By Amy Underdown, London, UK
Meditation is becoming increasingly popular, which is perhaps no surprise given the world around us. Practicing meditation cultivates a healthy and tranquil mind by producing a deep state of relaxation, all of which can contribute to your overall wellbeing. Being able to overcome crowded thoughts and instead focus your mind to cut through the noise is a skill that has been transformative to many. Assisting this process towards this end goal would therefore seem like the perfect way to help a friend – so the question remains, what do you give someone who likes to meditate?
There are many sites which will tell you the ‘top 10 things to buy for someone who meditates’, which will list anything from mala beads to t-shirts, but there is one key thing to consider. Meditation is an intensely personal practice, as well as one that shouldn’t be trivialised by meaningless gifts. Call us biased, but the best gift would therefore be a Buddha statue.
Buddhism and the lotus pose are intrinsically linked with meditation and the search for enlightenment. Buddha icons have been used across centuries to assist with the meditative practice as bringing one into the home is said to replicate a temple-like state of serenity – ideal for those who meditate in their own space. Moreover, choosing a Buddha statue for someone who meditates gives you the chance to make the gift particularly heartfelt and thoughtful. This is because different Buddha statues help with different aspects of meditation, dependent on their pose and meaning.
One particularly good example of this is the Meditation Buddha, whose (almost self-explanatory) purpose is to encourage meditation and encourage a sense of inner peace. The triangular silhouette of this statue represents balance, furthered by the hand position (Dhyana mudra), which reflects the unity of the triple gem: the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha. Those wishing to focus on channelling their inner serenity during meditation would benefit from having a Meditation Buddha in the home.
Another good choice of Buddha statue for those focusing on their meditation would be the Calling the Earth to Witness Buddha, also called the Earth Touching Buddha. This statue relays the moment in which Siddhartha Gautama used meditation to overcome the demon named Mara who was trying to entice him into indulging in wealth and material pleasures. Conquering this demon with the help of the earth goddess, the Buddha was able to reach enlightenment. This statue sees the Buddha perform the Bhumiparsha mudra, which is the same hand position he used to call the earth goddess. Having this statue in the home can therefore help meditators overcome specific obstacles that might be in their path.
Other meditators may find a Teaching Buddha more useful, as it is intended for anybody who wishes to focus on their spirituality. Depicting the instance of Buddha’s first sermon following his enlightenment, this kind of statue is ideal for anyone wishing to hone their practice and fully delve into the world of Buddhism.
There are plenty of other examples of Buddha statues that can be specific to the recipient. The Abhava Buddha, for instance, encourages fearlessness and protection. Or the Repelling the Ocean Buddha which shows the innate power of meditation. With two outstretched and front-facing palms, this statue tells the story of how the Buddha prevented a flood by managing to hold back a wall of water (caused by a trouble-making hermit in India) through the power of meditation alone.
It's easy to see how a Buddha statue can be gifted to those who meditate with the intention of both encouraging and strengthening their meditation. A comprehensive list of different Buddha statues can be found at - The Meanings Behind the Buddha's Positions - so that you can gift a statue with true and personal meaning.