Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/26/2013

Imagining the Buddha



Visakha Puja is over and although I didn’t have an opportunity to reflect on the blessings and virtues of the Buddha in quite the way I would have liked I have still been experimenting with recollecting the Buddha in a manner inspired by the Vajrayana practices I posted a few days ago. Still, the highly stylized and allegorical visualization used in the Tibetan tradition just hasn’t been sitting well with me so I haven’t made much progress using the instructions I have found online.

To me, one of the most inspiring things to reflect on when it comes to the Lord Buddha, is the fact that he was a flesh and blood human before his Parinibbana; in other words Gotama Buddha wasn’t a god made of rays of light who masqueraded as a human to teach the Dhamma. So, what I have been playing with is imagining the Buddha right after his Enlightenment, seated under the Bodhi tree on a mat of grass and the results have been pretty good given the brief amount of time I have been doing so. Still, and I realize how silly this sounds, I keep getting hung up on this one thing: what did the Buddha really look like? I have tried to use the 32 marks as a guide but the outcome is so bizarre (e.g., extremely long arms, etc.) that it definitely doesn’t help. So, for now, I’ll keep  looking and imagining.


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