Monday, May 16, 2011

The Smile of Buddha, and the Wheel of Dharma

Last week was Buddha's 2555th birthday celebration, and here in Korea it was quite a party!  Heather and I were able to visit Jogyesa in Seoul, surely one of the brightest Buddhist temples in the country.  Shimmering in the hazy light pollution of the city, the lanterns cast a colorful reminder of spring, of beauty, and of the fact that we should never forget to smile.

Taking that lovely advice to heart, I smile, and am reminded of all the wonderful things in our world.  They are far too easy to overlook.  Bringing out my camera for the first time in several months, I am inspired to look through the eyes of a buddha, with a wild admiration for everything living and non; to see the joy that has ever touched any place, and the joy that ever will touch any place.  What do I see?  Nothing that a lens can truly capture, nor the cropped and dusty sensor inside my camera.  The images that I create are simply rudimentary depictions of the action of happiness.  The painter has her colors and brushes, I have my nikon; but these are just tools, and the products just combinations of color.  The real beauty of these things lies within the actions which brings them about.  The memories which inspire those actions.  The people that help create those memories.  The chain reaction of inspiration spreads through an interminable distance; everything I am doing now has an infinite number of causes, and likely an equivalent number of effects.  By this I only mean that for each picture that I take, it is really the whole world taking this picture, everything that has ever existed.  If we employ a method as simple as causality, this makes a little sense.  But I know it is a little more complicated than cause and effect...

As I see Buddha's smile in everything around me, my internal wheels of happiness start to spin.  I begin to feel uplifted and joyful.  Simply by taking time to look around and truly focus on things around me, patterns, contrasts, the foils of the living and the inanimate, a smile arises, manifested by something I don't understand, but there none-the-less. 

I am happy to be here, 
I am happy to be,
I am happy.

: )

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