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Glossary

 
 
 
1. Tibetan 8 Buddhist Signs
2. Tibetan Mantra Prayer
3. Tibetan Prayer Wheel
4. Dorje
5. Great Leap Forward
6. Chinese Cultural Revolution  
7. Mah Jong (Mahjong)
8. Feng Shui
9. Tibetan Singing Bowls
10. Cloisonné

 

Tibetan 8 Buddhist Signs
White Conch The conch shell symbolizes the 'Om",which allows us to summon our courage and accomplish great things for a greater common good.
Precious Parasol The umbrella represents protection and shields us from disaster and enduring suffering.
Victory Banner The victory banner represents our victory against outside forces and obstacles that cross our path.
Golden Fish The golden fish symbolizes freedom. The freedom of the fish to swim through water and our freedom to move through life without fear.
Dharma Wheel The golden wheel represents Buddha’s doctrine, and how by continuing to follow that doctrine, we can find joy.
Eternity Knot The auspicious drawing stands for the union of wisdom and compassion at the time of enlightenment.
Lotus The lotus flower represents the purification of our body and mind by the deeds that we perform.
Vase of Treasure The treasure vase symbolizes the blessings attainable in this world, including wealth, and a long life.
 
Tibetan Mantra Prayer
The mantra, Om Mani Padme Hum, Is a prayer invoking the blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion. It facilitates as an awakening for our minds, and increases our awareness
 
Tibetan Prayer Wheel
Monks and Buddhist practitioners use the Tibetan Prayer wheel to improve their karma and distribute blessings on others. The Tibetan Prayer wheel comes in all sizes and types. Inside all Tibetan Prayer wheels there is a rolled up piece of paper with a prayer on it. By spinning the wheel the user will achieve the same effect as by saying or chanting the prayer. Tibetan Buddhists hope to achieve compassion by saying this prayer, and they also hope to get rid of negative urges and emotions.
 
Dorje
The dorje is the symbol of enlightenment. The shape of the dorje symbolizes the two forms of truth, relative and absolute. The connection of the two truths in the middle is known as the sphere of actual reality. On the outer parts of the dorje there are two discs that represent the five Buddha families, the five elements, and the five skandhas. In Tibetan the word dorje means, “the indestructible stone.?The dorje is a spiritual weapon used to banish non-truths and bring in the truth. The dorje is often used in a Tibetan Buddhist ritual, where it is twirled in order to bring in truth.
 
Great Leap Forward
During the period of 1957 to 1960, China’s economic plan encouraged revitalizing the various sectors of the economy. Chairman Mao initiated this plan, which emphasized communes and working together, living together, eating together to acheieve a highly industrialized society. Mao’s planning was unrealistic and ignored basic farming methods and knowledge that had been handed down for centuries in favor of new and uneducated guesses about how to produce more food for China’s people. In 1959 there was a famine in China and Mao was forced to turn government administration over to Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping.
 
Chinese Cultural Revolution
During the period of 1966 through 1976, Mao attempted to shift towards a Soviet style of Communism. He closed schools and encouraged students to join The Red Guard. The Red Guard was a group of students who traveled around the countryside by train and persecuted Chinese teachers and intellectuals. Eventually the Red Guard split into factions and turned violent and many people died during purges and reeducation sessions. Besides social disruption, The Cultural Revolution also caused great economic disruption, and industrial production dropped. Mao eventually had to rebuild the party after the Army threatened to split into factions as well. The Cultural Revolution continued until Mao’s death in 1976, after which the Gang of Four (including Mao’s wife) was imprisoned.
 
Mahjong (Mah Jong)
Mah jong (mahjong) was invented by monks during the Tang Dynasty in China, around 200 B.C. Mah jong pieces were originally made with bamboo, and it was also called the bamboo game. Mah jong was especially popular with the royal family. Today mahjong is the most popular game in China. It is normally played with four people (but can be played with two), and the set consists of 144 domino-like pieces or tiles. The object of mahjong is to build a winning combination of pieces. If you would like to learn the rules of mahjong, check out this great link

 
Feng Shui
Feng shui is the ancient Chinese method of creating harmony and promoting the balance of yin and yang in determining one's environment. Proper feng shui will enhance an area by examining how energy flows through it, and by looking at both the yin and yang of that area (as well as how the five elements are arranged and where the room faces geographically). A feng shui expert studies an individual's horoscope and finds out what is best for that person based on mathematical calculations from the I Ching?(Book of Changes. Feng shui has been found to increase sales in a business, and provide a more harmonious family environment. During the days of imperial rule in China, feng shui was kept secret and only used for the court. The Forbidden City was built using feng shui principles, and upon entering the Forbidden City the visitor should feel confused and sometimes get lost this was a means of protecting the emperor and members of the court from outside intruders. Although many in the west believe that feng shui is merely superstition, or an old and outdated view of the world, the fact that some environments and homes feel more comfortable to us than others is proof that feng shui is still relevant in modern times.

 

 
Tibetan Singing Bowls
The method of designing and decorating singing bowls is only known by a few craftsman in Tibet and Nepal. The singing bowl contains several metals, one for each planet in Tibetan astrology, although not each bowl contains all seven metals, and the portions of metal is different for every bowl. Singing bowls were first used in Tibet over 1000 years ago. The method of using a singing bowl is like running your fingers over a crystal wine glass to make sound. To use your singing bowl, place the bowl in the palm of your hand, without touching the sides. Then roll the outside of the bowl with a hard wooden stick in a circular motion around the sides of the bowl. At the beginning you can hear the wood hitting the metal, but that sound soon fades until all you can hear is the continuous sound throughout the room. You must make sure that the wooden stick stays connected to the singing bowl even for a moment, because that will disrupt the sound. You can clean your bowl by putting hot water and a piece of aluminum or hot water with lemon juice inside the bowl. A piece of crocus paper or cloth will also clean the outside of the bowl. Each of our Tibetan singing bowls plys a different note, or tone. Many singing bowls can be played in different ways and can play 6 or more different notes with one singing bowl. Each note, or tone, corresponds to a different chakra in the body. Here is a chart with the chakras and their corresponding musical note.

Chakra Number Chakra Name Position in Body Corresponding Note Attributes Associated Color
1 root base of spine

C

grounding, stability, and physical identity, sense of security, bodily connection, ability to survive red
2 sacral lower abdomen, lower back, below navel D Emotional and sexual stability, creative energy, adaptability, movement orange
3 solar plexus, navel or power between navel and base of sternum E personal power, independence, energy, metabolism, impulses, vitality, and self-esteem yellow
4 heart centre of chest F self-acceptance, reconciles opposing forces and feeling, balance, unconditional love green
5 throat base of neck G creative expression, communication, language and sound, self-expression, truth blue
6 third eye or brow between eyebrows A intuitive insight, conceptual awareness, Intuition, Clairvoyance, and Imagination indigo
7 crown top of head B spiritual connection, higher
consciousness, Connection with Spirit, Faith, Wisdom, and Inspiration
violet or purple




 
Cloisonné

Cloisonne has been around for over 500 years. It was originally called the Blue of Jingtai, because blue is the dominant color used in enameling and because Cloisonne became popular during the reing of Jingtai, in the Ming Dynasty. Cloisonne is popular in China and in the west, both because of its rareness and because of the difficult process to create cloisonne, which yields such beautiful results.
Procedures of Cloisonne-making

  1. Base-hammering
  2. Filigree Soldering
  3. Enamel Filling
  4. Enamel Firing
  5. Polishing
  6. Gilding