Koi Fish: Symbolism and Spiritual Significance

Koi fish have intrigued and inspired for centuries. They have been called “living jewels” and “swimming flowers” for their physical beauty. The following are some of the meanings, myths, qualities and symbolism associated with koi fish:" Read More


Allowing Meaningful Imagery to Point the Way

While symbols are forms arising out of the empty, eternal space that is Buddha Nature, they are also elegant and inspiring pointers to it. Connect with the imagery that speaks to you and allow it to assist you along your path toward higher consciousness." Read More


Origins of Harmony – 12 Insights about the Yin Yang

The yin yang is one of the most well known symbols in Eastern philosophy, seen across art, literature, music, philosophy and science over thousands of years. Rooted in history, the yin... Read More


Chakras 101

Chakras are invisible centers of subtle energy aligned on a central channel alongside  the spine. Chakras are filled with mystic energy called pranic or life-force. As it spins and draws... Read More


What does the reclining Buddha signify?

The statue of the reclining Buddha represents Buddha’s serene and composed posture before leaving this world. The statue of Buddha in a reclining position depicts Buddha in... Read More


Buddhist Mudras (Hand Gestures of Buddha)

The serene smile of the Buddha is his most distinguishing feature. Along with this, the viewer’s attention cannot help but be drawn towards the Buddha’s graceful hands,... Read More


In depicting the reclining Buddha, what is the significance of his right hand position?

The statue of the reclining Buddha shows Buddha’s right hand in different positions. Each position has a different significance. A position where the right hand supports... Read More


Why is Buddha shown to have long ears?

A short answer to that would be: nobody knows for sure! The Buddha was born as Prince Siddhartha, in Lumbini, and grew up in Kapilavastu, modern day Nepal.  Going by the... Read More


The Parasol in Tibetan Buddhism

In nature, the dome of the sky arches above the mountain. The parasol in Buddhism is symbolically a device which casts a shadow, and therefore, offers protection from heat.... Read More


The Urn in Tibetan Buddhism

The urn closely resembles the round-bellied, slim-necked kalash of Hinduism. A large jewel on top gives the urn its other name, the Vase of Treasure. The urn is symbolic of... Read More


Vajra Mudra – Mudra of Enlightenment

In this mudra, the extended forefinger of one hand is enclosed within the fist of the other, a Tantric gesture more common to Buddhism in Japan and Korea. One interpretation... Read More


Anjali Mudra – Mudra of Offering

Anjali Mudra is also known as Namaskara Mudra, the oldest of Indian gestures. The word “anjali” means “two handfuls”, derived from the cupping of both hands together... Read More


What is the Yin Yang symbol?

Eastern philosophy and religious thought have historically emphasized the non-duality of the universe. In Chinese metaphysics, this principle is symbolized by a circle... Read More


What are “Eyes of Buddha”?

Visitors to Buddhist stupas in Nepal cannot help but notice the huge pair of eyes painted around the main towers. These are the “Eyes of the Buddha” that stare out in all... Read More


About Vajra and Bell, Buddhist Ritual Tools

Vajra in the original Sanskrit translates both as “adamantine” and “thunderbolt”. A Buddhist ritual object resembling a small scepter, it symbolizes the eternal... Read More



Kalachakra, varyingly known as Wheel of Time or Circle of Time is both a Buddhist Tantric doctrine and its emblem. Each of Sakyamuni’s doctrines is termed a “Turning of... Read More



The sacred symbol Om (Aum), which in Hindu philosophy is said to represent the primordial sound of the universe, is widely used in mainstream Buddhism, though it has... Read More


Double Vajra

The double vajra or vajra cross has its origins in Buddhist myth: In the emptiness of space, a mild wind began blowing. Over time, it filled the great Void, growing in power... Read More


Endless Knot

Dharma is continuous and inexorable, while Time is but an illusion. The Knot of Infinity symbolizes that truth. The search for enlightenment need not mean giving up worldly... Read More


Sharagamana Mudra – Refuge Giver

The mudra of protection or refuge-giving is commonly seen in Tibetan art on the various images of Avalokitesvara. The gesture may be made in several ways – with the palm... Read More


Dharmachakra Mudra – From the Heart of the Buddha

Buddha’s first sermon on the Four Noble Truths, delivered after attaining enlightenment at Sarnath was a moment of seminal importance. The occasion signifies his setting in... Read More


Vitarka Mudra – Teaching

The Buddha’s hand, held close to his heart with thumb and forefinger tips touching symbolizes the transmission of the knowledge he has gained after attaining enlightenment.... Read More


Varada Mudra – The Gesture of Giving

This mudra denotes the act of charity and benevolence, with the associated emotions of sincerity and compassion. It is conveyed with the left arm extending downwards, palm... Read More


What are Mandalas?

A mandala (in Sanskrit ,‘manda’ = core, quintessence ‘la’ = container) is  typically a square or circular chart with geometric designs. It symbolizes the cosmos and... Read More


Bhumisparsha Mudra – Touching the Earth

In Bhumisparsha Mudra, the left hand lies palm facing up on the seated Buddha’s lap. The right hand lies curved over the Buddha’s crossed knee, fingers just touching the... Read More


Abhaya Mudra – No Fear

Often seen on standing, sitting or walking statues of the Buddha, the Abhaya Mudra conveys protection from all the fears that beset us in material life. With arm bent, the... Read More


Dhyana Mudra – Meditation Mudra

This gesture predates Buddhism, having been used for long by Hindu yogis to develop powers of concentration and healing. In this mudra, the seated Buddha is seen with hands... Read More


The Wheel of Dharma

The eight-spoke wheel Dharmachakra (chos kyi in Tibetan), also known as the Wheel of Law is among the oldest and best known of Buddhist symbols, going back to the time of... Read More


Singing Bowl – Buddhist Ritual ToolWhat are Thangka Paintings?

Thangka paintings originated in Tibet. The concept of Thangka paintings evolved between the 7th and 12th century. Thangka paintings are painted or embroidered paintings made... Read More


Eight Auspicious Signs of Good Fortune in Tibetan Buddhism 

Signs of good fortune have been established in Hindu mythology since ancient times. Tibetan Buddhism has a group of eight symbols that are considered to be the oldest and most well... Read More


The Golden Fish: Auspicious Sign in Tibetan Buddhism

As human beings, we must live through samsara, or the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth that entails suffering at every stage. The Buddha’s teachings set us on the... Read More


Endless or Infinite Knot Symbol in Tibetan Buddhism 

Dharma is continuous and inexorable, while Time is but an illusion. The Knot of Infinity symbolizes that truth. The search for enlightenment need not mean giving up worldly... Read More


The Wheel of Life

The Wheel of Dharma is loaded with symbols representing the Buddhist view of life and its doctrines. The fearsome deity who turns it is Yama, Lord of Death; he is symbolic of... Read More


The Lotus Symbol in Tibetan Buddhism

The lotus is called padma in both Sanskrit and Tibetan. Rooted in muddy slime, the lotus rises through water to emerge into the sun, a progress that mirrors the journey of... Read More


The White Conch Symbol in Tibetan Buddhism

A right-spiraled conch is a rare find and is considered sacred in Buddhism. Its direction is thought to be consonance with the movement of celestial bodies in the universe.... Read More