Friday, May 6, 2011

What Colour Is Your Buddha?

Someone liked my blue painting called "Buddha Matters" but wondered if it was available in reds and pinks and so here it is! It's fun sometimes to pick up the challenge! Can I do the old in a new way? Can I do it without expectations? What comes up for me as I imagine what the other person wants?

And I wonder if that isn't the eternal predicament of samsara, to want the red one when there is only a blue one. But I am probably turning a practical "match the sofa" issue into a spiritual conundrum??

It is an interesting issue for me. I love to see everything in terms of the Dharma and yet as my daughter would say, sometimes a fox is just a fox. And that is just as important for me to see. It's okay for things to be nothing other than what they are, just this, period the end. Nothing fancy, nothing for the mind to curl itself around. It's okay to want the Buddha to match the sofa.

Lately I find myself relaxing more into life, into "just this", into the perfectness of my imperfect self. Am I babbling? Is this Dharma babble? Pass the arrowroot cookies, please. I luxuriate in not worrying in my introverted, navel gazing kind of way about what others are thinking, if I look stupid, or if I should be doing something different. I am happy working in my garden. I don't need to ask a question after the Dharma talk. I don't need to be clever or efficient. I am happy to look at the giant trees out the window and bask in the "not needing". For me, it is an important karmic task to relax into the perfection of just being. We cannot make ourselves wise, it is simply the fruits of training and comes in its own time.

The Dharma talk the other night after meditation was long and contained much wisdom. I wished I'd had a notebook. Just off the ferry from a retreat Heather was brimming with wise and clear reflection. It seemed, she said, that everyone's "issues" that they brought to her had to do with relationships. She reminded us how our troubles in relationship stem from focusing on differences, rather than our shared predicament in this world; that country, those people, my needs, your opinions.

Rather than noticing how we are scooping water out of the same sinking boat, we focus on your inappropriate footwear for the boat ride or how she hogs the best seat in the boat, how he doesn't consider my needs. She reminded us that the trick was to focus on our shared dilemma, how we are all cold and tired and hungry and how we all want to get to the other shore. This is the way to build compassion, to understand the other. "Just like me, you want to be happy, just like me, you want to be accepted and understood."

So while there is a blue Buddha and a red Buddha, they are both simply Buddhas. We appreciate them for the same reason, they remind us of our common Buddha nature and our aspiration to bring more harmony and compassion to this sometimes crazy world. What, what's that you say? You really would prefer a green Buddha?


  1. surely this post is JUST for me ! ....thanks

  2. Nice posting........I have to say a lot of it made me laugh out loud as I read it to you-know-who! Does Buddha Matters come in lime green and/or burgundy?

  3. ZDS Buddha :) ~ You made me smile and giggle with this one :)

    "relaxing more into life, into 'just this'. Ahhh - yes - the result of "not needing", and for me, "not knowing." Same kind of space I think... Lovely space to be in really. But darn, I want that fox to have meaning!

    Do you do gold Buddhas? (just kidding :)

  4. r- of course this post is just for you! my old Zen teacher would say this when someone saw something that was troubling, "that was just for you."

    Dave - yes you would want the Burgundy one! And you-know-who probably wants his fermented. And how about that marvelous shade of magenta of that jar of kraut he gave me!

    MeANderi -Yeah you and me and the fox! It's a good reminder though! Glad to provide a few chuckles.

    Would that be gold dust, gold plated, gold stars??? That pink one is on its way to Norway!

  5. My favorite lines are "sometimes a fox is just a fox" and " relaxing more into life, into "just this", into the perfectness of my imperfect self."

    And your sinking boat metaphor says alot about humanity!

    I love the quote you chose to embellish this beautiful painting.

  6. G Juana - I laughed out loud when I heard the fox line! thanks also for your kind words!

  7. "...sometimes a fox is just a fox." Good thought to ponder! And a bit where I'm at myself--just taking what is for what it is. I tend to think too much sometimes. Your red Buddha is beautiful. I just finished painting an orange Buddha--it is calming, yet energizing at the same time to look at. I was wondering about a gold Buddha too. ;o)

  8. What a beautifully lyrical post! I definitely love red but tend to gravitate to blue if it is holding a buddha in a form. As you well know... :-)

    Funny though how no matter what colour I choose, it ends up blending into the surround. Perhaps as we sink into the sinking boat, it all becomes "just right."

  9. Thanks, Suki!

    Tracy - love your orange Buddha! and that fox line is very amusing to me! happy Buddha painting!

    108- thanks and as always you have a way of putting it all into perspective!

  10. "It's okay to want the Buddha to match the sofa."


    I love that.

  11. So many wise lessons in this post. To be able to be connected, compassionate and in relation with others is both the greatest gift in the world, and often the most difficult task at the same time. Why do we make it so hard on ourselves when all we want is to know and be known?

    "It is an important karmic task to relax into the perfection of just being." Too true. Here's to being with our perfection!

  12. Spirit - ah yes the complicated web of relationships! so hard to get down to that "to know and be known" part.

    On perfection. Our Dharma teacher tells a story about Sylvia Boorstein. When someone asks her how she is she says, "I couldn't be better." (subtext being if I could I would, as in we're always doing the best we can ( a good Buddhist premise)

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