Spiritual Pilgrimage on the Dakini Map: An Illustrated Talk

Join us to hear about the Spiritual Pilgrimage several members of the community took with master artist and teacher Cynthia Moku earlier this summer to visit sacred places that comprise the Dakini Map she created.

Cynthia Moku is a dear friend of the Earth Journey community, and artist of the Buddhist imagery on the interior of the Earth Journey Kagyu Mila Guru Stupa on our campus.

The KMG Stupa is one of the locations on the Dakini Map and was therefore on the pilgrimage route.

Read more about the Dakini Map here.

We will gather at the home of Lynn Gitter, 32 Quintana Road, adjacent to the Meditation Temple, at 5 pm on Sunday, September 22. Cynthia will show images from this project and the trip. Lynn Gitter and Charles Dillon will also share their experiences.

Contact Martha at 575 776-7579 for more information or if you need directions.

 Photo by MIchael Gay
Photo by MIchael Gay


Painting in contemporary and traditional formats, Cynthia has completed large-scale art projects associated with the Himalayan Buddhist tradition for more than forty years. This includes interior mural painting projects for three major public stupas in the United States; Enlightenment Stupa, Sante Fe NM; Kagyu Mila Guru Stupa, Taos NM; Great Stupa of Dharmakaya, Shambhala Mountain Center CO.

In the late 1960s, as an art student in the Academies of San Francisco, she trained in Western painting and drawing disciplines including technique, theory, and graphic design. During this cultural and spiritually stimulating time, Eastern art forms captured her attention. The specific techniques and scope of philosophical understanding held within these artistic traditions provided an untapped medium through which to articulate her work.

Pursuing this interest and continuing her training in meditation, in 1973 she met the renowned meditation master, Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche (1905-1989). Under his prompting and instruction, Cynthia began a life-long study, meditation training, and practice in the art of the emblematic illustrated dharma. Commissioned by both Tibetan and American spiritual teachers, her paintings reside across the globe. This includes the seminal painting of the Protector Chagdrukpa Mahakala, acquired by the Denver Art Museum. Consecrated by HH the XIV Dalai Lama, this piece has the distinction of being the first thangka painting in the Karma Ghadri style acquired by a major American museum for its permanent collection, stating country of origin, The United States of America.

Along with her artwork, she has taught meditation and contemplative art disciplines in both the Unites States and Europe, including designing and developing Naropa University’s Bachelor of Arts Degree in the Visual Arts.

Cynthia’s contemporary ink-art paintings reflect her unique and singular training in Japanese calligraphy under two great Japanese Brush masters, Eichi Okamoto Sensei and Zen Master, Kobun Chino Otogawa Roshi (1938-2002). Since then, Cynthia has developed the Indelible Presence Brush practices done within meditation retreats. Stemming from these reflexive practices, “One Continuous Gesture” is a performance art group brush session, with the intention of connecting wisdom traditions and local communities through the Arts.