May 02, 2023 – B

This figure represents for me the essential qualities we are each/all called to exhibit on our way along The Way. The meditative posture suggests emptiness, stillness and silence--essential preparation for standing up and meeting each situation as it arises. The golden color suggests "Om Mani Padme Hum," "The jewel is in the lotus" which spontaneously calls for the antiphonal response "And the lotus is in the slime at the bottom of the pond." The jewel is in the slime. The Jewel IS the slime! Buddha Mind is in everyone! There are no distinctions! Oneness is the way of The Way. 

Just so, gold not only represents ultimate value, but the cost of extracting gold is the cost of thousands of lives of indigenous peoples and the loss of their way of life. What is valuable is not worth the cost of possession/ownership, therefore, the Buddha-minded have to "flip the script" and know that supreme value is completely valueless on the level commonly understood in the world at large. Real value and apparent value have to be seen/known/understood, and enlightenment is the path to true value and away from what the world calls valuable.

Also, the image is unbounded, with the suggestion of unbounded darkness surrounding the seated Buddha-mind. We live as lights within the darkness, yet see the darkness as no threat, but just the place where we "do business." So, we are not to take it seriously, but live doing what needs to be done "Anyway! Nevertheless! Even So!" Embracing emptiness, stillness, silence, and rising to meet the moment in each situation as it arises.

And all of this is tucked into this image of the sitting Buddha.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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