Archive for February, 2012

Dharmachakra in Sanskrit means the ‘Wheel of Dharma’. This mudra symbolizes one of the most important moments in the life of Buddha, the occasion when he preached to his companions the first sermon after his Enlightenment in the Deer Park at Sarnath. It thus denotes the setting into motion of the Wheel of the teaching of the Dharma.

In this mudra the thumb and index finger of both hands touch at their tips to form a circle. This circle represents the Wheel of Dharma, or in metaphysical terms, the union of method and wisdom.

The three remaining fingers of the two hands remain extended. These fingers are themselves rich in symbolic significance:

The three extended fingers of the right hand represent the three vehicles of the Buddha’s teachings, namely:

  • The middle finger represents the ‘hearers’ of the teachings
  • realizers’
  • The Little finger represents the Mahayana or ‘Great Vehicle’.

The three extended fingers of the left hand symbolize the Three Jewels of Buddhism, namely, the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

Significantly, in this mudra, the hands are held in front of the heart, symbolizing that these teachings are straight from the Buddha’s heart.

Varada mudra; Charity, Compassion

Posted On : February 21st, 2012 by admin

This mudra symbolizes charity, compassion and boon-granting. It is the mudra of the accomplishment of the wish to devote oneself to human salvation. It is nearly always made with the left hand, and can be made with the arm hanging naturally at the side of the body, the palm of the open hand facing forward, and the fingers extended.

The five extended fingers in this mudra symbolize the following five perfections:

  • Generosity
  • Morality
  • Patience
  • Effort
  • Meditative Concentration

This mudra is rarely used alone, but usually in combination with another made with the right hand, often the Abhaya mudra (described below). This combination of Abhaya and Varada mudras is called Segan Semui-in or Yogan Semui-in in Japan.

Lord Buddha the Enlightened One

Posted On : February 21st, 2012 by admin

The Buddha, whose original name was Siddhartha Gautama, was the founder of Buddhism, the religion and the philosophical system that produced a great culture throughout much of southern and eastern Asia. Buddha, meaning “awakened one” or “enlightened one” is a title not a name. In Hindu Dogma, the Buddha is viewed as being the 9th avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu.

The Buddha was a son of the rulers Sakyas. He was married at the age of 16 and lived in luxury and comfort sheltered from the harsh realities of life. When he was 29 he realized that men are subject to old age, sickness and death. He became aware of the suffering inherent in existence. He resolved to give up princely life and become a wandering ascetic (samana) in search for the Truth.

With the two of samanas he attained mystical states of elevated consciousness but he failed to find the Truth. He continued his search and was joined by five ascetics in a grove near Uruvela, where he practiced sever austerities and self-mortification for six years. When he fainted away in weakness, he abandoned ascetic practices to seek his own path to Enlightenment. Discarding the teachings of his contemporaries, through meditation he achieved Enlightenment, or ultimate understanding. There after the Buddha instructed his followers in the dharma (truth) and the “Middle Way” a path between worldly life and extremes of self-denial.

The essence of the Buddha’s early preaching was said to be the four Noble truths: 1) life is fundamentally disappointment and suffering. 2) suffering is a result of one’s desires for pleasure, power, and continued existence; 3) to stop disappointment and suffering on must stop desiring; and 4) the way to stop desiring and thus suffering is the Noble eight fold path – right views, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right awareness and right concentration. The realization of the truth of anatman (no eternal self) was taught as essential for the indescribable state of release called nirvana.

Buddha Statues: Way of Enlightenment

Posted On : February 21st, 2012 by admin

Buddhism is ubiquitous; it is a religious philosophy that has many followers worldwide. It is based on the ethics, enlightenment and compassion. The statues of Buddha represent the “enlightened one.” In today’s robotic life, when everyone is search of serenity and tranquility- Buddha statues comes as a great relief. Buddha statues and sculptures can be seen all around us, in the living area, office space and garden area to bring in the serenity in the house.

There’s a wide-variety of hand-carved Buddhist deities sculptures based on templates and standardized styles such as wooden happy buddha, hand carved sitting buddha, blessing buddha statues, meditating buddha statue, reclining buddha, siddhartha buddha, large thai buddha, buddha on lotus, serenity buddha, teaching buddha etc. Each statue is unique. There’s variation in carving, artisans flair and creativity. There are varieties of Buddhist statues and sculptures

Garden Buddha Statues:

They are made form a variety of materials including granite, stone, brass and bronze. People custom orders garden statues to enhance the exterior décor of Zen gardens and meditation gardens.

Buddha Statues

Posted On : February 20th, 2012 by admin

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Buddha Statues represent the “enlightened one”, the idol of the Buddhist religion. They are a symbol of Buddhism’s founder, Siddhartha Gautama, who preached that to attain Nirvana, a state without suffering, one must eliminate all craving from their life. This can only be done by pursuing the eightfold path.
There is an extensive amount of information on Buddhism at

The primary role of Buddha statues is to convey the calm feelings that reflect ones proper mental discipline as having the control over the negative emotions of fear and greed. However, Buddha statues also serve an important role in conveying teachings, particularly in traditional societies with low literacy rates.

While Buddha Statues come in a wide variety of poses, the most common is the Buddha in Lotus Position. This is a position of meditation that symbolizes perfect balance of thought and tranquility. In this statue, the hand positions, called mudra, have the fingers of the right hand resting lightly on the fingers of the left as they lay in the lap of Buddha. The legs are crossed in what is called the Lotus Position. The left foot is placed on the right thigh and the right foot is placed on the left thigh. Many Buddha statues sit on a pedestal in the form of a lotus blossom. The lotus represents the Buddha Mind because, though growing in mire, it puts forth beautiful, immaculate flowers.

Other popular positions include statues with the right hand raised in abhayamudra – the gesture of dispelling fear. These statues symbolize protection and peace in one’s home or garden. Statues Calling the Earth to Witness are represented by Buddha’s right hand touching the ground in a gesture that symbolizes unshakable faith and resolution. The reclining Buddha representing the Buddha’s death and passage to Nirvana symbolizes complete peace and detachment from the world.

Some Buddha statues are actually based on Bodhisattvas, people could have passed to Nirvana, but instead chose to remain in this world out of compassion for other human beings. The Avalokitesvara’s main purpose is to listen to the cries for help from those in trouble and provide them with aid. He is the protector from danger and his sacrifice symbolizes infinite compassion, the sharing of mankind’s misery and a willingness to help those in distress. The eight arms symbolize his reaching out with compassion to save the world. The famous Chinese view of Avalokitesvara is a women known as Kuan Yin (or Kwan Yin).

Bringing Harmony To Your Garden

Posted On : February 20th, 2012 by admin

Buddha statues have always been thought of as bringing good luck, harmony and tranquility. In fact the concept has been marketed so well that it is a flourishing industry in its own right. The laughing Buddha statue, arguably the most popular one, is actually fashioned not after Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, but Budai, a monk from Chinese folklore, who was known as a happy, wise and contented man. The differences between the two characters are stark and unmistakable, somehow the identities were confused, and the monk is now content with usurping the original Buddha’s title.

The Buddha Mood

Your garden is a place of serenity and peace, and it may be where you go to wind down after a tough day at work or with the kids. It’s only natural to want to decorate it with symbols of that peace. For that reason, Buddha statues are perfect. They not only provide that ambient mood that you’re looking for, but who knows, they may actually bring the luck and harmony that they promise as well.

A Buddha Statue is Not an Idol

Posted On : February 20th, 2012 by admin

Buddha statues are not worshiped by Buddhists but stand as a focal point for meditation, a symbol of truth, and the path toward enlightenment.

Buddha is not and never was the name of a man, but an honorific bestowed upon a man named Siddhartha Gautama. Buddha means ‘one who has awakened to the truth.’

Born into a wealthy family in India around the 5th century BC, young Siddhartha was a cossetted prince. His doting parents, hoping to spare him life’s pain and suffering, sheltered him from anything unpleasant, anything that would cause him to wonder if life was not perfect in every way. He knew nothing of poverty, disease, death, or any of the common problems of everyday life.

When, as a young man, he wandered off and observed the suffering of others first hand, he abandoned his privileged place to seek the life of an ascetic in search of truth. After years of wandering the county-side living a life of deprivation, Siddhartha decided to seek a middle way. He thought there could be a compromise between abject self denial and life in the normal world.

After much meditation, Siddhartha became an enlightened one – Buddha.

Is Buddishm and obstacle to buddism?

Posted On : February 20th, 2012 by admin


Nowadays everyone knows what “Buddhism” is. You can find it in any upscale supermarket, gift shop, or bookstore. It will be next to the scented candles and the books on healing your inner child. “Buddhism” has incense, kitschy little statues of Hotei (the “Laughing Buddha”), and wind chimes. It also has books with cute old Asian guys on the cover. They contain saccharine sayings and simplistic stories. Their core message is that if only we were all very nice, we could be happy.

Most people know they do not want “Buddhism.” They think it is obviously stupid, unrealistic, and irrelevant. They don’t believe that being nice would make them happy; they don’t want “healing”; they don’t care about “inner peace.” They want to get on with life—the real thing, not some imported Asian fantasy. (Me too.)

“Buddhism” is not such a bad thing. If everyone were very nice, the world would be stiflingly dull, but probably overall better. This kind of “Buddhism,” though, is at most only a tiny part of actual Buddhism. (Whether it is Buddhist at all is open to question.) Mostly Buddhism is not about being nice, and is not about happiness.

I worry that the word “Buddhism” has become a main obstacle to teaching real Buddhism. As soon as you use the B-word, people think wind chimes, and you have lost anyone with a realistic attitude. Instead, you attract those who want “Buddhism,” which you do not intend to provide. Much of your teaching has to aim at correcting people’s pre-existing, wrong ideas of what Buddhism is.

This problem gets worse all the time, as more and more people learn about “Buddhism.” Forty years ago everyone knew they didn’t know what Buddhism was; so they had open minds. Now many people think they know enough about Buddhism to be sure they don’t want it.

Maybe I am a worry-wart

My concern may be excessive. Most of the Aro teachers I have discussed this with think I’m wrong. They find that generally people are open to Buddhism, and not repelled by the word. Since I am not a teacher, they are probably right. (But I’m obstinate.)

What excites me about Brad Warner, and the punk dharma movement, is that they are evidence that I’m wrong. He uses the B-word, and definitely teaches Buddhism, not “Buddhism.” Yet he is popular with people whose reaction to hearing wind chimes might be to put on some nice soothing death metal and turn it up to 11, until the traumatic memory of the sound has been washed away.

Still, Brad Warner’s thousands of followers, however encouraging, are a drop in the ocean. Buddhism needs to reach tens of millions of people who hate wishful thinking, not thousands.

A thousand more gimmicks

Some Buddhists have dismissed “Buddhism for punks” as a gimmick. Maybe it’s true that the connections between punk and Buddhism are superficial. Perhaps the analogy does not go all that far. But, at the very least, using the word “punk” proclaims that “this is a brand of Buddhism that is for people who are realistic about some things—people who hate fake niceness and moral hypocrisy and kitschy sentimentality.” That’s new and valuable.

If that is a gimmick, then what I think Buddhism needs urgently is a dozen more gimmicks. A hundred more gimmicks. Buddhism should be available to everyone—and if it takes gimmicks to reach some people, let’s have thousands of them.

Buddhism for vampires

Maybe we should do some brainstorming? Here’s an example. How about “Buddhism for vampires”? Vampires dominate the best-seller lists; they are nothing if not mainstream. But they do appeal to people who are a bit off-center, and open to slightly scary new ideas. And most vampire lovers are probably not into wind chimes.

“Buddhism for vampires” is intriguing: what could that be about? Like “punk Dharma,” it makes it obvious that we are not talking about nicey-nicey New Age junk.

“Buddhism for vampires” could be strictly gimmicky—annoyingly cutesy—nothing more than a quick way to cash in on two fads.

But it could also be quite serious—for those willing to explore the razor edge of life and death, lust and aggression, monstrosity and nobility, horror and beauty, romance and madness, and the eternal moment where all these converge, in non-duality. These are main themes of Buddhist Tantra—and of vampire fiction.

In fact, the connections between Buddhism and vampirism seem to me much more pertinent than those between Buddhism and punk. I may not take this too far, but I may offer some more details at some point.

[Update, May 2010: I have now taken it way too far, with a whole web site devoted to Buddhism for Vampires.]

Oh, hey, by the way—did you know that Garab Dorje, the founder of Dzogchen, was also named “Rolang Dewa,” which means “Blissful Vampire”? (I am not making this up . . . )

And that in the Twilight Saga (which is the best-selling fictional work in history) a particularly important vampire is named “Aro”? (Clearly, that is extremely significant.)

Laughing Buddha ( Happy Buddha)

Posted On : February 20th, 2012 by admin

Laughing Buddha ( Happy Buddha)

Laughing Buddha ( Happy Buddha)Known as Hotei (Japan) and Pu-Tai (China), these figures embody the ideals of the good life: health, happiness, prosperity and longevity.

They represent the later Buddhist notions that the good life was indeed attainable in this world. It consisted of self-mastery, a happy demeanor, purposeful endeavor, a deep commitment to the welfare of others and enlightened awareness. (more…)

Thai Buddha Statues

Posted On : February 20th, 2012 by admin

Thai Buddha Statues

Whenever you think of Thailand surely one of the most evocative images is of a beguiling Temple and its beautiful, tranquil interior filled with stunning Thai Buddha Statues. If ever there was a place that could be considered a sanctuary of calm, somewhere that the pressures of modern living seem to be a million miles away, then surely this must be it. Thai Temples are primarily places of worship and home to Buddhist Monks, but they are so much more than that, their influence on the daily lives of Thai people is immeasurable, the fact that all Buddhist Thai males will spend time serving as Monks means that the whole community really is influenced by the Temple, and the powerful images within are very much a part of the national psyche. (more…)