Cover image for Buddha
Ortner, Jon, 1951-
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Publication Information:
New York : Welcome Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
239 pages ; 21 cm
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BQ890 .O78 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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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.

Author Notes

Jon Ortner has been photographing since the early 1970s. At the age of twenty he made his first journey to India and Nepal, where experiences in the Himalaya focused the direction of his photography and life. His work has appeared in numerous magazines
Jack Kornfield was trained as a Buddhist monk and has taught around the world since 1974. He also holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. He is a co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts and of the Spirit Rock Center in northern California

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Jack Kornfield provides the historical introduction for photographer Jon Ortner's Buddha, a lavishly illustrated coffee-table book about the "one who is awake." The 175 color photographs depict Buddha statues all over the East, accompanied by verses from the Dhammapada. The book's design is noteworthy, with a vibrant orange satiny cover (inspired by the design of Buddhist monks' robes) stamped with a gold foil lotus. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Photographer Ortner (Where Every Breath Is a Prayer) compiled this collection of over 150 color images of Buddhist artwork taken on his travels in Southeast Asia. Most show Buddha statues or the temples containing them, and even a cursory glance gives the viewer a sense of the vast number of sites and objects that exist. Some photos offer a sense of scale as well, such as the image of a monk dwarfed by the great stupa at Sri Ksetra. The book is beautifully designed, with Buddha sayings interspersed among the images, so it can be randomly and rewardingly opened and reopened often. A closing section gives additional information on some of the images and sites. The introduction by Jack Kornfield, a Buddhist monk and cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society, is a succinct retelling of the Buddha story; the author's foreword is somewhat extraneous. Buddha is strongest when the images are allowed to speak for themselves. Verdict A fine collection of images and sayings that will appeal to general readers, photographers, and, to a lesser extent, experienced Buddhist practitioners.-Mark Woodhouse, Elmira Coll., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Jon OrtnerJack KornfieldMartha McGuire and Jon Ortner
Forewordp. 10
Introductionp. 15
Human Existencep. 20
The Pathp. 60
Enlightenmentp. 184
Additional Notesp. 226
Acknowledgmentsp. 240