I’ve created the following list of gifts based on my twenty years in the Buddhist community, the general popularity of the items, and my experience from giving and / or receiving. You’ll find all sorts of beautiful presents guaranteed to put a smile on their face. There’s everything from malas to meditation cushions and more.
If I had to personally choose something to give, I would choose between a Tibetan Singing Bowl and a meditation mala.
A Private Meditation Lesson
Can I just do a little self promotion here? Because I do believe that one amazing gift would be to book them an online meditation session with me.
1: Trip To A Resort
If you have ever wondered what the best gift for a Buddhist is, it is probably a trip to a resort. [READ: Best Meditation Retreats]
Okay, we’re looking at the very high-end presents here. But if you have the money to splurge and you, really, really want them to be mega happy, you cannot go wrong booking a vacation to a resort. It’s also an excellent present for people who meditate because these resorts have special classes in meditation.
Personally, this is about $1000 out of my price range, but if you’re rich and kind, well, why not go nuts?
Just imagine how wonderful it would be to stay for a week in a resort. One of the best Buddhist presents you could possibly give.
2. Meditation Altar
One of the best Buddhists gifts for men is an altar. Most guys who are seriously into meditation will enjoy an altar where they can sit to meditate. These small tables are designed for meditating at, and they can also be used as a shrine.
I consider these to be one of the best Buddhist gifts for men because most guys I know don’t have one and they are coming into fashion right now. I know a lot of male friends who are interested in getting one to use as a special mindfulness space where they sit to meditate. I do not have one of these yet. And I would be thrilled if someone gave me one!
What will make this one of the best presents for a Buddhist is how you present it. You can give it to them with a small Buddha statue and other little decorative items to make it truly special!
2: Zen Garden or Plants
Buddhists love nature and are generally avid gardeners. So, on their birthday, why not go horticultural.
One of the best gifts for Buddhist friends is an item for their garden. Thankfully, there are lots of excellent Buddhist present ideas that involve the garden. I suggest getting them a Zen Garden, which is a little garden space that we rake mindfully for relaxation. Creating a Zen garden isn’t as hard as it sounds. You’ll need the basic tools and items, including pebbles and a bonsai tree, but you can easily get the job done with $100 and about three hours of work. It is one of the most traditional Zen practices, which is why it is one of the best gifts for Buddhists.
3: Tibetan Singing Bowl
One of the best presents for Buddhist friends who love music is a Tibetan singing bowl. I’ve personally had one since I was about 20 and I love meditating on it.
Why are these so great? Because they help people to meditate. Buddhist monks sit and meditate on the sound of these beautiful instruments as a form of sound healing. On top of that, singing bowls look beautiful. The combination of tradition and healing make this one of the best gifts for Buddhists.
Tibetan Singing Bowls vary massively in price (around $20 to $1000). However, in my experience you don’t need to get a particularly expensive one. There are high-quality bowls for sale online that you can get for around $50 that look and sound great.
4: A meditation chair
Are they the type of person who spends hours every week meditating? Then they will appreciate a meditation chair. I’d say that a chair is a very practical Buddhist gift ideas because it makes a big difference in our practice.
The vast majority of meditators do not have a proper meditation chair. And it is a big deal.
A proper meditation chair prevents injuries, improves meditation, and looks great as home decor. They’re particularly useful for seniors because older people can find it uncomfortable to sit and meditate. My own chair helps to stop my wonky knees from aching.
Take a look at my guide to picking a meditation chair.
5: Buddhist Mala
This is my personal favourite Buddhist gift idea. These are arguably the most popular product for people who meditate and for Buddhists too.
A mala is a piece of jewellery that is used to count breaths and mantras when meditating. These beauties are definitely one of the best Buddhist jewellery gift idea for her or him (yes, men wear them too).
This is a significant present, and even though they can be purchased quite cheaply, they should be given serious consideration because the material the mala is made of is spiritually significant.
To give you an idea of how valuable a mala is. I bought my first mala about 15 years ago. I wore it for over a decade. It finally broke. Today, I have all the piece of that mala lovingly stored in a drawer. And honestly, it is probably the most sacred piece of jewellery I have ever owned. That’s why I recommend a mala for people who meditate.
Please, if you get a mala, choose wisely. Consider the symbolism of the material and the design (the link at the top explains all this and more). This is probably the best Buddhist present idea ever.
6: Lotus Flower Necklace Price: $90
If you’re looking for the best Buddhist gift for her, try a lotus flower necklace.
Why is this the best Buddhist present for her? Buddhists will recognise the Lotus flower from the mantra “Om Mani Padme Hum”, which is a Buddhist mantra with a profound meaning (it basically means that enlightenment is found by following the dharma).
The lotus flower is a symbol of divine beauty and purity and is one of the Ashtamangala (auspicious signs) in Buddhism. It represents creation and cosmic renewal. It is also symbolic of the Dharmachakra, the wheel which represents Buddha’s teachings.
There is symbolism in the lotus flower. It grows in the mud, but its flowers always point to the sun. Therefore, it represents a strong mind, which endures hardship while remaining positive. If it’s your girlfriend’s birthday and you want to get the best Buddhist gift for her, you might like to get this necklace and explain the significance of it (you can thank me later).
For me it is the symbolism that makes this one of the best gifts for Buddhists.
7: Spiritual Protection Bracelet
If you’re looking for the best Buddhist present for her on your anniversary, tell her that she is so precious to you that you want to know that she will always be protected, even when you’re not around. Then hand her this Spiritual Protection Bracelet. Tell her it will protect her when you’re not there.
Because of the romantic meaning and the beauty of these little bracelets, they are one of the best meditation gifts for girlfriends and wives.
8: Buddhist Wall Art ($50)
Most Buddhists I have met absolutely love art. I know I do!
Art can be very meaningful to them. That’s why it makes a great gift for Buddhist friends.
When you buy art as a present for a Buddhist friend, consider the symbolism of the piece. What do you want the art to express?
How to choose the right art
When you buy art as a gift for a Buddhist friend, consider the symbolism.
Here’s a quick guide to the most important symbols used in art, so you know what to get:
Buddha touching the Earth: Art that shows Buddha touching the earth represents Buddha attaining enlightenment. This would be a good choice for a Buddhist who is passionate about developing their spiritual life.
Lotus flower: As I said above, the lotus flower represents creation and renewal, so this is a good choice for someone going through a spiritual rebirth.
The wheel: Buddhist art that shows a wheel (the “dharmachakra”) represents the Noble Eightfold Path. This is about right-living. Good for someone who believes in following “the path”.
Zen circle: Perhaps the most popular Buddhist symbol is the Zen circle. This symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and mu (the void).
Also consider the colour of the art.
The colours means different things:.
Green: Peace and protection
Yellow: Wealth and beauty
Red: Love and compassion
Black: Death, specifically the death of ignorance, which leads to enlightenment.
Follow these tips to find the best art-themes gifts for Buddhists!
The safe bet is to get art that has either Buddha or Zen stones on it (they will love both).
9: Music ($15)
Here’s one of the Buddhist gift ideas that can’t go wrong.
Buddhists and spiritualists have a slightly different relationship to music than most people. They use music to enter nirvana.
A beautiful piece of music will help them find their inner peace. Instead of just listening, they will meditate to the music. And for that, only the most beautiful music will do. There are lots of traditional music CDs and albums that make wonderful gifts for Buddhists.
10: DVDs And Books (varies)
You can find many of the best Buddhist gift ideas in my selection of meditation CDs and DVDs.
When buying a DVD or book, you’re not looking for Bourne or The Hunger Games. You’re looking for a divine viewing / reading experience that delves into philosophy.
There are tons of books out there. I would personally choose Awakening The Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das (it’s the book that got me started). But there are so many beautiful choices. Take a look at the link above for my top picks.
DVDs are a solid choice too. I personally recommend Kundun by Martin Scorsese.
11: Meditation Crystals
If you’re looking for the best gifts for a yoga and meditation lover you might like to consider meditation crystals. [READ: Best Meditation Crystals]
Meditation crystals are great for meditation. Different crystals have different spiritual properties, so you can choose a type of crystal that means something to them.
12: Buddhist Lotus Flower Incense Burner PRICE: $16.99
I really like this pretty little incense burner carved into the shape of a lotus flower (see above). It comes with incense sticks and holds candles. This is a thoughtful romantic Buddhist gift idea.
Why is this a nice gift for someone who is Buddhist? Burning incense is a tradition in Buddhism, and there are many different uses of incense. The most popular types of incense are ones that calm the mind.
At just $15 this is a beautiful, inexpensive little Zen gift idea.
13: Take A Zen Walk With Them (Free)
I’m joking, aren’t I?
Honestly, I wish I had more people who were willing to go to my favourite spots with me to walk. Specifically, I wish there were more people who would go for a Zen walk with me. And if they did, I would consider it a most precious present. On their birthday morning go for a nice long Zen walk with them and they will truly appreciate it.
Yes, some of the best meditation gifts are free.
Buddhist Gift Checklist
Ultimately, you can buy Buddhists any gift you like. They will appreciate it either way. But the best Buddhist and meditation gift ideas should be:
- Environmentally friendly
- Meaningful / Symbolic
- Represents you as an individual
- Represents your relationship to the person
- Is genuinely bought with love (they will know, trust me, and if you buy a present with genuine love it will mean the absolute world to them)
I hope they absolutely love the Buddhist gifts you get them!
Giving Is Caring
Paul Harrison BSc is a qualified meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in teaching meditation and mindfulness both to individuals and to corporations and is the author of four books on meditation. He has been featured in Psychology Today, Breathe Magazine, Healthline, Psych Central and Lion’s Roar.
Paul studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
Paul’s biggest inspirations include Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat Zinn, and Jack Kornfield.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison