Posts Tagged ‘buddha-statue’

The Beaufoy Buddha Statue Filling Weekend

Posted on: January 12th, 2016 No Comments

The goal of Buddhism is to recognise one’s own free and fearless nature. Buddhist practitioners use Buddha statues in order to identify with this perfect and natural state, called enlightenment.

The Beaufoy London Diamond Way Buddhist Centre in Lambeth recently hosted a statue-filling weekend course, in which a total of 50 statues were prepared for use as instruments for meditation practice. What made this weekend so special was the fact that approximately 100 people came together from across the UK in order to learn the tradition and carry this activity on into the future.

There are many different kinds of Buddha statues, emphasising different aspects of mind’s limitless perfection. Buddha statues have been made for over two thousand years and for the past few hundred years they’ve been made primarily in Kathmandu, Nepal. They can be made out of a number of different metals, but bronze and copper are most commonly used.

The statue maker begins the process by sculpting the figure out of wax, in order to make the clay mold into which the metal is poured. For a high quality statue, this process alone can take weeks and if there is even a slight flaw, the process must be repeated from the very beginning.

The final part, the filling process, is not so much about the practicalities of it, but the approach taken by the practitioner: the participation, wishes, generosity, diligence and care. A properly finished statue constantly radiates benefit to the surrounding area. The statues are filled with the following precious items: rolls of mantras (sacred syllables), a ‘life tree’ (representing the Buddha’s body, speech and mind) and various other substances, such as flowers and incense. In preparation of the statue-filling weekend, there had therefore been weeks of ‘mantra rolling’. For this, saffron water was boiled and applied to sheets of mantras. The individual mantras were then cut and rolled. We would like to say a special thank you to all the friends who rolled a total of approximately 400 mantra rolls in the weeks prior to the event.

At this point it’s also worthwhile mentioning that in March 2015 the London Beaufoy Institute hosted the inauguration of a truly majestic and unique Buddha statue. It is majestic in terms of its unparalleled beauty and unique in terms of the way in which it was made, using the most advanced Western laser and sculpting technology. The statue truly demonstrates its luminosity and celestial magnificence when the great hall of the Beaufoy is filled with natural sunlight. As always, friends from all over the world invested much of their time and effort to make such a large-scale statue filling project a success. Five such statues were made for Diamond Way Buddhist centres across Europe. The first to be inaugurated was at the Europe Centre, about which Lama Ole Nydahl said “before we lifted the curtain off, you really had the feeling ‘this statue is breathing’”.

The London Diamond Way Buddhist Centre now has quite a track record in sharing the vast and profound cultural insights and craftsmanship of Tibetan Buddhism with the local community. In May 2012, we hosted an exhibition of Tibetan Buddhist Art entitled Space for Mind, Space for Art: treasures of Tibetan Buddhism, and contemporary responses’.

We look forward to the next statue-filling course!

Timelapse video: preparing the meditation hall for the Buddha statue

Posted on: March 9th, 2015 2 Comments

Many volunteers from London and abroad have been hard at work over the last couple of weeks, making sure that the main meditation hall in the London Diamond Way Buddhist centre is fit for the arrival of our Buddha statue. In order for us to create the best impressions in our minds, the hall should be as bright and beautiful as possible.

In this timelapse video, you can see many of these friends cleaning and renovating the back wall, where the statue will be placed once it is filled. At the end of the video, large shelves are erected and filled with mantra rolls, rolled in the Buddhist centre and given from many other Buddhist centres in different countries, as well as other statue-filling materials.

To find out more, see the page about the Buddha statue.

We would like to express our thanks to everyone who has helped and is helping in different ways in this project.

Rolling mantras for the Buddha statue

Posted on: March 4th, 2015 No Comments

Remember the millions of Buddha mantras that we were dyeing and cutting for the filling of the Buddha statue? Once the sheets have been dyed with saffron and cut into exact strips, they need to be rolled.

In order to make a proper, solid, durable ingredient for filling, the mantras are rolled into very tight cylinders. This is a careful and meditative process, which takes a similar amount of time to the printing, dyeing and cutting. To roll the enormous number of mantras necessary, many Buddhist centres across the UK and internationally are contributing – thank you!

While not every detail of a traditional Buddhist statue filling process can be published, we are happy to be able to provide our readers with this general outline in these blog posts, and we hope you find it informative and interesting.

See this page for more information about the Buddha statue.


London Buddha statue: Video about the amazing interior

Posted on: February 18th, 2015 1 Comment

Here for your viewing pleasure is a video that explains in detail the amazing ingredients that will go inside our new Buddha statue.

The idea is to make the inside of the Buddha as beautiful and meaningful as the outside. After being cleaned, the statue is filled with all manner of things that have symbolic meaning:

  • Representations of Buddha’s enlightened body, speech, and mind
  • Offerings pleasing to the senses
  • Symbols of richness

and many other things.

Knowing that the Buddha statue is filled in this way creates an even greater impression in the mind when we meditate in front of the statue.
To learn more about the Buddha statue, see the London Buddha statue page, and the How you can help post.

Please feel free to share this video with anyone who is interested in Buddhism or Buddhist art.

Millions of Buddha mantras

Posted on: February 12th, 2015 No Comments

For the Buddha statue that’s coming to London, we need a lot of special filling items. Among the things that will be placed inside the statue are mantras. Mantras are syllables and words that express a particular enlightened aspect of mind.

In the London Buddhist centre, and in other Buddhist centres in the UK, Diamond Way volunteers have been preparing sheets with the mantra of Shakyamuni Buddha – Teyata Om Muni Muni MahaMuni Sakyamuni Ye Soha – printed in Tibetan. Many mantras used in traditional Tibetan Buddhism are “secret” – that is, they are taught only to students who have done the appropriate meditation practices. The mantra of Buddha Shakyamuni, which we are using here, has no such restrictions.

The mantras are dyed with saffron water, which has preservative properties. They must then be dried, cut, and rolled. In order to get the required amount – about 4.8 million – we will need to prepare 15,000 sheets.

You can learn more about the statue, how it was produced, and its significance on the “London Buddha statue” page.

Drying Buddha mantras for the statue

Drying Buddha mantras for the statue


New Buddha statue for London: how you can help

Posted on: January 26th, 2015 No Comments

Our London Buddhist Centre is to get a beautiful, brand new Buddha statue! At almost 6 feet tall it will be a striking centrepiece for the large meditation hall, which itself is being refurbished. The statue is one of a special production series of statues of Shakyamuni Buddha, the historical Buddha, that are being made for the main Diamond Way Buddhist centres worldwide.
In Tibetan Buddhism, statues are not merely for decoration, but represent and transmit enlightened qualities such as wisdom and compassion. Creating a statue requires more than artistic and technical skill. It requires a precise knowledge of the geometry of enlightening feedback, and a connection to a transmission lineage of Buddhist masters. Even so, a statue is not considered really “alive” until it is filled and blessed. Every traditionally prepared statue is filled with special objects and substances, such as relics, rolls of mantras, and beautiful items collected by Buddhist centres around the world, in a different way according to the type of statue.
The statue-filling team for the London Buddha statue is trained and authorised by Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche, a highly respected Karma Kagyu lama from Kathmandu, Nepal, who had already inaugurated the first statue of the series at the Europe Center this summer.
A statue thus prepared and blessed by a liberated Buddhist master is a source of inspiration and blessing for anyone who sees it, meditates near it, or creates a karmic connection to its construction or filling.

We would like to invite anyone who wishes to support this auspicious project. The easiest way is to donate money through Paypal, then we can use it for exactly the things that are needed at the right time:
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  • If you would like to help in a practical way, drop in to the centre in London on a Thursday evening and after meditation (starts 7:30 sharp) you can ask someone about rolling mantras.
  • Sangha friends, please don’t send expensive things but rather fitting objects such as mantra rolls, flowers, incense, and so on. Your centre has received a detailed list of the things we need – please organise it with your centre.
  • For any questions, please contact us.

You can learn more about the statue, how it was produced, and its significance on the “London Buddha statue” page.