I have three ‘Laughing Buddhas’ who occasionally go on adventures! The ‘laughing Buddha’ is a nickname for a popular Chinese folklore deity Budai. Budai is usually depicted as a fat, bald man who is almost always smiling and laughing. He is widely recognised in Chinese culture as a symbol of contentment.
Budai is believed to have been a Chinese Buddhist monk of good and loving character who lived in the later Liang dynasty period. The monastry he belonged to later evolved to teach Zen Buddhism.
Budai is often seen as the Chinese depiction of the historical Indian Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama.
My three laughing Buddhas are lightweight statues that depict Budai in different expressions of mirth. They make me laugh, and appreciate the zen path to contentment.
And being small and lightweight, I can take them with me on adventures – if I don’t mind the embarassment! So far they’ve relaxed by the pool with Little Yang, been to the beach for the sunrise and I took just one of them along with me to a mountaintop yoga retreat.