Wool warp, wool and silk natural white and hand-dyed weft
   Eccentric weft weave, Navajo wedgeweave 
   36 by 110 inches (each panel 36 by 35 inches)

"Consciousness Only,”—the very title of an extension course offered by the Dharma Realm Buddhist University near where I live in Mendocino County grabbed my attention, and my interest only increased as we delved into the “Thirty Verses on Consciousness Only,” written in Sanskrit by an Indian monk in the second century CE and translated into Chinese by a Chinese monk of the seventh century, who added hundreds of pages of commentary, all of which we read in a modern English translation. Briefly, the term refers to the notion that all we can know of ourselves or the world around us is what our senses perceive and our minds interpret. The verses and commentaries detail the psychological mechanisms of how this situation comes about and what we can do about or with it.

Something about the very detailed step-by-step explication exerted on me the same fascination that weaving does, where I proceed row by row with wool and silk yarns to build up my tapestries. Predictably, my interest manifested in actual weaving, eventually resulting in this tapestry comprising three panels, each about one yard square. The weaving took a long time (December 2019 to April 2022, which included the covid lockdown), affording many hours of meditation on both weaving and Consciousness Only.

I wove with wool warp at 6 epi and hand-dyed and natural white wool and silk wefts with a continuous warp on a Navajo-style loom. The triangles and swirls and birds relate to the text, but the finished work must stand on its own. I will add that the glyphs angling across two panels come from early neolithic ceramic spindle whorls from Southeastern Europe, their meaning undeciphered, but presumed to be spiritual in nature but related to weaving and probably made by women. The three dancing/praying figures are from neolithic rock art in Spain. I see these as remnants we can no longer clearly make out of the knowledge, understandings and beliefs of women in particular that antedate modern religions.