For the very same reason many of us buy a painting, a flower vase, or more simply a book, people buy Buddha statues for appreciation, education, or for peace. It is generally not the thing itself, but the thoughts, the feelings, and the reflections that that thing can provoke inside the owner’s mind and soul.
While you may hear many speak of keeping a Buddha statue at home for Feng Shui or good luck, if you truly practice the Tao there is more to it waiting for you to explore.
A Buddha statue, in this case, is a representation of the insights and teachings the Buddha passed down through generations. Looking at it visually, you see yourself and explore more aspects of you that you may not have already known of before. But then, what does a Buddha statue represent?
What Does a Buddha Statue Represent Then?
A Buddha statue, like most other thought-provoking creations, is a representation of the Buddha’s teachings, which, are an invitation for a practitioner to look more deeply into themselves and the things around them.
While many may regard Buddhism as a religion, it can be more correctly referred to as a non-theist philosophy or simply a way of life.
The essence of Buddhism is not about worshiping Gods or some higher beings.
The insights from the Buddha invite us to another perspective of looking at the world through the non-attachment of ideas or notions. Exploring Buddhism, you are given a match. Being enlightened, you burn up that match, freeing up the ideas & notions that might be holding you back.
It is, in essence, not something to cling to, and absolutely not something to fight, kill, or die for. People who do not comprehend this insight may not truly understand Buddhism.
This leads us to some reasons why a Buddha statue can be invaluable to the person owning it.
3 Reasons Why People Buy A Buddha Statue
When we see things or hear about ideas that we can relate or connect to, we develop true appreciation for it.
This may also be the case for why people buy a Buddha statue. When we see a painting that speaks to our heart, we may take it home just to look at it and appreciate it.
When we see a gorgeous natural scene with great mountains and trees, we take a photograph to save that memory and we don’t want to destroy such breathtaking beauty.
It is, in fact, this ability of us humans to appreciate the things around us that helps conserve the natural habitats, the surroundings that we have. Otherwise, a click of a button might just bring about unimaginable destruction.
For a Buddha statue, it is the same. It is our ability to look at beauty and choose to treasure it that makes it uniquely meaningful to the statue owners. Who, usually see themselves when they look at the statues & this takes us to our second reason:
2. Self Reflection
When we look at a Buddha statue, it is not necessarily that we only see the Buddha. What we generally see is ourselves. Today we look at the statue & have these certain thoughts. The next day, it may not be the same any more.
An aged statue carries with it some of our past. The struggles, the memories, the thoughts. Ten years later, we stand before our statue, we see how much we have grown over time. Past thoughts might even now become laughable.
It is not about the statue; it is more about the statue owner. And the interesting thing is, no single one of us ever sees the same thing even when standing before the same statue. This is the uniqueness of every individual that makes life vibrant and full of surprises.
Speaking of surprises, it's not surprising that people buy a Buddha statue for sharing the education:
As we often say, sharing is caring. People buy a Buddha statue with the hope to share the insights they have learned with little ones more visually. Many parents understand how difficult it can be to explain to kids abstract ideas like gratitude, humility, forgiveness, etc.
This is partly why we see there are stories, pictures or movies to help kids get more excited about learning these things and understand them a little bit easier. A Buddha statue is no different. When a kid sees it, they get curious and ask:
“Mom, dad, what is it?”
Then, your very own creative education for them begins.
These teachings, again, are only tools. They cannot be mistaken for the meaning they carry. If we explore other religions like Christianity, we see the images or stories about Adam and Eve and Jesus Christ. With these, it is easier for other people to approach the ideas and be able to share them with their friends or co-workers later on.
Seeing a huge statue may create a more powerful visual impact for people to identify themselves with these values, and get together as a community to share the goodness. And thus, lighting up happiness every where, one candle at a time.
Buddha Statue in Our Everyday Lives
While many often worry about how to place their statues or what the best direction is, the truth is that these things should not make you stressed out. Think about how you would place a picture or painting that you absolutely love in your home.
What feels right to you is probably the best place it is meant to be. You'd want to hang it on a place where you can look at it at times, feel at ease and pleasant and have a smile in your heart.
Because Buddha statues come in many different sizes from very small to very large, there are many ways people use them in their daily lives. For very small figurines about 2 inches (5 cm) or so, you will find people place them in their cars or on the desks.
The car is the vehicle they use every day. Putting the statue there will help them be reminded of the values that keep their acts upright every day.
When we are working on our desks and feel overwhelmed by the load, we may just look at our cute monk figurine to be reminded of why we started in the first place and what keeps us going this far.
For larger statues, people put them at their front doors, on the patio, in their backyards, or a nice corner in the living room.
Some people build a shrine room or meditation area at home and place their Buddha statues there as well.
When we are done with our days, we take a few minutes to wind down in the room. We think thoughts that are most aligned with the vibrations of the things they want or need. And then say thanks.
Integrating the Buddha statue this way into our own lives brings more meaning to the teachings that we have learned and keep the good vibes vibrating at a good frequency.
A Buddha of Your Own
As you can see, there are a few reasons why people would buy a Buddha statue. Very often, it is not merely because of the statue itself, but because of the owner and the values that they appreciate or treasure.
Having something visual to represent the teachings is also a good way to engage kids and share with friends or guests the good things this universe has got to offer.
Instead of placing the Buddha in a corner of the room where you may not frequent, how about integrating it into your own lifestyle. Or places where you are there most often. This brings more meaning to the practice and keep the good vibes going in your own family and wherever you are.
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