I have recently started to explore zhiné meditation. Unlike the samatha mediation that I normally practice, zhiné meditation involves focusing on an object of concentration. This mandala is my interpretation of the traditional zhiné object of concentration:
"Zhiné Meditation Mandala" - Acrylic Paint & Silver Leaf on Russian Birch Panel - 12" x 12"
Zhiné meditation - which is also know as calm abiding meditation or Tibetan dream yoga - differs from samatha meditation in that rather than concentrating on the breath or other internal sensations such as body-scanning, the practitioner focuses on an physical object outside of themselves. Traditionally, zhiné meditation is practiced by focusing on the figure of the Tibetan letter A, which is enclosed within five concentric coloured circles of indigo, blue, green, red, yellow, and white.
The purpose of focusing on a physical object that is outside the body is to develop stability during the perception of external objects. This practice will allow one to clearly perceive objects in a dream, and lead to increased states of lucidity in both waking life and when dreaming. The ultimate goal of zhiné meditation is to allow for the practitioner to be lucid upon death, at the moment when the soul exits the physical body.
Zhiné Meditation Mandala Detail
The Zhiné Meditation Mandala is painted in acrylic, which I applied as a glaze in order to build up the colour while allowing the wood grain to show through. The Tibetan letter A at the center and all the outlines are gilded by hand using pure silver leaf. The painting is finished with several coats of clear varnish to protect the painting and gilding.
I have found the practice of working with these intricate and repeating patterns to be a meditation itself, and am looking forward to continuing the exploration of these sacred forms. It is my hope that the peace and presence that enfolds me while creating these works of art is also experienced by those who view them.