It was a wonderful experience to visit the Five Dhyāni Buddhas in Paubhā, the Sacred Painting of Nepal course at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts on 19 February 2016. The course, which took place from 15 – 19 February was taught by visiting Master painter Dr Renuka Gurung and supported by the Bagri Foundation. As soon as you entered the room, there was an atmosphere of tranquility as the students quietly worked while listening to meditative Buddhist music. It was interesting to talk to the students who relayed that each class started with meditation and they loved how the course not only introduced them to the techniques of Paubhā painting but also the practices of the ancient tradition. One described the course as “transformative”.
Dr Gurung explained that ‘Paubhā painting represents the rich ancient cultural heritage of the indigenous Newari community of the Kathmandu valley in Nepal’. The practice begins with prayers given to the paints as they’re prepared to ‘breathing life’ into painting of the Buddha when it is complete. Dr Gurung explained that you only paint the Buddha’s eyes once everything else is complete; once the eyes are open, you transfer energy into the image. Find out more about Paubhā painting and Dr Gurung’s work here: