Always read the fine print. It’s an easy lesson to forget. Considering how accelerated the pace of life has become, it can be a challenge to stop for a few moments of observation. It sometimes seems that the moments of our lives are judged on the quantity rather than the quality of our output. Over the past few months, I’ve felt so busy that time seemed immeasurable. One moment flowed seamlessly into the next, only demarcated with the jingling cries of:
“Hurry up! What took so long? This deadline is coming up! Did you get that email?”
Despite the telescoping demands of the outside world, it’s so important to schedule time for yourself. I have discovered that if I consistently schedule time for my own interests and rest, the quality of my work for others is much better. Yesterday’s post on Kazimir Malevich was an attempt to have some “me time”. While I was gathering images, I came across this work of art:
My instincts told me it wasn’t by Malevich, although it was certainly modern-looking. I could have dismissed the painting, and went along my merry way. But curiosity got the best of me. I clicked the link. It turns out that the work of art is a modern interpretation of Tantric art.
Untitled Tantric painting, described as a “meditation on the possible and necessary balance of things”. Image courtesy of The New York Times.
Much like Buddhist art, Tantric paintings are used as a meditation tool. (New to my blog? You should check out my previous post, Looking at Buddhist Art.) The simple shapes and colors in Tantric art are visualization tools for calming the mind during meditation.
The Three Gunas: Matter, Energy, Essence, 1990. Image courtesy of Feature, Inc.
The images in this post are from Tantra Song: Tantric Paintings from Rajasthan, a book by Franck AndrÃ© Jamme. Jamme came across similar paintings, and completed a 20 year search for communities that still produce Tantric art. After an epic, and somewhat unfruitful expedition, Jamme finally found a community in Rajasthan that produces these images in this tradition.
I found it very ironic that the message behind this art is to promote reflection and meditation. Isn’t it curious how the universe works?
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