found him struggling down a stockyard aisle on his knees. Male calves are considered “byproducts” of the dairy industry since they won’t produce milk, and are typically raised for veal or cheap beef. Because of Valentino’s leg deformities, however, he was considered an unmarketable “defective” and would have been left to die had someone not stepped in. The Farm Sanctuary and Cornell University Hospital for Animals, were able to treat his many issues as opposed to euthanasia. Due to his small size, he was also diagnosed with dwarfism which may become more problematic as he grows. However, he is happy and playful despite his early struggles. A success story. Artful Inspiration.

Farm Sanctuary was founded in 1986 to combat the abuses of factory farming and encourage a new awareness and understanding about farm animals. Today, Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization. They have rescued thousands of animals and cared for them at their sanctuaries in Watkins Glen, New York, Northern California, and the Los Angeles area. At Farm Sanctuary, these animals are friends, not food. They educate millions of people about their plight and the effects of factory farming on our health and environment. They advocate for laws and policies to prevent suffering and promote compassion, and reach out to legislators and businesses to bring about institutional reforms. Farm Sanctuary is committed to ending cruelty to farm animals and promoting compassionate vegan living through rescue, education, and advocacy efforts.

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Living The farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide, In this definitive vegan and animal-friendly lifestyle guide, Farm Sanctuary president Gene Baur and Gene Stone, author of Forks Over Knives, explore the deeply transformative experience of living day-to-day in harmony with your basic values. A great Winter read for inspiration to get your life in alignment 2016.

Fisher

Eileen Fisher Fair Trade Ballet Neck Crop Sweater & Scarf In Handknit Organic Texture, I’m a fan of Winter Whites, and these handknit Eileen Fisher pieces are the perfect Winter White staples. Perfect for layering with a timeless shape and simple design ethos. Luxuriously soft and surprisingly light, made from an organic cotton knit that’s part of an alternative supply chain designed around community-based workshops in Arequipa Peru, which Eileen Fisher has been supporting since 2005. Where the cotton is local and organic, dyes meet the Global Organic Textile Standard, and workers are paid higher fair trade wages.

I was first introduced to Eileen Fisher philosophy and well-made eco artisanal products, by my sister who worked with Fisher in the Bay Area for many years. I was fortunate to be gifted classic pieces from the line, and came to appreciate their social consciousness, workplace culture, and brand aesthetic. The Eileen Fisher mission embraces simplicity, sustainability and great design. What’s not to love? Do Good Look Good Feel Good.

Perricone

Dr. Perricone MD No Makeup Vault Collection, An eight-piece, limited edition collection of No Makeup Skincare. A revolutionary approach to makeup and color, designed to reveal the glow of health and the flush of youth. Serious skincare from Dr. Nicholas Perricone –board-certified Dermatologist, world renowned healthy aging expert, award winning inventor, educator and philanthropist. Coming off of the success of the No Foundation Foundation, Perricone MD launched a full line of #NoMakeupSkincare cosmetics to get that no makeup look with the added benefits of Perricone’s well-known nourishing and skin-firming ingredients. The Perricone MD No Makeup Collection includes: No Foundation Serum, No Bronzer Bronzer, No Blush Blush, No Highlighter Highlighter, No Concealer Concealer, No Mascara Mascara, and No Lipstick Lipstick.

Clinical high-end formulas that harnesses the scientific benefits of neuropeptides to help regenerate and restore your skin, create weightless and breatheable second skin effects with semi-matte finishes, while containing a broad spectrum, mineral SPF 30. A universally flattering, Winter skin essential to create a natural looking, warm elegant glow. Be Your Best Beautiful.

Kiehls

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps, The award-winning rich dream cream from Kiehl’s. Superb all-over body moisturizer of extraordinary quality for dry, Winter skin. Enriched with the finest ingredients known to Kiehl’s, like Beta-carotene, Cocoa Butter, Squalane, Olive oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Sesame Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, and Aloe Vera, for a rich, elegant skin texture. Continued use for 10 days will provide a skin texture heretofore unattainable.

Founded as a family-owned apothecary in New York’s East Village more than 160 years ago, Kiehl’s iconic products blend the herbal, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic knowledge that’s been passed down through generations. Always formulated with sensitive skin in mind, Kiehl’s nourishing skin, hair, and body care collections use the optimal concentration of botanical extracts mixed with minimal preservatives to restore the look, feel, and health of your skin. Love The Skin You’re In.