By Amy Underdown, London, UK
If you are looking to live in a space of positivity and harmony, it is great to keep a Buddha statue at home. Buddha statues are known to cultivate an aura of serenity and are said to replicate the sensation of being in a Buddhist temple, or as close to it as possible. Bringing a Buddha statue into your household is therefore widely encouraged; it can help with anything from your daily mindset through to meditative and spiritual guidance.
This latter statement is key. As both a religion and a philosophy/way of life, Buddhism and how you interpret it is down to the individual. Whilst some people may be entirely committed to delving into their spirituality and therefore require a Buddha statue to channel their daily meditation, others may instead simply resonate with Buddhist values, such as empathy, meaning a Buddha statue will, for them, represent a reminder of guiding principles and overarching positivity. The openness and approachability of Buddhism is at its core, meaning these interpretations are all valid. In fact, when the Buddha had reached Enlightenment and was teaching his sermons across the Ganges Plain, his audiences were from all backgrounds, with different morals and experiences.
It is in these differences that we can find the beauty of Buddhism. Even more interesting, is that different Buddha statues have different meanings and purposes, so you can find the most fitting one for your personal goals and aspirations. These differences are communicated through varying positions of the body and hands – a comprehensive list of which can be found here.
The placement of these statues within your space can also mean different things for the home, which is key to note if you are considering buying a Buddha statue. Having a Buddha near an entrance to the home (though not in a walkway!), can help to keep negative forces outside of your property – particularly true of the Protection Buddha, also known as the Abhava Buddha. If you want to utilise your Buddha statue to help with meditation, displaying it within a specific meditation space or room is preferable, especially with a Meditation Buddha. If it is general positivity in a particular area of your life, such as academic success or overseeing the positive wellbeing of the family, then exhibiting your Buddha statue in the corresponding space (such as the study, office or family living room) would be recommended. It is this combination of finding the perfect statue and placing it in the fitting space, which make it favourable to have a Buddha statue at home.
Naturally, some individuals may fear that it is disrespectful to have a Buddha statue. Whilst it is always better to treat such things with caution, hopefully this discussion of how Buddhism can be interpreted in different, personal ways can put some of those minds at ease. Having said this, there are certain things you can do to ensure that having a Buddha statue in your home remains positive and respectful, which will also help you to make the most out of your relationship with your own statue.
It is recommended, for instance, that Buddha statues shouldn’t be kept in certain places: toilets, walkways, or below eye-level. As both a piece of religious significance, but also of intricate artistry, it perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise that it is key to treat Buddha statues as you would a renowned guest. This also means keeping your statue clean and free of dust, as well as not embellishing it with any unnecessary artistic tweaks of your own.
Most importantly though, is the understanding of what you want to achieve by having a Buddha statue in your home and committing to this aspiration. Through learning and comprehending what it is your Buddha statue represents through its body and hand positionings, you can truly interpret what it is bringing to your space, and therefore how to benefit from it for your personal ambitions.