Symbolism

AUM Or OM Represents the indivisible, indestructible, primal essence of all and everything. Hindus believe that as creation began, the divine, all-encompassing consciousness took the form of the first and original vibration manifesting as sound "OM". Bells are an homage to the Present through sound. In Tibetan Buddhism the bell represents the principle of the ‘perfection of wisdom’, which directly realizes emptiness. ‘Time is a slippery fish’ ROBERT FRANK Bones ‘You don’t have to abandon things because there is something destructive in them. There is the Buddhist story of the arhat, one of the Buddha’s disciples with self-realization, who goes to the charnel ground, a burial ground in India. There he picks up one human bone, and he ponders that. He sees that a bone comes from death, and death comes from birth, and birth comes from desire, and so on and so on. Finally he works out the whole chain of causality from this one bone. We could work in the same way in our own situation. We don’t have to reject or abandon anything. We could work on the creative aspect of situations.’ CHOGYAM TRUNGPA ‘Live your life, life your life, live your life’ MAURICE SENDAK Chain Links At the heart of compassion is the vision of the inseparability of all existence UNKNOWN. Where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center or our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world JOSEPH CAMPBELL. The We of Me CARSON MCCULLERS Eyes "We don't need to see anything out of the ordinary. We already see so much." ROBERT WALSER These Eyes are about looking deeply even if it is not convenient. Made of converging lines radiating inward and out, representing our self and our collective universal self. In Egyptian, Greek and Roman mythology, peacock feathers were considered much like the eye, they were all-seeing. ‘And the trick is to stay propped up for 50 or 60 or 70 or 80 or 90 years. Yes eyes open while the flies get stuck in the paper and the great paintings are stolen and the faithful wives run off with the unfaithful lovers, all to die in the morning, unclasped and cold and kissless’. CHARLES BUKOWSKI Flower, Disc & Feather Bone Wall Hangings were created out of process. The raw, spontaneous, fresh imprint of a fingerprint made in clay. Garlands are an offering of reverence to the world. Made originally to hang in trees, I imagined them becoming part of the landscape, and how beautiful they could be, moving in the wind, with the ever-changing background. Holy forgiveness! mercy! charity! faith! Holy! Ours! bodies! suffering! magnanimity! Holy the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul! ALLEN GINSBERG Love Fearlessly. You've got love to burn NEIL YOUNG Jewels and Quartz ‘Like a wish-granting gem that refracts myriad rays of rainbow light, the nature of the light is one; although it’s aspects of illumination appear to be many.’ ROBERT BEER The Mirror is an ancient Buddhist symbol for clarity, completeness of perception, and purity of consciousness. ‘I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions. What ever you see I swallow immediately just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.’ SYLVIA PLATH Mono No Aware A Japanese term pointing to the awareness of impermanence and the beautiful sadness of things passing. ‘Participate with joy in the sorrows of the world’ JOSEPH CAMPBELL. “Hey let’s go shovel snow into the well!” ‘Because Without the bitter there would be no sweet’. Impermanence and interconnection, cherry blossoms and fireflies, stars, clouds, and the phases of the moonOm Mani Padme Hum is the six syllable Sanskrit mantra of the bodhisattva of compassion known in India as Avalokiteshvara and in Tibet as Chenezrig. It is one of the most widely used Buddhist mantras and is carved into stones, put onto prayer wheels and printed on prayer flags. The mantra is difficult to translate into a simple phrase, but is often seen as ‘Om The Jewel in the Lotus Hum’. ‘the six syllables, OM MANI PADME HUM, mean that in dependence on the practice which is in indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech and mind into the pure body, speech, and mind of a Buddha. THE DALAI LAMA The Sun, The Moon & The Stars The night sky. The Finger pointing at the moon is not the moon ZEN KOAN. If you don’t strive for it at all, if you don’t fill it full of stars and falseness CHARLES BUKOWSKI. Looking out the westward window, I saw it: a fat yellow disk in an even slate-blue background, hanging motionless over the city. I found myself marveling at Earth’s good fortune in having a moon so large and so beautiful ISAAC ASIMOV. God, the sun the Moon and the stars, everything in motion. PATTI SMITH Skulls Whether we die enmeshed within our hopes and fears or free ourselves by recognizing the selfless luminosity of our innermost being, impermanence lies at the heart of all existence. In illness or in health, in life or death, the body is the greatest teacher of impermanence. Praise to the wrathful mother who tramples on the enemies of complacency and self-deception. UNKNOWN Sphere of Radiance. ‘Close both eyes; see with the other one. Then, we are no longer saddled by the burden of our persistent judgements, our ceaseless withholding, our constant exclusion. Our sphere has widened, and we find ourselves, quite unexpectedly, in a new, expansive location, in a place of endless acceptance and infinite love’. GREGORY BOYLE TARA is a Bodhisattva of compassion and action. She is a protector who comes to relieve us of physical, emotional and spiritual suffering. ‘As Avalokiteshvara, the great compassionate one, looked upon the sorrows of the world, his tears formed a lake in which a lotus sprung up. When the lotus opened, the goddess Tara was revealed’. Her seed syllable is tāṃ is and the full mantra, OM TARA TUTTARE SVAHA Whale Teeth & Tusks ‘NONE OF THIS WOULD HAPPEN IF PEOPLE COULD SEE IT’ Wrathful Weapons and implements have their origins in the wrathful arena of the battlefield and the funereal realm of the charnel grounds. As primal images of destruction, slaughter, sacrifice these weapons were wrested from the hands of the evil and turned- as symbols- against the ultimate root of evil, the self-cherishing conceptual identity that gives rise to the five poisons of ignorance, desire, hatred, pride and jealousy. In the hands of deities these implements become pure symbols, weapons of transformation and an expression of the deities wrathful compassion which mercilessly destroys the manifold illusions of the inflated human ego. ROBERT BEER The Daggers are made in honor to Manjushri, the Boddhisattva of Wisdom who holds the flaming sword of discriminating wisdom that cuts through ignorance and the entanglements of conceptual views. It cuts away ego and self-created obstacles. It can cut into two, but it can also cut into one, by cutting the self/other dichotomy.Vision is sometimes a terrible thing. Ideas are easy to come by, they spring effortlessly out of the vacuity of the mind and cost nothing. When they are held and projected onto one’s self or others they become a project. When the project is enacted it becomes the work, and when the work is completed it appears to be self-existent. Creation is the process of form manifesting from emptiness, where that which arises from the mind comes into existence. Yet the distance between conception and realization may be enormous, as vast as the distance between stars. ROBERT BEER Oh, I'm lookin' for my missin' piece I'm lookin' for my missin' piece Hi-dee-ho, here I go lookin' for my missin' piece SHEL SILVERSTEIN YES! YOKO ONO