Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘buddha’

Operation: Kill the Buddha!

‘If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him’ is a saying attributed to a Zen master. I first encountered it years ago in Sheldon Kopp’s wise book of the same name. I’ve always taken it to be a warning against belief in gurus and bedazzlement with one’s own enlightenment. Sort of ‘kill the idols to “make straight the way of the Lord”‘ or ‘escape the false realities’.

But what if it isn’t only an abstract metaphor?

Just to be on the safe side, I dispatched a mixed force of British infantry, Commandos and German paratroopers to take care of business.

P1010712

The Enlightened One, however, appears unconcerned.

P1010717

Meanwhile, as things have turned out I have done my last walk for 2009. The second year of walking home to 50 has taken me from the south of Birmingham through Warwickshire, to the Edge Hill battleground, and along the M40 from soup to nuts. Most posts have been read about 50 times, mainly by a band of regulars; one post through a fluke of media exposure is approaching 20,000 views and had me on national radio, local telly and quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald. I walked around a film studio and wrote a poem about it, ruptured the waterproof lining of my boots and watched a fox lope across the an abandoned railway line between saplings dripping from a summer shower. So all in all a good year.

P1010715

More route marches along the via negativa in 2010!

Read Full Post »

I wrote yesterday that I was resolved to do more local exploring. As today involved staying in, waiting for a new washing machine to be delivered (the previous Indesit having expired after a paltry six years of service) I was confined, literally, to my own backyard. Now we’re not keen gardeners, more accidental owners of an overgrown tract of land, the outdoor equivalent of Miss Havisham’s ruined mansion. But one thing we do seem to have done is to populate the garden with a variety of icons plundered from the world’s religions. We never set out to be polytheists – but visits to garden centres and shops such as Past Times seem to have taken us in that direction. (Who knew such innocent-seeming places would become hotbeds of idolatry?) As well as official gods there are demiurges, sprites and avatars of less certain provenance. To show what I mean here’s a theologicomythical photo safari of my garden…

To start with here’s a Buddha

From Garden Gods

kept company by another, who is steadily being absorbed by the undergrowth.

From Garden Gods

This Celtic cross brings a hint of Christianity (and the ‘Pet Sematary’ reference may deter visiting media-literate cats):

From Garden Gods

This god I made myself, from worn bricks found on the coast north of Crosby:

From Garden Gods

Hidden behind a tree, barely visible, is a ‘circle of friends’

From Garden Gods

(Look carefully, this is the kind of thing you’re seeking – you can just see the tops of their heads
rimg1510

– our garden ones remind me of the stone trolls in Tolkien.)

This cherub is guarded by three gargoyles, surrounding a young maple, with the wintry skeleton of a lemonbalm in the background:

From Garden Gods

Kuan Yin, goddess of compassion, has some kind of fertility rabbit for company

From Garden Gods

And who’s this, clambering through a bed of bolted herbs and the broken shards of a terramundi pot? Why, it’s Lara Croft in toy form, bought for 10p at a car boot sale:

From Garden Gods

This guy brings a flavour of Lewis Carroll or Beatrix Potter to his corner by the garage:

From Garden Gods

A grumpy imp (like the one in the Talisman game) looks after an opposite corner:

From Garden Gods

and we have a guard dog by the back door:

From Garden Gods

Peering into Jennie’s office, we see a fading fairy, the tip of Ganesha’s head and part of a black Madonna. (Plus there’s a Rosie the Riveter action figure just out of shot.)

From Garden Gods

Indoors, there are more Buddhas starting with this one, the Buddha of the Radiator, often found imbuing our drying clothes with infinite compassion:

From Garden Gods

By the fire, another Ganesha

From Garden Gods

and above it, not one but two Buddhas, a cross and postcard featuring our old pals the Circle of Friends.

From Garden Gods

Buddha wins on points.  There are still a few pantheons left that we haven’t incorporated into our decor… not many though. We have gods the way other people have squirrel infestations.

In our defence, I’d say we’re not so much worshipping graven images as allowing them to proliferate so as  to reduce their effect 🙂

Read Full Post »