The conventional and unconventional sides of my life.

Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

Kuan Yin



Our household has an eclectic mix of religious beliefs and spiritual practices. Yakko is in seminary school studying to be a Wiccan priest. I consider myself to be spiritually eclectic with large Buddhist and Pagan (specifically, Wiccan) influences. Wakko is more the intellectual, scientist, “if I see it, I’ll believe it” type with an interest in Buddhism.

In Buddhism, Kuan Yin is a bodhisattva (meaning she forgoes her own enlightenment and keep being reincarnated until all reach enlightenment and there is no more suffering) of compassion. She is also known in come cultures as the Goddess of Mercy. Her name, in Chinese, roughly translates as “Observing the sound (or cries) of the World”

CIMG0018This past week was a rough one for our family, especially so for Yakko. Yakko had a death in his family – the second one within five months. This time it was quite sudden and unexpected. Yakko was gone several evenings last week being with family and attending the services. Each night he was gone, I lit a candle and placed it on our Kuan Yin shrine (photo on the left). Praying and lighting a candle is common in many cultures/religious practices. Even though I could not physically be with Yakko and support him, I lit a candle for him and his family. I asked that they have some feeling of peace and comfort through this very difficult time. Lighting a candle and placing it on the shrine was my way to be there for him.

The photo on the right is a photo of a Kuan Yin statue we purchased this past weekend and our local monthly antiques market. She is a large (over a foot tall) and heavy statue, made out of porcelain. I was so excited to be able to purchase the statue for $25! This statue currently resides on top of our piano in the living room.




Chakra Mandala Paintings – Part 2



A while back, I wrote a post about the first two (out of a series of seven) chakra mandala paintings I made. I have since made two more paintings.





This is the painting for the will chakra mandala. The will chakra is located just above your belly button. It is that drive, motivation, the “fire in your belly”.








This is the heart chakra mandala painting. This is my favorite of the four paintings so far. As I was creating it, I was not really liking my choice of papers for the petals (I thought they were too yellow-green) but as I added different green hues to the background, I really liked how the piece came together. The heart chakra is located at the heart and is associates with love, compassion and self-love.






Here are all for of the paintings. I have truly loved creating them as I study the chakras. Working on this series of paintings has reignited by creativity and is a big reason for my recent reorganization / transformation of my art space. I am creating art again because of these paintings.

In  the next week I will be working on the 5th painting in the series for the throat chakra. It is associated with the color blue. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Chakra Mandala Paintings

In my last post I discussed the very, very basics of what chakras are. I wanted to provide a framework for the chakras before posting about a series of mixed-media paintings I am doing based on the seven main chakras.

I am spending six weeks studying each chakra. During the six weeks there comes a time when I feel that I have a fairly good understanding about the chakra – that is when I gather my supplies and start my mixed-media painting. I love to go to the craft stores and find neat fibers, scrapbook paper, gems and other trinkets in the color of the chakra that I am working on. Here is the painting I did for the Root Chakra:

I am actually making two of the same paintings for each chakra. One for our home and the other for the covenstead where I am studying. I was so excited to present this one to the covenstead and I could hardly wait until it was time to work on the next one for the Sacral Chakra. I just finished the Sacral Chakra painting this week:

I didn’t get a picture of the outer edges of the paintings but all along the edges I painted/wrote words associated with each chakra. Some of the words on the red painting are survival, grounding, and me first. The orange painting includes the words passion, desire, and sensuality.

I just thoroughly enjoy making these paintings! I am looking forward to having all seven complete. I’m still not sure where I will display them. Perhaps the upstairs hallway or maybe even along the wall of our stairway. For right now, the two paintings are displayed in my living room here:

What are chakras?

Earlier this year, I began a year-long course studying the seven major chakras of the body. Chakra comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “wheel” or “disc”. They are energy centers corresponding along the spine of your body starting from the base and going up through the top of your head. The seven chakras starting from the base of the spine are:

RootLocated at the base of the spine. This chakra is related to security, survival, stability and grounding.

Sacral – Located just below the belly button. This chakra is related to passion, sexuality, pleasure and desires.

Will (or Solar Plexus) – Located above the bellow button. Have you ever had a “gut feeling”? That is where the will chakra is located. This chakra is related to power, will, and manifestation.

Heart – Located in the center of your chest(you know – your heart area!) This chakra is related to love and compassion.

Throat – Located just above the notch in your collarbone. This chakra is related to communication, self-expression, and creativity.

Third Eye (or Brow) – Located slightly above and between your eyebrows. This chakra is related to seeing, both physically and intuitively.

Crown – Located at the top or “crown” of your head. This chakra is associated with pure consciousness, the all.

Did you notice the color associations for each of the chakras? Sometimes you may see the third eye chakra is associated with indigo and the crown chakra with violet. I most often see the crown chakra associated with white (it is gray here otherwise you wouldn’t be able to read the word!)

The above overview of the chakra system is an extremely  basic overview. There are more and deeper associations with each chakra. It is possible to have excess or deficits in a particular chakra which inhibit the flow of the energy and because of this, it can manifest itself as disease (Dis-ease).

The course I am currently involved with spends six weeks on each chakra. I love to dive deeper into each chakra understanding more how various aspects of life correspond with each one. Even though we spend six weeks on each chakra, I sometimes feel that isn’t even close to enough time. I am sure I could spend large amounts of time studying the chakras. The beauty of the chakra system is that it can benefit anyone. Just knowing the basics as outlined here can help you. You can get as involved or not involved with it as you’d like.

If you wish to learn more about chakras, there are many resources online and many great books. Two of my favorite books about the chakras are by the same author, Anodea Judith. Those books are:

The Sevenfold Journey: Reclaiming Mind, Body and Spirit Through the Chakras

Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakra System