There is something sublime in Buddhist artistry, a complex and colorful world of images fused with symbolic meaning. When we see and contemplate these visions, whether as paintings, statues, or buildings we feel the immediacy of something special which is hard to put into words. We sense the sacredness without even knowing the subject matter.
To experience these aesthetic objects, particularly architectural structures, is to reach out and feel their context. Most often they do not stand alone, but are part of something that embraces daily life. People come and go, and weave their lives around these places. When we are in these settings, there are moments we experience the sense of order and the beauty of form and are struck by a memory of something profound. Sometimes it feels like a doorway opens. This is a connection to the sacred world that we often feel separated from. Somehow, the material form, in the expression of aesthetic Buddhist ideals, speaks to us.
As Buddhists we can come home again and remember ourselves as the seekers we are. And in this we feel gratitude for those that have come before us and have built these places. We too wish to help preserve this sacredness for others to experience as we did. Even greater is the thought that we could help build new places of refuge and reflection for future generations. This is the bodhisattva spirit of the journey we are on.
As Buddhists we can deepen our understanding of the Dharma by studying what happened in the past, discovering the meaning of a stupa and to feel the teachings directly from being in the presence of this Buddha memory.
As western Buddhists we often wander through a mental experience of the Dharma due to lack of cultural context. Let us flesh out an environmental approach, giving us a deeper understanding. This is the goal of the web site and The Dharma Sanctuary’s mission: to assist in the building of the physical foundation.