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Entries in Pennsylvania Museum of Art (4)

Thursday
Jun272013

4. Bodhisattva (again)

I wouldn't have known without the label. This beautifully rendered sandstone statue from late 7th century Cambodia (Khmer Empire, pre-Angkor Period), sans multiple arms, layers of necklaces, flowing white robes, vase of pure water, wish-granting jewel, or willow branch, and of ambivalent sexuality - is Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion (see Quan ─émOm Mani Padme Humand one of the most widely revered archetypes in Mahayana Buddhism.

"Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva doing deep Prajna Paramita
perceived the emptiness of all five conditions,
and was freed of pain..."

-The Heart of the Perfection of Great Wisdom Sutra 

[NOTE: Those who are visiting Bodhisattva Week for the first time can find some context here].

Wednesday
Jun262013

3. Bodhisattva (again)

This one is a bit different. Unidentified bodhisattva from the early Tang Dynasty (618-907); gilded bronze with traces of paint decoration.

'What we are doing in taking the bodhisattva vow is magnificent and glorious. We no longer are intent on creating comfort for ourselves; we work with others. This implies working with our other as well as the other other. Our other is our projections and our sense of privacy and longing to make things comfortable for ourselves. The other other is the phenomenal world outside, which is filled with screaming kids, dirty dishes, confused spiritual practitioners, and assorted sentient beings".

The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Volume Three.

[NOTE: Those who are visiting Bodhisattva Week for the first time can find some context here].

Monday
Jun242013

1. Bodhisattva (again)

[NOTE: To free up some time to work on my book (see Lower Mekong Market Chain), I have decided to offer another week of bodhisattvas. You can always use a few more of these].

The Asian wing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art contains numerous stunning examples of Buddhist iconography. I took a lot of pictures of bodhisattvas when I was there (see Bodhisattvas) - couldn't help myself. As a way of sharing some of these images, I have decided to make this Bodhisattva Week. The unidentified bodhisattva shown above is from Tang Dynasty (618-907) China; wood with traces of paint.

Everyday, the Four Bodhisattva Vows are chanted in Buddhist temples around the world:

Beings are numberless, I vow to free them.

Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to end them.

Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them.

The awakened way is unsurpassable, I vow to embody it. 

These vows are a tall order. Good thing there are so many bodhisattva guides out there to help us actualize them. 

Sunday
Feb272011

1. Bodhisattva

The Asian wing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art contains numerous stunning examples of Buddhist iconography. I took a lot of pictures of bodhisattvas when I was there (see Bodhisattvas) - couldn't help myself. As a way of sharing some of these images, I have decided to make this Bodhisattva Week. The unidentified bodhisattva shown above is from Tang Dynasty (618-907) China; wood with traces of paint.

Everyday, the Four Bodhisattva Vows are chanted in Buddhist temples around the world:

Beings are numberless, I vow to free them.

Delusions are inexhaustible, I vow to end them.

Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them.

The awakened way is unsurpassable, I vow to embody it. 

These vows are a tall order. Good thing there are so many bodhisattva guides out there to help us actualize them.