Buddhist Sunday | Postcards

Last year for a special event, I had some of my drawings made into postcards. We were supposed to sell these at an event themed around LGBT+ lives in Buddhism. Due to the pandemic the event did not happen and so I still have a good amount of these postcards one year on. You can…

A Buddhist Sunday – Buddhist Nun Ordination in Sri Lanka

On a recent trip to Sri Lanka we had the good fortune to witness a group of Thai nuns receiving their full ordination as bhikkhunis. This involved a number of early mornings and listening to a lot of drumming and chanting. The video below shows part of the ceremonies, starting out before the ordination with…

A Buddhist Sunday – #Buddha #Relics

After the Buddha reached Parinirvāṇa (he passed away) his body was cremated. The remaining ashes and pieces of bone where distributed amongst his most influential followers. The relics spread across south-east Asia. For example to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Singapore. I’ve seen relics in a museum in Kolkata, India in 2005 and most recently in the National…

A Buddhist Sunday – A #Statue

Over the years I’ve seen many Buddha statues. Usually you see them on the altar of a Buddhist practitioner – brand new -, or in the museum – ancient, but behind glass. In Asia there are Buddhas everywhere and some quite old. There is no glass separating you from the Buddha and only respect and…

A Buddhist Sunday – Prayer Wheels

Prayer wheels are very common in the Himalayas. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are hand held, some are mounted along spiritual sites such as stūpas. They can be very small, or big as a telephone booth (or even bigger), made of wood or metal. A mantra, usually oṃ maṇi padme hūṃ (ཨོཾ་མ་ཎི་པདྨེ་ཧཱུཾ་ –…

A #Buddhist Sunday – The #Erawan Shrine (#Bangkok)

The construction of the Erawan Hotel was plagued by mishaps: Delays, injuries to construction workers, cost overruns and the loss of an entire shipment of marble, to name but a few. According to an astrologer the foundation was placed on the wrong date and the bad karma from this was causing all the problems. The statue…

A Buddhist Sunday – Prayer Flags

Prayer flags (or lung-ta – རླུང་རྟ་ : Wind horse) are special flags usually connected with Tibetan Buddhism. Some say the prayer flags have their origin in the original Bon religion of Tibet. They come in different sizes, but always in the colours blue, white, red, green, and yellow (and usually in this order). The smaller…

A Buddhist Sunday – Nālandā

Nālandā (नालन्दा) was a huge Buddhist Monastery complex (a mahāvihāra) in what is now Bihar, India. It was also known as a centre of learning and is by some historians called a university. It predates European universities like Oxford by at least 500 years. Nālandā attracted people from all over India, Nepal, Tibet, China and even as…

A Buddhist Sunday – Like a Lotus from the Mud

The Lotus flower is often used as a metaphor in Buddhism. It stands for the enlightened mind (sanskrit: बोधिचित्त – bodhicitta). As the enlightened mind is unaffected by saṃsāra, the flower stands above the murky waters undefiled by mud. Everybody has the potential for bodhicitta, but it feels my head is full of mud and thus…

A Buddhist Sunday – Lions, Snakes and Dragons

Along most temples in Asia, you will find strong animals to protect the site. Sometimes there is one on each corner of the building, but more common there is a pair guarding the entrance, and in some cases snaking along the sides of the stairs. They can be out of stone or metal, and can be…