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Avalokiteshvara - click to enlarge

Gouache and 24-carat gold on canvas
Click to enlarge


Avalokiteshvara's mantra is OM MANI PADME HUNG

Avalokiteshvara is the Buddha of compassion. His name means "Lord Who Mercifully Looks Down Upon the World". He is called Chenrezig in Tibetan, or "the eleven faced great compassionate one"! His Holiness the Dalai Lama is seen to be the embodiment of this Buddha in human form.

This painting was commissioned by Bessie Conniff for Jamyang Buddhist Center in London UK for their group Nyung Nä retreats. Nung Nä is a powerful purification practice involving prostration, recitation of praise to Avalokiteshvara and visualization of the deity. This painting is intended to assist the visualization process and bring the presence of the deity to the retreat space.

Nung Nä is the tradition of the fully ordained nun Bhikshuni Lakshmi. She lived approximately in the tenth or eleventh century in India. Through relying on Avalokiteshvara she was able to heal herself of leprosy, attain visions of the deity and receive direct teachings and empowerments from him. She eventually reached enlightenment in her lifetime and inspired many to practice Dharma.

This painting was completed at Dorje Chang Institute in Auckland, New Zealand in 2004. Following instructions from Lama Zopa Rinpoche I made the background more elaborate and the face more smiley than my previous paintings.

~ Enlightenment is Possible in This Lifetime ~