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Gallery ~ Bodhisattva Altars ~ Story of the Altars

Inspired by her meditation practice and in response to great suffering in the world, Gibson makes a series of altars that focus on four Buddhist bodhisattvas. Taigen Daniel Leighton, in his book Bodhisattva Archetypes: Classic Buddhist Guides to Awakening and their Modern Expression, writes:

“Bodhisattvas are beings who are dedicated to the universal awakening or enlightenment of everyone. They exist as guides and providers of succor to suffering beings, and offer everyone an approach to meaningful spiritual life… A bodhisattva, as distinct from a Buddha, vows not to personally settle into the salvation of final buddhahood until she or he can assist all of the beings throughout the vast reaches of time and space to fully realize this liberated experience…”

The four Bodhisattvas Gibson honors in this series are Avalokiteshvara, Manjushrib Samantabadhra, and Kshitibarba. They represent qualities Gibson cherishes during this time of turmoil and change: listening deeply, looking with unprejudiced eyes, practicing deep understanding, and acting with an open heart. Read the Text of Invocations.

For these pieces, she created a foundation of bamboo, split and hinged. She calligraphed on handmade paper the invocations to each bodhisattva (translated by the Vietnamese monk and Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh). Other natural materials used in these pieces are – bone, willow, stones – and the inside hollow is painted with encaustic wax colored with herbs and spices.

Bodhisattva Altars are available by commission.

Detail of Avalokiteshvara II Altar


Bodhisattva Gallery
Story of the Altars
Text of Invocations

Food Altar Gallery
Story of the Altars

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Dhuluaya Gallery
Apology Letter
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Past Work Gallery
Story of Past Work

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Ann Taylor Gibson    Conway, MA 01341
Photos of artwork by John Polack Photography, Easthampton, MA
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