I recently finished this painting on the Kleshas. In Christian philosophy, we have the seven deadly sins, that might keep you from finding a state of grace. There are both yogic and Buddhist approaches to the Kleshas and the flavor is slightly different and they define them a little differently.
I came across the Kleshas during studies with my yoga teacher. They are: abhinivesha (fear), asmita (false identity), raga (attachment), dvesha (aversion) and avidya (ignorance).
There are many images for the Kleshas but of not in a Western cultural context. I wanted to create something that those studying yoga in the West could use to understand and meditate on the Kleshas. I did this painting as a gift for my yoga teacher.
The figure is standing on one foot to represent that if the Kleshas are not addressed she remains off balance. I tried to make the figure a healthy looking woman, rather than a model or a magic goddess throwing off sparks, but the you encountered in the mirror every day. The figure is not clothed, as you must take away the outside masks of costume and artifice to overcome these obstacles and know your inner self.
Each hand is in a mudra that is associated with the chakras of the kleshas. The icons for each klesha have the color of the chakra they are over. From top to bottom, they are ignorance, avoidance, false-identity, attachment and fear.
Dan took a wonderful picture of Tila making a snow angel. Dogs have an amazing ability to live and enjoy the moment to it’s fullest. It’s the sort of thing some people strive for with so much effort in meditation and more. Snow! Joy! Roll! Sniff! Roll some more! I must make a note to enjoy each moment as it comes. Here is the painting that inspired.
In my imagination, Pyrs have a secret life at night we don’t know about. They hear the conversation of owls and mice, smell the scent of moonbeams, and more. This painting came out of that part of my imagination.
A little Pyr puppy wakes in the dark of night and is frightened by the shadows and the sounds. His mother comforts him with “Don’t be afraid of the dark, the Pyr in the moon will watch over us.
And look very carefully at the moonlight that comes in the window! It lights part of the wood floor and lights the Pyrs up in its beam subtlety changing the colors of the rug as well. I worked very hard on that!