The Meaning and the Feng Shui Use of 10 Most Popular Buddha Mudras (Hand Gestures)

Understand the feng shui placement of Buddha mudras and bring peace and protection into your home

Decorating a home with the serene energy of Buddha is one of the many beautiful additions that feng shui brought into the Western decor. The focus on decorating with specific items that bring good energy — and doing that with intent and full awareness —  is the basis of most feng shui work, and the variety of Buddha sculptures and images is not an exception.

I am not a Buddhist but I am fascinated and deeply drawn to the many faces of Buddha, and have traveled to several Buddhist countries to feel and explore this energy more. In its essence, the energy of Buddha represents the human potential of escaping from the inevitable suffering that accompanies human life and reaching a state of bliss and acceptance. It transmits the most healing energy of love for those who are ready to receive it and can raise your consciousness above the mundane level that is often void of sacredness and beauty.

Once you go deeper into exploring the many faces of Buddha, you will see that there is a variety of both male and female Buddhas (you have to understand that the term “Buddha” is used to denote an enlightened being, and not necessarily, or not only, the initial Buddha – the famed prince Gautama Buddha that left his privileged existence and vowed to find a cure for human suffering.)

Some of the most popular Buddha identities used in feng shui are the Laughing Buddha, the Medicine Buddha, the beautiful Kuan Yin, one of the first female Buddhas much revered in Asia, and thus used in many feng shui cures. Then there are the many faces and facets of the beautiful Tara in all 21 colors (the ones most often used in feng shui decorating are the White Tara and the Green Tara.)

This is an absolutely fascinating world to explore and understand, but when it comes to good feng shui decorating with the images of Buddha, one of the first criteria to use is the specific mudra, or hand gesture that your chosen Buddha decor represents. It is not something you have to do, but rather something that is wise to do, as it can add to the power of a specific Buddha decor item as a feng shui cure.

So here are the 10 most popular Buddha mudras (hand gestures), the energy behind them, as well as their best feng shui placement in your home.  And, for a more universal insight on these energies, wait till the end of the article.  Enjoy!

1.

Abhaya

No Fear

Abhaya is a Sanskrit term that means fearlessness. The Abhaya mudra is made with the open palm of the right hand extending outwards at the chest level or slightly higher. If you look at this Buddha hand gesture, or mudra, you will also feel the energy of protection, peace, and a sense of strong, deep inner security.

In these intensely challenging times we are living, the depiction of the Abhaya mudra is a very good, if not the best feng shui Buddha decor addition to any home.

The best feng shui placement of Abhaya mudra: In the main entry, living room, or home office.

2.

Vitarka

Teaching Transmission

Vitarka mudra transmits the energy of higher teachings. It is made with the right palm facing outward at the chest level, the tip of the thumb touching the tip of the index finger. It feels like the transmission of a particular teaching with no words, and it creates a constant flow of energy as information.

Similar in nature to Abhaya mudra, the energy created by this hand gesture allows for the transmission of knowledge in a protected way, without being hindered by fear. It can raise one’s level of consciousness and instill a sense of peace and protection, as well as a deeper connection to one’s own divine guidance.

The best feng shui placement of Vitarka mudra: In the home office, library, meditation room, or study.

3.

Namaskar

Greeting and Adoration

Namaskar, or Namaskara mudra (also called Anjali mudra) is a hand gesture used to greet another being with the utmost respect and adoration. This is one of the most popular mudras and most of us have used it and know about its meaning from taking yoga or meditation classes —  “The light in me salutes the light in you”. This greeting is expressed in a form of prayer coming from one’s heart (if held at the chest level) or the third eye (if held at the eyebrow level).

The Namaskar mudra can be depicted with palms either at the heart level or at the third eye/forehead. This mudra denotes that only the heart and the deeper spiritual insight accessed by the third eye make it possible to realize that we are all expressions of the same divine light.

I’ve heard that that true Buddhas no longer make this hand gesture—possibly because once you are united with the light of divine energy, there is no longer a need to express adoration for it. When you are one with it, you are it.

The best feng shui placement of Namaskar mudra: In the main entry, the living room, the dining room, the center of the home, or the home office.

4.

Vajrapradama

Confidence in Self

The meaning of Vajrapradama mudra is the mudra of unshakable self-confidence. However, this mudra expresses much deeper energy than just our Western understanding of the meaning of self-confidence.   “I come with peace because I am peace” is one of the ways I feel its transmission. Similar in energy to the Namaskar mudra, the Vajrapradama mudra is a pure expression of trust, faith, and confidence in one’s alignment with the divine source of all existence.

I see Vajrapradama mudra emanating a glowing river of beautiful golden energy that is very healing and ever-lasting. This is not just a gesture of individual self-confidence, but rather the confidence in the universal Self that is part of Divine energy. When this genuine trust and confidence are present, the heart becomes the strongest communicator.

This is what this mudra evokes—the strength and confidence that comes from the connection with the Heart-Self. The Vajrapradama mudra is also a very protective mudra that encloses your energy field in a glow of soothing energy.

In some representations of this mudra, the fingers are interlaced with the thumbs pointed toward the collar bones.

The best feng shui placement of Vajrapradama mudra: The heart of the home/the center, the living room, the main entrance, the entrance to the bedroom, or the meditation room.

5.

Dhyana

Meditation and Contemplation

The Dhyana mudra (also called the Samadhi mudra) facilitates the energy of meditation, deep contemplation, and unity with higher energy. It is formed with your palms facing up and overlapping one another with the thumbs lightly touching. The circling of energy created by this mudra promotes the cleansing of any impurities. Just by looking at this Buddha hand gesture (let alone practicing it!), one can access the energy of deep peace and serenity.

The best feng shui placement of Dhyana mudra: The mediation room, near your altar, the center of the home, or in your home office/study.

6.

Varada

Compassion, Sincerity, and Wish-Granting

The beautiful Varada mudra transmits the energy of compassion, liberation, and an offering of acceptance. This mudra is made with the left hand extended and facing downward, with the palm facing out. It is often seen in conjunction with other mudras made with the right hand, such as the Bhumisparsa mudra, the Vitarka mudra or the Abhaya mudra.

The Varada mudra is called a boon-granting mudra because it helps bestow a specific quality of energy that one might be seeking from an enlightened being. In some depictions of this mudra, you can see a sacred shape, such as a mandala or an eye in the palm of the Buddha’s hand. This expresses shows the rarefied and powerful energy that emanates from an enlightened being through his or her hands.

The best feng shui placement of Varada mudra: The Northwest bagua area of your home or office, your altar, or your dining room.

7.

Dharmachakra

Wheel of Dharma (Cosmic Order)

The Dharmachakra mudra transmits a continuous stream of energy that is expressed as a wheel, or chakra, of the cosmic order. In this mudra, the hands are placed at the heart level with the thumbs and index fingers forming circles (somewhat similar to Vitarka mudra). The right palm faces outwards and the left one faces towards the heart. The circle represents the wheel of dharma.

This mudra is associated with Buddha’s first sermon with the meaning that the teachings on the cosmic order can come only from (or through) the heart center.

The best feng shui placement of Dharmachakra mudra: The living room, the meditation room, or the home office/study.

8.

Bhumisparsa

Calling the Earth to Witness the Truth

The Sanskrit translation of the Bhumisparsa mudra is Touching the Earth or Calling the Earth to Witness the Truth. This mudra is always depicted with the left hand facing upward in the lap (Varada mudra, as you know by now) and the right hand pointing downward, touching the earth.

Bhumisparsa mudra is believed to be Buddha’s hand gesture (the historical, Shakyamuni Buddha) when he achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. At the moment when Mara, the demon, attempted to corrupt Buddha’s resolve to achieve liberation in the name of all beings, Buddha touched the ground, indicating that the Earth herself was bearing witness to his victory over the darkness of delusion (represented by Mara). In a way, the Bhumisparsa mudra is an honoring, as well as a symbol, of Buddha’s enlightenment.

Energetically, this mudra transmits the energy that helps one overcome intense inner battles and transform them into higher wisdom.

The best feng shui placement of Bhumisparsa mudra: Your home office, your living room, or meditation room.

9.

Uttarabodhi

Supreme Enlightenment

The Uttarabodhi mudra is the mudra of Supreme Enlightenment. This mudra is formed with both hands placed at the heart level with index fingers touching and pointing upwards, while the other eight fingers are intertwined (or as in the variation of this mudra pictured above). The Uttarabodhi mudra is a hand gesture that clearly evokes a sense of unshaken unity when the individual self aligns with the Higher Self, the One Source. Performing the Uttarabodhi mudra for a few minutes creates an easily perceived shift in the subtle energy of one’s body, a sense of calm alignment, and centering.

The best feng shui placement of Uttarabodhi mudra: The North or South bagua areas of the home or office. It can also be placed in a prominent, high energy spot in your living room or the meditation room.

10.

Karana

Banishing and Expelling Negativity

Karana mudra expresses extremely powerful energy that is able to expel any negative energy. Called the mudra of Warding off the Evil, this hand gesture is used against any form of negativity, from actual experiences to subtle thoughts. One can sense a very determined, focused energy just by looking at the depiction of this Buddha hand gesture. The Karana mudra is made with the right hand extended and fingers pointed upward, the thumb touching the tip of the second finger, while the middle two fingers are folded.

Basically, this is an exorcism mudra, and as such is used in some of the BTB feng shui school more mysterious cures, such as the Three Secrets Reinforcement, for example.

The best feng shui placement of Karana mudra: If you have an image of the Buddha making the Karana mudra, be very mindful about its placement, be it in a home or office. You do not want it to face the front door (which should have welcoming energy). By the same token, you do not want it in your bedroom or your child’s room. The best feng shui placement is in a bagua area that needs strong energetic clearing, or in a problematic area of the house—such as for example, near windows that face a back alley with low energy.

This concludes our feng shui exploration of the 10 most popular Buddha mudras, or hand gestures, I trust you enjoyed it!

And here is the promised, more universal insight on these energies.

Have you noticed that many of these Buddha mudras, or hand gestures, are used in other cultures/religions too? I have seen stunning images of Christ with the Vitarka mudra in many churches in Russia and Greece. I have also seen — and I am sure you might have, too —  numerous angelic figures holding their hands in the Vajrapradama mudra. Of course, the Namaskar mudra is the hand gesture most of us use when praying.

What does this tell you? Well, even though these gestures have different words in different cultures, the energy they emit and evoke in our psyche and in our human bodies (when we make these hand gestures) is the same. Try holding one of these mudras and see how your body responds, especially the Abhaya, the No Fear mudra, that is so dearly needed these days.

There are many Buddha energies — the Medicine Buddha, the Laughing Buddha, Quan Yin, the White Tara, etc. Which one do you feel most drawn to? And which mudra/hand gesture is the one that is most needed in your life and in your home right now?

Take some time to answer these questions and then bring the best possible energy to soothe, to calm, to bless, and to protect your home.

Rodika Tchi

Rodika Tchi is a master feng shui consultant and author of two best-selling books on feng shui -- "The Healing Power of Smudging" (Simon and Schuster, 2017) and "Feng Shui for Healing" (Rockridge Press, 2019). Connect with Rodika on RodikaTchi.com