Sunday, 20 June 2010

Incense and Buddhism - New Video from the Buddha's Face

Wherever Buddhism is practised there is the ritual burning of incense. In every house with a Buddhist shrine , joss sticks and incense is burned at specific times of the day and in even the remotest country areas you will find incense burning in front of before wayside images, and little stone statues or images of the Buddha.

In Buddhism the burning of incense symbolises the fragrance of pure moral conduct and serves to remind reminds us to live our lives by a higher moral code.

The Buddha's Face video workshops have created another meditative homage to this theme combining high definition images of Buddhism and incense along with a continous theme of smouldering smoke uniting together the image stream all accompanied with the exquisite music of Ludovico Einaudi. We hope you enjoy watching this as much as we enjoyed making it.

This is part of the Buddha's Face Buddhism 101 Project - Buddhism and Incense



The Buddha's Face

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Candles in Buddhism - Buddha's Face Candle Meditation Video

Candles play an important part of the symbolism and practice of nearly all religions and this is no exception for followers of the Buddhist faith. The video workshops of the Buddha's Face and put together a stunning HD photo slideshow set to the music of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata re-imagined by Cafe del Mar.

This is part of the Buddha's Face Buddhism 101 Project


Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Top Ten Buddhist World Gardens - You Tube Video

To complement our recent Buddha in Garden's and Top 10 Buddhist Gardens in the World feature the Buddha's Face video workshop has produced an illustrated slideshow of our just for fun Top 10 Buddhist gardens.We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.

From the Buddha's Face Buddhism 101 Project - part of the most comprehensive Buddhist resource on the web.





The Laughing Buddha You Tube Video from the Buddha's Face

The Jolly figure of Hotei or the Laughing (Fat) Buddha is a very common sculpture or statue in many parts of Asia and now the west and features prominently in Asian businneses such as shops or restaurants. He is associated with prosperity and good luck. We hope you enjoy our short video feauturing some of the most beautiful and dramatic invocations of Fat Buddha statues from around the world.

Find our more at the Buddha's Face Buddhism 101 Project - The Laughing Buddha


The Buddha's Face





Sunday, 13 June 2010

Top 10 Buddhist Gardens in the World

The Buddha's Face Buddhism 101 Project sought to discover what it considers to the Top 10 Buddhist and Buddha gardens in the world. We hope you enjoy our just for fun inspirational list.If you have your own suggestions and ideas please feel free to add comments at the base of the Blog.

This is derived from the Buddha's Face Buddhism 101 Project - Buddha's in Gardens.

1. Totekiko Temple Gardens , Kyoto Japan

This Buddhist garden is one of five exquisite gardens at the Ryōgen,Temple Kyoto,in Japan. It was created in 1958, and is reputed to be the smallest of the 'major' Japanese rock gardens.

It comprises a small enclosed area, composed of attractive simple boulders which are placed on raked sand. These iconic rocks are then surrounded by concentric circles of gravel being connected by parallel ridges and furrows. This garden briefly receives the sun at around 12 o'clock each day, and is sometimes lightly dusted by snow in the winter. The garden was designed to represent a Zen saying of that the harder a stone is thrown in the pond , the bigger will the ripples be.

The temple grounds includes 3 other gardens called Isshi-dan, Koda-tei, and Ryogin-tei – the latter is a moss covered garden which is said to be the oldest garden in Daitoku-ji.

2. The Imperial War Museum Peace Garden , Lambeth,London UK

This wonderfully peaceful garden which is situated in the park alongside the Imperial War Museum in South London. The garden was designed and constructed to aid the propagation of world peace through the use of non violence. It has a Tibetan name which means “The Garden of Contemplation”.

Many Buddhist symbols are used throughout the design and layout of the garden.

A large pillar has words written in four languages which proclaims the Dalai Lama’s message about the vital importance of choosing the path of non-violence.

The garden’s design centres on the symbolism of the eight spoke Buddhist Wheel which represents the Noble Eightfold Path that all Buddhists must follow. Located within the wheel are eight stone seats in a circle which represents the eight principles in the Noble Eightfold Path. By sitting at the centre of the wheel become the central focus the garden.

At the garden's edge are trellis and Himalayan . This garden has been created to represent the elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water and is often visited by Tibetan Buddhist teachers when they are visiting London.

3. The Mahabodhi Temple Gardens , India



All religions have significant places of pilgramage associated with key events that took place during the life of the founder.Buddhism is no exception the Mahabodi Temple was constructed at the actual spot where the Buddha reached Enlightenment whilst sitting crossed legged under the Bodhi Tree. Most of the religious activities that take place at this sacred site do so in the large garden surrounding a huge stone spire. The garden is full of ancient and tall, shady trees and beautifully manicured lawns, monuments and marigolds.

Of course the holiest spot at the MahabodhiTemple is outdoors under a sacred Bodhi Tree. This actual Bodhi Tree has been grown from cuttings taken from a series of earlier Bodhi Trees and can trace their lineage right back to that of the Buddha himself where he sat and meditated 2,500 years ago. In an act of pilgramage and homage to their religions founder Buddhists come from all over the world to meditate and seek inspiration.

Throughout the Temple's garden you will people worshipping. This Bodhi Tree is where all Buddhist meditation began 2500 years ago.

Another common sight is to see people practicing Walking Meditation - walking slowly through the paths in the garden and which lead round the Temple garden -this is always done in a clockwise direction.

To the east of the Temple gardens is a beautiful Meditation Park which has many meandering paths for the practice of walking meditation and adjacent to the path are little marble platforms, where people can sit quitely and meditate - the garden is filled with the sounds from numerous of brown mynah birds.

To the south of the Temple is a large, rectangular Lotus Pool. Right in the centre of this pool is a statue of Buddha and the water teams with large catfish.

4. The Temple of the Peaceful Dragon ,Kyoto Japan

In North West Kyoto,Japan lies a stunningly beautiful and simple Zen temple garden.It is one of the major Historic Monuments of Kyoto and is a UN World Heritage Site.It comprises a dry landscape rock garden.

The rock garden was built during the late 13th Century and consists of raked gravel and 15 moss covered boulders situated so that when the garden visitor looks at the garden from any angle only fourteen of the boulders can be seen.

5. Sigiriya Temple Gardens , Sri Lanka

Sigiriya Temple Gardens , Sri Lanka is a World Heritage Site and is said to be the oldest surviving garden in Asia. It was originally built as the garden of a large residential palace only later becoming the temple garden of a Mahayana Buddhist monastery.

The current designed is thought to date from in the 5th century AD.

6. The Lumbini Garden, India

Another significant spot associated with the Life of the Buddha comes in at number six. This is the actual place where the Buddha was born and was for many centuries lost from the annals of recorded history only to re-discovered as late as 1896.The still sacred lake had earth banks constructed around its edges at the time of its re-discovery which have now been replaced with paved margin and steps - however as befits its heritage it remains a place of exceptional calm.

The garden also has a bathing pool of the Sakyas where the water is bright and translucent and reflective as a mirror and on its surface is covered with a mixture of flowers. This is the actual spot where the Buddha was thought to have been born. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

7. Kagyu Samyé Ling Monastery Gardens , Scotland

This Monastery and Tibetan Buddhist Centre is a located at Eskdalemuir, near Dumfries,Scotland.

The centrepiece Tara Healing Garden is dedicated to preserving and propagating medicinal herbs which are native to Tibet. The extensive and beautiful grounds also includes a Garden of World Peace, an organic kitchen garden, and along with greenhouses, a vinery and a peach-house and a traditional herb garden (The Tara Healing Garden).The garden is surrounded by stunningly wild and magnificent woodlands and arable land which are grazed by a herd of Yak.

8. Secret Buddha Garden, Ko Samui , Thailand

This amazingly simple and surprising Buddha garden is one of the most important tourist attractions on the Thai island of Ko Samui. It was designed and built in 1976 by a fruit farmer who was called Nim Thongsuk It was at the advanced age of 77 when he began his work on building the garden and for this reason it is also known as - “Uncle Nimm's Garden”.

The garden is surrounded by jungles and rocky mountains and is not that easy to discover as it is perched high on the mountain with stunning views overlooking the island down to the sea. The entire garden is filled with sculptures and statues representing human figures as well as those of various gods and Buddhas.

9. The Peace Pagoda and Peace Temple Gardens , Milton Keynes, UK

This garden was the inspiration of by Nichidatsu Fujii, a Japanese Buddhist monk who had worked with Gandhi intent on finding peaceful ways of opposing worldly government’s wrongdoings. After the horrors of the Second World War and the use of atomic weapons on Japan, he dedicated his life to campaigning strongly against the proliferation and use of nuclear weapons.

He lived to be 100 years old and the movement he helped to found has now built over 80 Peace Pagodas and Peace Gardens through out the world.

In the beautiful grounds surrounding the pagoda are well over a thousand cherry trees and cedars which have planted to remind us of the victims of all wars and conflicts..

At the left of the pagoda is a small Japanese rock garden , moss and bushes and a water lily pond full of carp.To the right of the Temple almost hidden away from view is little moss garden. Behind the Temple is a Zen rock garden complete with beautifully simple gravel images. Finally lying to the rear of the garden is a stupa.

10. Wenshu Monastery Gardens, Chengdu, China

This Chinese Zen Buddhist monastery was built in the Tang Dynasty between 605 - 617 and constitutes the finest preserved ancient temple in Chengdu.

It is set within splendid landscaped gardens and contains fine examples of religious Chinese architecture as for the hungry and weary tourist and traveller also houses a superb vegetarian restaurant.

The landscaped gardens are serenely beautiful and are immacuately maintained and kept clean.They are host to many trees and shrubs as well as iconic and spectacular water features.

The courtyards and gardens are deigned to appear to blend and coalesce into each other, which makes for a very quiet and meditative environment.

"A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden."

The Buddha


The Fat Buddha Restaurant Controversy !

In China the symbol of the Fat Buddha is a robust symbol of health,prosperity and happiness and much favoured as a religious artefact in people's homes and businesses. However in the UK northern city of Durham the local council objected to a Chinese restaurant being named "The Fat Buddha" ..on the basis that it considered the name might bring offence to followers of the Buddhists religion.

The owner Eddie Fung's £1.3million restaurant opened in 2007 but the local council insisted that he should change the name from that of the Fat Buddha as they considered the name 'provocative'.

He was so amazed at the council's decision he was qouted as saying "I cannot believe that the council would go to so much time and trouble by taking issue over such an inoffensive name like the Fat Buddha.”

Furthermore he added "No Buddhist will be offended by this. The Fat Buddha is a symbol of health and happiness. “

A spokesman for the Buddhist Society remarked: "Buddhists regard the fat Buddha as being a lucky symbol. To suggest naming a restaurant The Fat Buddha is offensive would be to misunderstand our faith."

"Buddhists do not take offence at this because to do wouldn't follow what the Buddha taught ."

The restaurant owner Eddie also added that his company had received no complaints about the use of the name Fat Buddha at his first restaurant, which opened in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2007.

The council's letter of complaint stated "The generic descriptive adjective of "fat" whilst not in itself being derogatory term when applied generally the name implies an Eastern offer as it is associated with a religion that grew in the countries of Asia. This restaurant however does not offer exclusively vegetarian cuisine nor does it make reference to Buddhist belief systems. Therefore we believe that the name “The Fat Buddha” to be provocative."

Durham Council went on further adding that they considered the name Fat Buddha was inappropriate in their city which was one founded on faith and they had no desire to offend anyone because of the many different people of faith who lived and visited the city.

However Eddie Fung remained adamant the name would remain and to this day the restaurant still bears the name “The Fat Buddha” and the restaurant does of of course house many Fat Buddha statues so to celebrate it's name of "The Fat Buddha".

http://www.fatbuddharestaurant.com/durham/

Part of the Buddha's Face Buddhism 101 Project Fat Buddha Statues



Stone Buddha Statues
















Throughout history many different types of stone have been used in creation of Buddha statues, sculptures and images. Various type of stones have been used depending on their local availability and for the finished desired effect.Different stones used for carving Buddhas includes sandstone, pumice, limestone, marble, basalt, alabaster, chalk and soapstone.

In the Buddha's Face Buddhism 101 project we have detailed a number of significant stone Buddhas from around the world.

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” Pericles


Our Buddhism 101 Project Re-visited














Alongside the development of our new website at www.thebuddhasface.co.uk we decided it would be great fun, a potentially useful project and hopefully inspire ourselves and others to create a web-savvy ‘101’ list of useful information about the Buddha and the practice of Buddhism around the world.We also thought it would be useful to write about some of the meanings,symbolism and iconography that lie behind the Buddha images that we have for sale on our website.

When we began the project we naievely thought that 101 "things about Buddhism" was a massive piece of research but quickly found once we had begun that we surpassed 101 items in record time so now the project has morphed into 1001 pieces of information of interest about the Buddha and Buddhism but still called 'Buddhism 101'.

What a wonderful and beautiful journey of discovery and enlightenment we are now on and and we have both learnt an enormous amount on this journey though there is so much more to learn and unlearn.

"There are only two errors that one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting."

The Buddha


You can find our Buddhism 101 project here



Saturday, 12 June 2010

The Use of Buddhas in Gardens and Garden Design








Statues and Buddha images have been situated in the grounds and gardens of temples since the most ancient times and is is true to say that gardening has strong connections with the Buddhist religion:

Buddhists believe that;

The soil and earth of the Buddha garden represents the fertile ground of the Buddha's Mind.

The Sangha (which is the Pali word for Buddhist community) is the same as the harmonius ecosystem of plants that grow in the garden.

The Dhamma (which is the Pali word for the teachings of the Buddha) is the wise thoughts of the Buddha that is represented in the layout and structure of the Temple - Garden.

Read more about the use of Buddha's in Gardens at the Buddha's Face Buddhism 101 article - Buddhas in Gardens

www.thebuddhasface.co.uk


Fragrance and Incense in Buddhism



Wherever Buddhism is practised there will be the burning of incense. Inside every house containing a Buddhist shrine or Buddhist altar, incense is burned during set times of the day as an offering and in even the poorest country areas you can find incense smouldering in front of road side images, and little stone figures of the Buddha.

In Buddhism the smell of incense symbolises the fragrance of exhibiting pure moral conduct and thus serves to remind us to live our lives by high standards and good rules.







"No ashes are lighter than those of incense, and few things burn out sooner."

Walter Savage Landor

Find out more about Buddhism and incense in our Buddhism 101 project at the Buddha's Face



Friday, 11 June 2010

Buy this Buddha Wall Art and help the UK Thai Children's Fund



Wooden Buddha Wall Art Panel 1m x 1m Dark Wood with Gold Leaf

The Buddha's Face donated this stuning Buddha Wall Art carving to the raffle at the recent UK Thai Children's Fund at their annual fundrasing event at the MTV Studios ,Camden, London. The kind hearted and generous winner decided to donate this beautiful carving back to the charity. So on behalf of them we are offering this piece for sale - all proceeds go direct to the UK Thailand Children's Fund

www.uktcf.org/


This unique and stunning Buddha wall art is lovingly carved from recycled Burmese mango wood, it's a truly wonderful wood carving with intricate filigree detail and finished off by hand with gold leaf. It would make a stunning centre piece feature of any room.

Please note it is not suitable for gardens owing to the gold leaf.

If you would like to purchase an alternative wood carving from the Buddha's Face to be donated to the UKTCF then please contact us.

The Buddha's Face

The best place to buy wholesale and retail Buddha statues,sculptures and wall art decor for the home and garden


Buy it here

Our Price: £375.00

Yoga and The Buddha's Face



The discipline of Hatha Yoga is enjoying unprecedented popularity in the western world and is being used as a means to gain physical fitness, physical therapy, and spiritual growth and development. The current practice of Hatha Yoga is derived from ancient Tantric exercises and breath control. However less well known are the systems of Buddhist Yoga which dates back to the time of the Buddha,and shares a common lineage with ancient Hatha Yoga.

This is part of the Buddha's Face 101 Project Yoga and Buddhism









UK Thai Children's Fund MTV Fund Rasing Charity Show at MTV Studios London



The Buddha’s Face were very pleased last week to organise the raffle at the annual fundraising event of the UK Thai Children’s Fund (http://www.uktcf.org) held at the wonderful MTV studios , overlooking Camden Lock, London.

We had an opportunity to display some of larger Buddha Face wall art panels and decorative items for sale from our recent relaunched website (www.thebuddhasface.co.uk) The star prize was any large Buddha Wall Art on display to be chosen personally by the winner.

In total £350 pounds was raised and we were delighted when the (Thai !) winner chose a Reclining Buddha wall art panel 1.75m x 90cm and also generously donated a further £100 to the charity. It was a great fun filled evening and on the spur of the moment the Buddha’s Face founder Den Hukins decided to have a second raffle prize which was duly won by Andy Pendergast who chose a 1m x 1m Buddha face wall art beautifully decorated in gold leaf. In keeping with the spirit of the night he very generously decided to allow the piece to be sold off on our website and the proceeds donated to the charity. This piece can be found on our homepage.

The music was provided by Demachena a wonderful afro-fusion band and delicious food came from authentic Thai cooks.

Thai Buddhists call donating their time, money or food to monks ‘tam boon’ (literally making good) as part of their Buddhist obligation to ensure that harmonious peace is encouraged and preserved. The Buddha’s Face whose art work and crafts come from two families in Northern Thailand, are carved with respect to Fair Trade principles and ethics are pleased to carry on this tradition.

The Buddha’s Face

The best place to buy Buddha statues, wall art panels and decor for both the home and garden

UK Thai Children's Fund

http://www.uktcf.org/

www.thebuddhasface.co.uk

Thursday, 10 June 2010

The Laughing Buddha



The legend of the Laughing Buddha is well known throughout the eastern world and now commonly also in the western world. He is a character known as Hotei or Pu-Tai and is most popular in China where he is also referred to as the "Loving" or "Friendly One". He is thought to be based on an eccentric Chinese Zen monk who lived over a thousand years ago.

The Laughing Buddha is now a dominant feature of Buddhist and Shinto culture,temples and shrines. He displays a very open and jolly personality being regarded as an incarnation of the Maitreya bodhisattva - or the Future Buddha who is yet to come. As befits his name he has large protruding belly and jocular smile.

Find out more at the Buddha's Face Buddhism 101 project at http://www.thebuddhasface.co.uk/laughing-buddha--statues-48-c.asp

www.thebuddhasface.co.uk


My personal Top 10 Favourite Buddhist movie clips from You Tube



For people who are not born Buddhists it may be difficult to fully understand the teachings and philosophy of Buddhism. Here in the West we belong and seek attachment to wealth and the cult of individual personality and these form dominant themes and can be seen to be in opposition to the teachings of the Buddha.So that's where the popular medium of motion pictures and in particular the widescreen global appeal of Hollywood can assist in creating a deeper understanding. These popular movies can feature,pain, loss, desire and attachment and with these common themes the viewer can relate directly to the major issues and mores of modern contemporary Buddhism.

http://www.thebuddhasface.co.uk/buddhism-in-the-movies---the-buddha-comes-to-hollywood-54-c.asp

www.thebuddhasface.co.uk

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The UK Thailand Children's Fund and the Buddha's Face


Last week the Buddha's Face was pleased to support the charity the UK Thai Children's Fund. We ran a raffle at the event which took place at the MTV studios in Camden,London, UK and wonderful music was provided by Demachena the Afro-Fusion band. A great time was had by all and well over £1500 was raised for a great cause.

The UKTCF is the UK fundraising arm of the Support the Children Foundation based in Chaing Mai. The Support the Children foundation currently assists approximately 550 children in the area who have been infected by or affected by HIV/AIDS. The UKTCF is operated by a voluntary group of trustees in UK. The Buddha's Face was very proud to exhibit at the vent and donate prizes of our wall art to raise vitally needed funds for the charity.

The Buddha's Face - The best place to buy Buddha statues,wall art panels and decor for the home and garden

http://www.uktcf.org
http://www.thebuddhasface.co.uk
http://bravomedia.co.uk/proj_Demachena/




View pictures of the night here