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statuary

My best guess is that these two hand positions (mudras) are the Karana (Warding Off Evil – right hand) and the Bhumisparsa (Touching the Earth – left hand). This Buddha can be found in the gardens at the Harkness State Park in Waterford, a wonderful place to re-center and recharge, and well worth a trip any time of the year.

On this Easter weekend, as we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, may we also give thanks for ALL of those enlightened souls – including the Buddha – who come to help us along on this earthly sojourn. May we continue the work of changing our habits, and our point of view, towards a realization of their experience, and their vision.

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old friend, new gardens-7199

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A sunset stroll on what has been the coldest day of the season so far, with a stiff wind out of the north and temps that hit single digits early this AM.

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Curbside, Ivoryton, CT

April 13, 2014

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This beauty is perhaps at her finest in the washed out light and spare landscape of early spring, before the summer wraps her in green and hides her from view.

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I’ve spent some time this winter reading Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China, (selected and translated by David Hinton), and Moment to Moment: Poems of a Mountain Recluse, by David Budbill, who lives up in the Northeast Kingdom in VT (both highly recommended, though I found the latter more accessible).

I was amused to find some titles in those books nearly as long as the poems themselves. In that spirit, here’s another title for this image:

Walking The Trail to the Dwindling Woodpile (Which Has Warmed Us All Winter), I Step Across Zoe’s Fence, Still Standing Despite The Rough Winter, Still Protecting the Blue Flamingos That Have Wintered Here, and Glance Over to the Base of the Twin Oak Tree Where the Buddha is Meditating Under the Snow, and Then Over At the Volunteer Japanese Maple, Now At Least Seven Feet Tall, and Then At the Pussy Willow Which Will Soon Be Budding, and Finally Over to the Pond With a Cover Of Ice Now Turning a Soft Shade of Blue, and I Think of That Goldfish Who Survived There Last Winter, Under the Ice, Only to be (Reportedly) Snatched Up By a Heron That Came Visiting Later in the Spring, and Then I Load That Utterly Simple Tool, a Burgundy Colored Cloth Log Carrier, Purchased for Maybe a Quarter at a Tag Sale Ten Years Ago, and Carry the Wood Back To Our Home.

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Guardian lions were believed to have substantial protective powers and traditionally stood in front of Chinese palaces, government buildings and the homes of the wealthy, dating back 2000 years.  They were placed in pairs, a male with a paw on a globe, representing the world, and a female with a paw on a lion cub (the cycle of life).   They’ve changed some over the years, and across cultures.

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