Ekabhumi Ellik on Sacred Art (#97)

About the Guest:

Ekabhumi Charles Ellik is an award-winning poet, author, illustrator, yoga instructor and arts educator with 18 years of international teaching experience. Through a ritualized and meditative creative method, he makes artworks for ceremonial and educational use that help people deepen their spiritual practice, recognize the divinity of common experiences, and find meaning in the beauty of our world. His artworks may be found in yoga studios, private homes, and on altars around the world. He is currently part of the core faculty of livingsanskrit.com.

His name was given by his first guru during a formal initiation ceremony into a tantric yoga lineage in 2005. Since that time, he has studied with many spiritual teachers and traditional artists both in India and the States. His art teachers include eminent western figurative painters like Domenic Cretara, as well as Newar artist Dinesh Charan Shrestha, Bikanir-style miniature painter Mahaveer Swami, Thangka painter Andy Weber, and yantra painter Mavis Gewant.

Ekabhumi’s writing and artwork has been published widely, appearing in anthologies and journals like The Poetry of Yoga, Berkeley Fiction Review, and Pearl, as well as books like Shiva’s Trident by Swami Khecharanatha, Tantra Illuminated by Christopher Hareesh Wallis and Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton. His instructional Shakti Coloring Book and the uplifting Bhakti Coloring Book are now available world-wide from Sounds True Press.

Though his first love is the arts, he has a wide range of interests that are reflected in his many past occupations: event producer, stock options broker, handyman, journalist, ski boot fitter, competitive surfer and champion sailor. He toured internationally as a performance poet, and the poets he coached won numerous regional and national titles. He facilitated writers’ groups, hosted poetry readings, and organized spoken-word festivals for nearly 20 years, culminating in the acclaimed 2009 Individual World Poetry Slam.

Ekabhumi is an inspiring, playful yet methodical teacher who helps students cultivate deeper intuitive states. For nearly two decades, he variously taught yoga, painting, public speaking, and creative writing to students ranging from kindergarten to post-graduate level. Much of his time is now spent creating educational material about interpreting, making, and utilizing sacred art of the dharma traditions. On weekends, he can be found in his garden practicing silence and learning directly from Nature.

In this episode, we discuss:

  1. What is a deity and the spectrum of deities
  2. Different ways to approach deities (as a person with whom you have a personal relationship or an impersonal supreme that is beyond names and forms)
  3. The role of sacred art in nourishing our spiritual nature
  4. How to discern which type of sacred art to use
  5. Eka’s recent work on altars and having a place of divinity in your home
  6. What a simple deity altar would include
  7. Main misrepresentations and appropriations and why this matters as a practitioner
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