Oil on Canvas (47 x 69 inches) 2004, Xiaoping Chen

This painting depicts a young woman doing the fifth exercise of Falun Gong, “Way of Strengthening Divine Powers.” The clear water and blue sky reflect her tranquility and give a feeling of her union with heaven while she meditates. The four “cultivated infants ” play amidst an energy field.

This is a self-portrait of the artist. She said she painted this to share a wonderful experience she had wile practicing Falun Gong´s fifth exercise sitting meditation. Falun Gong is cultivation practice. Cultivation is to nurture one´s nature and return to purity, also known as self-refinement. The method is to raise ones attainment level, improving your heart, moral, mind nature by vigorously striving to assimilate to what we believe to be the highest cosmic characteristics: Truthfulness (purity) Compassion (kindness) Forbearance (giving). This process of improv-ing one´s character is by giving up bad attachments, desires and dissolving karma, gradually attaining a clear mind and pure heart, which can enable one to reach a state of tranquility thus connecting with our true nature, this highest cosmic characteristic to be True, Good and Endure. In harmony with the earth and the universe as in this painting, she blends with the earth as seen in her blurred outline

One hand points out to the ocean, the other to the viewer, to draw you into the painting with her as she connects to the universe. The energy above her head is commonly known in eastern cultivation practices as three flowers rotating above the head. This is just one of the many different states that can be reached in cultivation, as everyone has their own unique path. The four babies playfully celebrating her achievement are called ying hei (Chinese cher-ubs); instead of angle wings they have these cute bathing suits. The three boys in red could represent Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance and the little girl repeat, Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance / Repeat – showing the cultivation method of constantly refining oneself, within these principles.