Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

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bodom
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by bodom » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:44 am

clw_uk wrote:Individual, I didnt write what you quoted me as saying above
Fixed.

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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Goofaholix
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by Goofaholix » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:32 am

Individual wrote:These same Thais are also apparently in a violent conflict with Cambodia over the Preah Vihear Temple. They're idiots.
Calling 60 million people idiots? How does that help answer the OP's question?
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Goofaholix
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by Goofaholix » Mon Jan 24, 2011 1:38 am

fernrichardson wrote: I'm Jewish, so I wouldn't want a crucifix in my garden. Though I know that many Christians have statues of saints and the like in their gardens. To get the conversation back on point, I also don't feel it is within my values for me to have a Buddha in my garden, since it is not in keeping with my personal religious practices. I am just trying to figure out how to guide other people. Whether this is a topic where I should say, "don't do it, it's disrespectful" or "If you decide to have a statue, here's how to do it."
It's good that you have the consideration to ask the question. I think most western Buddhists don't attach a lot of significance to religious iconography, but asians do. I think you should ask your readers to think about the meaning of any statue or decoration they put in the garden, not just do it because it's fashionable, Buddha statues are no different.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

Individual
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by Individual » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:14 am

clw_uk wrote:Individual, I didnt write what you quoted me as saying above
It looks like somebody fixed it. It was unintentional. Sorry. Thanks for pointing it out. :)
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra

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clw_uk
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by clw_uk » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:19 am

Individual wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Individual, I didnt write what you quoted me as saying above
It looks like somebody fixed it. It was unintentional. Sorry. Thanks for pointing it out. :)

I thought it was unintentional dont worry friend :)
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Ben
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by 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
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

Individual
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by 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

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clw_uk
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by 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
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Ben
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by 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.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Ben
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by 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...
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

fernrichardson
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by 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.

plwk
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by 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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"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...

fijiNut
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by 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?

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Goofaholix
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by 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.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Bhavana
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Re: Using Buddha Statues in the Garden

Post by 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.

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