The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs

The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs
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The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs

The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, dragons

Tibetan Buddhism has one of the most complex iconographies of any religion. Robert Beer, the artist who brought to life the saints of Tibetan Buddhism inBuddhist Masters of Enchantment, has now brought the myriad symbols of Tibetan Buddhist art to life. Not exactly arranged like an encyclopedia, this book is more like a tour of the categories of Tibetan Buddhist symbols, beginning with Landscape Elements (rocks, clouds, rainbows, etc.); moving on to such areas as Flowers and Trees, Cosmology, and Mudras (hand gestures); and ending with Geometric Borders. Exquisitely detailed line drawings (using fine-pointed traditional brushes) are grouped on full-size plates, each of which the author tells us took between 50 and 200 hours to draw. The eight years that went into this book are revealed not only in the drawings but also in the text that is equally detailed in its descriptions of the religious significance of the symbols as well as their sources and development in Tibetan art. Beer’s encyclopedic knowledge has not come from book learning, but from 30 years of doing Tibetan art and learning firsthand from Tibetan masters. After glimpsing just of few of these plates, you’ll be calling Beer a master too. –Brian Bruya

From Yoso’s perspective, this has been a very enjoyable read, that gave us much insights into Tibetan culture and also into Japanese culture. Appropriate for anyone who is interested into other cultures. This book is not a tattoo design book as such, however it includes an impressive amount of highly detailed outlines. Pretty much covering the majority of Tibetan symbols you might have seen. Perfect for scanning/tracing over even for your tattoo needs. It gives you the meaning of clouds, water, earth, all kind of rocks formations, mandalas, strange creatures, mantras and the list goes on.

It is not only a matter of copying Shige’s, or Philipe Leu’s work (I.e. skulls) as it is often seen, You also have to understand the symbolism and the culture that is represented, the how and they why! So get this book if you want to get anywhere near some kind of serious learning phase. We’ve got it, and we wouldn’t get rid of it for sure! This book does not only serve as an introduction, but also will remain a valuable source of information and inspiration, probably for the lifetime of your tattoo studio. It also serves as a good introduction to anyone who wishes to study Buddhism, or become Buddhist.

Now when we say that it also gives insights into Traditional Japanese Tattoo/ Japanese iconography, it does not cover the myths from the EDO Era. But it will give you insights into many symbols that are used in Traditional Japanese Tattoos. Japanese have been very good at importing Tibetan, Chines, Korean culture, changing names and making older gods theirs. You’ll get to understand a lot more about it! We wished we had more scans to show you! It’s really a great book! We’ll vote this one, number one on the Tibetan/tattoo book shelve!

:: Buy from Amazon US, starting at $40.95, you won’t waste your money on this one!