I’m struck by the sheer number of Buddha sculptures—especially the golden Buddhas—in every Buddhist temple I visit here in Bangkok.
Each Buddha inspires with its serene expression, sublime curves and often bejeweled base.
But why so many?
Buddhas everywhere you look.
Surrounding the halls and courtyards of a temple housing a major, often colossal, Buddha, I find dozens, even hundreds of other Buddhas, far too many to contemplate. This is true in the 200+ year old temples I visited in Bangkok and the many thousand year old ruins in the ancient capital of Ayutthaya.
I guessed that maybe creating the Buddha statues is, in itself, a powerful way to connect and experience the many qualities of Buddha. Still, there had to be more of a reason.
Perhaps these Buddhas remind us we can see Buddha everywhere we turn—in the experiences we encounter, the people we meet, the thoughts we have.
- Ah, behind that missed bus—Buddha.
- Behind the jet lag—Buddha.
- Behind the irritation—Buddha.
- Within the person who cut you off in traffic—Buddha.
What can we learn from this as writers? I’m still processing the possible lessons, but one thought I have is that as we surround ourselves with images of the sublime, images that uplift, as we create more beauty in our lives, we create more and more space for the sublime in every aspect:
- In our relationships
- In our work
- In our writing
What images uplift you? How can you use them to nourish your writing time and—by extension—the writing itself?
And what’s your “Buddha”? What are some ways you already feed your writing practice through beauty and inspiration? Are there new ideas you feel inspired to experiment with?
Please share your thoughts. And if you have any other guesses as to “Why so many Buddhas?” please comment on that, as well.