In this “Buying-Guide”, we will be looking at how to choose a Buddha statue for home or garden [including Buddha heads], their meaning, and how to use Buddha statues for meditation.
But first: Why get a Buddhist statue?
Buddha statues and Buddha head statues are trendy items today. There are many benefits to having one.
When you buy a Buddha statue, you get a permanent reminder to meditate and to follow dharma (plus, they look beautiful as home decor!).
That said, if you want to know how to choose a Buddha statue, you have to go deeper than pure aesthetic. You have to understand how to interpret the meaning of different Buddha statues.
Did you know:
- Different meditating Buddha statues mean different things and show various mudras [poses with spiritual significance].
- Different ones show different Buddhas (there are 29 named Buddhas and many unnamed)
- All meditating Buddha statues have their own story and their personal meaning. To choose the best Buddha statue, you need to know what they represent.
- Some meditating Buddha statues show mantras.
- You should buy one that matches the style of your meditation altar (if you have one).
It’s essential to bear these points in mind when you pick your Buddha statue.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ones, and then I’ll explain the differences and how to choose. You might like to incorporate these into a Zen garden [READ: How To Make A Zen Garden].
Best Buddha Statues For Home
If you need reminders to practise meditation, Buddha statues are a great idea. By placing one in your home, you get a constant reminder to meditate. Plus, they remind you of the wisdom of dharma. However, they must look good too.
With that in mind, here are my choices of the best Buddha statues for home.
#1: Cheap one for home or office ($) Get It On Amazon
This meditating Buddha statue for home measures 8 inches by 6 inches. It is small and, in my opinion, it is one of the best Buddhist statues for the home if you want to get something that won’t break the bank (check Amazon for the latest price).
This one has a bronze finish with a silver robe. The colours go well together, and Siddhartha’s face looks very relaxing, helping you to achieve a deep state of meditation. This one has Siddhartha sitting in lotus position with his hands in Cosmic Mudra (Dhyani), which is the mudra used for contemplation and insight.
#2: Brown / Gold one with Earth Touching Mudra ($$)
This is a beautiful brown and gold meditating Buddha statue for sale on Amazon. He is sitting meditating with his eyes closed.
The meaning of this ornament is special.
In the sculpture, he is meditating and holding his hands in Earth Witness mudra. This is the mudra he was using when he found enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.
The figurine has an aged look almost like wood, and the skin is shiny. Sequins add decoration and beauty, making it a beautiful piece for home decor.
I like the fact that the aged look helps to represent the wisdom that Siddhartha found while under the Bodhi tree. It’s a beautiful sculpture for the home. One of the best Buddha statues to buy if you want one that looks nice but is very reasonably priced.
#3: Mosaic Design ($$)
This is one of the best Buddha statues for meditation. It is pink/green and is designed very artistically with gorgeous little details that make it pop on the shelf.
The meaning of this one is all about enlightenment. He is depicted in Bhumispara mudra, the mudra that he was performing when he achieved enlightenment under the bodhi tree.
The artistry and symbolism of this meditating Buddha statue make it perfect for meditation.
Best Buddha Statues For Garden
There are many considerations to make when you buy a garden Buddha statue.
For starters, it will need to endure the weather, which, if you live in snowy Canada like me, can be pretty brutal. That means you need one made of durable material, like stone. And you will also want one that looks good with the rest of your garden design.
Here are the best garden Buddha statues for sale on Amazon.
4. Resin Sitting one for the garden ($$$$)
This garden Buddha statue is made of sandstone. He is meditating while sitting in Earth Witness mudra with one hand touching the earth.
This is a large garden Buddha statue, measuring 29 1/2″ high x 21″ wide x 15″ deep and weighs 20 lbs.
It is resin with a grey stone finish that looks like an antique. The resin is thick and heavy and will easily endure a storm. Again, this is essential because you will want your sculpture to stand the test of time, which means getting one made of durable material. Anything less would be a waste of your money. No one likes to go outside after a storm to find their sculpture destroyed!
When you buy Buddha statues online, you want to know that the one you are getting is well constructed and durable, especially if you live in an area with severe weather conditions as I do. This one will stand the test of time.
Plus, it’s a great choice if you’re looking to choose a Buddha statue for a garden focal point. It is beautiful but much cheaper than similarly sized statues. Definitely, one of the best Buddha statues to buy for gardens.
5. Design Toscano ($$$$$) –
This is simply the best Buddha statue for the garden. It’s exquisite. Its measurements are 35W x32D x48H. It weighs 72 lbs. It is hand-cast out of real stone and an excellent resin, which is essential when choosing Buddha statues for the garden because the material is durable.
Interestingly, the meaning of this ornament according to the product description page is all about inner peace, but that is not what the sculpture depicts. The hands are in Abhaya mudra, which is the mudra used for fearlessness.
This garden ornament will hold up well in both heat and rain. And it is, in my opinion, the very best garden Buddha statue.
Best Buddha Head Statues
Tons of people these days like to buy Buddha head statues.
The meaning of these statues is significant. And, in fact, it has been a talking point online of late. Many people erroneously believe that head statues are offensive (more on this below). This is simply not true. Head statues are an honourable way of showing your love for Buddhism, and they make an excellent addition to any zen meditation room.
They come in all different sizes. You can get large Buddha heads for the garden or small ones you can put on your office desk.
Many people ask me about the meaning of Buddha head statues. The head symbolises Siddhartha’s wisdom and the pathway to enlightenment. All the methodology of the dharma is contained in the head of Siddhartha. By placing a Buddha head statue in the home or garden, we remind ourselves of the wisdom of the dharma.
That is why a head statue is one of the best items any Buddhist can buy.
Here are my picks of the best Buddha head statues for sale online.
3. Stone Faux Meditating Buddha Head For Home Or Garden ($$$)
This meditating Buddha statue for sale on Amazon shows his head in contemplation. It is a great Buddhist sculpture if you want to introduce a calming presence into your home or garden.
For the quality of the statue, it is very reasonably priced. The faux stone finish is beautiful, and it looks great in the garden.
One of the best things about this ornament is detail. It is a very precise statue with intricate details, making a nice bit of decor for the garden.
The finish is waterproof, too, so it will be fine even in damp or rainy environments, which is why it is one of the best Buddha statues for the garden.
This sculpture is surprisingly light because it is hollow inside. It also looks a little greyer than the picture.
Small Buddha Head Statue For Home / Tabletop
- Good attention to detail
- Suitable for desk/tabletop
If you are looking for a small and cheap Buddha head for home or tabletop, I recommend this one. It has a beautiful bronze finish and stands 6.5 inches tall. For the price, it features excellent attention to detail. And it’s small enough to put on your desk.
The Meaning Of The Head
Buddha head statues represent the wisdom of the dharma (the laws and philosophy of Buddhism),
The best Buddha head statues represent two sides of Siddhartha. On the one hand, Buddha head statues appear calm and youthful, representing the peaceful way of the dharma. But they also echo the Buddha’s wisdom and mysticism. The overall effect is that the Buddha head statue is a friend who is there to help us with kindness, and at the same time to lead us with guidance.
When you buy Buddha heads, you might be surprised to find that they have some small but essential little decorative elements on them. These features reveal the meaning of the Buddha statue.
Here are the different meanings:
Ushnisha: At the top of a Buddha head statue, you will see the three-dimensional oval called the “Ushnisha”. This is his hair gathered into a chignon. However, it’s also much more than a hairdo. The ushnisha symbolises knowledge and religious ideals.
air: Hair is referred to as the “weeds of ignorance”. Cutting off the hair is representative of freeing oneself of ignorance. This is reflected in the story of the Buddha. When he was at the palace, living a life of luxury, he had long curly hair. He then cut his hair off when he left the palace in search of enlightenment.
Third eye: The third eye on Buddha head statues is shown as a small dot between the eyebrows. This represents the Ajna chakra, or “Third eye chakra” and has great spiritual significance. The third eye is the seat of spiritual awakening. The dot reminds the owner of the Buddha head to practice meditation and follow the spiritual path towards enlightenment.
Eyes: When buying your Buddha statue, you will probably notice that his eyes are almost always partially closed. This represents meditation and symbolises looking inward, beyond materialistic desire.
Ears: The ears are depicted as long and bulgy and are said to represent the compassion. It is a reminder that the Buddhist should hear the world and people around them and look for ways to help other beings.
Nose: The nose is long and aquiline. This is not said to represent any specific power or quality of the Buddha, other than elegance.
Why Buddha Heads Are Offensive (Supposedly)
Some people these days are reluctant to buy Buddha head statues. It appears some people have become confused about the meaning of Buddha head statues. Indeed, some people believe that these sculptures are offensive.
So let us clarify.
The reason some people believe Buddha head statues are offensive is that the head is decapitated. They see the Buddha head as being severed from the body of Buddha. And they think this is done to represent Western colonialism.
In actual fact, such violent ideas have absolutely nothing to do with Buddha head statues.
Consider the fact that head statues are prevalent in all religions. There are head statues of Christ, of Vishnu, and of virtually any god or deity you could name. The same is even true for political figures. There are thousands of head statues of Lincoln and Churchill, for instance, and there is nothing remotely offensive about them.
So if you are worried you may somehow offend a Buddhist when you buy a statue of Buddha’s head, fear not. There is nothing in the least bit offensive about them. They are, in fact, a sign of love and admiration for Buddha.
These make excellent home decor for meditation rooms. And they are all very reasonably priced. [READ: Designing A Meditation Room At Home].
1: This laughing one
As the title says, this is a figurine of Buddha laughing on a lucky coin and carrying an ingot. This is a traditional Chinese depiction called “Laughing Buddha”. The figurine has an ancient look and is said to attract wealth and abundance.
This one is relatively small at about 5 inches, making it an excellent choice to buy for home or office.
2: This Happy Praying One
If you want to add some happiness to your home decor, choose this small, cheap Smiling Buddha Figurine. What I love about this one is how cute it is. Just look at those chubby feet. Absolutely adorable!
This happy little figurine shows a chubby Sidhartha praying with his hands in prayer position (Anjali Mudra). This one is a little bit bigger than the last. It’s about seven inches tall and just as wide. It’s made of ceramic, with gold details, and the artistry is really lovely.
This figurine is for happiness and contentment. So if that’s what you’re looking for, buy it!
3: MyGift’s Meditating Sidhartha Figurine
This is a very traditional looking Buddha statue for home. It shows him meditating in lotus position. It has a very relaxed feel to it, making it perfect for injecting a little Zen into your home or office space, or even into the garden if you like.
This is quite a large figurine. It measures an impressive 11 inches. It looks very traditional with a dark grey finish that makes it look like stone (it’s actually made of a polyresin).
My favourite thing about this one is that it looks very traditional. So if you have a home meditation space, it will work perfectly with it.
4: This One With Candle Holder
If you’ve noticed that these Buddha figurines have been getting gradually larger… well… you’re right. Help yourself to a cookie. This one is large at 12 inches tall.
I love this one. Why? Because he looks really tranquil. The statue is darker than the rest, and there is a real sense that Sidhartha is deep in contemplation in this piece. He’s holding a candle that is actually an LED light, and I can imagine him sitting in a cave somewhere meditating when I look at it. It has a lovely Asian flair art style and delicate gold features.
This is the best Buddhist figurine to buy if you are looking for something tranquil and relaxing.
5: Grasslands Roads Cute One
When I look at this figurine, I can’t help but smile. He seems so joyful and content. I find this one perfect to put in the living room or somewhere you want a little bit of joy.
How To Choose A Buddha Statue
Here is how to choose a Buddha statue that will be simply perfect for you.
1. Why get one?
Some people buy Buddhist ornaments just for decoration. Others want a reminder of enlightenment, of mindfulness, of compassion, or something else.
Why do you want to buy a Buddha statue?
Answering that question will steer you in the right direction. For instance, if it is just for home decor, you can go by looks alone. If, on the other hand, you want a Buddhist ornament that represents inner peace, you might like a sculpture of Siddhartha sitting under the Bodhi tree or something of that nature. And you should also consider the meaning of it.
Write down the main reason why you are getting one. Make sure the ornament’s meaning reflects your goal.
2. What’s your ideal sale price?
When you’re buying Buddha sculptures, you’ve definitely got your choices. Meditating Buddha statues are available at all different prices. And of course, the price affects the quality (though you’ll be surprised how good a statue you can get for cheap and how bad a statue you can get for hundreds of dollars!)
Sculptures for sale range from around ten bucks to thousands. Some are underpriced. Some are overpriced. How are you to know the difference?
To make sure you get the best Buddhist ornament for your price point, look at the details.
If it’s just $10, it’s only going to have very minimal features. But statues that cost thousands should show very close detail and be very realistic.
Materials are also vital. Something made of silver or gold will last forever, where a clay one will not. Resin is always a good choice.
If you buy a cheap statue, it will be made of a material with a short lifespan. So if you want something that lasts, you will have to pay a bit extra.
It’s essential that the meditating Buddha statue’s meaning reflect your goal. And one of the main ways that sculptures express meaning is through the mudra.
Poses (mudras) mean different things. For instance, the DharmaChakra Mudra signifies the teachings of Siddhartha. If you want your Buddhist sculpture to represent the right meaning, check which mudra it is in.
4. For garden or home?
A sculpture for the garden is not the same as a statue for the home. Ones for the home can generally be left alone with absolutely no worries (at least until the cat runs into them).
When choosing a statue for the garden, however, you have to consider environmental conditions. For instance, you will need to consider the material it is made of and whether it would survive a rainstorm.
The locale also influences design. For instance, you will want a different design if you intend to put your statue in a meditation altar.
Where will you put it? What room will it go in? What are the colours in that room? What is the mood of the room? Make sure whatever statue you buy matches the other meditation furniture you have.
Remember, you will be meditating on this ornament. So it is imperative that you are happy with it.
How To Use A Buddha Statue For Meditation
So now you know the best Buddha statues to buy, and what they mean, you might like to know how to use a Buddha statue for meditation
- Sit in front of your statue
- Take a few moments just to relax. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Focus on the statue the way you would do when practising Samatha meditation.
- As you meditate on the statue, observe the positive traits you associate with Siddhartha. There is compassion, love, kindness, wisdom. As you come across these qualities, take a moment to visualise yourself living by these same qualities. How could you be compassionate, loving, kind and wise? What could you do live closer to the dharma?
- Challenge yourself to do one thing based on the qualities above. For instance, you could make a compassionate action by helping someone nearby with something they are suffering from. Challenge yourself to go out and do that one thing.
These statues are great home decor. And there is a statue for everyone at every price range. There are cheap ones, and there are more expensive large ones with fine details.
I always recommend choosing a Buddha statue that is valuable but affordable. You want one that you will value without breaking the bank.
Which did you buy?
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