By Amy Underdown, London, UK
More and more people are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Meditation can ease stress and help set you onto a clearer path by cutting through the noise that can sometimes build up in our minds. What some don’t realise is that many individuals find the best way to meditate is with a Buddha statue. In fact, it is exactly why many people bring Buddha statues into the home.
Whilst of course you can meditate without a Buddha statue, there are a variety of reasons that you will definitely want to consider having this ancient iconography in your meditative space. First and foremost, having a Buddha statue in the home is the closest many can get to replicating the serenity of a temple, which can build a strong foundation for meditative practice. Furthermore, a Buddha statue acts as the guide to your meditation, meaning you can channel your thoughts and reach a tranquil state. It also acts as a physical reminder to take time for yourself and focus on your practice, which can go amiss when we are busy fulfilling our 9 to 5s.
In addition to this, Buddha statues can help you home in on different aspects of your meditation. A Calling the Earth to Witness Buddha, for example, can assist you with overcoming specific obstacles as it depicts the moment the Buddha was able to defeat his demons to reach enlightenment. Or you might opt for a Teaching Buddha, which helps people wanting to increase and focus on their spirituality.
For those who really want to focus on their meditative practice, a Meditation Buddha is (unsurprisingly!) ideal; there are deep meanings behind the Buddha’s pose and hand position, known as the mudra. The Buddha sits in the lotus pose, which is the position taken up by meditators across the globe. This gives the Buddha a triangular silhouette, reflecting the balance and tranquillity of his meditative state, echoed by his half or fully closed eyes. The Meditation Buddha also features the Dhyana mudra, which sees both hands placed in the lap facing upwards, with the right hand resting on the palm of the left. The top of the thumbs touch in order to form another triangle shape. The triangle is a key symbol in Buddhism as it represents the unity of the triple gem: the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha, as well as holding a mystic fire within.
Having a Meditation Buddha will therefore strengthen an individual’s spiritual resolve and set them on the right path of meditation. The positive energies of the Buddha statue are said to encapsulate a room and therefore make the meditation journey deeper and more meaningful.
Many people will worry and wonder whether it is disrespectful to own a Buddha statue, or how to correctly position and choose an artefact to ensure it is in line with good practice. The simple solution to this is to treat your Buddha statue like an honoured guest, not facing any walls and certainly not kept in a bathroom or walkway (most guests, honoured or not, would probably take issue with this!) Instead, you should strive to keep your statue eye-level and not try to alter or embellish it in the name of artistry.
Following this simple way of thinking, you should be able to make the most out of your Buddha statue and truly focus on your spiritual journey. Knowing where to place your Buddha statue and understanding how to respect it are key facets of this, but also understanding exactly what it is that your artefact has been crafted to communicate. There are lots of different meanings to Buddha statues, created through their pose and positions, and so it is worth reading about what the different positions mean. This way, you can be respectful through understanding, whilst simultaneously improving your meditation by being able to truly resonate with your Buddha statue. So, long story short, you can meditate with a Buddha statue. It will likely even make your meditation journey even more fruitful.