The tàijítú is the name of the symbol commonly known as “yin/yang.” It is a symbol for the complementary nature of opposites; night defines day, shadow defines light; an inhale isn’t complete without an exhale… All existence can be seen to utilize this seeming duality to for a unified whole.
These pieces are rendered using a zen technique that infuses them with chi (the “ji” in “tàijítú”). They are aproxamately 8×10 in size. They are rendered with gold, purple and sumi ink with a sumi brush on lokta paper; a paper made in the Himalayas from materials indigenous to that region.
each piece is $30 plus shipping.
In the form below, enter your name, email address and which style you want and I will execute one especially for you. Please note: as you can see, each piece is individual to itself. The technique used creates a unique piece with each execution. Your piece will not look exactly like any of these but will be the tàijítú (yin yang symbol) rendered on the paper and ink you specify. Your choices of paper are Natural or Red (you can request yellow or blue or purple though they are not shown). Your choices of ink are black (sumi) purple or gold (blue and purple are available but not shown) Note that Contrasting colors such as gold on red will show better than gold on natural.
“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao” so begins the Tao te Ching; “The Book of the Way,” by Lao Tsu. Over 25 years ago I consciously began my journey on the Path. One of the first books I stumbled upon was Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the Tao. I keep a copy with me and drag it out every once in while. Sometimes I get in a mood where I take my pocket copy with me everywhere, though I may never look at it when I do. The message is pretty simple: Don’t try to control the universe. Be in the moment, let life guide you, and become a master by not trying. Of course there’s more to it than this. I refer you to the first sentence in this post. I’m sure the Old Boy knew the irony of making that the first line of his book.
In the passing years I’ve learned many things, and unlearned many as well. I have to keep unlearning them. One of the things I’ve seen real value in for me is practicing zen calligraphy. The method is very similar to what I’ve just stated; be in the moment, let the universe be in charge and in this way, become a master. As zen is a Japanese form of Buddhism, the calligraphy is Japanese as well. Japanese traditionally write in Kanji, which was originally Chinese, like Taoism. The calligraphic method can be applied to any writing; indeed it can be applied to life itself. Using the tools to render the Taijitu (yin yang symbol) is a natural.
What made me realize this was of course watching Kung Fu Panda III.
I was struck by the idea that the image can be seen to describe a spinning effect; as is often depicted with the yin and yang chasing each other. What was significant this time was how it is a symbol for everything. our galaxy is spinning, the sun revolves around it, the earth around the sun as it spins on its own axis. Dervish spin in meditation. Also, in reading up on the symbol, pronounced “Tai Chi tu” by the way, many of the complimentary aspect it represents were explained including one which I hadn’t thought of: the expanding contracting duality of life. This is key to Hamsa meditation, as well as understanding non dualist Kashmiri Shavism, which is another key component of my education.
So rendering the Taijitu deeply gratifying to me. It is a powerful exercise and a powerful symbol.
Download your free digital copy of this hand rendered “Om” Sanskrit Calligraphy! Print it out on your home computer and hang it up to decorate your yoga studio, your meditation space, or for inspiration in your home or office.
Om is the Sanskrit word that represents the sound of the universe; the vibration of this sacred sound creates, and sustains everything around us. When we chant this ancient word, we align ourselves with the universe, spiritually and physically.In order to download this file, click on the image, when the image shows full screen, right click on it and select “save image.” If you appreciate your free “Om” download, please let me know in the comments. Enjoy!
Note: Only images specified for free download are eligible. All images on this website are the property of rodhillen.com. Any unauthorized downloads constitute theft.
I create layered, abstract Monotypes in search of spiritual expression without the filter of Representative language. Monotypes are original one of a kind art work. Each piece is unique. They are acrylic paint on acid free papers. Each print is 8.5×11 to order, click on the piece you want, and message me with the name of the piece (i.e. “monotype #3”). I will email you an invoice via paypal, and ship you the piece upon receipt of payment.
Marina was born on the night of a surging storm. The clouds hid the moon, but the sky was lit intermittently by blue crackling lightning. It was neither cold nor warm. The whole of the sky was filled with dark, thundering clouds, rolling in the wind. These things didn’t frighten the newborn Marina; she was a raindrop. The whole world was rain. For a time, the wind blew Marina in the clouds where she was born. In the diffused electric light of the lightning behind the clouds, she could see the other baby raindrops whirling around in the high winds of the sky, playing in the clouds.
Marina played in the clouds, too. Weightless and small, she flew around and around, whirling and dancing in the safety of the clouds. Sometimes the wind would slow down, and marina would fall, laughing gleefully almost to the bottom of the clouds, but then she would catch another gust of wind and go soaring back up into the clouds.
When the lightning lit up the clouds, you could see marina, clear, and round, and pure, spinning up into the highest part of the clouds, only to be lost in the millions of baby raindrops swirling in the sky.
Once the wind blew Marina above the clouds where the moon shown its cool, distant light over the surface of the clouds, stretching as far as the eye could see. The clouds glowed in the moonlight, and swirled and danced in the wind. Marina realized the clouds were made of tiny dancing baby raindrops, and that she made up a very small part of clouds. She never wanted to leave.
Marina danced among the clouds, and began to grow. Tiny bits of mist through which she danced became part of her. As morning came, marina began to fall beneath the clouds. The cool grey clouds began to blur. All around marina, there were millions of other raindrops all falling through the endless sky. She became friends with many of the raindrops around her. Some became part of her life.
The storm began to grow cold. The rain cascaded into a wind that was getting bitter from blowing for so long in the distance, lightning was shattering ice.
Marina’s heart was born. It solidified into crystal ice. Marina took shape as only marina ever would. She sprang out in six directions at once. All around her, rain was blossoming into snow.
Marina swirled, and danced, and floated and, fell. all with vigor new to her. For the first time she looked where she was. Marina sparkled in the diffused morning light in an endless sky of glittering snow.
Far above were the distant massive storm clouds of her birth. Far below she could see glittering blue. Marina wondered what future awaited her in the vast blue expanse.
Marina saw a brilliant light at the end of the vast expanse of clouds. The sun was breaking through the grey above. Great shining streaks of light poured through the sky. Marina felt the glorious warmth of the sunlight and melted back into a clear shining raindrop. Marina and her friends basked in gleaming morning sunlight. She could see light pouring through her and her friends creating an arcing rainbow that stretched to the sparkling sea below.
Marina and her friends wondered about the sea and what it held for them. Marina seemed to have an inner feeling that the sea was good, almost like a memory.
Quite unexpectedly, marina came upon the sea as she plummeted into the vast unknown; she realized that she had been here before. She became the sea. Once a drop of water enters the ocean it is no longer a drop of water but part of the greater whole. Marina felt her self lap on distant shores; she welcomed the rain that swelled the ocean. Marina had come home.
Far away, in the sky a tiny bit of mist becomes a swirling baby raindrop, dancing in the clouds.
Devi is the Sanskrit Goddess who manifests as all the goddesses in the pantheon. She is Parvati, the wife of Shiva, who is also Uma and Sati. As Shakti, she is the energy of the Cosmos and truly the counterpart to the Consciousness that is Shiva. She further manifests as Durga and Kali, warrior goddesses who destroy evil and delusion. Shakti is also known as Kundalini, the serpent goddess dwelling within us at the base of our spine, waiting to awaken us to eternity.
She is also Lakshmi, consort of Visnu. Lakshmi is the goddess of prosperity and wants us all to do well.
She is Saraswati, goddess of the arts, creator of Sanskrit. She is the infinite Aditi, the watery goddess Ganga.
I painted this during the “Ground Zero Mosque” scandal. I won’t dignify the petty and cowardly story by telling it here. However, the gist was to make people fear Muslims. It occurred to me that the Christian Virgin Mary and the nuns who imitate her dress wear similar clothes to the traditional female Islamic dress. Indeed, it is a sign of our shared culture. So, I studied various versions of the Abaya and Hijab, and came up with the Sufi Madonna. I also wrote a prayer that she would say on our behalf:
Blessed Creator, I pray for your children of the world. That we may be brought together in friendship; I pray you guide us to forgo our petty rivalries, Forget our differences, forgive our mistakes & Forge a new bond under the unity of our commonality. By your grace, yur love & your divine wisdom, amen.
There is a print available of this image with the prayer below here.
“We are all God’s children” attests the Sufi Madonna. She is a symbol of all religion as she prays on behalf of mankind.
This is a digital print of an original watercolor painting. print is 5×7 on 8×10 acid free rives BFK printmaking paper.