S.O.S.: Sacred Ocean Sanctuary

Sacred Ocean Sanctuary is a mystical call to reconnect our beingness to our deepest essential nature – as a conduit for the good, the sacred, and the beautiful.

S.O.S. is where I channel through the energy field of loving-kindness and healing awakening for humanity’s consciousness to rekindle sacred connection with the ocean planet – with the intentions of my paintings to become visual medicines for the soul where one can connect in contemplative meditation to regain the light of peace and stillness within… and it is my prayer.

Our local and global community has been deeply affected by waves of crisis inflicting the collective consiousness to fear. And our challenge is to co-create a counterforce to wash off the murkiness of it – and envelop our auric field with the sacred oceanic spirit.

May we unite our pledge to protect our sacred ocean — for our fluid, liquid, salt body was once cradled by the womb of the Mother Ocean.

All creation big or small are but part of the dots of constellation connected to the ocean. Let’s make our relationship with the ocean to be sacred. And nothing else.

My paintings echo the power and the healing vibration of the ocean. And may it expand and awaken the consciousness of every living being… and it is my prayer.

I am a drop of the ocean. As you are, too. We are One.


Acrylic, gold leaf on canvas | 16×16 inches | gallery wrap | 2018 – SOLD

Ocean Sanctuary: Sulu Deep Mystic

Sulu Deep is an ocean filled with mystery – and a birthing place of treasures of the sea. Located in the southwestern area of the Philippines, separated from the West Philippine Sea in the northwest by Palawan. It cradles the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park – one of the World Heritage Sites.

As I worked on this piece, I imagine swirling into the depths of the Sulu Sea and tune in to its energetic vibration – one of the sacred marine pockets of the planet.

According to Star Trek, the character Hikaru Sulu is named after the Sulu Sea. “The vision for Sulu was to represent all of Asia,” according to actor George Takei.    


Acrylic, gold leaf on canvas | 16×16 inches | gallery wrap | 2018 – SOLD

Ocean Sanctuary: Apo Reef Constellation

The reef constellation of Apo Island is ‘home to over 650 documented species of fish and where most of the Philippines’ 450 species of coral can be found’ and as such, its magnificence has become a dwelling place for diving – a hotspot for conservation within the Coral Triangle and where community-based marine protection began.

I visited Apo Island together with my sisters in the Skinni Tribe. It was a brief encounter of Her energy; and what struck me most was experiencing a vibrating echo of the land resisting over-capacity of recreation. I had to question myself what it means… I wonder why.

This painting answers the question. For the island inhabitants and dwellers to remember to always come into sacred connection with the sea.   


 

Acrylic, gold leaf on canvas | 16×16 inches | gallery wrap | 2018

Ocean Sanctuary: Magwayen, Bisayan Goddess of the Sea

Legend has it that Magwayen, the Bisayan goddess of the Sea is “nurturing, calming, and a provider of abundant fish and seafoods, but is also known to be tempestuous when she gets angry”. She is also the entity that ferries the soul to transition in the afterlife from the living world.

It’s totally a reflection of the sea with the emotions we feel as human beings. We are made of fluid, liquid salt of the sea… and it makes us resonate strongly with the ocean – where it can cleanse our body, auric field, and soul… and reclaim our tears for peace and healing.

I align with the Feminine Divinity of the ocean… full of grace and raging beauty. It influences the flow of my work… the splatter and swirl of the paints… the meditative state of dotting constellations of entity and igniting the spirit of the goddess of the Sea.


Acrylic, gold leaf on canvas | 16×16 inches | gallery wrap | 2018

Ocean Sanctuary: Sea Infinity

See infinity beyond the horizon of the sea. There is an infinite, expansive freedom when we are by the edge of the sea looking ahead to the ever-distant space of the universe – the thin layer between the sky and the sea.

Sacred Ocean Sanctuary is held in the infinite creative process of being a vessel to reinstate in the human consciousness and conscience the sacred value of the sea.

It is my intention that my artwork reminds us of the sacred beauty of the sea. We are never apart. We are One.


Acrylic, gold leaf on canvas | 16×16 inches | gallery wrap | 2018

Ocean Sanctuary: Una Stella Delphinus

Delphinus is a constellation in the celestial wonder of the night sky. In a way, it mirrors the lightness of being of these playful, intelligent, gentle creatures. As a “Spiritual Animal”, it represents “harmony and balance” with a deeper inner strength. They trust their instincts and intuition rather than overthinking; they also symbolize protection and pure, enlightened consciousness.

As I painted this work, I attuned to the higher realm of consciousness streaming along the echo of dolphin soundwaves that magnify harmony and balance all over the sacred ocean, all over the planet.

From the sea and up to the celestial sphere, the dolphins remain a spirit guide for humans to connect.


Acrylic, gold leaf on canvas | 16×16 inches | gallery wrap | 2018

Ocean Sanctuary: Lumba-lumba Rhythms

Lumba-lumba is Bisayan word for dolphins; and it is such a dynamic word because it literally means “swift race” – just as the dolphins race along the bow of the boat and gliding along the rolling wave being playful in the midst of things. These creatures have such healing qualities in them – the smile, the intelligence, and the pure innocence of freedom.

I paint freely and instinctively that somehow the figures of the racing dolphins appear on the canvas. I’m always surprised but it brings a smile to my face and pure joy all over my being. I breathe as the dolphins to align my Soul-Spirit.


Acrylic, gold leaf on canvas | 30×30 inches | gallery wrap | 2018 – SOLD

Ocean Sanctuary: Tañon Strait Deep Kaleidoscope

Tañon Strait is home to 11 known species of whales and dolphins. It is a protected seascape located between the island of Negros and Cebu; and connecting the Visayan Sea in the north to the Bohol Sea in the south.

I remember swimming in its turquoise water at the sandbar in Manjuyod and feeling the embrace of both energies of the islands surrounding it. Knowing that it’s a playground for our marine mammal friends, I sensed that their joyful playfulness reverberates the healing power of the liquid salt of the strait.

May we always stand with our marine mammal fellows.


Acrylic, gold leaf on canvas | 30×30 inches | gallery wrap | 2018 – SOLD

Ocean Sanctuary: Visayan Sea Trinity Swirl

The Visayan Sea is a rich fishing ground – known for pelagic fisheries including the plentiful group of fishes like the herrings, mackerels, and sardines. And I heard of it as being a playground for thresher sharks.

I may be a long way away painting this piece yet I hear the vibrational texture of the land and the sea – the whirling breeze, the lapping waves, foamy surf bubbles, swaying rustle of coconut leaves, and cheerful laughter of island children.

And it’s all the more I wish everyone to advocate solid actions to protect this sacred and bountiful pocket. Count me in.    


Acrylic, gold leaf on canvas | 30×30 inches | gallery wrap | 2018 – SOLD

Ocean Sanctuary: Luna Mare Tranquillitatis (Sea of Tranquility)

Inspired by one of the craters of the moon dubbed as “Sea of Tranquility”, this painting is centered with the Divine Feminine energy resonating from its mystical frequency.

The lunar entity has strong affinity with the feminine energy considering how it affects the rhythm and the psyche of women. It also magnifies a strong gravitational effect with the sacred ocean. With the moon and ocean energy fused together, it can cradle emotional depth that is navigable through trust and surrender within one’s Higher Consciousness.

This source of light illumination blends a perfect balance for the life of the Ocean Earth.


Acrylic, gold leaf on canvas | 30×30 inches | gallery wrap | 2018 – SOLD

Ocean Sanctuary: Sea Cathedral – Las Marianas Trench

The mystery within the depths of the deepest natural point on the Ocean planet indicates a depth in humility when one can humbly reflect on the magnificence of creation.

Its magnanimous terrain is a sacred dwelling cathedral for anonymous creatures waiting to be discovered. It’s a living trench which pulsates the beating core of the earth.

My painting is but a speck of the entirety of it and yet this work honors the great wonder. Its vibration ripples the strength and grace of the sacred ocean… and this work is but a spark of it.


Acrylic, gold leaf on canvas | 36 x 49 inches (horizontal) | gallery wrap | 2018 (Click image to enlarge)

Ocean Sanctuary: Azul Amor Pacifica Las Filipinas (Philippine Blue Pacific Love)

Living in the archipelagic country of the Philippines, each island is embraced by its pacific blue water. From the air, one can see the hues of blue that echoes the vibrancy of life in its tropical waters while stories of adventures and mysteries still remain in the treasure trove within the hearts of the Filipino people.

Coming from the Australian shore, I lived life close to the coast and have witnessed the murmurings of the tidal flow which has influenced the immemorial cycle of the highs and the lows of life’s experience. 

And my life in the Philippines has brought a deeper discovery of how the sea is an important resource for life and livelihood for many; that when people dance in its rhythm and poetry, the sea opens its abundance; when people give sacred care to it, peace and harmony will triumph. 

As I was flowing in the mood of painting this piece, I felt the vastness of the Pacific – the expanse of the Philippine Rise and how it cradles the 7,107 island’s of this country. And each dot recalls the markings of gratitude of my creative journey thus far.   


 

PRICES

If you wish to invest on the pieces, these are the following prices:

16 x 16 inches works – US$200 each

30 x 30 inches works – US$450 each

36 x 49 inches works – US$535 each

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Shipping cost not included. Paintings can be rolled for easy shipping.  

For inquiries, please email managing curator Ra’z – razceljan@gmail.com

Soundtrack by Adam Dunning‘s online music program Sun Lounge Radio

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Vulva: A Sacred Miracle Portal

“I was there in the room…”

On the evening of Global Hearts Day, I am about to perform on stage in front of an audience of around 500 people, a piece from Eve Ensler’s award winning play The Vagina Monologues for the Dumaguete VDay event held in the Silliman University’s Luce Auditorium and organized by the VDay Dumaguete Chapter in its 14th year.

Having never performed on stage before it would have been so easy to decline the invitation, but having affirmed to myself in a moment of insightful inspiration I will say ‘YES’ to any invite that invokes an immediate fear based ‘NO WAY’ when asked of me, I reluctantly agree to take on the challenge; although I must confess it takes nearly three weeks before responding to the invitation pretending I hadn’t received it.

Being in my sixties, the biggest challenge I face is remembering my lines and my biggest fear is becoming stage-struck – forgetting my lines and being frozen in the moment in front of a sea of faces.

I memorize each verse little by little but get confused often with the repeated words at the start of each verse, ‘I was there!’

The last verse of the monologue, ‘I was there in the room. I remember’, triggers within me the remembrance of when “I ‘was’ there!”

elle vday 2016 001

‘I ‘was’ there in the Room!’

In the August of 2010 at a birthing sanctuary in Banjar Nyuh Kuning, Bali, Indonesia, I first meet Robin Lim who is affectionately known as Ibu Robin (Ibu means ‘mother’ in Bahasa Indonesia). She is the founder of Yayasan Bumi Sehat —a small, compassionate but impactful ‘natural birthing centre and clinic’.

I feel I am guided by Spirit this morning to be here at Bumi Sehat and on arrival I am immediately greeted by Ibu Robin with, “Oh great, you’re here! I want you to do some writing for me.” This puzzles me as I initially volunteer to help out in the paediatric clinic. I follow her quick pace sensing an urgency in her voice.

On entering through what I perceive an office door, I am immediately stopped in my tracks. From a place of shocked stillness, I am stunned to see a beautiful young Balinese woman laying on top of a massage table, naked from the waist down, knees bent up, legs open and spread wide – in the midst of giving birth. Two midwives are in attendance, a mature Balinese woman and a youngish Australian midwife trainee volunteer. The husband is there handsomely dressed in his temple ceremonial clothes, standing anxiously beside his wife in the throes of childbirth.

Ibu Robin turns towards me and with a voice of authority and pointing to a small red plastic chair next to the table says, “You’re the Spiritual Midwife! Now, sit!”

Her strange words have a huge impact on my overall state of being and I feel a surge of powerful but somehow gentle energy descend into my body sending waves of electrified currents up and down my spine, jolting me from my numbed out state.

I obediently sit and pray for guidance and healing. Then feeling moved to stand from sitting in this uncomfortable red chair direct eye contact is now possible with Ketut, this soon to be mother for the very first time.

Without losing eye contact her right hand reaches out to me, my left hand  responds and our palms come together in sync as if magnetized, our fingers clasp, locking us in oneness – in a sacred union of sisterhood trust.

No words are spoken. The verbal language barrier is not an issue for we are communicating beautifully through the eyes of our hearts. But as the contractions intensify along with the beads of sweat oozing out all her pores, I am astounded – she does not make one sound. Not one! Not even a slight whimper.

The only time I leave her side is to dampen my batik scarf to wipe the perspiration; droplets that are now seeping into small streams trickling out the pores of her beautiful youthful skin.

And as Eve Ensler so brilliantly expresses in The Vagina Monologues, her own experience of ‘I Was There in the Room’ for the birth of her granddaughter:

I Was There In the Room’ also to experience the miraculous birthing process for the very first time with a complete stranger – or so it would seem to the unconscious physical mind. My belief is there are no mistakes or accidents; only Holy perfection…

 I saw the midwife:

with her whole hand up there in her vagina

I saw the colours of her vagina.  They changed.

Saw the bruised broken blue

the blistering tomato red

the grey pink, the dark;

saw the blood like perspiration along the edges…’

 Then I:

saw through the hole, the baby’s head

 scratches of black hair, saw it just there behind the bone’

And that’s when the room filled with a tear invoking lullaby sung spontaneously by the Balinese in the room to encourage and welcome this tiny miracle into this:

‘difficult, and wondrous world’.

 The singing continues until:

her vagina became a wide operatic mouth singing with all its strength; first the little head, then the grey flopping arm, then the fast swimming body, swimming quickly into our weeping arms.’

A beautiful baby boy, so angelic, so full of Light, his alertness gracing the room with his presence, so much so, everyone in the room is moved to tears feeling the fullness of the Love and Peace this tiny baby is emanating.

‘I stood and let myself see her all spread, completely exposed, mutilated, swollen and torn, bleeding all over’

the mid-wife’s hands who was skilfully stitching her there.

And still not one sound comes from Ketut’s quivering lips…

Eve Ensler ends this monologue with her experience of seeing the vagina as:

‘A wide red pulsing heart’ bringing our awareness to the similarities and capabilities of both the heart and the vagina.

Performing this piece is a powerful reminder that:

‘We forget the vagina, all of us

What else would explain

Our lack of awe, our lack of reverence.’

Ibu Robin and the Balinese culture express the same awe and reverence to the placenta – ask any Balinese, no matter what age, where their placenta is and they will share with you with much respect and sacredness where it is buried.

Drawing on this experience and reliving the birthing process certainly helped me tremendously, not just to memorize the lines but to deliver them with deep passion and authenticity.

My confidence grows after the first rehearsal when I am the only cast member to have memorized their script, without forgetting any lines, and receive after my delivery an encouraging round of applause.

I will note that the cast was ‘invitation only’ and most of us were first timers to perform in public. We were invited for our commitment and support with various advocacies in line with the VDay movement.

On the night of the big event, I really had to stay focused within my own energy field and not distract myself with the other emotionally charged performances. My piece was the second last on the program so I had several hours to wait, sitting dressed in my long white flowing outfit, with full make up professionally applied.

Fun photo shoot for the VDay posters.

Fun photo shoot for the VDay posters.

 

I breathe, recite my lines to the wall, or the sleeping guard on the stage door entrance and breathe some more. I chant, pull funny faces, and do stretching exercises all the while breathing deeply to keep myself relaxed.

I hear my name called to be wired up with the microphone and told to stand silently in the wings and wait for my cue.

My mouth is dry! I need some more water, but too late. I’m on!

Standing in the dark on a wooden platform centre stage, I anchor my bare feet into the surface to ground and balance myself.

The spotlight almost blinds me and ‘I am there’ sharing Eve Ensler’s words with my own emotional experience of ‘I Was There in the Room.’

 The applause is loud, the lights dime and I exit the stage feeling tremendous elation, exhilaration and dare I say ecstatic joy!

The directors give me the thumbs up and joining with the other cast members we celebrate each other for our courageous performances. We all stepped up and shone beautifully on the night.

On social media I was named as one of the top five performers – a reminder to rejoice and be grateful that someone saw my potential and offered the invitation, moving me beyond my own self-imposed limitations. What a gift!

So I will keep saying ‘Yes’ and ‘Thank You’ to all opportunities that come my way.

I feel honoured to have met personally both Eve Ensler and Robin Lim – two powerful women who exude the Strength and Grace needed to continue their Souls’ purpose and calling.

February was also National Arts month, and one of the Core Beliefs of the VDay Movement rings true: Art has the power to transform thinking and inspire people to act.

 

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Robin Libu robin lim by the bud magazineim’s passion and dedication to Midwifery is rewarded in 2011 when she becomes CNN Hero of the Year for her untiring services for all women, before, during and after the miracle of birthing a new born baby into this world.

She is also the author of several books and has published recently her book Placenta – The Forgotten Chakra. www.bumisehatfoundation.org

Eve Ensler along with “others launched V-Day in 1998, a global non-profit movement that has raised over $100 million for groups working to end violence against women and girls, through the benefits of The Vagina Monologues.” www.vday.org

eve ensler in dumaguete

Eve Ensler receiving the handmade vulvanic skirt made by Raz as a gift from the VDay Dumaguete team in December 2012. Photo: RV Escatron

(Please Note: The prose italicize and included between inverted commas are part of the monologue ‘I Was There in the Room’ taken from ‘The Vagina Monologues’ written by Eve Ensler. )

 

Silliman University Luce Auditorium | Photo by Dennis Futalan

Silliman University Luce Auditorium | Photo by Dennis Futalan

 

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A Whale of a Mystic Encounter

“‎Invite a dolphin or a whale to come along with you, They are great guides through the mystery.” ~ Rumi  

Rumi’s quote rings so true for me. I have experienced a very real mysterious connection, joining a mystical experience I had at the Aboriginal birthing site at Mala Puta, Uluru, and an encounter with a humpback whale, while on a Gold Coast whale watching cruise back in June 2012.

The vast contrast in location and culture, in my mind, is as far away as east is to west thus quashing any connection between these two places (Gold Coast and Uluru). On occasions, I remember the urgency I felt to visit the whales on my return to the coast, and laugh out loud, embarrassed by my eccentric weirdo behaviour when I was two nautical miles off shore on the afternoon cruise with Whales in Paradise. Read More

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Insight in Darkness

quoteIn the last blog that I posted titled “Reflections”, I ended by asking a very vital question: “Am I coming from a place of Fear or from a place of Love?” 

I ponder and live in this question constantly.

Upon returning to the Philippines in late December 2014 (from a two month visit to Australia), I have been living alone in the house I usually share with my partner, best friend, and beloved, Raz; on my own for weeks, sometimes more than a month at a time, has triggered on occasions one of my primal fears…

Being alone and not Belonging

Being alone on Christmas Day in Australia was a conscious choice that I felt guided to make and did not connect the dots until recently, that being here in the Philippines on my own for five and a half weeks leading up to and including the Easter Holy Week was for my healing and growth. Read More