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The Happy Buddha: Symbolism across Cultures

The Happy Buddha: Symbolism across Cultures

The jolly laughing Buddha is based on an eccentric Chinese monk who lived over 1,000 years ago–a benevolent and joyous man who came to be regarded as an incarnation of the bodhisattva Maitreya, the “world teacher”.  The laughing Buddha is known in China as the Loving or Friendly One, and his image graces many temples, restaurants, and amulets as a deity of abundance and contentment. He always has a big and friendly grin, as well as a largely exposed pot belly stomach, which symbolizes good luck, joy, and prosperity. While laughing Buddha consistently has these qualities, there are several different variations to bring an abundance of all kinds into your life.

As Buddhism has become popular in countries all over the world it remains a predominant spiritual belief in Asia. It is practiced in China, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, and many more countries. Here in the US it is said that Hawaii has the highest population of Buddhists.

Let's dive into the different forms of Buddha that we see around the world!


The Spiritual Journey Buddha carries a gourd of enlightenment in one hand, a fan in the other, and wears a necklace of prayer beads. The fan is a symbol of happiness and joy used to banish troubles and misfortune, while the prayer beads (also known as mala beads) represent a consistent meditation practice and mindfulness in daily life.

The Traveling Buddha is ready for adventure and is often toted as a talisman for safety in travel.  There are several variations of this worldly Buddha.  The Traveling Wu Lou Buddha carries with him the gourd of enlightenment, a wealth ball, and a sack which he uses to collect people’s sadness and woes. It is said that the sack, or ‘Hotei’, transmutes all of that negative energy into wealth and good fortune!  The wealth ball is sometimes seen as a pearl and symbolizes the most valuable ‘pearls’ of all treasures: wisdom and health.

The Traveling Music Buddha is sure to attract new and wonderous experiences and ensures they will be met with as much exuberance as one would have when dancing to their favorite songs.  He also carries a sack for transmuting troubles, wears enlightening mala beads, and carries a small ukulele to bring joy with his beautiful music!

The Safe Travels Buddha is a protective deity and carries with him his Hotei sack and wealth ball, to bring joy, prosperity, and wisdom in your travels.


The Abundance Buddha and Prosperity Buddha

While all happy Buddhas bring an abundance of good things, some are specifically focused on attracting a wealth of money, love, and spirit.  The Buddha of prosperity can be sitting or standing; either way, he holds two wealth balls over his head in a victorious stance, ready to WIN at all aspects of life!

There is another variation of the Buddha of prosperity who carries the Ru-Yi pot of abundance, as well as a talisman to Nepal which attracts wealth and worldly wisdom.

The Buddha of good health and abundance carries a Ru-Yi pot to attract prosperity, a wealth ball to bring abundance and good health, and he wears prayer beads to maintain a connection to mindfulness and spirituality.  His compatriot, the abundance Buddha holds a Ru-Yi “bowl of plenty” high above his head to attract wealth, health, and wisdom.

The happy Buddhas are also sometimes meditating or simply sitting and being jolly, to attract luck and prosperity.  It is said that rubbing the belly of Happy Buddha will bring good fortune to you with even more speed and strength!  Try carrying one with you as a lucky talisman or place a few in your home; the bright smile and positive energy attraction of happy Buddha just might bring some surprising goodness your way!

 Mexicali Blues Buddha Backflow Incense Burner

If you're looking for other home decor items or accessories to bring you the peacefulness that symbol of Buddha carries you can shop the full collection here!

Rock those Chakras: A Guide to the Chakras & the Colors & Crystals that Connect Them

Rock those Chakras: A Guide to the Chakras & the Colors & Crystals that Connect Them

Chakras are the energy centers of the body.  In Sanskrit, the word chakra means “wheel” or “vortex”, and that is what chakras are: spiralling vortexes of energy which hold, balance, and emanate different powers and aspects of our spiritual bodies.  There are seven major chakras, each with their own gifts to empower the physical body and bring about the development of our self-consciousness.

When you are having a problem in life, emotional or physical, it may be because the corresponding chakra is blocked or out of balance.  This imbalance can be addressed in several ways–for example: receiving reiki, or meditating on a crystal, color, or sound that resonates on the same vibrational frequency as that chakra.  It may sound complicated, but do not fear! Your chakras are ultimately your own energy, so all it takes is your conciousness and intention to set them right!

If you have a chakra imbalance and would like to work on it, try this simple meditation:

Sit or lie down comfortably in a quiet room, making sure you will not be disturbed (remember to turn off the ringer on your phone!).  Burn some of your favorite incense (we love nag champa!) or a candle to create an olfactory separation between this sacred space and your daily life.  If you are laying down, you might like to place an energy-amplifying crystal on the physical location of the chakra, or if seated, you might simply hold it there. (See below for the crystals that are best for each chakra)

Breathe in and out, counting each exhale until you get to 20.  If other thoughts enter your mind, observe them and let them go.  Sometimes it helps to have a mantra to keep yourself present, so create one that has meaning for you as it corresponds to the issue you would like to address. We like to use the Mexicali chakra attributes flags or batik chakra wall hanging as a meditation object, focusing on the color and mantra of a specific chakra flag for a meditation. You can do that, or create one on your own if you wish!  For example, if you want to meditate on the root chakra, which is the center of grounding, your mantra might be, “I am present”.

Picture your chakra as a spinning wheel of colored light.  When you breathe in, imagine that you are letting in a waterfall of white light and positive energy, which makes your chakra grow brighter.  When you breathe out, imagine you are releasing all of your bad feelings or pain in a little grey puff of smoke.  Repeat this, breathing slowly, for as long as you feel is right.


Chakra Basics: A Guide to the Chakras

The Root/Base Chakra–Center of Grounding & Security

Color: red

Location: base of the tailbone

Consciousness: security, trust, relationship to the body & the Earth, being grounded & present in the here and now, having passion for life

Signs of balance: good health, vitality, comfortable in body, sense of trust in the world, ability to relax and be still, centered

Symptoms that this chakra is out of balance:

Deficiency–insecurity, fear, anxiety, feeling “spacey”, disconnected from body/living in your head only–too much mental chatter, chronic disorganization, poor discipline, little willpower, lack of confidence, trust issues in relationships

Excess–hoarding, material fixation, rigid boundaries, fear of change, overeating, greed, overly protective, possessive, aggressive

Crystals to balance & benefit: garnet, agate, tiger’s eye, onyx, ruby, black obsidian, black tourmaline, hematite, smokey quartz, red jasper, bloodstone

Essential Oils & Incense: cedar, cinnamon, clove, dragon’s blood, sandalwood, ylang ylang, patchouli, clary sage, vetiver, rosewood

“I am safe.”
“I feel connected to the earth.”
“I trust myself.”
“I stand up for myself.”
“My body supports me in living a creative and happy life.”
“I am at peace with life.”
“The world is a safe & friendly place.”
“I have what I need.”
“I belong.”
“I live to my fullest potential.”

Other Healing Ideas: Walk outside in bare feet (helps feel more “grounded” and connected to nature), bridge pose or another yoga backbend, eat vegetables from the ground (beets, potatoes, carrots) and hot spices (red cayenne pepper, tabasco), meditate outside while sitting on the ground, dance

The Sacral Chakra–Center of Creativity & Change

Color: Orange

Consciousness: happiness, creativity, sexuality, emotions & willingness to feel them, manifestation, honoring relationships, learning to “let go”, money

Signs of balance: nurturing of yourself and others, joyful, energetic, independent, secure, compassionate, patient, friendly, sociable

Symptoms that this chakra is out of balance:

Deficiency–guilt, shame, overwhelmed, overly sensitive, shy, timid, immobilized by fear, clingy or isolated, emotional numbness, procrastination, diminished libido

Excess–emotional outbursts, manipulative, caught up in illusions, poor boundaries, obsessive attachment, pleasure addiction


“I welcome the comfort of others in times of need.”
“I am lovable and I am loved.”
“I feel abundance around and within me.”
“I am emotionally aware of myself.”
“I trust the process of life.”
“I am a unique being full of creative potential.”

Crystals to balance & benefit: garnet, carnelian, copper, fire opal, tiger’s eye, orange calcite

Essential Oils & Incense: angelica, gardenia, lemongrass, orange, lemon, bergamot, rose, sandalwood

Other Healing Ideas: hip-opening yoga poses, dance, visualize the color orange, cobra pose, journaling, pursuing personal projects, spend time near water in nature, eat almonds, cinnamon, strawberries, coconut, oranges

The Solar Plexus Chakra–Center of Power & Confidence

Color: Yellow

Location: Just above the navel and below the rib cage

Signs of balance: confidence, healthy relationships, freedom, assertiveness, clarity, self-control, motivation, success in business and material world, vitality, spontaneity, celebrating life, feeling empowered

Symptoms that this chakra is out of balance:

Deficiency–low self-worth, mental fatigue, memory problems, moodiness, digestive disorders, doubt, negative self-talk, inferiority complex, weak intentions, fragile determination

Excess–stubbornness, aggression, projecting superiority, intrusive, quarrelsome, overpowering, pushy, angry, rebellious, viciously competitive, ruthless, chaotic, burnt out, exhausted, disconnected, workaholic, fears intimacy, fussy, lack of tolerance


“I accept and value myself exactly as I am.”
“I am confident that I know what is in my best interest.”
“I am my own person. I choose how to think and behave.”
“I choose health, healing, and happiness.”
“I am worthy of love, respect, joy, and prosperity. I am open to receiving all of these good things and more!”
“My personal power is becoming stronger each day.”
“I delight in the opportunity each day to be true to the wisdom of my highest self.”
“Every present moment is another chance to make a positive choice.”

Crystals to balance and benefit: Citrine, Amber, Gold, Topaz, Malachite, Jasper, Tiger’s Eye, Yellow Tourmaline, Rhodochrosite

Essential Oils & Incense: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Fennel, Rosemary, Rose, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Chamomile

Other Healing Ideas: yoga boat pose, dancing, eat whole grains & yellow fruits, drink peppermint or chamomile tea, taking a walk in the sunshine, sitting in front of a campfire or fireplace, burning yellow candles, visualizing the chakra as a sunflower

The Heart Chakra–Center of Love & Compassion for Self & Others

Color: Green (or Pink)

Location: The center of the breastbone or sternum

Consciousness: love, joy, inner peace, honesty, healing

Signs of balance: patience, generosity, peace, kindness, forgiveness, love, humor, compassion, accepting others as they are, self-acceptance, healthy immune system

Symptoms this chakra is out of balance:

Deficiency–negative thinking, stubborn thought patterns, feeling unloved, unworthy, having a hard time trusting others, antisocial, withdrawn, narcissism, fear of intimacy

Excess–ruled by emotions, manipulativeness, mood swings, grief, co-dependency, harsh judgement of others, looking outward for acceptance or fulfillment, intense jealousy, overly sacrificing, clinging


“I forgive freely and easily.”
“I am worthy of love.”
“I find courage in my vulnerability.”
“I am loving to others and myself.”
“There is an endless supply of love.”

Crystals: Malachite, Rose Quartz, Jade, Peridot, Green Aventurine, Emerald, Green Tourmaline, Rhodochrosite

Essential Oils & Incense: Rose, Eucalyptus, Pine, Palmarosa, Hyssop, Lavender, Neroli, Chamomile, Ylang ylang, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Rosemary

Other Healing Ideas: chest opening yoga poses, hugging, verbally expressing love, drink green tea, eat pink grapefruit and green vegetables, lighting green candles, surrounding yourself with the greenery of nature in real life or with photos

The Throat Chakra–Center of Communication

Color: Blue (or Turquoise)

Location: The central base of the neck, throat

Consciousness:  expressing feelings, speaking your truth, listening to intuition, creativity, sharing

Signs of balance: freely flowing communication, honest expression, good listening, artistic expression, happiness in career

Symptoms this chakra is out of balance:

Deficiency–quiet, timid, unreliable, manipulative, inconsistent, devious, can’t express your thoughts, afraid to speak, poor rhythm, tone deaf, weak voice, feeling isolated & misunderstood

Excess–gossiping, interrupting, arrogance, inability to listen, self-righteous, talking as a defense, ignorant, dogmatic


“I express myself honestly.”
“I release the habit of gossip.”
“I use my words to empower others.”
“I speak up for myself.”
“I speak the truth with love.”

Crystal: Lapis, Blue Agate, Sapphire, Sodalite, TurquoiseAquamarine

Essential Oils & Incense: Peppermint, Tea Tree, Thyme, Cypress, Geranium

Other Healing Ideas: shoulder stand yoga pose, singing or chanting, listen to favorite music, eat raw fruit and sea vegetables (algae, dulse kelp, nori), play Tibetan singing bowls or bells, visualize blue light emanating from the throat

The Third Eye Chakra–Center of Intuition & Extra Sensory Perception

Color: Indigo

Location: center of brow, between the eyes

Consciousness:  intuition, imagination, wisdom, decision-making, dreams, psychic ability, spirituality, empathy

Signs of balance: clear head, easily discerning reality from imagination, full understanding that you are the creator of your own reality, astral projection, lucid dreaming, receiving messages from spirit guides, ease in learning new things

Symptoms this chakra is out of balance:

Deficiency–negative self-talk, not trusting intuition, trouble making decisions, lacking purpose, second-guessing everything, afraid to take action, lacking common sense, memory and learning difficulties

Excess–immersed in a fantasy world, stressed, delusional thinking, judgemental, unsympathetic, over-intellectual thinking


“I honor my vision; I trust my intuition.”
“Imagination fuels my creativity.”
“I see beyond the veil of societal conditioning and illusion.”
“I am open to receiving guidance, and following through.”
“I learn with ease and  joy.”
“I look at low energy situations from my highest self before I choose how to react.”
“I see divine light in everyone.”
“I open my heart and mind to the wisdom that is within me.”
“I am constantly expanding my awareness.”

Crystal: IoliteQuartz, Tanzanite, Amethyst, Sodalite

Essential Oils & Incense: Patchouli, Camphor, Frankincense, Star Anise, Lavender, Clary Sage, Juniper, Rosemary, Sandalwood

Other Healing Ideas: child’s or fish yoga pose, eat broccoli & purple fruits or vegetables (eggplant, grapes, purple onions, prunes), stargazing, visiting an art museum, meditation, wear purple

The Crown Chakra–Center of Cosmic Consciousness

Color: Violet

Crystal: Clear Quartz, Diamond, Amethyst

Essential Oils & Incense: Jasmine, Lavender, Magnolia, Lotus

Consciousness:  integration of spirit & body, connection to spirituality, empathy, bliss, prophetic dreams, compassion, feeling connected to others & the universe

Symptoms that this chakra is out of balance: feeling isolated, disconnected, egocentric, overwhelmed

Other Healing Ideas: meditation, downward dog yoga pose, running or other cardio, spend time outdoors in fresh air & sunshine


We hope this guide has been helpful to you in learning about your chakras!  At Mexicali Blues, we have a variety of gemstone pendants featuring the crystals that resonate with each chakra.  They are helpful in keeping your chakras aligned and energized, and are also just really pretty!

Large Chakra Crystal & Sterling Silver Pendant

Check them out at Mexicali Blues online or any of our stores in Maine!

What chakras do you feel are the most powerful in you? Which ones do you want to work on?

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