The Spirituality and Symbolism of Buddhist Art: Background information when reading Blue Sky Kingdom

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Blue Sky Kingdom

An Epic Family Journey to the Heart of the Himalaya

by Bruce Kirkby

Blue Sky Kingdom by Bruce Kirkby X
Blue Sky Kingdom by Bruce Kirkby
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    Oct 2020, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jane McCormack
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The Spirituality and Symbolism of Buddhist Art

This article relates to Blue Sky Kingdom

In today's world, art therapy has become an increasingly popular option. According to the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), this experiential treatment "is used to improve cognitive and sensorimotor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress, and advance societal and ecological change." Yet the cathartic qualities of art are ancient. Buddhist monks frequently use art for similar purposes in their rituals.

In Blue Sky Kingdom, Bruce Kirkby describes the painstakingly slow and exacting process of making a mandala — an extraordinarily intricate painting created from colored sand, in this instance to honor the harvest. Lamas are each assigned a quadrant after studying complicated plans and must match the colors exactly. The work is so exacting that, as Kirkby notes, "even a few errant grains could induce a catastrophic unravelling." Monks use a long ...

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