Wednesday, October 29, 2008


In creating the tutorial blog, I made some improvements to the Brighthawk Mandala as you can see here. I use the design of this Mandala as the basis of the Process blog.
It gives you an idea of how many variations one can create with these tools.
I want to give you the original, full length version of the Brighthawk poem. The visual image of the hawk and man came to me first. The poem came later. I recently rewrote the poem in a condensed form of 8 lines so that I could fit it with the mandala design.
City born, I walked the streets of sorrow.
Bound by concrete boxes and cages of steel;
A prisoner of thought, I must go
In search of whatever life will reveal.
City free, I followed the roads of loneliness;
I wrestled with vipers and struggled with myself.
Through shadows of despair, shone glimpses of expansiveness.
Country grown, I wandered barefoot on the land.
At home beside the the mountain stream,
Staring in awe across the desert sand.
Stumbling toward an unknown dream.
Brighthawk, sounds of a distant drum.
Brighthawk, through all my foolish years,
You waited patiently for me to come.
Your voice whispered softly in my ears.
Now with arms stretched wide
I stand against the sky of blue,
Calling to my spirit guide
For counsel sure and true.
Out of a purple cloud,
You hover over me
And speak the Word aloud
In answer to my plea.
As the mountain height
Trembles in mighty resonance,
I am bathed in golden light.
My flame begins to dance.
O Great Spirit, unseen behind the form,
I stand in the whirlwind of your truth;
My being caught in the storm,
The quickening shakes me from my youth.
My heart soars with the hawk,
As I'm lifted on those ancient wings.
With overflowing joy, I walk
Above the horizon, 'cross the threshold rings.
My mind flies with the hawk.
Wisdom of the elders, white buffalo;
Coyote, totem pole and cornstalk;
Sand painting, sage and Navajo.
My soul sails with the hawk
Past the glow of Jupiter and Neptune.
Cosmic mysteries of which I cannot talk,
Joining the dance of sun and moon.
I become the hawk, gliding over all,
Seeing praire give way to desert hills;
Watching as the river turns to waterfall.
Drink deep the wonder Earth instills.
Brighthawk, now I have your eyes to see.
Brighthawk, guide my steps as I begin
To live the vision born in me.
What will be flows from what has been.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Again, I painted this years ago, and just turned it into a mandala design. It is still a work in progress, and is the demonstration project I use in the how to blog Brightlight Mandalas Process.


This may not look like a mandala, but it fits because it is meant to be one of twelve elements in a grand zodiac mandala. The picture and accompanying poem are representations of Scorpio. I was born under that sign myself, so I started with it. I have sketches and poetry fragments toward the other eleven signs. I may not live long enough to complete it, but it is an idea that has been brewing in me for thirty years.
To read the poem and read more detail about the symbolism, go to Nightblooming Cards.


I drew the pair of pandas in pen and ink some twelve years ago. I recently digitized them and turned them into another mandala. I think they would make a good t shirt design. The design also works for cards or prints.


I created this as a Christmas card design although I have avoided specifically Christian symbols so that it can have a wider applicability as a holiday card. I am always looking for ways to unify rather than divide. Certainly, the world needs that right now.


Again, I painted the original of this years ago. When I went to redo it on the computer, I was stuck until I got the idea to turn it into a mandala. Although it was not my intention at first, I ended up using a background made from a picture I took in Sedona. That is known as vortex country, so it fits well with the theme of this picture.
I always liked the concept behind this piece, I have never been happy with the execution. The original picture was quite ordinary, but I think the mandala design is a way of turning it into someting quite extraordinary.
The poem is a reaction to my Catholic upbringing. While I still have profound respect for much of the Catholic and Christian tradition, exposure to Eastern traditions has been very freeing. I know that many people have had the same experience.


This is the picture that started it all. I painted this in acrylics back in 1995. I recently digitized it and got the idea to go back and turn other old works into mandalas.
At Christmas of '94, I had no money with which to buy a friend a present, so I told him that I would do a painting of his choice. He asked for a picture of Babaji with a white lotus. The accompanying poem grew out of my struggle to come up with a suitable image for Babaji.
I had the little sketch in Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi, but that was not a lot to go on. I understood that Babaji goes in and out of incarnation at will. I figure he is also a shape shifter who can take on any form he wants. Since I couldn't come up with a single image that satisfied me, I turned to a circle with twelve images in a mandala design.
Resting in the lotus seat,
I summon your image to my mind.
Although I search and search again,
No form to hold you do I find.
From flash of golden light,
The great white lotus unfolds;
And you present yourself as twelve.
Spokes of the wheel my eye beholds.
Mandala of creation,
Shining circle of eternity.
I gaze upon the wondrous sight
Of twelve faces of Babaji.
In the silence of my thoughts,
You come as fire's purity.
Your eyes pierce me to my core;
I bow in naked humility.
O lord of heaven and earth,
In you are sun and moon.
Heat of summer and winter cold;
Fire of Mars and deep seas of Neptune.
I look and see the father stern;
Again, I know the gentle mother.
You dance with grace of gazelle,
But stalk with deadly strength of tiger.
Overwhelmed, I try to turn away,
But wherever I look, you are there.
Spinning, changing face of truth,
You show yourself as everywhere.
As the walls of limitation
Fall away before my timid eyes,
You reveal the glory behind
The mask of material disguise.
The twelve aspects of creative force;
Yin and yang, star, cross and om.
Ancient symbols of the One.
Wisdom keys to lead us home.
******************************************************************************************************************************************** I originally used a swastika that looks like the one the Nazis used, but which was also used by the Hopi, Buddhists and others. Due to objections to its use by Zazzle, I have revised the design to use an Aztec form of the swastika. The swastika is one of our oldest spiritual symbols, and has taken many forms around the world. I think of it as the cross in motion or with wings. Here is my new image.