Buddha Beadweaving Feeds the Soul

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha

Of course Buddha smiles. Contentment radiates.

As I stitched this beadweaving, I found myself smiling.

The bead mix talked to me. Amber, bronze, ivory and tortoise shell colors blended. Bead rounds, squares and bugles challenged the spacing. Yet, the irregularities they presented added interest.

The brass backdrop framed Buddha and highlighted him, forming a tiny shrine of sorts.

I found the project special, even inspirational, and envisioned wearing a necklace that would communicate the same feeling to others.

Typically when I’m excited about a piece, the time from start to completion is short. Not so with Buddha.

Finished, the piece stayed on the bead board through a studio show and for several weeks after. You might say Buddha languished.

I described the two or three strands that would complete him. I discussed the length and overall appearance of the necklace. I talked and talked, but took no action.

Eventually, realizing “something” wasn’t right, I dismantled the layout and reconfigured my vision. I found myself thinking of another quote:

“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.” – Buddha

With newfound purpose, I added four more rows to the piece: two on the back and two on the front. This tied the front to its leather backing in an elegant way. I determined to make a simple, stand-alone drop.

On the backside I added two brass symbols – a circle and a hand.

  • The circle, an unbroken line with no beginning, no end, and no direction seemed appropriate for a Buddha piece.
  • I added the hand (stamped with “hand-made”) as a gesture of whimsy. In Buddhism, an open hand position represents a gesture of reassurance, indicating blessing and protection. In short, “Do not fear.”

Those who’ve seen the drop completed confirmed its beauty with a smile. Of course they would smile. I smile too. My Buddha beadweaving feeds my soul.

Do you use symbols to bring good energy into your work?