Tag Archives: Aesthetics

Buddhism and Beauty

A discussion on the nature of art and the role of aesthetics is ongoing at the Buddhist Forum Free Sangha.  The opening paragraph is posted below.  Follow the link to read more.  – Ed.

What is the position of Buddhism on beauty? I understand that some forms of Buddhism would maintain that all external reality, which would include aesthetic beauty such as art and music, to be illusory and without use. However, it seems other forms of Buddhism, like Shingon example, which sees all of reality as the expression of Dainichi Nyorai, has room for beauty and art, hence the employment of art as a tool in these traditions (mandalas, icons, sculpture, etc.) Overall though, what is the relationship of beauty, particularly artistic beauty but also natural beauty, to the Buddhist worldview?


Why Beauty Matters in Vajrayana Buddhism

Buddhistdoor International
Tinley Fynn

Nyingmapa monks from the Namdroling monastery in South India creating a Manjushri sand mandala. Baruch College.
Ideas of beauty are found in almost, if not every, culture. At almost every period in human history, these ideas have also shared many similarities. I have enjoyed an eventful September seeing the array of wonderful displays of objects at New York’s Asia Week, the opening ofMasterpieces of Tibetan and Nepalese Art at the Metropolitan Museum and my first lesson in a course of meditation sessions at the Rigpa Buddhist centre. Here, the same question about beauty posed itself to me over and over. Why were the creators and patrons of these fundamentally religious objects and ritual tools so undeniably pre-occupied with creating objects of such compelling beauty?
In a world where concepts of beauty have become so detached from moral and ethical considerations, degraded and philosophically reduced to objectification and commodity, why is it important within the Vajrayana tradition that we attempt to reconnect and reconcile with the true nature of beauty as a valid and meaningful endeavour for personal practice and self-improvement? Continue reading