Friday, August 30, 2013

Mathematics of the Eye of Horus

Different parts of the Eye of Horus were thought to be used by the ancient Egyptians to represent one divided by the first six powers of two:
  • The right side of the eye = 1/2
  • The pupil = 1/4
  • The eyebrow = 1/8
  • The left side of the eye = 1/16
  • The curved tail = 1/32
  • The teardrop = 1/64
If that's a little confusing, here's what it would look like if drawn out in a square:

The Eye of Horus fractions represented in a square.
According to some schools of thought these divisions are also believed to have represented the various senses as shown in the image below:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

About the Eye of Horus

The Eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power and good health. The eye is personified in the goddess Wadjet (also written as Wedjat, or "Udjat", Uadjet, Wedjoyet, Edjo or Uto). It is also known as ''The Eye of Ra''.

The name Wadjet is derived from "wadj" meaning "green", hence "the green one", and was known to the Greeks and Romans as "uraeus" from the Egyptian "iaret" meaning "risen one" from the image of a cobra rising up in protection. Wadjet was one of the earliest of Egyptian deities who later became associated with other goddesses such as Bast, Sekhmet, Mut, and Hathor. She was the tutelary deity of Lower Egypt and the major Delta shrine the "per-nu" was under her protection. Hathor is also depicted with this eye.

Funerary amulets were often made in the shape of the Eye of Horus. The Wadjet or Eye of Horus is "the central element" of seven "gold, faience, carnelian and lapis lazuli" bracelets found on the mummy of Shoshenq II. The Wedjat "was intended to protect the pharaoh in the afterlife" and to ward off evil.

Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern sailors would frequently paint the symbol on the bow of their vessel to ensure safe sea travel.

From: Wikipedia

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Eye As A Symbol

The symbolism of the eye occurs in so many places and in so many different forms that its pervasiveness symbolizes the "All Seeing Eye" itself. The eye is closely associated with the idea of light and of the spirit, and is often called the "mirror of the soul." When a person dies one of the first things that is done is that the eyes are closed, a timeless gesture that signifies the departure of the essence of life. Generally, the right eye is considered to be the eye of the sun, the left, that of the moon.

The eye represents the "god within," for example as the "third eye" whose position is designated by the small dot called the bindhu above and between the actual eyes. The Buddha is always depicted with this third eye. Here, the eye signifies the higher self, the part of man's consciousness that is ego-free and can guide and direct him. whereas the eyes are organs of outward vision, this "eye of wisdom" directs its view internally as the "eye of dharma" or the "eye of the heart."

As an occult symbol, the unlidded eye has its origins as the symbol of the Egyptian Goddess of Truth, Maat, whose name was synonymous with the verb "to see"; therefore the concepts of truth and vision were closely aligned.

The same eye symbol appears as the "eye or Horus," or Udjat. This stylized eye, with a brow above and featuring a curlicue underneath, represents the omnipresent vision of the Sun God Horus, and is a prominent symbol within the Western magical tradition where it represents, among other things, secret or occult wisdom. This eye was painted on the sides of Egyptian funerary caskets in the hope that it would enable the corpse to see its way through the journey to the Afterlife.

In Celtic magical lore, too, the eye equated with the Sun, and the planet and the eye shared the same name, Sul.

the All Seeing Eye, the eye within a triangle with rays emanating from the lower lid, is used not only in Freemasonry (where it stands for the "Great Architect of the Universe," for external vision, and also for inner vision and spiritual watchfulness) but in Christian symbolism too.

The eye symbol is used as a charm, painted on the sides of humble fishing boats, in order to protect the boat from the evil eye and to somehow confer this inanimate object with the power of sight of its own, a notion which follows exactly the same reasoning behind the practice of the Egyptians painting eyes on the coffins of their dead.

Belief in the evil eye is ancient, referred to in Babylonian texts dating back to 3.000 years before Christ. This is the idea that some people can curse an object (or a person) simply by the act of looking, as though the eye itself can direct a malevolent thought. It is a mark of the profound belief in the concept of the evil eye that there are so very many charms said to protect against it.

 From: Element Encyclopedia of Signs and Symbols

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Yogi of Harmony

When the mind of the Yogi is in harmony and finds rest in the Spirit within, 
all restless desires gone, then he is a Yukta, one with God.

Then his soul is a lamp whose light is steady, 
for it burns in a shelter where no winds come.  ...

He sees himself in the heart of all beings and he sees all beings in his heart.  
This is the vision of the Yogi of harmony, 
a vision which is ever one.

~Bhagavad Gita

Friday, August 23, 2013

Visiting Enso Art by Casey Shannon

Enso One
Here's a nice collection of Zen Enso Art 

Enso Spring
Enso Willow Bud
Camel River Peace
Enso Kaori
Sudden Enlightenment One
Enso Snow
Enso Aven
Enso Sudden Enlightenment

Thursday, August 22, 2013

All These Forms

The following song, by the Tibetan teacher Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, advises us - in the face of the arising and dissolving of myriad forms - to "just let go, and go where no mind goes."

All These Forms 

All these forms - appearance emptiness
Like a rainbow with its shining glow
In the reaches of appearance emptiness
Just let go and go where no mind goes

Every sound is sound and emptiness
Like the sound of an echo's roll
In the reaches of sound and emptiness
Just let go and go where no mind goes

Every feeling is bliss and emptiness
Way beyond what words can show
In the reaches of bliss and emptiness
Just let go and go where no mind goes

All awareness - awareness emptiness
Way beyond what thought can know
In the reaches of appearance emptiness
Let awareness go - oh, where no mind goes

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bamboo Enso by Deiryu

Leaf after leaf in the pure wind,
As I see you off at the gate, there are tall bamboo.
Just for you, their leaves are raising a pure wind.

Deiryu (1895-1954)

This Deiryu enso was made with a dry brush in pale gray ink. The ink has pooled beyond the lines of the enso, giving it a soft quality. The bamboo in the center may illustrate the strength and flexibility of emptiness (often the enso's center); Zen people believe this is the ground of all life.

Daruma Enso by Nakagawa Soen

Not one moment of hurry,
Not one wasted breath,
This, this is
The natural Zen state of being!


by Nakagawa Soen (1907-1984)
Mitta was Soen's Zen master name.

This wonderful Zenga is combination moon-mind enso, wall-gazing Daruma,  self-portrait, and Dharma talk. The inscription sums up Soen's Zen teaching--so simple to say, so hard to do. It is an inspiring and instructive work of Zen art.

About the Artist

Zany Nakagawa Soen was one of the pioneers of Zen in the United States. He was abbot of Ryutaku-ji in Japan where a number of prominent Western Zen elders trained, and Soen also visited the United States on a number of occasions. Soen was extremely unconventional leading students out of the meditation hall to dance together beneath the moon, installing a pumpkin in the abbot's seat, conducting "tea ceremonies" with instant coffee and Styrofoam cups, cracking jokes during his Zen talks and thus somewhat controversial. Nevertheless, Soen was an excellent poet and accomplished Zen artist.

Enso by Miura Joten

Within not one thing are inexhaustible treasures--
there are flowers, there is the moon, there are pleasure pavillions.

~The old fellow Hekiun
of Matsushima.*

Enso by Miura Joten (1872-1958)

Hekiun was Joten's Zen master name; Matsushima is the location of Zuigan-ji, the temple where Joten served as abbot.

This is a "not one thing" enso with  the often used inscription that tells us :"Yes, all things are empty, but that does not mean nothing exists--the world is full of delights that we should enjoy but not cling to." Joten was quite skilled with a brush, and did many interesting and unusual Zenga during  his long life. This is a fine example of his work.

About the Artist

Miura Joten was long-time abbot of Zuigan-ji in Matsushima, and also served as Primate of the Myoshin-ji branch of Rinzai Zen. Joten was a prolific and creative Zen artist

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Collection of Zen Enso Art

Belonging to Zen Buddhism, the Enso is a circle, drawn quickly and simply with a brush stroke although years of practice in the art of calligraphy are likely to have preceded the ease with which the symbol can be drawn. The Enso symbolizes eternity, the perfect meditative state, the "no thing," and enlightenment.

What follows is a collection of Zen Enso Circles in a variety of styles and interpretations:

From: Darma Art Fragments
Toyokuni Toshidama
Prints of Japan
Dragon Enso
by Catherine Jao
Enso Blu
Zen Circle
From Misija Komunikacije
Enso Circle
Rainbow Enso
Found at Pics Box
Found at Body of Work
Zen Circle by Peter Cutler
Painting After John Cage

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