(THE BUDDHA TAROT )
After the completion of Kuan Yin Oracle, my abundant imagination and energy did not get disappeared. Two weeks later on my beloved son’s birthday, while thinking of him, I repeatedly read each and every Buddha collection in my bookshelf. In the meantime, I was suddenly very curious about the history and structure of Tarot cards. I truly felt that my son , who died of Leukemia at age of 8 in 1982, wanted me to bring the Buddha’s Light to you through a way that is similar to Tarot cards. Thus, the idea of Buddha Speaking Cards was born.
On 8/28/05, my mind was calm enough for me to start doing the simple pencil drawing of Buddha. I finished the drawing of these 78 images of Buddha on 9/11/05. I am so thrilled with joy and blessing from these Buddha drawings that are filled with serenity and dynamism. In Myhayana Buddhism, which is the most widespread form of Buddhism, there are numerous Buddhas. The image of the Buddha in my heart is the Buddha who has existed from beginning of time and is eternal.
The Buddha has always been a significant part of my life because He provides a calming influence. My siblings and I were born and raised in a house that was adjoining to a small Buddhist temple in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. This temple, Long Shing Gong (literally Dragon Prosperity Palace), originally was a residential building. In realizing the importance of spiritual and religious needs in the daily life, my father (who owned a construction company) and his two brothers purchased this house, and led a group of enthusiastic Buddhists to convert it into a beautiful temple of their dreams. Long Shing Gong not only is a spiritual center, but also is a place for people to meet, to share their pain and love in life, to learn about the Buddha‘s spirit, and to offer assistance to those who need help.
After retirement, my parents settled down in California in 1975, so they could be close to their children and grand-children. During my parents’ final days in California, they were still concerned about Long Shin Gong. With its growing devotees, Long Shin Gong had another expansion in 2004. The house where my siblings and I grew up is now a conference room and reception room. Today, my cousins are in charge of Long Shin Gong which is a popular, prosperous and magnificent temple.
Siddhartha Gautama who is also called Shakyamuni, an Indian prince, founded Buddhism over two thousand five hundred years ago. At the age of twenty-nine, he gave up all his possessions to seek for the truth of life, to find ways of liberation from all sufferings and to pursue the wisdom of ultimate joy. Six years later, he was enlightened and became Shakyamuni Buddha . For the next forty-five years, he shared this wisdom with everyone regardless of their social class, gender, or background. He becomes a symbol of compassion, virtue, and wisdom. All of us can become a Buddha if we have the courage and heart to seek the truth.
The Buddha realized that life, or nature in general, is impermanent. Yet the fundamental law governing nature and its changes is ultimately simple: cause and effect. People suffer because either they have too much anxiety about impermanence, or they stray from the correct path ignoring the simple truth of cause and effect. The ultimate liberty from all suffering is to do whatever is correct, to accept impermanence and to diligently seek our true Buddha nature through meditation or other means.
The teachings of the Buddha have provided solace and comfort to countless people around the world. It is my wish that the essence of these teachings, that are both subtle and profound, are accessible to you, especially those who have little previous acquaintance with Buddhism.
Buddhism does not discriminate or judge you on who or what you believe, but on your deeds, and the actions and thoughts that you have done or possess. The Buddha’s teachings emphasize saying positive words, doing positive deeds and thinking positive thoughts. Buddhism is a way of life, and these teachings are about our lives and our minds, and they can empower us to improve our lives. Buddhism teaches us to do everything that is positive and beneficial and follow the precepts because we will eventually reap what we sow. Buddhists believe in karma (cause and effect) and reincarnation, and lives evolving from previous lives.
Buddha Speaking Cards and Tarot Cards
The precise origins of the Tarot remains a mystery, but over time a fairly consistent standard has evolved for the structure of a Tarot deck. The standard Tarot deck consists of 78 cards made up of two groups: The Major Arcana (22 cards) and the Minor Arcana (4 suits, of 14 cards each suit).
While the Major Arcana (greater secrets) expresses universal themes, the Minor Arcana (lesser secrets) brings those themes down into the practical arena to show how they operate in daily events. The Minor Arcana cards represent the concerns, activities and emotions that make up the drama of our everyday lives.
The story in the Tarot’s Major Arcana which represents the universal themes parallels the story of Buddha‘s journey to enlightenment. This sequence of twenty-two cards have been interpreted by many as an allegorical description of the soul’s journey to enlightenment, beginning with naive Fool and culminating in the universal consciousness represented by the World card.
Tarot spread can be any size of pattern. Most spreads contain between six and fifteen cards. At the beginning, try learning some simple spreads with just a few cards, such as three-card spread (mind-body-spirit, physical-mental-emotion, etc.). There is nothing wrong with starting with spreads of two and three cards, or even one card. A spread can also contain just one card that is useful for daily readings.
I have designed three wheels for Buddha Speaking Cards: first one for the Major Arcana, the second one for the Minor Arcana, and the third one for the entire deck. You are welcome to pint it and spin the wheels to draw cards. My intent is to keep Buddha‘s teachings flourishing, and to help bring joy, peace and harmony into your lives. One does not need to be a Buddhist to benefit from Buddha’s teachings. The benefits are available to everyone.
The five fingers of Buddha’s hand represents the five perfections: Generosity, morality, patience, effort, and meditative concentration. His hands, with the thumb and index fingers in a circle, symbolizes the dharma wheel set in motion, and the hands held to the chest means he is speaking straight from the heart.
Through Buddha Speaking Cards, you could feel Buddha‘s presence, his speaking to you, his vibe, his silence, his depth, his height, as if he was speaking to you. His hand gestures are so graceful, his eyes becoming so beautiful with such depth and meaning, even the way Buddha walked has a different quality to it. The way he slept has a different significance to it.
Millions heard him and became knowledgeable. Something will happen to you if you open all the doors of your heart to allow his love to reach to you, and to allow his vibe to become your vibe. You will find yourself linked to the spirituality and timeless wisdom of the Buddha.
My son and I in Pomona, California, in 1981
Author (second person from right) with her siblings in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA, in 2009.
Author (fifth person from right) with her siblings in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, USA, in 2009.
(By Spring Liao, 10/2/05)
The following is my drawing of my beloved parents – Mr. & Mrs. Fu-Lo Wang.
(Spring Liao, 7/13/09)