The Leidener

A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

Calmness and happiness at the Buddhism Festival in Leiden

This weekend, the Volkenkunde Museum Leiden is holding its third Buddhism Festival. That means, for two days the museum is filled with all kind of activities, lectures, art and music around Buddhism.

The Volkenkunde Museum.

The Volkenkunde Museum.

Just arriving at the museum made me calm and happy, look at this!

Just arriving at the museum made me calm and happy, look at this!

Buddhism Festival 29.-30.3.2014

Buddhism Festival 29.-30.3.2014

From singing meditations over Shaolin Kung Fu workshops to Tibetan drawing, there are many ways to bring your mind in a calm and mindful state, and learn a bit more about many aspects of Buddhism.

I have already been last year, and took part in a great workshop on drawing the Buddha face, according to Tibetan Thangka tradition, held by amazing Thangka artist Carmen Mensink. You draw according to the rules of the tradition and with the help of a grid, and the act of drawing becomes itself a meditation. It is said that when you draw the face of Buddha it will reflect your mind. Also check out Emily’s post about the workshop from last year.

The Buddha face I drew last year.

The Buddha face I drew last year.

So I went again this year, and today I learned drawing a lotus flower, one of the eight auspicious symbols in Buddhism. Again, you use a grid to help you drawing the stylised symbol from the template, while giving it your own note and again, get into a meditative state of mind while drawing. It’s a beautiful way to let your mind wind down and get lost in the flow of the present moment. Moreover, you can contemplate on the meaning of the symbol: The lotus flower grows from the mud, but will then appear clean and pure on the surface and unfold in a beautiful flower, and as such stand for the process of becoming enlightened.

The Thangka teacher explaining about the meaning of the lotus flower.

The Thangka teacher explaining about the meaning of the lotus flower.

I have no idea why I picked the big one. Quite complicated!

I have no idea why I picked the big one. Rather complicated

...and not enough time, but I will finish it at home (I hope!).

…and not enough time, but I will finish it at home (I hope!).

The Buddhism Festival is still on tomorrow with a full program, among others one more drawing workshop! Don’t miss out on it, entrance to the Festival is only 4 Euros for Leiden students!

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Buddha statues in the Buddha room of the Museum.

Buddha statues in the Buddha room of the Museum.

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Contemporary Buddha?

Contemporary Buddha

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This entry was posted on March 29, 2014 by in Anna Frederike, Culture and tagged , , , .
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