Thursday, 30 June 2011

In my ends are my beginnings - I Shall Be Released

Today is the day that I finish full time work for the government. For 26 years I have worked in various guises for different branches of the UK central government. Indeed it was a posting in the Embassy in Thailand in 2003 where I met my wife and was exposed to a Buddhist society for the first time and where I met my friend and business partner who founded the Buddha’s Face. I will be sad to leave the warm companionship of work with shared objectives and goals and a sense of purpose. But I won’t be sorry to leave the increasing pressure, impossible deadlines and unfeasible policy decisions that require hapless strung out civil servant to try and execute the impossible by yesterday.

With the time I have available I will be working more on the Buddha’s Face website and blog and hopefully be more engaged with the spiritual having time to reflect and engage with the world in which I live.

Time is short and our life on this world passes quickly – one day we’re at school wishing our days away to the holidays and the next I’m at the cusp of a new life away from the large unfeeling bureaucracy with its guaranteed monthly pay check.

Buddhism has taught me that;

  • I am responsible for my own future
  • I have choices
  • The best things in life are not things
  • It’s easier to follow the pack – and we shouldn’t be frightened at having the courage to fail
And finally I find it comforting to remember the Buddha’s last words when embarking on a new direction in my life…

"Nothing is permanent – strive on with diligence"


The Buddha's Face

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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself


"Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself”


The Buddha's Face

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Is this the most beautiful Zen garden ever ?


I love this picture of a Zen garden and hence the description in the title. Is it ?

“If you have no feelings about worldly things, they are all Buddhism; if you have feelings about Buddhism, it is a worldly thing”

The Buddha's Face

Choose from the best collection of wooden Buddha Wall Art panels, plaques and Buddha Statues to transform your home or garden into a peaceful sanctuary.

From a large feature wall piece to a small serene stone Buddha for that corner in your garden, it’s all here.

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Compilation Index of all the 3D Buddha Statue Stereogrammes

As I’ve mentioned before the most popular articles on the Buddha’s Face blog are the 3D stereogrammes of which I’ve now published a few. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to make you and google find the whole list a lot more easily – here they are - I hope you enjoy them. It has even been said that repeated practice of viewing the sterogrammes can have a beneficial effect on your eyesight !

3D Buddha Stereogramme Number 1

3D Buddha Stereogramme Number 2

3D Buddha Stereogramme Number 3

3D Buddha Stereogramme Number 4

3D Buddha Stereogramme Number 5

When the student is ready, the master appears. Buddhist Proverb

The Buddha's Face

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From a large feature wall piece to a small serene stone Buddha for that corner in your garden, it’s all here.

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Thai Animated Cartoon – The Life of the Buddha

3 years in the making and only the 3rd full length cartoon made in Thailand’s movie history – the Life of the Buddha cost over £1 million pounds to make and was the personal project of the rich Thai business woman Wallapa Phimtong. The film is well made and worthy and resembles the modern Walt Disney style.

However the film was not received well critically the Bangkok Post remarked that the movie whilst well-meaning lacked depth and would appeal mainly to children. From this short clip sadly I would tend to agree.

The Buddha's Face

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From a large feature wall piece to a small serene stone Buddha for that corner in your garden, it’s all here.

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More Buddhism in US Animated Cartoons – King of the Hill – Won’t You Pimai Neighbour

Keeping on with the theme of Buddhism in popular animated cartoon series is this particular gem. Less popular than the Simpsons but with a long and established fan base the Fox animated situation comedy King of the Hill featured a prolonged Buddhist theme for its 78th episode back in 2000.

The episode was praised and shown at the International Buddhist festival. Read more about it over at Wikipedia – Won’t You Pimai Neighbour.

BOBBY - "Let the wind take the world away. What do you hear inside, Connie?"

CONNIE - "I just hear my dad's ignorance and my mum’s empty headed materialism. No, wait, I hear my dad's empty headed materialism too. That's the loudest."

The Buddha's Face

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From a large feature wall piece to a small serene stone Buddha for that corner in your garden, it’s all here.

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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Zen Koan woven around a Jungle Track


Just back from Glastonbury which as always is a full on experience. Whilst searching for more Zen Koans which is my groove at the moment I came across the following video. Jungle music and Zen as told by Genno Roshi.





Lisa Simpson and Buddhism - She of Little Faith

Not many people know but the long running US animated cartoon series has featured the Buddhist religion in the 6th episode of the 13th season in 2002. In the usual complicated Simpsons plot line we see Lisa Simpson abandoning an over commercialized Christianity and embracing Buddhism along with a cartoon Richard Gere (who is one the cartoon’s best looking celebrity visualizations) who also espouses his spirituality.

It is thought that Lisa has continued to be a Buddhist in subsequent episodes and on that basis I think we can safely say that Lisa Simpson is the longest running Buddhist cartoon characters in history!

“All things are empty of inherent existence.” Lisa Simpson


Zen Koan - The Most Valuable Thing in the World

Sozan who was a Chinese Zen teacher , was asked by one of his pupils "What do you think is the most valuable thing in the world?"

Sozan quickly answered: "A dead cat’s head."

His pupil was flummoxed and replied “Why do you think that?”

The teacher answered: "Because no one can name its price."


Zen Koan - The Black Nosed Buddha

A nun sought enlightenment just like the Buddha and to inspire her she had a Buddha statue made and covered it in gold leaf. This was her constant companion and she carried this Buddha statue along with her wherever she went. Eventually when she was old she went to live in a little temple in a country which had many Buddha temples and many Buddha shrines.

To pay homage to her statue she liked to burn incense in front of her particular Buddha but was disturbed to think that this smoke could filter away from her golden Buddha and go to other shrines. So thinking about this problem she constructed a funnel which would gather the smoke and deliver it only to her much–loved Buddha statue. This had the effect of darkening the nose of her golden Buddha thus rendering it especially ugly.


Zen Koan - No Work , No Food

Hyakujo - who was a famous Chinese Zen teacher would work alongside his students even when he reached the ripe old age of 80. His work included tending the gardens keeping the monastery grounds clean and tidy.

His students felt he should stop work and rest his aged body but he just would not listen to their advice. So to make him stop they hid away his tools where he couldn't find them.

The very next day Hyakujo refused to eat and he repeated this the day after. The students reflected on their actions and decided to put his tools back in the place where he had taken them.

That night the Zen master worked and ate as was his normal routine. When he had eaten he told his students “No work, no food”.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Buddhism and Advertising - Ellen Degeneres and the Amex Meditation Ad

Whilst on the subject of advertising and marketeers subverting and hijacking the message and iconography of Buddhism and in particular meditation here’s an ad for Amex starring Ellen Degeneres. We’ve all been there - we are trying to meditate and our minds won’t be stilled – the issues and problems of our lives race around in our disordered minds seeking solutions and just won’t go away. The answer is not now go away – for now I am stilling my mind – if all else fails then take out Buddhist meditation insurance for those days when you know you can’t be calm!

We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection. Dalai Lama


The Dalai Lama Latte - An Amazing Ad from Taiwan


Right back to classic Buddha's Face blog with little gem from You Tube. A life affirming quirky ad for the ultimate in mindful coffee drinking - the Dalai Lama Latte. Taiwan's Villa Garden Hotel has come up with the funky idea of a latte with a picture of his holiness in the froth. Not sure it would go down so well in mainland China though.

Can I have mine with an extra portion of compassion please - nice music too !

The purpose of our lives is to be happy - Dalai Lama



Monday, 20 June 2011

A Beautiful Buddha picture and 100 Buddha Video


The 100 Buddha's Parts 1 and 2 from the Buddha's Face You Tube Channel

It is very important to create a good attitude for your self, and have a good heart, as much as you can. For from this attitude, happiness in both the short term and the long run for yourself and others will come. Dalai Lama




The Buddhist Glastonbury - Buddhafield

Just off to Glastonbury for the week so there will no more blogging until I return. Festivals are a wonderful place to recharge your batteries, experience a lot of new sensations and meet some great people. Glastonbury of course is the child of the wonderful human being Michael Eavis whose father was Methodist lay preacher and he himself is an inspiring libertarian teetotalling farmer with a love of music. It is now firmly the world’s greatest art and music festival taking place over 4 days and attracting 185,000 visitors.

There is a lesser known equivalent Buddhist 'Glastonbury' this is a community of men and women who follow the Buddha's path and see nature , natural living and living in the community all part of their life's journey. They meet annually at the Buddhafield festival which is a spin out from the Glastonbury healing fields in the early nineties. There's comunity, good food, music meditation and inspiration and as they follow the five Buddhist precepts there is strictly no intoxicants sold or consumed on the site. I hope some day I’ll join them.

All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives. Dalai Lama



The Lessons I Have Learnt from the Buddha

Every day if we watch the news we are confronted by man’s inhumanity to man. The latest natural catastrophe, war, famine or a mixture of all three. Financial meltdown, insecurity, rampant greed and selfishness. These can appear to be the way of the world and if we concentrate on them than we may become troubled – filled with despair and gloom and anxious for our futures.

How can we avoid this – well firstly by not focusing on all the ills – the news seldom reports the good things that happens , the myriad acts of kindness that occur each and every moment , the inherent goodness of people when they are allowed to be good, the smiles we share , the communion of friends and family. So switch it off and seek more inspiring thoughts. Go for a walk – get off the internet – look at the marvellous world which we inhabit and study a tree or flower.

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly then our whole life would change. Buddha


That’s where I hope the Buddha’s Face blog comes in. It must be said I started this as an adjunct to our commercial website The Buddha’s Face and as an aid to gaining traffic for the website. However as I have become more involved in finding information to write about and searching the web for quotes, inspiring stories and videos I have gone on a journey as well that has changed my purpose and focus.

Just exposing yourself to his life story, the message and the way of the Buddha cannot but change you – at first in subtle ways and then one day you just wake up and realise that the Buddha is in your heart. If I had to say what is the most important feature of this Buddhism-lite it is that it gives me a toolkit to understand my life and my place in the world and to live more in the moment and by so doing begin to really enjoy life. Once we stop wanting we can begin living.

I’ll leave you with some quotes from probably the most famous Buddhist who has ever lived – the Dalai Lama and a video I made for the Buddha’s Face You Tube site.

If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.

If you have a particular faith or religion, that is good. But you can survive without it.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Buddha's Face - Wall Art In Situ

Osamu Tezuka's The Buddha - Japanese Manga Cartoon Series

Buddha is a Japanese manga comic drawn by the noted artist Osamu Tezuka and is his own interpretation of the life of the Buddha, the founder of the Buddhist ‘religion’. The critically acclaimed series is often thought to be close to the bone even sexual, depiction of the life of the Buddha.

This received the 2004, 2005 Eisner Award. And at the beginning of 2006, each volume had sold nearly of 9000 copies, with one edition Kapilavastu sold a stunning 20,000 copies.

An anime feature length film has been made of the work and has just been released.


Buddha Manga - Japanese Manga Art and a Stunning Buddha Image

I really don’t know where this stunning Buddha artwork has come from but it looks like a typical Japanese manga cityscape with a Buddha at its heart radiating light at the centre of a dark and seemingly demonic city.

And that’s why I find it so inspiring - the simple image sums up precisely what the message of the Buddha is - light in a darkening world – making sense of the chaos of our lives and reminding us of the transient nature of ourselves and our existence. A man who thought long and hard and in the end realizes that only compassion can save us from ourselves.

“On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him.” Buddha

The Buddha's Face

The Wizard of Oz as a Buddhist Parable

I’ve always had a strong feeling that the classic story The Wizard of Oz is a Buddhist parable. Dorothy and the cowardly lion, the tin man and the scarecrow are off following the yellow brick road to meet the Wizard who will be the answer to their prayers. Their journey as we know is one of many adventures and in which they confront danger and evil to finally arrive at the moment of their enlightenment. Which is of course that the Wizard is no such thing a charlatan who has fooled everybody. On hearing this they each have their moment of personal enlightenment when they realise that they are responsible for their own happiness and destiny and it is through their own beliefs and actions that they will finally be whole and complete.

Buddha and the Robot - Time Lapse Amateur Cartoon



I like this one - a lot. It's a fine example of a gifted amateur letting his imagination and talents free rein and showcasing the finished product via You Tube. It reminds me of the sort of animations that used to feature in the BBC children's programme Vision On in the 1960s and would have taken a whole plethora of 60s film equipment to make it happen. Not now a small digital camera and imagination , a computer and an internet connection and you're cooking.

If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them. Dalai Lama


3D Video Animation - Robot Buddhist Monk


No one has yet done to my knowledge true 3D videos of a Buddhist theme on You Tube but my feelers are out and will look forward to premiering one as soon as it appears. In the meantime we will have to make do with some superb renditions including this CGI marvel of a 3D Buddhist monk and a lotus flower.

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." Dalai Lama


Zen Noir - Film Noir meets Buddhism


Zen Buddhism meets Film Noir in Zen Noir – has to be said not a great fan of film noir I find it too stylised and knowing in its exposition but that’s just a personal view.

It’s a 2006 Buddhist murder mystery and since the review site Rotten Tomatoes has given it a disappointing 29% it seems to predict what my worse nightmares would be.

Too many unhappy memories as student of forcing me to watch obscure foreign movies in out-of-the-way art house cinemas. However it meets the criteria of the Buddha’s Face blog so it’s in!

"Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others." Buddha

And one more 3D Buddha Stereogram Optical Illusion


Wow - the stats speak for themself - so whilst looking for the previous 3D Buddha I also came across this one which appears to be a ball suspended over a mound but uses Buddha images as part of its matrix.

Best Ever 3D Buddha Image Stereogramme - Optical Illusion


Ok my stats tell me that the 3D Buddha stereogrammes are the most popular blog entries - never mind all the refined philosophy, religious insight and inspiring tales of the Dhamma it's 3D pictures of the Buddha that you want so that is what you'll get. This is I think the best I've found so far and is even on a natural photo theme. Hope you enjoy it .

Saturday, 18 June 2011

The Lost Horizon Movie (1973) - Buddhist Shangri-La

What would a world be like where the people lived truly to Buddhist principles and morals – would it be a veritable Shangri-La ? This 1973 Hollywood movie telling James Hilton's Utopian lost world is now a very pleasant retro musical with Bacharach pop music.

A group of westerners escape from war-torn China but their plane crashes in the Himalayas. Here they are rescued and taken to the mysterious Valley of the Blue Moon, Shangri-La. Secret from the rest of the planet Shangri-La is a country of peace and tranquility for tired-of-the-world diplomat Richard Conway (Peter Finch). There is no crime, war, illness or sadness and people can live for hundreds of year. Richard’s brother, George (Michael York), views it as a gaol from which he wants to escape, even at the expense of his life and bringing destruction to the noble ancient traditions of Shangri-La. In this clip they have crashed and climbed through the mountains to get their first view of paradise.

Chang: Miss Hughes! You are in the midst of life. Do not seek death; it will find you. But choose the road that makes death a fulfillment.

Dharma River Journey of a Thousand Buddhas

The blog moves in themes and we are now on a movie journey. The following trailer is a highly commended film about Buddhism in Thailand, Laos and Burma. The traditional Theravadan Buddhism practised there is now centuries old and informs and infuses the life of the people in these countries. This movie travels through these countries documenting beautifully the landscape, people, temples and the myriad representations of the Buddha image.

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

The Buddha on PBS - Dedicated You Tube Channel

PBS or America's Public Broadcasting System is a non-profit broadcasting system which is a non commercial channel similar to the BBC but without the licence fee. I've previously showcased their advert for the programme the Life of the Buddha and whilst searching for more information came across their dedicated channel on You Tube. They appear to have all the episodes to watch - so below I've embedded the very first section for you to have a look see which deals with his life and birth and is I have say very good indeed - watch it and be enlightened.

“What is the noble truth of suffering? Birth is suffering, ageing is suffering and sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering.” Buddha

The Buddha's Face