Kodo Daishi #3. This is a single brush stroke dragon painting. It is from a tradition that was taught to me by my grandfather Roshi Daiensai Richard Kirsten who learned it from Roshi Kendo Khani a Yamabushi Mountain priest.
My Richard Daiensai passed the tradition on to my father and me and said we were holding the single brush stroke dragon/serpent painting tradition. These were used as talismans in rural japan, and were believed to have spiritual power.
The folk lore suggested that they had the ability to ward off harm from earthquake, plagues, tidal waves and other effects that were the results of serpent beings acting with ill will towards humans.
Because serpent beings are guardians of the underworld it is also believed that possessing one of these single brush-stroke serpent images would help one accumulate treasure.
I have been painting them for 20 years now, but because the very specific style of paper I used stopped being manufactured 5 years ago, it has been 3 years since I have painted one. This is my first painting since that hiatus.
Although my grandfather did not mention this, in reading Marsilio Ficino I came across a passage where he said “the ancient sages created snake images during the time of the serpent which were said to imbue them with powers to heal and protect. “
Thus I have taken to producing the serpents when the Luminaries are in the sign of Ophiuchus. I use water gathered from springs which are sacred to the serpent beings. This is especially the case of hot springs and springs from volcanic mountains.
I can attest that a local coffee shop I gave one to had no employee become sick from covid during the entire pandemic. That is probably a coincidence.
I can also attest that a few houses that have had these had no earthquake damage having gone through a 6.8 in Humboldt. county in 2014, that was probably a coincidence too. This is one of Khendo Khani’s serpent paintings.
Daiensai Kirsten was one of the first Westerners to be ordained a Roshi, given the tradition of the Single stroke serpent Paintings as well as certified as an I Ching Priest in Japan. This is one of his paintings.
Before Painting the Sacred Serpent the tradition requires the chanting of the heart sutra, the core mantra being Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Soha. The serpent beings gave this sutra to the Noble Nagarjuna, who then gave it to the world. In addition the play of black and white ink against the white paper reminds us as we view the serpents of the dynamic exchange of Form and Emptiness that is the true ongoing experience of reality.
When my Grandfather Richard Daiensai Kirsten was dying, I told him I could have Pujas done to help him go to Dewachen (Amitabhas Purerealm/heaven) and he told me under no circumstance to do that. He wanted to be reborn on earth to keep benefiting beings. I took this as a real sign of his spiritual strength.
When you order an astrology reading, you can receive your own original serpent painting with the reading. Select the reading with the Serpent painting for an astrology reading and painting sent to you. Other wise these 13×19 paintings are 300$ and larger sizes are available by private order.