Every depiction of the Buddha has significance and meaning. Each hand gesture, posture and in the Medicine Buddha’s case even color has deep psychological inferences.
• Why is the Medicine Buddha blue?
The deep blue that the Medicine Buddha is normally portrayed in wasn’t done so at random. It ties back a master healing stone – Lapis Lazuli. For more than six thousand years this stone has been honored and cherished as the most precious of stones. Valued even more than the diamond or gold. It may be because of how hard it is to obtain. Primarily mined in the Badakshan region of northeast Afghanistan, which is pretty much an inaccessible area located behind the Hindu Kush.
This deep blue is usually associated with the brow chakra. The main attributes of the brow chakra are discernment, clarity, vision and seeing beyond illusion.
• What is the plant that the Medicine Buddha is holding?
The plant that the Medicine Buddha is holding is the myrobalan fruit. This plant represent all of the best medicines in the world.
• What does the Medicine Buddha’s hand gestures mean?
The Medicine Buddha’s right hand gesture represents and symbolizes the eradication of suffering. Especially the suffering of sickness using the means of relative truth.
The Medicine Buddha’s left hand gesture – resting in his lap, palm upward symbolizes meditative stability or meditation as a whole(See other Buddha Hand Mudras). Meditation is is looked upon as a tool to aid in the eradication of sickness and suffering. How? By digging deep into the very roots of samsara. This will lead the practitioner to the realization of absolute truth.
You may wanna know: The FengShui Tips of Medicine Buddha
• Twelve Vows
The Buddha tells the story in the Medicine Buddha Sutra that the Healing Buddha made twelve great vows upon attaining Enlightenment. You’ll find a slight adaptation of the Medicine Buddha’s vows for the modern age below.
To illuminate countless realms with his radiance, enabling anyone to become a Buddha just like him.
To awaken the minds of sentient beings through his light of Lapis Lazuli.
To provide the sentient beings with whatever material needs they require.
To correct heretical views and inspire beings toward the path of the Bodhisattva.
To help beings follow the Moral Precepts, even if they failed before.
To heal beings born with deformities, illness or other physical sufferings.
To help relieve the destitute and the sick.
To help women who wish to be reborn as men achieve their desired rebirth.
To help heal mental afflictions and delusions.
To help the oppressed be free from suffering.
To relieve those who suffer from terrible hunger and thirst.
To help clothe those who are destitute and suffering from cold and mosquitoes.
• The Essence of Buddha’s Teachings
“Commit not a single unwholesome act.
Develop a wealth of virtue.
Tame, transform, conquer this mind of ours.
Peace. Compassion. Wisdom.”
We Are What We Think
“We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.
We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak of act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakable.”
From the Dhammapada translated by Thomas Byrom
• The Medicine Buddha’s Healing Meditation & Mantra
The Preparation – The Four Thoughts
We feel the formless stream of air at the tips of our noses and let thoughts and feelings pass without evaluation.
Then we focus on the four basic thoughts that steer mind toward liberation and enlightenment. We recognize our precious opportunity in this life, that we can benefit countless beings through the method of a Buddha. We remember the impermanence of everything composite. Only the unlimited clear space of mind is lasting. We understand causality. That it’s up to us what will happen. Former thoughts words and actions became our present state and right now we are sowing the seeds for our future.
Finally, we see the reasons for working with mind. Enlightenment is timeless highest bliss, and we cannot benefit others while confused or disturbed ourselves.
Therefore we now open up to those who can teach us.
For the good of all beings we take refuge: In the Buddha, mind’s full development, In the Teachings, which bring us there, In the Sangha, the Bodhisattva’s along the way.
Now, out of space in front of us condenses the blue transparent form of the Healing Medicine Buddha, a radiant field of energy and light.
His deep blue translucent form awakens minds deepest awareness. His face is radiant and mild. He see us, knows us, and wishes us everything good. His left hand, palm upward in his lap, holds a bowl full of miraculous healing nectar. His right hand rests palm outward on his knee in a blessing gesture, and holds a magic plant which cures all diseases. He is seated in meditation posture and is surrounded by light.
The Healing Buddha unites space and bliss and is the activity of all Buddhas. His deep blue radiant and holy body of Lapis Lazuli expresses omniscient wisdom and compassion inseparable. Healing Buddha we strongly wish to accomplish your enlightened and healing qualities for the benefit of all beings. The Healing Buddha knows our wish. He smiles and comes ever closer through space. He now remains at a pleasant distance in front of us.
Blessing Phase – Body
A strong clear light radiates from between the Healing Buddha’s eyebrows and enters the same place in our forehead. It fills our head with powerful clear light. The light dissolves all disturbing impressions in brain, nerves and senses. All causes and imprints of harmful actions disappear and our body relaxes. It becomes a conscious tool for protecting and helping others. We retain the clear light for as long as we wish and experience the inner vibration of the syllable OM.
Blessing Phase – Speech
Emanating from The Healing Buddha’s throat, a radiant beam of red light streams out. It enters our mouth and throat and dissolves all difficulties in our speech. All impressions of harmful and confused words disappear and we become conscious of our speech. It is now compassion and wisdom, a powerful tool for benefiting others. Along with the red light, we retain the deep vibration of the syllable AH.
Blessing Phase – Mind
From the heart level in the center of the Healing Buddha’s transparent body, an intense blue light shines out. It fills the middle of our chest. Everything harmful now leaves our mind. Disturbing feelings and stiff ideas dissolve and our mind becomes spontaneous joy. It is space and bliss inseparable. Together with the deep blue light vibrates the syllable HUNG.
Great Seal Transmission
Now, all three lights enter us at the same time. Clear light fills our head, red light our throat and blue light our heart center. Thus we obtain the essential state of the Great Seal. While receiving the lights, we may use the mantra TATAYA, OM, BEKANZE, BEKANZE, MAHA BEKANZE, RADZA SAMUNGATEH, SOHA … (repeat mantra as long as you wish)
In front, the Medicine Buddha’s form dissolves into rainbow light. It falls on us, is everywhere and we feel peaceful and joyous. Now, all form disappears. There is now only awareness, with no center or limit. Thoughts and phenomena are the free play of space.
Now our surroundings, this world and all worlds appear, perfect and pure. Every atom vibrates with joy and is kept together by love. Everything is fresh and meaningful, radiant with unlimited potential. Beings manifest, near and far. They are female or male Buddhas, whether they know it or not. Sounds are mantras and all thoughts wisdom, for the sole reason that they can happen.
We feel our own body condense out of space. It is power and joy. Something essential has happened. Before, we were our body and thus vulnerable to old age, sickness, death and loss. Now we have our body. Body and speech are conscious tools for benefiting others. Our true essence, and we know that now, is the clear awareness just experienced. It was also present when there was no form.
We decide to keep this understanding in all life’s situations and wish that the good impressions that just appeared become limitless. May they bring all beings the only lasting joy, that of knowing mind.
Dedication of Merit From the Healing Medicine Buddha Meditation
Whatever merits were produced by this practice we dedicate to liberate and provide health and happiness to all beings.
Healing Buddha or Medicine Buddha Inspiration
This Healing Buddha or Medicine Buddha teaching was created by Ian Paul Marshall, the founder of Buddhaful Living and inspired by the Blessed Ones: Lama Ole Nydahl, Sogyal Rinpoche, Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche