Buddha Tile Project
The Shrine Room is the Heart of Padmaloka; it is where we most directly encounter the Buddha. But it is also where we contact the manifold manifestations of his Enlightenment experience in the form of the archetypal Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Over the past few years this has become even more vivid as various icons and images have emerged from Aloka’s studio to adorn the walls of the Shrine Room, each one pointing beyond itself to a realm that is beyond the world that we usually inhabit:
The aim from the start has been to make the entire Shrine Room a gateway, to fill every square inch of the walls with the abundance of Enlightenment so that paintings cease to be paintings and we find we are standing on the threshold of something entirely Other.
You now have the opportunity to contribute to this project by painting a 29 x 29cm wooden tile pre-printed with a specially designed line drawing of the Buddha by Aloka, which will help to fill the walls with tens and possibly even hundreds of Buddhas. You can read more about Aloka’s vision in his paper Everywhere Buddhas.
‘Just try and paint with care and attention and it will reflect the rich variety of the movement united by the common ideal of the Going for Refuge. Together we are literally bringing the Buddha into existence - The collectivity of our individual efforts will create a significant contribution to the shrine room like an acting out of the Bodhicitta practice where the end result of individual effort creates something that goes far beyond the individual. I hope that as many people as possible attempt this simple practice so that the end result can reflect that in a very tangible fashion.’ - Aloka
This is a traditional practice. Temples in the East have given devotees the opportunity to make a donation and then paint and offer a tile to go on their roof or sponsor a painted panel to become part of the ceiling, therefore having their creative gift immortalised within a sacred space.
Above all this is a devotional practice, a visual equivalent of mantra chanting. You don’t need to be an experienced or ‘good’ painter to take part. Here are some painting tips from Aloka.
How will it work?
- Choose a donation amount below and order a tile. All donations will go towards the prospering of Padmaloka and the men that come here, so do give generously.
- We will then wrap and post a wooden Buddha tile to you.
- Paint the tile (after reading the painting tips by Aloka, which you will receive a copy of).
- Write your name, your city and country, and date of completion on the back (taking care to avoid the edges).
- Email us a photo of yourself with the finished Buddha tile if you'd be happy for us to use it in our communications (but more importantly for a photographic record of the project and people involved).
- Post the completed Buddha tile back to us (return address label will be included).
- You can only order one tile at a time and for yourself only (rather than on behalf of other people), so that we can keep track of who has them.
- We are producing the tiles in batches of around 108. Once this batch has gone, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask to be put on the waiting list and when the next batch is ready to go out we'll let you know.
- We’ll be in contact every few weeks to see how you’re getting on.
- The Buddha tiles remain the property of Padmaloka. If you realise that you're not able to complete it then we will ask you to send it back.
Helping Ensure the Lotus Realm Can Continue to Give the Gift of the Dharma
Having needed to cancel all retreats until the end of August due to covid-19, our finances will be affected significantly, losing an average of nearly £20,000 in retreat income each month.
Retreat income provides the biggest source of Padmaloka’s income and it is not yet known when we will be able to host retreats again. Consequently, donations made during this period are deeply appreciated and will make a big difference.
Your donation isn’t ‘paying’ for the Buddha Tile; it is an opportunity to be a part of the culture of generosity that sits at the heart of Padmaloka, to help keep that heart alive and thriving, and to contribute towards the short and long term ability of Padmaloka to be able to keep on giving that most precious and essential gift of the Dharma to as many men as possible.
The suggested donation is £50.
That said, If your financial circumstances are healthy, then we would invite you to give generously without putting an upper limit in your mind on how much that gift could be.
If you cannot afford our suggested donation you are free to contribute whatever you can; all donations are gratefully received and we want to be able to give people the opportunity to be a part of this project regardless of their financial circumstances.