The Gaze of the Guru
For those of you who love Padmasambhava... While sculpting him, I learned so much about Guru Rinpoche and his famous portrait--for a long time, I was simply overwhelmed about what to write. I felt that I was constantly confronted with the veils between the myths and the man. What I first dismissed as metaphor, sometimes brought me closer to the truth than I could have imagined.
In 2016, I was deeply honored to receive a commission to sculpt a Guru Rinpoche statue.
For his face and gaze, I was asked to study the "Looks Like Me" portrait of Guru Rinpoche in the form of Padmasambhava, known in Tibetan as the Guru Ngadrama.
It is widely held that the original was commissioned in the 8th century by King Trisong Deutsen, who had invited Guru Rinpoche to Tibet to remove persistent obstacles to the construction of Samye monastery.
Upon seeing the statue, Padmasambhava is said to have declared that the statue was a good likeness and blessed it, saying "This statue looks like me, ...and now it is the same as me."