Buddhism In Jewelry
The no-nonsense Guide

Buddhist jewellery has gained great popularity in the West and I often see people I know or just around me wearing a Buddha necklace. I worry about this because I doubt if they've ever explored Buddhist teachings and as a psychologist I can understand their enthusiasm but doubt their sincerity. For those who do take the time to study a bit about what they are wearing the rewards can be genuine and real. You don't to enrol on a course, or become a monk or a nun to discover the basic philosophy of Buddhism and be aware that the Buddha's appearance on jewellery is redolent of different meanings and purposes.

In Buddhism materialism is frowned upon and the image of the Buddha should not be exploited and yet so many people do this believing that such external items such as amulets, charms and Buddha necklaces will bring them lasting happiness. Interestingly it is perfectly possible by skilful meditation to acquire spiritual qualities like tolerance, compassion, kindness in all our daily lives and this can promote self awareness and happiness. So I do recommend learning something of Buddhist practices such as mindfulness.

Perhaps my biggest problem with unthinking wearing of Buddhist jewellery is where the items have been produced. Please, at least be aware when purchasing a Buddha necklace on the internet of in a cheap shop that you could be buying a product either made by political and religious prisoners in Communist China or the former belongings of Tibetan monks whose monasteries have been ransacked and who have been persecuted in unthinkable ways. I might be too histrionic with these views and I do know many people who Buddha necklaces are well intentioned and basically good people but I do get frustrated that they seem unaware of the background of such objects and view them just as fashion and ornament. I would urge anyone thinking of buying a Buddha necklace to simply check for the country of origin or better still go to South East Asia and buy there. For instance in Bangkok there are whole streets that are lined with stalls selling a vast choice of genuine amulets and Buddha necklaces. You can read more at Thai Tattoos for an excellent insight into Buddhism and Jewelry.