The hidden myth of the deity, their deeper symbolism and its function in Tibetan Buddhist practice
with Andy Weber

Talk 1: Avalokiteshvara (Tib. Chenrezig)

The most famous patron saint of Tibet, the embodiment of all the Buddhas’ compassion, holds in his center hands a wish-fulfilling jewel. His outer left hand holds the utpala flower with two buds, symbolizing the knowledge of the three times: past, present and future. His right outer hand holds a crystal rosary to remind the practitioner to repeat his mantra: OM MANI PADME HUNG.

The manifestation of all the Buddhas’ compassion comes in 108 different versions.

The most popular in Tibet is the 1000-Armed Avalokiteshvara (Tib. Chenrezig Chagtong Chentong). According to legend, Avalokiteshvara, took a vow in front of Amitabha Buddha never to give up work to liberate all sentient beings from samsara. After eons, he looked at his achievement and felt disillusioned with his efforts. His body split into 1000 pieces. In his agony, he cried out to Amitabha, who then transfigured his head into 10 heads put in each hand a wisdom eye and placed himself and Vajrapani , the aspect of skillful means, on top.

Talk 2: Green Tara (Tib. Droljang)

Born from the tears of Avalokiteshvara, the buddha of compassion, Green Tara grants protection and relief from suffering. Called “the mother of all buddhas”, she promises assistance when called upon and is seen as the embodiment of active compassion. Her right hand bestows fearlessness while her left hand (in the gesture of supreme enlightenment) holds the Utpala flower representing her knowledge of the three times. The open flower reveals the past, the closed the future and the just opening the present. With devotion to her and by doing her practice, both inner and outer obstacles can be overcome.


Talk 3: Medicine Buddha (Tib. Sangyae Menlha)

The Medicine Buddha or ‘great king with the radiance of a lapis jewel’ is the embodiment of all the Buddhas’ healing qualities. His left hand holds a begging bowl filled with medicinal fruits and nectars symbolizing his power to conquer diseases and delusions. His right hand holds the myrobalan plant, renowned as the ‘king of medicines’ because of its effectiveness in treating both mental and physical illnesses. Recitation of his mantra and of his name is said to bring release from suffering, protection from dangers and untimely death.

About the Facilitator

The artist Andy Weber spent eight years in India and Nepal studying the iconographic art of Tibetan Buddhism under the guidance of accomplished masters in northern India and Nepal. His unique style is highly respected not only by a growing number of western Buddhists, but also by many Tibetan lamas who have commissioned his work. His artwork has appeared throughout the world in numerous publications, exhibitions and Buddhist temples, most notably in the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. He divides his time between teaching and lecturing all over the world, and painting and drawing for various projects. Andy is the artist and co-author of the book “Images of Enlightenment” (1993). More recently, he has published instruction manuals for sacred iconography with Tig.le productions, both in English and in Spanish. He has also taught in universities, namely Lancaster University for nine years. 

His style of teaching is direct and based on personal experience and insight. For most listeners, his personal approach is an eye-opener into the sacred art of Tibet.

His art and teaching schedule is available on his website: