But there are also lots of smaller buddhas, in temples and little shrines. He can take many different shapes and sizes it seems.
There is even a temple in Hong Kong called the 10,000 Buddhas! You can see from the picture why it is called that!
In February of 2008 we visited Bali, a beautiful island that is part of Indonesia. You can read about our trip in my old Hong Kong blog here. In this blog entry you'll find the first mention of a reclining buddha statue. We saw one in a shop one day. I decided not to buy it; although it was not that expensive, it was big, and very heavy. We would need to store it somewhere in Hong Kong. It just didn't seem practical.
But that reclining buddha kept reappearing in my mind. When we returned to the US periodically we would go searching online for reclining buddhas, but they were never quite right.
I didn't want a buddha with a pointy head, with their head resting on their hand, a gold buddha, a buddha painting.
I wanted a peaceful reclining stone buddha I could put in my garden. But that buddha was nowhere to be found.
Two years ago this summer we went to a Jeff Galloway Runner's Retreat in Tahoe, California. One afternoon Lee and I went into the town of Truckee and looked around. There was a nice little shop named La Galleria that had a lot of stuff from Asia and other parts of the world. It was mostly jewelry and small statues and other artifacts, but there was a large statue too. It was my buddha!
It was exactly right, stone, no pointy head, peaceful, tranquil. But, it was $1600 and it would need to be shipped all the way across the US to New Hampshire. Again I hesitated.
I had pretty much given up on my reclining buddha dream but this winter Lee asked me, "do you still have the information on that buddha in California?" I did; I had kept the shop's card, just in case. I guess I wasn't completely ready to give up after all. I sent the shop a note and asked them if they still had the statue. They did!
Then Lee asked me, "Would you like that buddha as a combination birthday/anniversary present?" This time I didn't hesitate. How many times can a person allow a buddha to slip away? Yes, I said. Yes!
My buddha came this week. The snow in the yard is almost melted but the ground is still mostly frozen. But I had the perfect spot picked out, in the flower bed along the driveway, close to the house, between two trees. The buddha is extremely heavy. It took me and Lee, a moving dolly, and boards, to roll the buddha into its place of honor.
Now every time I go down the driveway and I see it I get a bit of a thrill. I can't believe the buddha I saw so many years ago in Bali is finally mine! Now I just need to think about what sort of planting would enhance a reclining buddha in New Hampshire....