Gardens are easy on the eyes — and the mind. Just gazing upon a well-designed bed of beautiful flowers can be soothing and restorative. So it’s not surprising that statues of Buddha, who epitomizes, peace, tranquility and serenity, have a place in today’s gardens and landscapes. You’ll find these inspiring figures nestled in lush greenery or surrounded by flowers, resting on a bed of rocks or sand in a Zen space, or overseeing a pool or water feature. And the fun part here is that they fit into almost any environment or theme you may have in your landscaping. Garden Buddha’s are fascinating and a lot of fun.
Buddha statues come in many poses, all illustrating the life of this holy man. Each posture has specific hand gestures, called mudras, that have significant meaning. But don’t get overwhelmed: You can choose a statue that signifies something you need in your life (say, serenity), or you can choose one that speaks to you aesthetically.
This Buddha bust is delightful and makes a profound statement to this lighted path. Lit by copper and brass low-voltage halogen fixtures, Buddha makes a dramatic focal point.
There are many different kinds of Buddha’s!
Any statue you choose must be treated respectfully. Try to avoid putting your Buddha directly on the ground (the figure is often depicted sitting on a platform). And, if possible, locate your statue on a hill or a pedestal — ideally at eye level — to create the appropriate sense of awe.
Depictions of Buddha often include only the head, as it is the most important part of his body. Oversize, with a large bump on top that signifies wisdom, the head statues generally have swirls of short, curly hair and a full mouth, symbolizing eloquent speech.
Note the half-closed eyes, signifying meditation, looking outward and inward.
In search of healing for the body or the mind? A so-called Medicine Buddha, like this one, could help. That’s a jar of medicinal herbs in his left hand, while his right hand is resting on his knee in the mudra of blessings, with a stem of a restorative plant between his thumb and forefinger.
Nestled on this rocky hillside is a so-called Earth Witness Buddha, which shows the holy man sitting in meditation with his left-hand palm upright in his lap and his right
hand touching the earth. This represents the moment when Buddha was tempted by a demon but resisted, getting support from the earth, and finally reached enlightenment. It’s perfectly placed (respectfully high on the rocks) and surrounded by all manner of delicate grasses and perennial plants and flowers. If nothing else it’s sure a fun conversation piece.
Find a Buddha that works for you!
In this modern stone house, fashioned from gray limestone, a stately reclining Buddha overlooks the water. This relaxed pose relates to a time in Buddha’s life just before he left this world behind and entered into nirvana.
An oasis of calm, this Buddha seems right at home meditating among the potted plants in a Los Angeles garden. Note the signature elongated ears, which signify Buddha’s ability to be all-hearing.
With all the variations of Buddha’s in multiple sizes and shapes it should be very easy to find a Buddha that will fit into your landscaping project. Most Buddha’s are made from compressed concrete and will weather beautifully the longer you have them out in the elements.