The Buddha Akshobhya, also known as "The Immovable One", vowed to never be filled with anger or disgust at another being, and thusly the rituals and mantras associated with him are said to endow the mind with knowledge of what is real and what is false, and not only protect one from being reborn into a lower realm, but upon recitation of his mantra one million times along with the creation of a statue of him, your loved ones will also be freed from unfortunate rebirths.
"Om Tayata… Om Bekanze… Bekanze Maha Bekanze…Radza Samudgate Soha!" This is the all-powerful mantra of Bhaisajyaguru, the Medicine Buddha, the Supreme Healer, the Greatest Physician, and is a reminder that the greatest health exists within us, within our own minds. It translates to "One who has gone beyond, the One who does away with Pain, the Greatest Eliminator of All Pain, The Perfectly Awakened One, Thank You!"
Chenrezig is the Tibetan Buddhist patron Bodhisattva of Compassion. Also knows as Avalokiteshvara in Southeast Asia and Guan-Yin in China and Japan, he is one of our favorites as well since he swore to never enter Nirvana until he helped every other sentient being in the Universe reach Enlightenment first. We liked him so much, we're giving him a second go in red to accompany our rendition of him in silver!
The Sattva is an accomplished being, one who has overcome all obstacles of life, karma, and samsara; a "heroic minded one" who has triumphed over the sway of delusion. A Bodhisattva is one who has conquered the grasp of attachment with the purity and power of enlightenment, and postpones their own rest until all have been awakened .
"No Matter What You Think, It's Only A Thought." We are unsure as to who originally put this pithy truism to words – possibly Ponlop Rinpoche – but the fact of the matter remains: whatever comes to the mind, be it fear or anger or love or want, it has no substance and no form. It is only a fleeting apparition, a cloud, a whisper that quickly dissapates as attention moves on.
The Apana Mudra is the hand position of purification. In Hindu, Yogic, and Buddhist traditions the concept of purifying the body and mind are of prime importance to reaching an enlightened and liberated state. It is said by touching the the second and third finger to the thumb during practice, the body and mind are activiated toward detoxification and clarity.
The Bodhi tree at the Mahabodhi Temple located in Bodh Gaya is called the Sri Maha Bodhi and is the Sacred Fig tree under which Siddhartha Gautama achieved enlightenment, becoming the Buddha Shakyamuni. Bodhi is the term for enlightmenment, the release of samsaric fetters and delusion.
Apsaras are celestial dancers in Thai, Cambodian, and HIndu mythology. They are seen all throughout the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia appearing in many different reliefs and eternally dancing. In the Angkor Wat temple alone there are an estimated 1,800 carvings of these dancing goddesses, each with their own style, adornment, and expressions.
In the Tibetan tradition, the phrase for religious works of art is translated as "support," and all Tibetan monks are required to learn how to construct sand mandalas as part of their meditation practice. The mandala represents the cyclic wholeness of life, an organizational cosmic diagram of one's relation to the infinite and to the impermanent world that extends both beyond and within our beings. The sand of the mandala is swept away after the completion, and then poured into a nearby river, displaying the inherent anicca of reality.
In 1959 the Dalai Lama, with over 100,000 Tibetans, fled the Maoist Chinese invasion of Tibet to Dharmasala, India establishing the Tibetan Government-in Exile. The Chinese invasion of Tibet has resulted in the deaths of over 1.2 million Tibetans and the imprisonment and torture of thousands more. Destroying over 6,000 Buddhist monasteries and shrines throughout Tibet, over 80 Tibetans have sacrificed their lives in protest by setting themselves on fire. Many just this year.
The Tibetan Flag is full of deep symbolism about the nature of Tibet: In the centre stands a snow clad mountain, which represents Tibet, the "Land of the Snow", topped by the sun shining in all directions for equality and freedom, with six red bands spreading to represent the original ancestors of the Tibet. The two lions represents the peoples' guarding and cherishing correct ethics and behavior, with the three jewels held for the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. The three-sided yellow border represents the flourishing of the Buddha's teachings and the side without a border represents Tibet's openness to non-Buddhist thought.
"There is not a single aspect of the eighty-four thousand sections of the Buddha's teachings which is not contained in Avalokiteshvara's six syllable mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum", and as such the qualities of the "mani" are praised again and again in the Sutras and Tantras.... Whether happy or sad, if we take the "mani" as our refuge, Chenrezig will never forsake us, spontaneous devotion will arise in our minds and the Great Vehicle will effortlessly be realized." - Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
After his enlightenment, the Buddha was sitting in a forest, entering into a deep absorption on the nature of pehenomena, when a terrific storm began to swirl around him. As the heavy rains began to fall, Mucalinda, King of the Nagas (a spiritual, snake-like creature of great wisdom and knowledge) realized the importance of the truths the Buddha was to penetrate and coiled around him, splitting his own head into seven and protecting Shakyamuni from the tempest. With the intense and various storms that have been swirling around the world, may we all be an umbrella for our fellow humans.
Ajahn Brahm tells a great version of the strory of the ancient king who had everything he could possibly have hoped for in life except for the cure for his intense dissatisfaction when things went awry. Being surrounded by clergy and servants and trusted companions, he instructed them to find a way to help him when his expectations were dashed. The troop got together and fashioned a ring for the King, that said "This Too Shall Pass" and instructed him to look at the ring when he was at his most saddest and his most happiest so that he would be reminded, in both joy and sorrow, that this too shall pass.
The vajra is a tantric symbol of strength and penetration beyond the mental realms of delusion and delerium. It is symbolic of the nature of reality (sunyata) indicating endless creativity, potency, and skillful activity. Known as the "Diamond Thunderbolt" it's origins were of a Hindu weapon, made of the bone of a sage, and weilded by Indra to defeat the Asuras who ransacked his Deva kingdom.
The Buddha spoke very often of the power of letting go…letting go of anger as if it were a hot coal in the hand…letting go of hate as if it were a poison in the mind…letting go of sadness as if it were a stumbling block to helping others be free. In the transient reality of this foam-like world, based on conglomerate perception of eternally changing and shifting phenomena, holding on to anything is to sink to the bottom, while letting go is freeing the arms to swim.
Manjushri is one of the oldest and most significant bodhisattvas in the Mahayana, being the embodiment of the Buddha's Trancendant Wisdom. Armed with a flaming sword to cut off delusion, and prepared with the Prajnaparamita texts of Ulitmate Realization, the tales and stories of Manjushri's acute upaya (skillful means in expounding the Dharma correctly for each listener) has been a source of inspiration and devotion for centuries.
Reflection is the cornerstone of the Buddha's lessons in escaping the currents of Samsara. Not only is careful execution and compassionate effort in all that one does of definite importance, the Buddha understood that the flow of phenomena will continuously catch us in reaction. Thusly, meditative reflection on the actions of the body and the responses of the mind is crucial in understanding what it means to be human, what it means to be alive, what it means to be here and now.
It has been said that at the time of passing, due to his unending compassion and infinite amout of merit, everyone who tranfers through death is immediately embraced by the loving arms of Amitabha Buddha. Regradless of faith or philosphy, he is blessed with the task of comforting you on your journey.
"For it is not through the connectedness of states, that the characteristic of
impermanence becomes apparent to one who rightly observes rise and fall, but rather the characteristic becomes properly evident through their discrete disconnectedness, regarded as if each moment were iron darts, hitting in on reality one by one separately, instead of as a continuous flow of slow change." -Vissudhimagga 824
Bhaishajyaguru, The Great Medicine Buddha, is often seen holding the stem of the myrobalan plant between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand. This healing yet bitter-tasting plant, affecting both mind and body, is known as the "universal treatment," curing all 404 diseases and the three basic types of illness of conflicting emotions- passion, aggression, and ignorance. A perfect representation of the Buddha of Healing.
Known as the Saint Lama (Guru Rinpoche), and a "second Buddha", Padmasambhava spent 50 years spreading the Dharma and Tantric practices throughout Tibet, turning malevolent Gods into Dharmapalas (Dharma Protectors), and ensuring Termas (treasures of wisdom) were found by future seekers.
OM PADMO USHNISHA VIMALE HUM PHET. Known as the Wish-Fulfilling Wheel Mantra, it is said if you recite it seven times each day you will accumulate unbelievable merit equivalent to that of making offerings to Buddhas and be reborn in the pure realms. Reciting this mantra just once has the power to purify the five negative karmas.
In Quantum Physics, it is theorized that all objects in space are dependent on the observer actively observing to actually take a form. Before that moment all things are in "super-position" which means they are taking every possible form simultaneously until the mind causes these states to collapse into one recognizable "wave function" or behavior. Very similar to "Emptiness", eh?
Samma Vayama is Right Effort, also known as Right Diligence, Right Energy, Right Focus, and Right Control. Right Effort is the acting upon the mindful awareness of where your mental and physical efforts are going and their energetic outcomes, both internally and externally. More than just awareness, this stage in the Eightfold Path focuses on the active aspect of actually doing something to clear the mind of mischief and judgement, or working towards the benefit of all.
Much of the imagery in Buddhist art gives us representations of virtuous beings and enlightened creatures as having multiple faces. Although these can symbolize all-encompassing awareness, they also represent the fluidity of mind and mood. We all have many faces and phases we show and go through each day, meeting each moment somehow new and different, taking the shape of the changing environment we are constantly entering into.
Wikipedia defines "schema" as "an organized pattern of thought or behavior. It can also be described as a mental structure of pre-conceived ideas, a framework representing some aspect of the world, or a system of organizing and perceiving new information. Schemata influence attention and the absorption of new knowledge." Sounds a lot like the path the Buddha set forth for us to follow along: an attention-based framework within which to reframe the conditioned world and see it as it really is.
Rahula is a Dharmapala, a protector of the Truth and fierce enemy of delusion and ignorance. He has two faces - one on his head and the other on his body, which is covered with multiple eyes. Being reborn from a crow, we dedicate this badge to our beloved fellow BudhaBadger, Erica, who is under medical care and can't be with us at the temple. May she be protected as she takes part in the process of understanding her health, her strength, and her well-being. We love you Erica!
The full moon of the month of May is celebrated the world over as the Buddha's Birthday! Called "Vesak" or "Wesak", Buddhists across the lands partake in various festivals and rituals such as bathing their Buddha statues, venerating their baby Buddha statue, lighting various insense and offering various foods, and sending off floating laterns with the Buddha's name attached. It is a time of renewal for the student and gratitude to the teacher.
Candles are a major part of the Dharmic practices. It is uncountable how many mediation sessions, dharma talks, invocations, and events are started with a simple lighting of the candle. Symbolizing the light of the Buddha's teaching; it's warmth and exactness; it's ability to spread and change; the old saying explains it best: "Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."
Take A Walk
The Buddha walked. Bodhidharma walked. Maha Ghosananda walked. Ghandi walked. Thich Nhat Hanh is still walking. Meditative walking is a fundamental aspect to the Buddhist philosphy of incorporating a still and awake type of perspective on active, daily experience. It was said when the Buddha first walked (moments after his birth, mind you) flowers sprouted from his footsteps. May we all walk so lightly.
So many amazing things are going on in the contemporary landscape as people are finding new ways to help each other, connect with each other, protect each other, and help each other flourish. In the darkest times, humanity finds ways to break through to higher levels. As Buddhists, it is our honor to show how sitting in reflection allows one to better stand up for what is for the benefit of all beings.
Love Is The Way
One of our "Buddha Badgers" at the temple experimented with carrying a large sign all around downtown San Diego that simply said "LOVE IS THE WAY". The reaction from the people he passed was amazing. Some shied away, some could hardly stand to look. But many, many more people smiled, some read it out loud and agreed, some hi-fived him, many people stopped to take a picture of or with him. As he walked around town, and cars honked and couples snuck a kiss in public, he realized with out a doubt "Love IS The Way."
Perpectives of Dharma
One of the things that the Dharma stresses the most is understanding perspectives. Every creature on the planet has their own unique perspective on a situation, and each situation is a unique perspective on a basic dharma of life. Understanding and being conscious of various perspectives is a key to stresslessness. Life is happening, simultaneously, for a universe full of beings helping to create the manifold masterpiece that is perceived reality.
Koshin of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, which was one of our causes last year, asked if we could create a special badge for their charity, with the benefits of the sales to go to their annual drive. We, of course, were happy to oblige! The NYZCCC is building its home in the heart of Manhattan to provide respite for people at an end-of-life guest house, but also a model center engaged in education, training, consulting and daily meditation.
As the world is in change, from protests in Europe, to wars in the Middle East, to bureaucracy failing in America over 22 Tibetan Monks and Nuns have made their bodies the ground for protest as they self-immolated–or set themselves on fire publicly–as dire act of dissent against their decades long oppression and genocide by the current Chinese regime. May the fateful teachings of these selfless brothers and sisters be understood by all.
This month we are making our home, The Dharma Bum Temple, our special recipient of love as they have been a true center of beautiful Buddhist activity in San Diego. This badge depicts a Dharma Bum Teaching. At the DBT they have classes ranging from basic meditaion, Zen, Vipassana, college campus meditations, various Book Studies, children's classes, and more. The list of teachers that have come through the DBT to illuminate minds has been amazing!
Some of the wonderful weekly programs that come out of the Dharma Bum Temple are true outreach programs that would make any Buddha proud. From prison meditation outreach, to addiction and recovery programs, to facilitating the poor on the streets, the programs at DBT aim to help anyone liberate themselves, regardless of their present status and location.
One of the major lessons that permeate the ways of the Dharma Bum Temple is "dana", the act of giving; the practice of generosity. Through various community outreach programs, food redistribution drives, live-in retreats and seasonal events, the DBT emphasizes the teachings of the Buddha to reply on others and give unflinchingly. The DBT is also run by donations, so this month we, BuddhaBadges, practice dana for our temple.
The Buddha revealed that a Buddha is more than just a being at one point in time, but an ever-encompassing truth that transcends space and condition. Buddha is in all the atoms, in light and shadow, in the trees, the air, the rocks, the storms, the help we give, the food we eat, the tears we shed, the triumphs, the losses, the liberations, and in the last breath we take. The Principle of Buddhahood is all-pervading, everywhere.
A Koan: "One day Subhuti, in a mood of sublime emptiness, was sitting under a tree. Flowers began to fall about him. 'We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness,' the Gods whispered to him.
'But I have not spoken of emptiness,' said Subhuti.
'You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard emptiness,' responded the Gods. 'This is the true emptiness.' And blossoms showered upon Subhuti as rain."
In Buddhist philosophy the psycho-physical consciousness comes about by the interactions of 6 sense doors, or dhatus. These 6 being sight (eyes), hearing (ears), smell (nostrils), taste (tounge), touch (body) and mind (consciousness and intellect). Together these work to help us ascertain, manipulate, and create our reality.
"You create the world with your thoughts. What you think you become." These lessons from the Buddha are a the heart of Mindfulnes practice: to take responsibility for your world by controlling your reactions to the flow and direction of your thoughts, even if it is by only being mindful of them.
The followers of the Nichiren Buddhist tradition have a series of beautiful chants, images, and ceremonies that celebrate the teachings of the Lotus Sutra - some of those being of innate Buddhahood and an Enlightented life. The Gohonzon is a Japanese ink-based thangka used as a meditational focal point and devotional shrine that, among other things, cites from the Lotus Sutra itself.
A hero of BuddhaBadges, Maha Ghosananda, handed out copies of the Metta Sutra wherever he went, sharing the promise of kindness and the protection and freedom it offers to everyone. In that tradition we bring you the Metta Sutra in Japanese, with each character on top of the next, all piled on itself in one condensed Metta Moment! Focused Friendliness!
All over the world there is an Occupational Mindset overtaking the hearts and wills of average, every day people. Reaching out and touching upon pains that they find similarly in others, humans across the globe have been reaching up and holding signs, having speeches, and marching in protest. And all we ask is to take a moment, relax, breathe, and Occupy the Mind.
In this, the holiday of Thanksgiving in America, we bring you the Garuda – the half-bird, half-man mythical and magical protector found in Thai artistry and with ancient Hindu roots. These feathered Garudas have a double purpose – as the first 30 of these that sell will go to the Farm Sanctuary to adopt a turkey and spare it from Thanksgiving slaughter.
Although Buddhism has many forms in all the regions it spans, the three main schools that all practices seem to stem from are the Mahayana, the Theravadin, and the Vajrayana. Like three lotuses on a pond, they each have their own style and direction, but have many overlaps with equal beauty, simplicity, and strength.
In these days children are sad, suffering, and dying at the hands of new diseases, new dangers, and new dissappointments. In these days we need to upgrade our Bodhisattvas: In these days we need a Cyber-Jizo! Unimpeded by time and space, this compassion-based energy guardian would protect this world's young at Kalpa-byte upload speeds, with Karmic GPS precision, over-the-air upgradable Upaya, and pixel-perfect Prajna. Cyber-Jizo!
All over the world change is afoot. In every culture, in every society change somehow, some way is taking shape. Some of this change is slow and small in areas, gradual and subtle in others. But elsewhere revolution is marching in the streets, touting weapons, carrying banners, signing agreements, and sitting in prisons. This badge seeks to embrace that "change" in languages from across the globe, in honor of those in change around the globe.
The Dhyana Mudra - two gentle fists meeting knuckle to knuckle upon the lap - is most attributed to Amitabha and symbolizes the meeting of the physical and the spiritual, the ultimate and the mundane, the absolute and the conventional, the internal and the external, the struggle and the release, the actual and the delusional. As a meditaiton pose, it helps to bring a strong balance by opening opposing aspects to meet face to face, to compromise.
The Buddha was such the amazing scientist of both the Universe and the Mind, that he was able to use his intellect to guess the size of the atom! Challenged to discern the smallest unit in a "yojana"— about 6 miles— the Buddha described the size of an atom by dividing lengths up by fours, twos, and sevens of everyday objects around him! Mustard seeds, fingers, even cows!
Sumedho Has A Posse
Dharma Punk and online friend of BuddhaBadges Gary stepped up and plainly asked "Can I do a badge?" And from that moment on we were forever to be assured that yes, Ajahn Sumehdo does, in fact, have a Posse. As this badge created and donated by Gary proudly reveals: Sumedho's got back-up. Let's guess the name of the Posse is called "The Sangha"!
Namasté, is a term from India that can mean "The light in me bows to the light in you" and is very popular among the followers of the Yoga practice. An ancient system of body mechanics and movements created to help remove stress, tension, and blockages from one's body and mind, when one practices yoga they can find themselves quickly with their foot in their face and their hands where their feet should be! Om!
Another conversation with Twitter pal, @mondosamu has resulted in a triple whammy badge set this month as we highlight the Three Jewels to which millions of Buddhist take refuge daily. First Up: "Buddham" - the Buddha, the Teacher, the Fully Enlightened One, The Big Guy. Taking refuge in the teacher—be it Shakyamuni, a specific Buddha or Bodhisattva, or your guru—results in a trusting humbleness that begins one's path onward to excellence. "Buddham Saranam Gachchhami!"
Up next is "Dhammam" - the Dharma, the Teaching, the Lessons, the Way, the Cannon, the Path, the Sutras, the Sastras. All of the Buddha's teachings that have been transmitted from mouth to mind over the centuries. And how did the Buddha and his monks do this? Sometimes by using the memory of numbers: 2 realities - conventional and ultimate, the 3 Jewels, the 4 Noble Truths, the 5 precepts, the 6 paramitas, the 8 auspicious symbols, the 10 Bhumis, the 12 Links of Causation, the 64 Bodhisattva Vows, the 84 Mahasiddhas, 108 beads in a mala, and so on. "Dhammam Saranam Gachchhami!"
The Third Precious Jewel is "Sangham" - The Sangha. The term Sangha can be read in so many ways. In certain ways it refers to the practicing body of Buddhists that we have all over the world. Sometimes it means a specific group of practitioners that go to one temple or the next. But we here at BuddhaBadges like to understand that all creatures great and small are Bodhisattva-in-the-works, and thusly all are part of a Universal Sangha... some farther on their path to perfection, some way, way off. "Sangham Saranam Gachchhami!"
The #mettabomb is a mini-BuddhaBadges experiment testing the kindness-spreading powers of Twitter. By taking up and using the #mettabomb hashtag daily, Twitterers all over have proven that positive sentiment, reinforcing encouragement, and interconnectedness of heart can be transmitted at over 140 characters a beat (counting spaces). View the loving onslaught at the #mettabomb Strategic Command Center Headquarters.
Following the "Free Hugs" movement, the "Free Dharma" badge transmits outwardly to the world that you—you amazing thing, you— are a loving, compassionate source of Dharmic practice and wisdom. The Buddha's advice for both monk and non-monk was to help, and the best way to help was to uproot the causes of suffering, i.e. sharing the Dharma. So share it. Freely. Openly. Never for money, nor fame, nor accolades... but for the reasons the that motivated the Buddha: to help another person smile.
Nagarjuna was seen as one of the most influential thinkers in Buddhist thought after the Common Era, and his teachings and logical deliberations on Exitstence, Emptiness, and the Middle Way helped carve the Mahayana view of the Dharma. Lore tells of Nagarjuna being taught the Prajnaparamita Sutras by mystical water snakes (known as "Naga"), as seen in our badge as an ever-smiling snake turns into a path leading to Nagarjuna's mind, balanced between black and white, poised between logical notions of "Is" and "Is not", equality and non.
Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva Mahasattva, The Great Being, The Hearer of The World’s Sorrow, The Tireless, Ceasless Compassionate was said to be so astute and skilled at helping so many in need that to picture him was to see a thousand arms with an unblinking eye in each palm: knowing what to do, unafraid.
The fun thing about Buddhism is that there are so many ways in which to reach wonderful states of equanimity, compassion, mindfulness, and beyond. One great one comes from Tibet called Guru Yoga where you imagine Padmasambava floating above your head! What fun! Here's Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche's instructions: "When you wake up in the morning, imagine that the guru emerges from your heart and rises up to sit again in the sky above your head, smiling compassionately, amidst a mass of rainbow light." (from Guru Yoga: According to the Preliminary Practice of Longchen Nyingtik)
Another wonderful aspect of not only Buddhist but almost all historical traditions is the statuary! A beautiful example is the Samantabhadra Bodhisattva of the Ten Directions Statue on Mt. Emei in China. Samantabhadra is many times seen hanging out with the Buddha and is revered as being the originator of ten of the Bodhisattva Vows and is the guardian of the Lotus Sutra.
At one of our recent BuddhaBadge sessions—right after we finished a great 2-hour Badge making marathon rounded out by a sit and dedication of merit—Lee, a Master Buddha Badge Maker and Dharmaic Thinker of the highest order, simply said as we left the zendo: "What about an 8-Bit Buddha?" And here we have him: Pixelated Prajna.
A Twitter pal, @mondosamu from Atlanta, Georgia, asked us kindly to make a badge based on "Buddha's Footprint". But upon further research, we found something a little more interesting than the traditional two feet carvings: an original drawing by Allen Ginsberg himself when we visited Bodh-Gaya, stating in May of 1967: “I saw the three fish one head, carved on insole of naked Buddha Footprint stone at Bodh-Gaya under the Bo-tree... This is a sort of a fish chakra.”
Sometimes it helps to pare down the stress and chaos and pressure into one of the three main categories of Dukkha. That way, it's not about THE PROBLEM, it is just a problem, and it can become more workable. One form of Dukkha is called "Dukkha Dukkha" meaning the suffering caused by worrying about future suffering. Such a subtle form of Dukkha, when you pay attention, you'll notice it all the time! "Dukkha, Dukkha, Everywhere!"
The meditative practice of Tonglen is to visualize the pain and suffering another or a group is going through, internalizing and purifying it, then visualizing this changed energy as the causes and conditions of their happiness flowing back to the sufferer as you exhale. Breathe in: Exchange, Breathe Out: Change. A powerful practice, especially during these times in Japan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Afganistan.
The Anjali is an ancient mudra of reverence and respect to whomever it is expressed to. Hands pressed together, it is ususally followed by a bow. In internet circles, modern day practitioners project their devotion and offering via the use of a two underscores intersected by a forward- and a back-slash, creating a 4-character mudra that fits nicely to punctuate emails and tweets.
Anicca is the Pali term for the concept of impermanence, one of the three principles of every day experience. While making badges at the temple one day we realized that they could be made without the plastic covering! This happy accident gave us the idea to create these "impermanent" badges whose designs over time for the owner would fade, scratch, smear, etc. due to the exposed nature of the ink on paper! Heck, we'll even start each one off with it's own little scrape, individual to each! In a few months or a year send is a pic and we'll see if yours shows any signs of Anicca!
Vairocana, the White Buddha, is seen in many depictions and traditions as the central-most Meditation Buddha among his 5 brothers. Being the Buddha of Emptiness, many believe all Buddhas emanate from this pure being. With his mudra above his brow denoting the transferrence of wisdom, this badge couldn't possibly radiate the magnificence that is the Solar Buddha Vairocana! Look Familiar? Mention the origin of this design and get a free badge!
Sukhavati—also known as the Pure Land—is a spiritual destination for many who follow the Mahayana tradition and the teachings of Amitabha Buddha. It is believed that many a soul—worn weary through many rebirths—can find refuge, wisdom, and enlightenment in the fields of the Buddhaland the Tibetans call “Dewachen”.
The Buddha taught that mindfulness of the 30 or more objects and materials that one’s body is composed of provides an easier perspective from which to see beyond the trappings of the flesh and of samsara. These materials are: hair of the head and body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, veins, bones, bone marrow, brains, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, bowels, stomach, excreta, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, eye secretions, saliva, snot, oil of joints and urine.
Amitabha is known to embody the compassion and love of the Buddha. Worshipped worldwide, he is a symbol for unconditional affection, unending compassion, and auspicious lessons of tranquility and joy. So for the Valentine's season we release a new Metta badge, our highest sold badge, to help spread love to all.
Mandala of Equality
When apporached by proud BuddhaBadge owner Gabriel about creating a badge that focused on the LGBTQ Buddhist community, our brainstorming came up with the Mandala of Equality. Merging iconing pink triangles into a mandala with three Buddhas to represent male, female, and everything in between, all is surrounded by Oms and Hrihs – the seed syllables for creation and compassion. Spiralling around the contemporary equal sign, may this badge promote equlity, peace, and understanding among all the differences.
When helping move Buddha For You to it's new location, store owner and good friend Jeff threw me a Phra Pidta. A Phra Pidta is a small stone or brass amulet of a monk hiding his face that is sold far and wide across South East Asia among countless other protective charms. Blessed by local and respected monks, the creation, selling, and buying of these pieces benefits all as they are carried for good luck in travelling, business, and labor–both physical and spiritual.
Bhante Maha Ghosananda was known as the “Ghandi of Cambodia” and spent almost the entirety of his 70-plus years on this planet working peacefully, tenaciously, and without hesitation to spread the Dharma and bring order, aid, and freedom to Cambodians and peoples worldwide. He accomplished these awesome tasks with a constant smile and a light in his eyes that inspired millions... all while handing out small prints of the Metta Sutta wherever he went. We‘ve depicted him here, on top of the Sutta in Pali. We thank The Liberated Life Project for reminding us of such a great person.
The amazing contemporary Buddhist thinker and teacher Andrew Olendzki wrote about a phrase the Buddha used to describe our experience: “Abhutaparikalpo’sti” which roughly means “Unreal Imagination Exists”. It reveals to us that although this experience may be made up of photons and atoms entering our senses and playing upon the perceptive parts of our creative minds, “now” may really not be what you think it is, but it is still really happening.
Amoghasiddhi is one of the five principle Meditation Buddhas whose sepcific interest is in the overcoming of fear and the realization of accomplishment. Hence this badge—consisting of his symbols the Abhya Mudra, the Double Dorje and the mighty Garuda—each telling us that to be “Fearless” we must “Fear Less”.
Tilopa, known as one of the great Mahasiddhas of the Mahamudra, was found by his most famous student Naropa transmuting the consciousness of fish to higher realms before eating them. This kind fellow realized while crushing sesame seeds for oil that enlightenment is within us all, but only needs the right effort to be extracted. His famous advice rings to this day: “Don't Recall, Don't Imagine, Don't Think, Don't Examine, Don't Control, Just Relax.”
In celebration of our fellow site, Altar-Bot, BuddhaBadges is proud to release the Shunyata Badge! Always Empty! Altar-Bot is a little spot to "Upload Where You Sit Down" and share with the world the place where you meditate! Ther are over 40 beautiful altars to look at so far!
Knot At All
A popular Tibetan image, the Eternal Knot is a auspicious icon symbolizing the Buddha’s infinite wisdom, the endless cycle of samsaric existence, the intertwining of wisdom and compassion, the inseparability of emptiness and dependent origination, and a symbol for working through ones own neuroses.
While making Badges the other day a Dharma talk by Sky Dawson was playing. While the BuddhaBadge press was cranking away, she was heard saying very clearly "The Dharma Is Profound." The heavy statement and the certain way in which she stated it was so profound itself that it inspired this badge days later. Comprised of over 20 different overlapping DharmaChakras, or Dharma Wheels, this badge aims to illustrate truly "The Dharma Is Profound."
Buddhism can have a lot of logic and lists and numbers in it. So here's some stylish and simple math for a complex yet transitive situation: If Life is Change and Change is Good Then Life is Good! Or if you prefer algebra: A = B, B = C ∴ A = C!
When asked if BuddhaBadges could offer some help with an up-and-coming project called The Everyday Exile Project, the answer was an easy "Sure!". The Everyday Exile Project is an online platform for Tibetans in exile anywhere in the world to present their personal stories through words and art. Dolma, the Director, is in India now collecting stories and images and sent back this illustration she created to offer for funds to help the future printed edition of the Project's discoveries. Learn more here.
Thich Quang Duc
In 1963 Vietnamese Monk and Bodhisattva Thich Quang Duc set himself on fire in a busy square in peaceful protest against religious and personal oppression during the war. This month his selfless deed was commemorated on that busy square with a beautiful statue. Today we honor him with a badge.
Green, White, Red, Blue, Yellow... the Bodhisattva that shirked gender-entagled delusions to fully embody personal achievement and enlightenment in her female form comes in many shades. Watching over our many hang-ups and confusions, our team of Taras are ever-present to offer help.
You gotta problem you can't solve? You gotta issue that needs a solution? You gotta grief that you're sick of griping about? Fuhgetabouddit! It's Metta, Baby, Metta! Don't sweat it! You just sit back and let the lovin' feeling guide you...
This impactful saying is yet another Special Mission Badge for a good cause, this time our focus is homlessness inspired by our friend Adam over at Fly Like a Crow. Homeless Kodo wandered around Japan a long time ago teaching the his style of Dharma and blazing his own path by embracing the transient and never staying in one home or temple. The sales of this badge will go directly to FareStart, a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals ready to settle down. UPDATE: So far this Badge has gathered $30 for the FareStart! Thanks to all!
Now that is some Punk-Rock-N-Roll Enlightened One right there! Just could never get over the idea that Thai Buddha statues from the front looked like they all had killer mohawks, so this Badge makes that Punk dream a reality! OM! OM! OM! OM!
Did you notice the misspelling there? Clever huh? You know what? You are great. "Oh Most Nobly Born," as so many sutras begin, you should be grateful of your greatness. Living a life of gratitude for being born as a human being is a noble life indeed. And for a life like that, you can be truly "greatful".
A Special Mission Badge from our friend Jack at Great Plains Buddha: These three little Buddhas with no mouths staring at a puzzle piece symbolize the repetition and quiet attention that can develop in girls and boys around age three with Autism. The puzzle piece represents the mystery of the disorder as well as the propensity for Autistic kids to favor puzzles due the game calling for solitary focus. We’re all just trying to keep quiet and figure things out aren’t we? But for those of us without Autism that’s made from the luxury of having the choice. The donations gathered by this Badge will go directly to the Organization for Autism Research. UPDATE: So far this Badge has gathered $120 for the OAR! Thanks to all!
When artist and designer Ed Cross asked if he could collaborate with BuddhaBadges and donate his time and skills toward creating a new Badge for August, the internet shook in ten directions and showered pixels on everyone. We thank Ed for his amazing contribution: The Fire Mala, a blending of cleansing Tibetan Fire with the peaceful absorbtion counting a Mala can bring. Namaste, Ed!
Buddhism is steeped with a cast of characters both tall and wide, old and young, thick and thin. The Bodhisattvas and Buddhas that perpetuate the Dharma, like Hotei or Shakyamuni, illustrate the variety that life can take and that happiness can fulfill. So when asked, you can say "Yes, there was a Fat Buddha... and a Skinny One, Too!"
Inspired by a Twitter conversation between the authors of Sweep the Dust, Push the Dirt and DigitalZendo, these two kind souls have been instrumental in one of the best months in BuddhaBadges history. We honor their belief and support with "The Merit Badge". If you get it, give it as a reward for a good deed. Don't keep it.
Destroyer of Delusion, Protector of Buddhism, Snarer of Demons, Remover of Ignorance: Is there anything this popular Japanese deity can't be? When asked, folks think he could be a BuddhaBadge, too! And now he is.
One of the beautiful rituals in many Buddhist's daily life is the prostration and veneration of the image of the Buddha and his ilk through humbling bows. With palms raised around the world Buddhists meet and greet, in gassho, friends, family, and loved ones, both here and beyond.
A really wonderful teacher has come and gone for us—and we're not speaking of THE TEACHER—but of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, guru of the amazing Shambhala Warrior Path of practice. In that lineage we learn of the Great Eastern Sun that never sets in any of us, and is always there to illuminate our awareness to the basic goodness that life has to offer.
Om = MC Squared
Believe it or not, although hundreds of years apart, Einstein and the Buddha were cut from the same intellectual cloth. For real! Search the internet for Einstein and Buddha and you'll quickly see that all the greatest thinker in Dharma discerned of the Universe was proven “relatively” true by one of history's greatest minds in Physics!
The Daruma is a Japanese folk item that is a depiction of Bodhidharma, the Patriarch of Chinese Zen. Supposedly you get yourself a Daruma, make a wish and draw in his right eye. When the wish comes true, you fill in the other one! In keeping with tradition, we made his eyes nice and big so you can use a marker to draw in his eyes in hopes your wish will come true!
Construction of Om
“I Bow to the Jewel in the Lotus Flower”... guess what? You are the Jewel and your life is the Lotus Flower. As you unfold you should always remember that you have a right to be, as does everyone else, and that you are perfect just they way you are... you just need a little work. The journey is the destination, people, and the destination is the pay-off for a good journey.
Om is the omnipotent, omnipresent sound of all manifest existence. It is said to be the first syllable uttered by the universe when it began and it's vibration still radiates today. Here, the Indian-derived symbol lays comfortably on a Bodhisattva's lap as he sits in Lotus and gazes into a Mani jewel.
The Akash Mudra is seen all over Indian and Asian art and is known to be the hand position that centers your energy and nourishes your being. On top of a traditional Thai protection tattoo for travel, called and Sak Yant, and you are set for the day.
The Gyan Mudra is an even more popular hand position, most notably seen in many statues of the Buddha and in meditation poses. It promotes clarity, joy, and widsom, and is mixed with another Thai Sak Yant of protection. How could you go wrong with that?
Chaos Dharma Wheel
The old punk rock Symbol of Chaos imposed upon the ancient Buddhist Wheel of Dharma... a visual interpretation of the seeming disorder of life being held together by the organizing aspect of the Dharma. Not too shabby.
Karma and Chaos
Karmic orchestration and chaotic disordianism meeting in the middle...ain't it always the way? This arrangement can be seen as a delicate merging of an unstoppable force and an unmovable object.
Breathe, it'll save your life
Breathe, baby, breathe... it'll save your life. Swear it. Give up breathing for a little bit and you'll see what we mean. Paying attention to the in and out of the breath can help keep your mind out of all sorts of troubles. When the going gets rough, just breathe, breathe, breathe.
Eyes of Om
Seen on every stupa in Nepal, the "Wisdom Eyes of the Buddha" see all. Overlapping an image of our favorite teacher, with the question mark looking curl dotted with an Om, this mixing of imagery can help one to remember their journey should always start with a look before the leap.
Amida Butsu, the Buddha of Infinite Life and Infinite Light, is the patron teacher of the Pure Land tradition. It is believed that by reciting his name again and again with a true belief in his vows you will be transported at your death to his Pure Land to recieve your Nirvanic training.
The Lotus is seen as the ultimate symbol of the Path ot Enlightenment. It rises from the mud, through the tangle of pond weeds, to burst through the surface without a drop of water on it's petals. From that point it is forever blooming, with layer upon layer of petals revealing more unfolding aspects underneath.
The Enso is a Zen calligraphic image symbolizing enlightenment, elegance, entirety, and emptiness. It is the instantaneous moment of creativity and expression, and here we have it upon a Wheel of Dharma, or Dharmacakra, which symbolizes the Eight-Fold Path.
Bodhidharma was no joke. As the man who brought Zen to China, stories are told of him meditating until his legs fell off and his ecasping from his own grave. It is said that he spent 9 years staring at a wall in a cave meditating—depitcted in this badge—and when his eyes started to droop from fatigue, he ripped his eyelids off! A serious meditator indeed.
The Dorje, or Vajra, is a Tibetan cermonial implement that symbolizes both the ability of a diamond to cut any substance but itself and the irresistable force of a thunderbolt. And when it is doubled, as in this badge, and then mixed with the Dharmacakra, how could ignorance stand a chance?
Chenrezig is the Tibetan Buddhist patron Bodhisattva of Compassion. Also knows as Avalokiteshvara in Southeast Asia and Guan-Yin in China and Japan, he is one of our favorites as well since he swore to never enter Nirvana until he helped every other sentient being in the Universe reach Enlightenment first. What a guy!
Sak Yant Gao Yord
This traditional Thai tattoo of protection, or Sak Yant, is known as Gao Yord. Usually tattooed right below the back of the neck, the "nine spires" and the magic word square with Khmer lettering all provide protection to the wearer on his path toward Enlightenment.
Who has eleven heads and one thousand arms? Avalokiteshvara the Bodhisattva of Compassion does, that's who! Not only does he slice through delusion, but he dices up ignorance! One of the most popular Bodhisattvas of the Mahayana, Avalokiteshvara's sworn duty is to hear the cries of the Universe and lend a helping hand every time.
The lotus and the Tibetan script of the prayer "Om Mani Padme Hum" are thought to be so potent in Tibetan Buddhism that even the written symbols can pray for you! Hence Prayer Wheels, Prayer Flags, and stones with the prayer carved in to them are all seen throughout the culture. So ity can be said that by wearing this badge you'll have something praying for you all day!
Metta is the Brahma Vihara of Loving-Kindness. By practicing the four Brahma-Viharas, not only will this life be awesome, but your next will be too! By looking upon everyone you meet with a vibe of love and treating them with unconditional kindness, you are making the world a better place for everyone. Who could argue with that?
Karuna is the Brahma Vihara of Compassion. By looking out into the world with a mind that knows there is suffering, you should make it your sworn duty to not turn a blind eye to anyone's problems, no matter how big or small. By actively reaching out and lending a helping hand, either by voluteering, donating, listening, or helping in any other way you can, you are practicing compassion.
Mudita is the Brahma Vihara of Sympathetic Joy. This abiding means to be a congratulator, not a hater, even if you are down in the dumps and everything at this very moment may be lame for you. The ability to be happy for someone else's success while you are having a hard time is a great way of escaping the trap you may find yourself in and help another celebrate their achievements.
Upekkha is the Braham Vihara of Equanimity. Basically, this skill helps keep you at an even keel with the highs and lows of life. It's the Dalai Lama's principle "If it can be fixed, why worry? If it can't be fixed, why worry?" in action. Don't sweat it. It'll pass. Don't get too attached to it. It'll pass. All things come and go, and Upekkha helps you get used to the change.
Construction of Dharma
The are so many ways to enlightenment, exampled by the many different styles of tradition in the Buddhist Way. But the underlying structure of the teaching is always the same: be a good person, don't hurt anybody, don't sweat the small stuff, and remember — it's all small stuff. By making the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path a viable guideline for life you can't go wrong.
Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, is a metamorphic fellow who can take the shape of anyone and anything that will help someone find their way on the Path. Believed to be near-invisible, many thangkas—or wall hangings—of him will be done in negative to depict his other-wordliness.
Just So You Know...
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