While I didn’t always attend Movie Night I enjoyed the movies I did watch in the group setting and Andy K. did a great job with nearly 30 weekend respites for this far-flung, but amazingly close community that sprung up during the Covid Bardo. You felt that group closeness during those Saturday evenings as well as during Andrew’s various hangouts, webinars, meditations, book readings and Dream Yoga instructions—as well as in the relatively small in number, but regularly-attended Dream Sharing Group Zooms on Sundays. I’m sure other activities will be coming along in the Fall including a new Book Club initiative and other great online opportunities to get together and share and learn, in addition to Andrew’s online and in-person retreats.
For me, I’ve been attracted to Tibetan Thangka art for years and even was able to work on a painting under a master’s supervision in Nepal, as part of a three week Groupon—type experience, a rushed but nevertheless invaluable experience. The connection of this Tibetan art form to Dharma is obvious, yet I never really knew how important this work is for the artist—and patron—until recently.
Some of the instructional resources I’ve been using for my painting include, amongst others, *Tibetan Thangka Painting* (Jackson & Jackson), Principles of Tibetan art_ illustrations and explanations of Buddhist iconography and iconometry according to the Karma Gardri school - Volumes 1 and 2 and The Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols (Beer).
Consider some of these passages from Tibetan Thangka Painting, that describe what can happen to an artist if he or she makes mistakes in proportional representation when painting Thangkas.
One major fault lies in deviating from the correct proportions when drawing the chin, the neck, or the calves of a figure. This indicates that the artist will be forced to leave his locality and will have a negative influence on whatever place he lives. (Yikes-can I take my wife with me?)
Malproportioned ears, noses, or fingers in a drawn figure constitute another major error; this points to impairment of one’s personal prosperity and charisma, and the thwarting of any attempt to achieve accomplishments even on a mundane level. (Wow, better hold those investments).
Incorrectly proportioned calves, mouths, or cheeks are serious flaws in art, leading to one being very unprosperous and vulnerable to all kinds of hindering influences and obstacles. It is like-wise a fault to alter the correct proportions in drawing the neck the chest, and the sides of a figure, since these faults will cause one’s karma(?) to be thwarted and may bring on all kinds of harmful and negative influences; and to err in drawing the breasts, the nose, or the forehead, which will lead to
one having quarrelsome enemies. (OMG, permanent isolation?)
So I will be careful in creating this art, but it is fun and does find its way into my dreams. I wonder what other folks are doing with their time on Saturday night?