Monday, April 28, 2008

Back at the Desk, Admiring My New Statue

Bought a new piece of (relatively) cheap statuary to keep on my desk at work Saturday. I haven't moved the rest of my multi-cultural religious stuff - that's a technical term - aside from these two smurfs (and yes, K.K., these are the only two Smurfs I own now!):

Still, I figured I needed something more.

So I went on a sort of "Wild Buddha Hunt." Do you know how hard it is to find decent statues of the Buddha? Not those fat smiley dudes that you see in every Chinese take-out place, but the seated, meditative, peaceful looking types. For some reason, I have had the worst time locating a decent one. So on Saturday, when One Ring said that we needed to go out and run some errands, I quickly added "Buddha statue" to the list.

We finally ended up at a weird, granola and incense type of place at the local mall. Again, all I saw were the fat, smiling Buddhas. But after asking about the seated ones, the clerk directed me to the back of the store, where, located next to statues of Ganesha and elephants made out of soapstone, I found what I had been looking for:

I particularly like the way the coloring of the stone moves from a deep reddish-brown to a light greenish-tan towards the shoulders and head. And speaking of heads, having this on my desk should spin the heads of people who come to my office for counseling and advice! There is a method to my madness, though. In this day and age of intolerance and religious violence - verbal and physical - I am trying to get the message across that there is more than one way to find peace and the holy in life. Yes, generally speaking we all choose a path, and hopefully do our best to walk that path. But where we go wrong is when we make the assumptive leap that our way is not only the correct way, but the ONLY way. The next logical step from that stance is that everyone else is wrong, and is therefore despised by our understanding of the Divine. Unfortunately, our history is filled with examples of this sort of intolerance.

So now I have a Buddha on my desk, reminding me that there are other ways to approach human suffering than the progressive Christian way in which I was raised. I find that it's always good to have options.

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