Five tips for choosing the right Buddhist decoration

Which Buddha to choose for your living room? The flashing Buddha-headed fountain in the garden, good idea or pure bad taste?

The reasons that lead you to integrate the Buddha into your home are many: memory of a trip to Asia, attempt to create a soothing environment, gift from a hippie grandmother, gift found by a distant uncle on… But the interior design has its rules and Buddhist decoration is no exception. Here are five tips that should help you avoid slip-ups.

Knowing how to recognize fake friends

Buddhist iconography is overwhelming. There is indeed no Buddha, but twenty-eight! The word written without capital letters refers to the state of those who have broken the infernal cycle of reincarnations. Buddhas can be recognized by certain physical signs: long ears, tufts of hair between the eyebrows (no, it’s not a mole), cranial protuberance (no, it’s not a bun)… Practice identifying these signs carefully, this will help you avoid embarrassing confusion. And remember: bodhisattva = jewelry covered + dressed as a prince + looks like the Buddha (normal it is one, who delays his awakening to stay on Earth and guide humans); monk = dress + shaven head; Ganesh = elephant head.

Learn the gestures that save

If his face remains impassive, it is because the Buddha speaks with his hands (and because he has rid himself of all human passion). Care should therefore be taken to take into account the mudrâ (position of the hands) when making interior design choices. A Buddha performing the gesture of absence of fear, abhayamudrâ, will reassure the guests who come through your door, while the gesture of argumentation (vitarka) of the Buddha in your living room invites them to the conversation.

On the other hand, one should avoid using a reclining Buddha in his decoration: the parinirvana Buddha is about to experience the total extinction of his being. We therefore abstain, although Christians have never seen any problem in having the image of an agonizing person in their midst.

Do not play with fire (or water)

The city of Savati was a witness to the “miracle of duality”: water and fire sprang simultaneously from the body of the historical Buddha, who wanted to silence his opponents. Can we see in the many models of Buddha fountains sold in garden centres a kind of homage? Do the plastic LED lamps in the image of the Blessed bear witness to a distant memory of this prodigy? Whatever the answer, we will remember that the Buddha hated miracles and we will move on.

Limit the return to land

The association between Buddhism and the plant world seems quite natural, when one considers that the historical Buddha received Enlightenment under a fig tree. Buddhists also have the habit of comparing the human soul to a lotus flower: born from the vase, it grows until it reaches the light and blooms into an immaculate flower.

However, the return to nature has its limits: if the stone Buddha placed under a tree or hidden in wild grasses can have its place in your garden, we invite you to avoid the Buddha head planter. Please, please.

And finally, to conclude

It is important to remember finally that the Buddha was initially never represented… for the good reason that he had expressly defended him! And it is true that between its embarrassing tendency to associate Buddhism and personal development, the even more embarrassing confusion it maintains between the different Asian religions (all labelled “Zen”) and the abuse of plastic… Buddhist theme decoration has far too many defects for your interiors.

How to place the Buddha statue in your house?

The Buddha statue mainly represents Prince Siddhartha Gautama, from whom emanates a feeling of well-being and peace. Indeed, beyond the purely aesthetic aspect, it is the sensation and feeling of appeasement such as a daily cure that argues for the decision to place a Buddha in his house.


For decoration, to make your home Zen or for curative and relaxing purposes, especially for spiritual practice, the choice of the Buddha statue must be made with tact. This is more difficult because of the styles and shapes available on the market.

Choosing the right one: the symbolism of a Buddha statue in his house

Buddha is the traditional figure of happiness, the Chinese science of Feng Shui attributes wisdom and wealth to him. The Asian Laughing Buddha, traditional figure of health and happiness, symbolizes prosperity and wealth in Feng Shui science… Buddha is the image of wisdom, plenitude, the being who carried within him the sufferings, the aspirations to find the cure for the human condition. The Buddha statue represents him in position:

  • lying or lying down (Buddha at rest) which evokes detachment and invites to forget the non-spiritual problems of the daily world
  • seated in Lotus predisposed to meditation, awakening, teaching, giving, appeasement
  • on the move, popular in Thailand, symbolizes the desire to meet others with a gesture of appeasement
  • statue of a standing Buddha, referring to a more solemn mode with the same hand gestures in a sitting position.

The Buddha interprets Mudras (spiritual means of expression) with his hands:

  • Buddha in position “ground to witness” (bhumisparsa mudra) which translates into victory over death (or woe) and enlightenment;
  • Buddha in a less common samadhi-mudra position, symbolizes total concentration and fasting;
  • Tolerance and self-confidence are symbolized by the statue of Buddha in the Prithivi Mudra posture;
  • The setting in motion of the Wheel of the Law or “Dharmakacra mudra” represents a Buddha who has found the way to the truth and leaves to teach his Dharma. This is a Buddha statuary conducive to teaching in the house, receiving positive energies
  • the statue of Buddha Abbhaya-mudra signals appeasement, trust;
  • The welcome, hospitality and offering are symbolized by the Buddha statue “Varada-mudra”.

The meditating Buddha is a statue that exudes peace and wisdom, recommended for decorating a quiet room. This statue of the Buddha recalls a very important event in his life when he meditates deeply under the Bodhi tree to achieve enlightenment.

The Buddha of teaching is another perfect statue to maintain a level of curiosity and discussion. It will be perfect in a place that is conducive to study and research, such as your office for example.

As for the reclining Buddha, it is the posture of Nirvana, the height of enlightenment and bliss. Delivered forever from the cycle of rebirth and suffering, in this Buddha posture reveals a great serenity. With the magic of this statue, you can forget your material problems and swim in the happiness that lives in your home. It is perfect for private areas such as the bedroom.

The Buddha of the earth taking to witness is known to watch over the house in India. It is the symbol of the victory of Good over Evil, that of Buddha against Mara, god of death. Thus, a statue representing Buddha in this position can be ideally placed at the entrance of his house, so that evil does not enter it.

The Buddha adopting the Mudra of freedom from fear and protection is a statue that evokes the disappearance of anger and conflict. With this statue, the atmosphere encourages the people around Buddha to believe in his protection to receive peace. The statue is not necessarily placed in a room but can bring a source of comfort during a turbulent atmosphere in your home.

The other Buddha statues

There are other Buddhas. The Laughing Buddha is more of a lucky object (Chinese Zen Chan Butai or Pu-tai monk), it is the Buddha of good fortune, wealth and prosperity. This Buddha is naturally present in any business, in restaurants, in a company in Asia. A plump belly, a bag filled with gold and precious stones, it is also said that it is the Buddha statue of happiness that collects in its bag the sufferings of men. It can be placed in your living room facing the front door. It is customary in Asia to touch her belly to obtain a source of generosity. However, in China in the Taoist religion, the God of Prosperity is a Buddha with a big heart (and a big stomach). A kind and caring character who helps others to be happy and enriched.
Compassion, devotion to others, the future Chinese Buddha Guan-Yin is most often represented in a female form (sign of a mother’s benevolence for her children). It is a representation of a Buddha who decided to wait for all beings to enter Nirvana in order to free himself.
The statue of Buddha Amida evokes at home the rebirth in a pure Land. It symbolizes kindness and protection and of course future consolation (hope). Very popular in Far Eastern households, it is enough to say your name with faith only once in your life to be reborn to him in a better life. In his presence, there is great consolation.

Does Buddha look after my house?

The values conveyed by Buddhism are kindness, compassion, altruism, the end of suffering and therefore happiness, bliss and peace when one reaches the Nirvana stage.

Big laughing Buddhas bring good luck to attract prosperity to the places (in Chinese restaurants). In the house, the Buddha thus brings serenity.

Choosing an authentic Buddha means enjoying the expression of serenity that the face of the statue exudes as the first criterion of choice. In addition to the material, gold, silver, bronze, stone, wood or marble, details must be taken care of, paintings, shapes, engravings, sculptures. Finally, another very important criterion: the artisanal stamp. The touch and the level of finish most often make it possible to distinguish between a statue of artisanal production and an industrial one.
For Buddha to take care of your house, he must be placed in the context of meditation or prayer on the top of a wardrobe, shelf or table identical to an altar with objects related to it (incense, candles, mantras, sutras).

But his Buddha statues are no longer exclusively reserved for temples and are for the most part considered as decorative objects. It is supposed to bring good luck and protect the area (Feng Shui concept). Thus in a Feng Shui Zen Buddha configuration, the statue is placed in the northeast to promote calm, concentration, meditation and bring peace.

In the case of decorative objects (Chinese Zen), the Buddha statue is placed in the living room, in the living room, in the library or even at the entrance. Shower rooms and toilets are to be avoided (impure), as are bedrooms because sleeping with a statue in Chinese and Buddhist culture is synonymous with bad luck.

It is necessary to ensure that its place is high enough, so that the Buddha cannot be looked at from above because he is considered as the being above all others by Buddhists (according to some people, this triggers migraines).