The mailbox sums up life nicely–Bangkok or other places. That’s kind of the nature of perception. We are here and not somewhere else. Memories, traumas and desires might try to take us away from here and the present, yet all we really have is this moment to experience.
Here a Buddha there a Buddha everywhere a Buddha.
These Buddhas are accompanied by things one should not do in front of the statues. The Heart Sutra which says ” no form, no sensation, no perception, no formation, no consciousness” might add, “no food, no shoes, no pointing of ones feet, no bare shoulders, no Buddha tattoos, no Buddha furniture,” and when you are finished puzzling over this last, your can move on the obscure admonition, “no dangling dolls.”
With all of the can’t dos, bowing and prostrations going on, non-Buddhists and many Buddhists themselves may think that Buddha is god, the eastern equivalent to Jesus, Allah or any of the various Hindu deities. But he is not and Buddhism does not actually worship any gods and is classified by some religious scholars as not a religion. Bowing in front of a Buddha statue is an acknowledgement one’s own possible enlightenment or even better that one is already enlightened but our various habits and desires hides that from our own realization.
So here I am in Bangkok, walking around with my friend Dave Robb, temple visiting, Buddha bowing and sight seeing. Here is where we are until we are not which comes quicker than any of us expect since we are not often paying attention in the first place.
And don’t forget, we are all Buddha, gold or not.