First published in New York by Welcome Books in 2003.
In the twenty-five centuries since the Buddha's death, his profound teachings and path have guided and enlightened over one and half billion lives. The Buddha also has inspired some of the most beautiful and magnificent artistic creations ever produced by humanity. Jon Ortner's photographs of over 150 of the extraordinary works of art grace this volume. From the buddha carved from a single piece of jade to the largest reclining buddha, the Buddha's wisdom, compassion, and serenity are eternally present. Simple but powerful verses from The Pali Canon, the most important collection of Buddhist teachings, accompany the photographs. Extended notes in the back of the book provide additional information about the individual buddhas. The foreword by Jon Ortner will talk about the creation of the photographs over twenty five years, and the introduction will give the reader an understanding of Buddha's life and some knowledge of his spiritual teachings. It is important to remember that the Buddha was not a god. He was a human teacher in the sixth century B.C.E. who showed others the way to enlightenment through a path he discovered. Millions have followed, and today there are growing legions of Buddhists in the West with perhaps even greater numbers of non-Buddhists influenced by Buddhist thought and practice. Buddha, filled with exquisite images and verse, is bound in the colors of the monks' robes and foil stamped with an artistic rendition of a lotus, the Buddhist symbol of purity and renewal. Startlingly beautiful in its design, the book is a shrine to meditate upon. It is a gift for everyone who loves beauty and welcomes wisdom, and anyone simply looking for an added measure of peace in their lives.