Saturday, October 2, 2010

b is for buddha

When Sitting, sit like a Buddha. Be Buddha.
When Standing, stand like a Buddha. Be Buddha.
When Walking, walk like a Buddha. Be Buddha.
When Thinking, think like a Buddha. Let Buddha think through you.
When Breathing, breathe like a Buddha. Let Buddha breathe through you.
Let Buddha live through you. Be Buddha. Enjoy the natural great perfection. You are far more Buddha-like than you think.
a meditation from Awakening the Buddha Within
by Lama Surya Das, published 1997

a while back I ran across a delightful book called if you find the buddha by photographer jesse kalisher - jesse takes readers around the world and shares photos of buddhas that he finds virtually everywhere - from a little coffee shop in carrboro, north carolina to the patpong sex market in bangkok. I find the book to be both a treasure trove of buddha iconography and an inspiration for starting my own finding buddha project.

and a nod towards sepia saturday, I include one more buddha photo - the photo below was taken in 1965 when my family was visiting japan. today, the photo is quite poignant as it includes my dad, who passed away a month ago. while I was growing up, dad was the family photographer so he's not often present in our vacation photos. looking at this photo with my dad with my brother and I, in front of this most venerated buddha statue is quite healing.

even though I was only ten years old, the trip to see the giant amida buddha and the surrounding buddhist shrine was the highlight of our trip for me. by the way, this buddha was constructed in 1252, it is made of bronze and is 37 foot tall and weighs 93 tons.

answer me from the silencers 1988 album a blues for buddha - I admit I've lost track of this incredibly talented band. in fact the only two albums I have of theirs are this one and the one that came out next - dance of the holy man. from their website, I've discovered they have a number of recordings since holy man (uh-oh, this could be dangerous). although the band has changed over the years, the band is still active and playing live music - unfortunately, from what I can tell, it looks like they don't come over to this side of the pond.

photos: top - standing buddha, shakyamuni, 7th century - part of the permanent collection of the kimbell art museum, fort worth - september 2010; middle - buddhas in the window of the daystar boutique, lakewood - september 2010; bottom- kamakura, japan - spring 1965


Roy said...

So many statues, and yet the Buddha himself was such an iconoclast. Remember the Zen koan: "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!" Heh, heh! I think Gautama himself would have gotten a chuckle out of that one.

Watson said...

What a treasure to have the photo with your dad in it, mouse. From what you have written, I think he was an "enlightened one" too.

Megan said...

I like the look of that boutique!

Alan Burnett said...

Some great Buddha pictures, I wish you well on your Finding Buddha project. And Sepia Saturday notices your nod in our direction and waves back with enthusiastic admiration.

Steve Reed said...

I find buddhas everywhere. A finding Buddha project is a great idea.

So sorry about your Dad. :( That is a fab photo, thought -- what an amazing Buddha. So graceful!

Coffee Messiah said...

Great photos and very cool to see that statue at an early age.

I have a PC L sent me before we met with the same Buddha.


lettuce said...

love the 2nd picture, lots of layers and reflections (and Bs)

Merle Sneed said...

I wonder what the ribbons you and your brother have are for?

Nice little family. Mom must be manning the camera, eh?

mouse (aka kimy) said...

roy - jesse has an interesting take on the zen koan: That adage goes like this, “If you find the Buddha in the road, kill him.” Of course, this chestnut doesn’t advocate murder. It instead suggests that if you actually meet the Buddha then you’d better redefine your image of him and keep searching. The lesson is that, as in any quest in life, enlightenment comes from our journey, not arrival at some presupposed destination.

daisy - thanks, I feel my dad was in his own way tried to find his buddha nature, although he would never say it that way.

megan - hope you can check it out sometime!

alan - merci! right now i'm pretty lazy lots of snaps, but lots of disorganization. enthusiasm back to ya! xx

steve - remember the vendor in nyc selling the buddha icon - tee hee! thanks for your kind thoughts.

c.m. - it was a turning point, i must say

lettuce - there is so much in that pic - every time i look at it i find more bits

merle - we took a bus tour to the buddha statue and those ribbons were our identifications - of course our non-japanese-ness would have probably been sufficient. ha ha. yep, mom snapped that pic!