Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Pictures of revered teachers, places, rupas, temples, bhikkhus, shrine rooms etc. that bring inspiration to our members. Pilgrimage advice etc.

Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:49 am

Hi Fern,

I think it all depends. A couple of points to consider:

The key moments in Gautama's life were outside, in the open, under a tree. His birth, enlightenment, death and the vast majority of his teachings. I have no problems with commemorating this aspect of the Buddha's life. Personally, I see no problem with landscape gardening an outdoor shrine as part of a garden. But so long as the shrine has a religious/spiritual or meditative purpose and is not commissioned for the purpose of an exotic decoration. If I were to design an outdoor shrine, I would use the floor-plan of a shrine room in a temple as a guide. Most Asian Buddhist shrines are indoors where the Buddha-rupa is elevated off the floor on a platform. As a mark of respect to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.

What I don't like is the reduction of the Buddha as garden gnome. And I think that's an attitude that is shared among many Buddhists in the East or West.

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16309
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Postby Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:57 am

Ben wrote:What I don't like is the reduction of the Buddha as garden gnome.

LOL

:clap:

Or a good luck charm? :)
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
Individual
 
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:58 am

What I don't like is the reduction of the Buddha as garden gnome. And I think that's an attitude that is shared among many Buddhists in the East or West.



Its a statue, Buddha isnt a statue
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
User avatar
clw_uk
 
Posts: 3479
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am
Location: Wales, United Kingdom

Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:02 am

clw_uk wrote:
What I don't like is the reduction of the Buddha as garden gnome. And I think that's an attitude that is shared among many Buddhists in the East or West.



Its a statue, Buddha isnt a statue


You're repeating yourself.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16309
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:09 am

Individual wrote:
Ben wrote:What I don't like is the reduction of the Buddha as garden gnome.

LOL

:clap:

Or a good luck charm? :)


That's actually interesting. When I was at Mahamuni temple in Mandalay, I had applied gold-leaf to the statue and gave dana and one of the temple attendants blessed me with a wet sprig of some tree, and then said to me in English "so you have a lucky life" - or somethign like that. And it got me thinking as to whether the whole idea of merit has been mistranslated into 'luck'. Perhaps a subject for another thread...
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16309
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Postby fernrichardson » Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:32 am

Individual--I am not asking this information for me. I know that having Buddha statues is idolatry in Judaism. If you remember from my original post, I am writing a book. I am trying to guide *OTHER* people. I don't mind what other people do, so long as they aren't being disrespectful. I am trying to find out from Buddhists if they think it is disrespectful for non-Buddhists to place a Buddha statue in their gardens.

Ben--Thanks for your input. While I think most people would treat a Buddha statue a little nicer than a garden gnome, I see your point.
fernrichardson
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:24 pm

Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Postby plwk » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:44 am

Some of my own thoughts...
1) Is it appropriate for non-Buddhists to use Buddhist statuary in their gardens?

a. I should think that Buddhists would be more than happy that non-Buddhists should deem it fit that they should have an attraction/regard to use Buddhist iconography in their dwellings.
b. it would reflect the level of knowledge, research and considerate behaviour on the owner's part when using religious iconography of others, especially when it isn't from one's own convictions, especially in some parts of the world where in one's neighbourhood, where such is taken seriously.
c. Are Buddhists Idol Worshippers?
d. In fact, a nice garden Buddha with all the natural surroundings is one conducive environment for reflection...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html
"All conditioned things are impermanent" — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.
"All conditioned things are unsatisfactory" — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.
"All things are not-self" — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.


2) If there are circumstances in which such people could respectfully use Buddhist statuary in their gardens, are there guidelines for use, placement, care of the statuary, etc?

a. Use
For a non-Buddhist, perhaps if it may be appropriate, to keep a simple regard and respect for what the iconography represents other than being utilised and maintained as a mere decor, and some find a Buddha statue inspiring in challenging life moments...
For a Buddhist, as how they are taught in their respective School/Tradition as to the appropriate practices in handling such iconography.

b. Placement
i. In one's residence, for the sake of aesthetics, most would display in a prominent area/accessible part of their garden where it can be seen and appreciated by all who come in the owner's residence, kinda like in a hotel, where the lobby is the first contact point to effect a good impression for the guests
ii. It would be nice and a norm in some places if the statue is placed on an elevated platform/area, above ground level or some who can afford it, within a grotto or even a glass/metal/earthenware casing for practical purposes of keeping the longevity of the statue against Nature's elements, insects, animals and etc.
iii. One's motivation, keep it simple and sincere, the beauty of the statue is oft seen through the actions of the owner (where & how it is placed and decorated), other than the size, model, color, carving detail of the statue per se...

c. Care
Dependent on the type of statue, the appropriate type of care will ensue.
Perhaps, one other detail is that the cleaning tools/items are to be kept separated and exclusive, not out of ritualistic reasons but for the practical purposes of avoiding soiling, contaminating and compromising the quality of cleaning tools & statue with other household items. An example is like the same cloth used to wipe a car would not be used to wipe one's face or the residence interior or the broom used to sweep the inner residence is kept separate from the one used to sweep a garden area...
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
VSM VMM WBB TBHT WTBT My Page
plwk
 
Posts: 1166
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:14 am

Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Postby fijiNut » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:01 am

But what if a little child playing in the garden notices the serene smile on the Buddha statue's face, which leaves a positive impression in her mind, which later ripens to the affinity for Dhamma?
fijiNut
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:11 am

Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:57 am

fijiNut wrote:But what if a little child playing in the garden notices the serene smile on the Buddha statue's face, which leaves a positive impression in her mind, which later ripens to the affinity for Dhamma?


Or the affinity for gardening.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
User avatar
Goofaholix
 
Posts: 2029
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Postby Bhavana » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:07 am

fijiNut wrote:But what if a little child playing in the garden notices the serene smile on the Buddha statue's face, which leaves a positive impression in her mind, which later ripens to the affinity for Dhamma?


this same thought occurred to me, as I grew up in a catholic home that always had a buddha statue or two around. My mother loves them, even though she knows little about Buddha. Her father traveled to Asia a lot for his job, and brought statues home when she was a little girl. If you were to ask her, she would say that the image, the face of Buddha, gives her a sense of peacefulness. And for me, it was a similar feeling, along with childhood nostalgia, that led me to having them in my home, long before I even became interested in buddhism.

My mom is also a gardener, and I have been looking for the perfect Buddha for her garden. Of course she would place it in a beautiful area, as all of her garden is beautiful, and I know it would be treated respectfully and that she would enjoy having it there to look at every day.
User avatar
Bhavana
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:58 pm

Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Postby James the Giant » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:07 am

fernrichardson wrote:I am hoping that you all can help educate me on the issues regarding using Buddha statues in the garden

Well, recently in Sri Lanka, three tourists took pictures of themselves kissing a buddha statue, they were lighthearted photos, they didn't set out to cause offence. Then someone saw the photos and they got sentenced to jail, with six months hard labour... thankfully suspended, so they won't actually go to jail.
"They were convicted under a section of the Penal Code which outlaws deeds intended to wound or insult "the religious feelings of any class of persons" through acts committed in, upon or near sacred objects or places of worship."

In 2010 two Sri Lankan Muslim traders were given suspended jail sentences for selling keyrings containing an image of Buddha.

That same year Sri Lanka denied a visa to the R&B star Akon, who had been due to perform a concert. It happened after public protests over one of his music videos which briefly showed scantily-clad women dancing in front of a Buddha statue.


So, while it is acceptable in the west, in some Buddhist countries it's a big deal.
Who's your book aimed at? Conservative Buddhists (some might say fanatical), or secular westerners?
I say go for it.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
User avatar
James the Giant
 
Posts: 791
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 am

Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Postby Kim OHara » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:16 am

James (and all),
Bhavana posted to an old thread. It's quite likely that the book mentioned in the OP is not only finished but printed and published.
That said, the topic in general is a good one to be aware of.

:namaste:
Kim
User avatar
Kim OHara
 
Posts: 3196
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Postby James the Giant » Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:54 am

Kim O'Hara wrote:James (and all),
Bhavana posted to an old thread. It's quite likely that the book mentioned in the OP is not only finished but printed and published.

Oops! I do dislike thread dredging.
I didn't take note of the date.
Nevermind!
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
User avatar
James the Giant
 
Posts: 791
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 6:41 am

Previous

Return to Shrine Room

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 7 guests