Stitching a Healing Buddha, Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo’s Latest Fabric Thangka Takes Shape

Stitch by stitch, Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo is building a sacred applique thangka of the Medicine Buddha from bits of satin and brocades. The deep blue figure is finally complete and clothed in red and gold.

  • Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail a friendRepost This
Sacred Artwork

Pieced Silk Medicine Buddha in progress by Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo

Buddhas are referred to as great physicians because they possess the compassion, wisdom, and skillful means to diagnose and treat the delusions underlying all mental and physical suffering.

Oxnard, California (PRWEB) October 12, 2013

A deep blue satin Medicine Buddha is beginning to take shape, stitch by stitch, under Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo’s nimble fingers. Rinchen-Wongmo started this piece of Tibetan appliqué two years ago, when her mother was ill. Slowly and intermittently, she wrapped horsehair with thread and hand-stitched bits of silk and brocade into a sacred fabric mosaic.

Finally, the figure is now complete. Completing the background will take another several months. In the meantime, Leslie’s mother has recovered from her illness.

Tibetan healing practices are based on the premise that the fundamental cause of every disease can be found in physical imbalances resulting from the mental poisons of ignorance, attachment, and aversion. True healing must be grounded in spiritual transformation.

Buddhas (including the idealized Medicine Buddha and the historical Buddha Shakyamuni) are referred to as great physicians because they possess the compassion, wisdom, and skillful means to diagnose and treat the delusions underlying all mental and physical suffering.

To expand on the analogy:
Buddha is the physician who diagnoses our ailments and prescribes a treatment plan. Dharma is the medicine that cures us, if taken. And Sangha is the nurse who administers the medicine, supports the patient in implementing the treatment, and accompanies the patient on the path to healing.

Medicine Buddha’s body has the deep blue color of lapis lazuli. Both the stone and the color carry remarkable healing effects. His right hand is in the gesture of granting blessings and holds the stem of a medicinal plant. His left hand holds a begging bowl filled with healing nectar and fruit.

The act of stitching Tibetan appliqué has been described by Rinchen-Wongmo’s students as mindfulness in action. Each piece is rich in teachings and opportunities for meditation and healing.

About Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo:
Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo is an American master of Tibetan appliqué and an internationally known teacher of transformative sacred art. The only westerner trained traditionally in India, she is featured in the documentary, Creating Buddhas: the Making and Meaning of Fabric Thangkas and is passionate about the preservation and evolution of this cultural tradition.

Through the Stitching Buddhas Virtual Apprentice Program, she teaches silk thangka making internationally -- giving creative, spiritually oriented women a meaningful way to integrate their paths.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave his blessings to Rinchen-Wongmo’s work and encouraged her to use her sacred art skills to inspire people across religions and cultures.

Contact Information:
Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo,
Artist & Teacher at Threads of Awakening,
Buddhist Textile Art for Sacred Spaces
805-626-8272
info (at) threadsofawakening (dot) com
http://threadsofawakening.com