ntique Buddha statues in our collection have served as objects of contemplation, meditation and worship in temples and home shrines over several centuries in many parts of the world. A great range of imagery proliferated as Buddhism infused the spiritual consciousness of the East. A Chinese Buddha can express fecundity and earthy humor, a Thai Buddha is formal and reserved, a Tibetan Buddha may be especially horrific in depicting wrathful deities. The beauty of these works and their power to aid mindfulness is in the unique character of each piece, experienced as a personal connection. It is said that when one feels drawn to a particular statue, one has found one’s yidam, or personal meditation deity. The Buddha Museum web site consists of twenty-five hundred pages of devotional objects in stone, bronze, wood and other materials. Though we highly value the beauty and artistry of these works, it is the teachings from the spiritual traditions that we cherish.
Just as philosophy becomes a way of life only when it is put into action, the Buddha essence in a statue arises only when it is contemplated. To meditate upon Buddha's image is to become aware of our Buddha nature, which is nothing other than the complete realization of one's own original, immutable self.