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Books on Buddhist Iconography / Art

Other Books on Tibetan Buddhism by Subjects:

  • Abhidharma
  • Biographies
  • Bodhicitta
  • Bon
  • Buddha Nature
  • Buddhist Iconography / Art
  • Chod
  • Dalai Lama
  • Death and Dying
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  • Practice Texts & Commentaries
  • Prajnaparamita / Heart Sutra
  • Psychology / Science & Buddhism
  • Reference Works
  • Sutras
  • Tantra / Vajrayana
  • Theravada
  • Tibetan Medicine / Healing & Astrology
  • Women and Buddhism
  • Yogacara / Mind-Only
  • Other Books, CDs, DVDs
        and More Great Stuff

  • Images and books commentaries are a courtesy of Namse Bangdzo Bookstore,
    Snow Lion Publications and Amazon France.

    * Livres en Français sur le Bouddhisme Tibétain par Thèmes *


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    by Rene De Nebesky-Wojkowitz

    This unique work provides invaluable material related to the Tibetan Sacred Dances, which have met their doom with the destruction of monastic life in tibet. Nebesky-wojkowitz, during several periods of his field work in the Himalayas had studies these Buddhist temple dances. The existence of such choreographical manuals explains the uniformity in the performance of temple dances and the persistence of an unchanging tradition over long periods. Realizing that none of the Buddhist rituals referred in this book can be performed in the present day Tibet and with the rapid decline of the art of chams-dances, Dr de Nebesky-wojkowitz posthumous work becomes all the more valuable.

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    by Eileen M. Rose, Abby Rose Dalto

    Constructing a sand mandala is an ancient Tibetan ritual art. A mandala (Sanskrit for "circle") is a sacred, symbolic diagram, used as a meditational aid in Buddhism and Hinduism. One of the most interesting aspects of Tibetan sand mandalas is that the diagram is meant to be impermanent. Although many hours of painstaking skill go into its construction, after being used in a sacred ceremony, a sand mandala is swept up and the sand scattered into a nearby river or lake as a blessing. Many people find the dismantling and scattering of the sand to be the most moving part of the ritual. Create Your Own Sand Mandala will appeal to anyone interested in meditation, Buddhism, or sacred art. This kit makes it possible for anyone of any level of artistic ability to design his or her own personalized sand mandala ceremony. It contains enough sand to make three mandalas in five sacred colors (red, yellow, green, blue, and white), a funnel for directing the flow of the sand, and a brush for sweeping it up. The kit's box opens to become a base on which the mandala can be created and the kit also includes templates for guiding your designs. Instruction for coloring your own sand is provided for those who wish to make additional sand mandalas. The accompanying full-color book gives a brief history of the use and significance of sand mandalas in Tibetan Buddhism, as well as various examples of mandalas, sand paintings, and "sacred circles" in other cultures. Readers will learn how mandalas can be used as aids to meditation, as a form of prayer, in psychology, and in healing ceremonies. Readers will also learn some of the traditional meanings of colors and symbols used in mandalas, as well as meditation techniques for centering and setting the intention for a mandala.

    Easy to follow step-by-step instructions guide readers in creating mandalas for healing, personal empowerment, and as an aid to prayer for peace. Readers interested in creating mandalas in materials other than sand will find guidelines for using paint, pencil, computer software, natural materials, and other mediums, as well as full color examples of "mandala" artwork by contemporary artists.

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  • SACRED SITES OF THE DALAI LAMAS: A Pilgrimage to the Oracle Lake, DVD SACRED SITES OF THE DALAI LAMAS: A Pilgrimage to the Oracle Lake, DVD
    by Michael Wiese, narrated by Steve Dancz

    A remarkable film visiting the sacred sites of the Dalai Lamas in Tibet, a pilgrimage with translator and author Glenn Mullin. This fascinating journey explores the caves where the early Buddhist masters meditated, enters the monasteries where the Dalai Lamas and others taught, and - at an altitude of over 16,000 feet - looks down into the famous oracle lake of Lhamo Lhatso where every Dalai Lama has had prophetic visions. Guides Glenn Mullin (author of over 25 books) and Bhutanese monk Khenpo Tashi make great guides for this journey.

    Sacred sites include: Potala, Johkang, Drepung Monastery, Nechung, Drak Yerpa Valley, The caves of Songsten Gampo, Jowo Atisha, and Guru Rinpoche, Samye Monastery, Lambhu Lagang Castle, Ani Sanku Nunnery, Lama Tsongkhapa meditation cave, Tranduk, Kangyur Stupa, Terdak Lingpa, Tashi Lumpo, Champa Zhishi, Sakya, Chokhor Gyal, Milarepa's cave and The Oracle Lake.

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  • DESTROYER OF ILLUSION: The Secret World of a Tibetan Lama (DVD) DESTROYER OF ILLUSION: The Secret World of a Tibetan Lama (DVD)
    Narrated by Richard Gere, Produced by Franz-Christophe Giercke and Barbara Becker

    Unprecedented access and intimate knowledge inform this richly detailed and beautifully filmed portrait of a secret Tibetan Buddhist ritual, the Mani Rimdu festival, and the remarkable spiritual teacher, Trulshik Rinpoche, who leads and preserves this centuries-old tradition.

    Richard Gere narrates with the clarity and resonant depth of an insider. This is a very special chance to witness a private sacred realm as if you were there.

    Just as coronation transforms ordinary men into kings, tantric empowerment transforms men into Buddhas. Hundreds of initiates gather once a year at Thubten Chöling Monastery to learn to become Garwang Tojay-chenpo, Lord of the Dance. He is called this because his infinite creativity is symbolized by dance. He personifies the compassion of all the Buddhas.

    Lord of the Dance is the deity of Mani-Rimdu, the major sacred festival of the Everest region. Each autumn, Trulshik Rinpoche, the spiritual leader of the region, goes from his home in Thubten Chöling to Chiwong Monastery to preside over the festival. His name means "destroyer of illusion". In Destroyer of Illusion we meet the men who undertake these tasks. We see the world through their eyes-a world where the mountains are filled with gods, and a human being's potential is limited only by his imagination and his will.

  • Get this book at Namse Bangdzo Bookstore

  • TIBET: An Inner Journey TIBET: An Inner Journey
    by Matthieu Ricard

    Matthieu Ricard has lived in Nepal for over thirty years. During this time he has forged close ties with some of Buddhism's greatest spiritual masters, from Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, for whom he is the official French interpreter. Ricard's status as a monk and his knowledge of the Tibetan people and culture have opened many doors to him: he has been able to follow pilgrimages made by the great lamas of eastern Tibet; to bear witness to the artistry of wood-engravers at the gigantic, mysterious Dege printing press; and to meet hermit monks in extremely remote regions of Kham. These experiences and many others are recorded here in sublime color photographs.

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    by Dr. Stephen Little

    The Dragon's Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan is the catalog of one of the most highly anticipated exhibitions of Buddhist art in recent years. The Honolulu Academy of Arts, under the leadership of Dr. Stephen Little, spent nearly three years of ambitious fieldwork and research in Bhutan. The exhibition will open in Honolulu on February 23, 2008 before embarking on a two-year worldwide tour.

    The Dragon's Gift is an exceptionally rare opportunity to introduce some of the most sacred and beloved Buddhist arts in Bhutan to international audience. Bhutanese monks and temple caretakers have been notoriously reluctant to share the sacred treasures of the country with scholars and visitors and thus little research has been conducted on the sacred arts of the country. The Academy team has enjoyed unprecedented access to the nation's sacred art treasuries and has selected over 100 objects of superior aesthetic achievement and deep religious significance for the exhibition and the accompanying catalog. Almost all of these works of art remain in ritual use in temples and monasteries and have never been seen outside of Bhutan. The Royal Government of Bhutan, and particularly the Department of Culture, have been key partners in the development of the exhibition.

    Most of the items in the exhibition are painted thangka and gilt bronze sculptures which primarily date from the late 17th to 18th centuries, a golden age in the Buddhist arts of Bhutan. Ranging from rare tantric deities to portraits of Buddhist masters, the exhibition inspires to presents beautiful works of art with wide iconographic scope.

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  • BHUTAN: Hidden Lands of Happiness BHUTAN: Hidden Lands of Happiness
    by John Wehrheim

    Tibetan folksongs sometimes sing of beyul—hidden lands that only those of pure heart and mind can see. Tucked into the towering peaks and steeply forested valleys of the Eastern Himalayas, the Bhutanese believe their country to be such a place.

    Bhutan: Hidden Lands of Happiness is a geographical and cultural passage from the yak pastures along the Tibetan boarder to the rice lands in central Bhutan. Guiding the reader through the districts of Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gasa, Laya, Lunana, Wangdi, Bumtang and Trongsa, the book reveals remote hot springs and isolated hermitages then ends in the streets and nightclubs of the country's capital, Thimphu Town. 108 black and white images narrated with stories, journal entries, folklore, dharma teachings and oral history create a portal across centuries. Clear, skillfully composed and rich in depth and detail, these flawless images illustrate an intimate tale of Bhutan told by an artist who is deeply familiar with his subject.

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    by Romio Shrestha, Ian A. Baker

    Boldly reinterpreting an age-old Tibetan artistic tradition, this enormous album offers gorgeously detailed representations of celestial spheres, known as mandalas. Merely gazing upon them is meant to inspire heightened states of intention and clarity. In CELESTIAL GALLERY, master painter Romio Shrestha and his team of artisan monks have rendered postmodern interpretations of these enlightened Buddha realms. Made from hand-ground malachite, lapis, marigolds, and more, and painted at times with three cat-tail hairs, these multifaceted scenes of otherworldly deities are produced with hauntingly powerful detail. Depictions of White Tara, Green Tara, the Medicine Buddha, and many other celestials invite and inspire meditation and reflection.

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    by Romio Shrestha, Ian A. Baker

    Originally published in a format over two feet tall, Romio Shrestha's beautiful art book is now available in a more standard size. Consisting of bold reinterpretations of age-old scroll painting, "Celestial Gallery" showcases intricately rendered Tibetan-style mandalas. In vivid detail and vibrant colors, master painter Shrestha and his team of artisan monks have created contemporary Nepalese versions of such deities as White Tara and the Medicine Buddha, as well as the Dakini mandala and other traditional Buddhist iconography. The Buddha's message — "Be a light unto yourself" — is echoed in these visionary works, many of which have been showcased in major collections and museums including the British Museum and the National Museum in Moscow. Together they give readers an opportunity to experience afresh a timeless tradition with much to offer the world.

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