Chintamani II ~ The Jewel the Fell from the Stars


The Life Within by Lidia Kenig Scher
The Life Within by Lidia Kenig Scher (c)

How would you like to possess a magical jewel to help you fulfill your most cherished wishes? Well…you can have such jewel, it is not hard to find and although the journey maybe difficult, you don’t have to move from your home to have it!

According to Buddhist iconography, a magical wish-fulfilling stone fell from the stars long ago, and landed in Tibet where the ancient monks identified it as a jewel of amazing spiritual power. They called it Chintamani. Chinta means thought in Sanskrit and mani means stone. Its power was considered so great, but so potentially disastrous, that the monks ultimately sent it to the mystical, hidden city of Shambhala where it would be guarded by a wrathful deity called Mahakala said to be able to transform into seventy-five ferocious shapes to truly paralyze those with ignoble intentions. Actually Mahakala is the guardian of the Buddhist path of wisdom and compassion; humanity’s true source of wealth and prosperity.

Chintamani as the wish-fulfilling jewel, is the luminous pearl that once we see it, enables us to access the truth resting within our pure and loving heart. A close relative of the Philosopher’s Stone, Chintamani is a symbol for three of the most important qualities we can live by: wisdom, compassion, and courage. Practicing these virtues will lead to a successful, happy, fulfilled and abundant life. This jewel resides deep within us, but the journey to uncover it is sometimes arduous. Mahakala is there to teach us to have the courage to conquer our fears, dismantle the house that ego built and live life guided by our hearts; the source of our infinite connection to the truth of All.

In this watercolor and mixed media painting, called The Life Within-Chintamani II, I depict the very essence of these three qualities as a tool for contemplation. Wisdom implies awareness of what brings us true happiness. Like the “fish” in the painting, we go through the water of life with our heads down and focused only on ourselves and our petty needs. We behave in the same way and get the same unfulfilling results. We crave new things, new loves, and new happiness and believe that these transient attachments will deliver eternal joy. In experiencing pain, we apply old remedies. Buddhism calls it traveling the ocean of Samsara, where we collect the karma that we carry throughout our existence.

One day we discover a pearl (a jewel). It is something we’ve felt many times and chose not to notice. It may be a time when we experienced someone else’s suffering and were moved to alleviate the other’s pain. Maybe their pain appeared deeper, larger or more important than ours. As the other healed, we noticed that we too were healed. We felt happy, useful, grateful to have discovered this previously unknown feeling of excitement and were changed by it. It is in this noticing that we first experience the wisdom of a loving and kind heart. We learn that in helping others to heal their wounds, they can now heal others, in fact they can build large healed societies where everyone (or many people) is aware of this more sustaining kind of happiness. We recognize Shambhala and it is called Compassion. In the painting is depicted as the jewel unraveling it upwards.

Courage comes into play when we acknowledge fear yet make decisions from a place of love and kindness, intending to benefit all. Our behavior encourages others to access their own wisdom and compassion. We relinquish attachments based on preserving relationships, looks, ideas, or beliefs, and begin to live in the present moment, taking each event, each encounter and each circumstance as it really is, in the now and subject to change. We see the jewel; our trusting relationship to ourselves and our truth. This is the wish-granting jewel, that is always within and is fiercely guarded by an awakened heart-mind. The beautifully framed or unframed painting is available at The Life Within

Go ahead…get it and this week, take it on an adventure to find the magical wish granting jewel without going anywhere!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. These are beautiful paintings, this is a contemporary look at the relationship between image and wisdom

    1. Thank you, Nanri! I appreciate that you made the connection I intended.

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