About Vijali Hamilton's Painting

Rainbow Bodhisattva

Inherent Illumination in Everyone

THE PAINTING, from a cave in Show Terdrom, Tibet is by Vijali Hamilton, whose work is featured on page 26-34 of Issue #36 (Winter 2000). The painting was Spoke #9 of her World Wheel project. Vijali writes: "Shoto Terdrom is a place where Buddhist nuns live as hermits in one of Tibet's most beautiful and sacred places. In a vacant cave, I carved and painted the Rainbow Bodhisattva, an androgynous figure filled with prisms of color, seated in the lotus posture. Her/his legs were molded from the red clay of the cave floor. Neither a Buddha nor a Kuan Yin, this is an energy body, symbolizing the underlying energy connecting everything, the level at which our inner space merges with the space around us.

"I wanted to create a work traditional enough that the Buddhist nuns and hermits living in nearby caves could identify with it. But I also wanted to embody a universal image that was not limited to any one concept of wholeness. When the work was complete, two Buddhist nuns who were walking in the canyon looked into the cave and saw the figure. They burst into tears and began doing prostrations before it. I knew then I had achieved what I had hoped."

For more information about Vijali's art and the retreats she guides, please visit http://www.vijali.net

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