Sunday, July 14, 2013

Ancient Sage and Greek Icon



Attending a horse show one summer day at the Hamilton Hunt Club, my daughter and I noticed a nearby spacious garden center with much statuary, bird baths, sun dials, etc.  She, being an equestrian, gravitated to a stone white rearing horse...perfectly poised, the front feet both parallel, the mane and tail seemingly flying in a breeze. Tall and slender, the statue had a large spike at its base...to plant in garden soil. How magnificent!  A gift for her September birthday. (Today she still has it on display at her West Lincoln property.)

I was intrigued with a few Buddha statues ~ all in jade-green stone with brushed brass finish.  This could be beautifully placed in my garden of roses, lilacs and flowering shrubs. The Meditating Buddha, in classic lotus position “connected with me.”  His face spoke of serenity, wisdom, spirituality and discipline.  My gardens would welcome him to a peaceful environment, creating harmony for him  and me.  As I purchased him, I was awed with such reverence!

Buddha was the accent in my garden ~ from him I experienced positive energy and peace of mind that overcame mini-tribulations that occasionally occurred. Whether among my rose blossoms or amid the scented lilacs, his message attuned to my life.  He travelled with me to 4 different homes  and then to my 18th floor's balcony overlooking Lake Ontario.  Here, Buddha adjusted well to my hibiscus plants and other potted flowers.  For over 6 years he's had a sacred home  (where I now live) on a tall wrought iron stand.

Buddha (The Enlightened One), originally a prince in Nepal, was a man of knowledge, of wisdom, of philosophy and a teacher to many.  He is the founder of Buddhism, based on his principles, which  is the 4th largest religion in the world. 

Of Interest:  Why is the lotus flower symbolic of Buddhism?

The roots of the lotus are in the mud; the stem grows up through the water and the heavily scented flower lies pristinely above the water, basking in the sunlight.  This pattern growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primaral  mud of materialism, through the waters of experience and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment.  The lotus flower is white, but also red, blue, pink and purple...each representing personal inner truths.

Wisdom of Buddha

Do not overrule what  you have received, nor envy others. 
He who envies others, does not obtain peace of mind.

Better than a thousand words, is one word that brings peace.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal
with the intent of throwing it at someone else. 
You are the only one who gets burned.

In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west;
people create distinctions out of their own minds
and then believe them to be truths.

This past winter, our balconies needed much repair.  Our furniture in these areas had to be removed ~ mine placed in a main floor storage room by management.  Now that our “new balconies” are in place, we can renew our enjoyment of the outside environment…so “nature oriented.”  Buddha, however, could not be located.  Indeed...how sad I was!  He had journeyed with me for about 35 years...been my 'side-kick' and fountain of inspiration!  Perhaps it's time to move on with new horizons and  new concepts.

A few days ago, I frequented a few nearby nursery gardens searching for a statue replacement.  Yes, I saw Buddhas ~ they didn't impress me with their silver heads (so artificial) and their almost false expressions...no connections with them at all.  At Holland Park Nursery, were a few white statues of a classic goddess.  Due to a few chips, they were on sale at ½ price.  WOW!  I'll have one of these!  A gentleman spent some time with me observing each (as they were too heavy for me to lift); he then placed our choice on my 'dolly'.  Once purchased and plastic bagged, he pushed it to my car and lifted the heavy statue into my trunk. 

She is a Greek goddess replica...who in the days of Greek mythology, represented love, desire, beauty, pleasure and procreation.  (Her Roman equivalent was the goddess Venus.)  My goddess is depicted as a beautiful woman usually accompanied by a winged godling, Eros (love).  Tradition stated that she had sprung from the foam of the sea.  Her name is Aphrodite!

It is with elation that I can enjoy my 3rd floor balcony to the fullest, now complete with a new focal  point.  In the freshness of the air and warmth of the sun, this afternoon I muse:  feeling the gentle breeze as it wafts through lacy leaves…hearing the birds as they merrily sing…seeing the squirrels and chipmunks at play. Best of all is the touch of Nature given me…lush  greenery of bushes and trees…the vast blue sky and travelling clouds…thundering from darkening sky and flashes of lightening, the frequent spectacular sunsets, the silvery crescent moon as it rises under a canopy of a million stars!  I closed my eyes in total reverie.

Sipping my almond liqueur on the rocks, I pondered about Aphrodite ~ my carved alabaster statue in quiet reign from  her balcony home. 
Will she inspire me as she tells of her Aegean isles…and of her life in Greek society?
Will she inform me how her people dyed fabrics into azure blue, royal purple, rich jade green?
Will she capture my imagination with jewellerys of gold and inlaid precious stones?
And I realized…every life does tells a story!

* * * * * * * * *
                      
The simplest and most basic symbol of the goddess
is the acknowledgement of the legitimacy of female power
as a beneficent and independent power.
(Carol P. Christ)

Merle Baird-Kerr … written July 11, 2013
Comments are welcome...scroll down...may sign in as “anonymous”
or e-mail...inezkate@gmail.com

4 comments:

  1. Sherrie writes from Vancouver: "Nature and Beauty are abundant in all our lives, as we must sink into our minds to soothe ourselves at times.

    Loved your story about Buddha...maybe he thinks you are wise without him and it's time for Aphrodite to be in your life now."

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    1. Wisdom is elusive like humility..."Once you think you've got it, you've lost it!"
      Believe I shall trust Benjamin Franklin who said, "In wine, there is wisdom...in beer there is freedom...in water there is bacteria!"
      Shall now have a glass of wine...I invite all who agree to join me!

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  2. My nephew, Jimmie, writes from California: "Hello, Dear Tia. I enjoy very much your article about the Buddha statue; from this time ago, I identify myself very much with Buddhism philosophy...what engaged me initially was a documentary on the PBS public TV channel about him. I later bought the DVD especially when I heard he once told his apprentices: 'Don't believe me out of devotion...believe me out of understanding! If you have doubts, talk to me...if your ideas are better than mine, I'll change my ideas!' That was a 'turning point' for me since I've never liked the idea to believe out of faith alone. To me, that sounds like just a technique to dominate masses."

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    1. Dear Jimmie...your words are so profound and I concur with your thoughts, exactly! Rabbi Baskin, from Hamilton, occasionally writes in the Spectator great viewpoints and philosophies..."food for thought" if you will, for the reader to contemplate.
      Thanks for permission to publish your comments...which will interest other readers.

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