I might have been on the verge of asberger syndrome. Since I was a baby, my family find it difficult to call my attention, to speak to me, to tell me don’t cry. I was either silent or keep knocking every second with tears. My granny thought I was either deaf or blind. I never meant to be annoying. My dormie complaint about the same incurable indifference of me. But the fact is, I am too far from being indifferent. My inner life is another planet. But I don’t know what is between me and others. Adulthood has changed me a little bit. I can talk like a polite dude. I can get to know people, however hard it is for me. Oh no, to be fair, the real cause of any change is mom and the Buddha, who tell me: it’s OK. And, the biggest challenge for them, I think, is that they also try to make me a better person. How to be myself while pursing a better self? I once asked my mom. She didn’t reply. Now I think, it is all about how I could respect myself more, how to live with less guilt, and more love.
Mom, how did you make it, believing that even without a single word, you know I miss you?
I love – when winter comes, the sky is engraved with bare twigs, like notes that have long been waiting for a fair spare stave to jump in. And that smoke permeating the night sings a song exactly the same, which recalls the wanderer wrapped in a sheer sheet of light for me. Of solitude is this glory.
Just for fun — I would like to share with you some pictures which may have witnessed the imagery we encountered this morning in class: 寶華承足 “having lotus supporting one’s feet” or “steping/moving on lotus”.
Sitting or standing with both feet on a single lotus is seen regularly from the earliest stage of Buddhist art, but this particular design with two feet respectively on two lotuses (or only one feet in a single lotus) may have been inspired by texts as we read today, I speculate…
A considerable number of such images can be found in early Dunhuang paintings, and later in Swat and Tibetan art. They seem to be pretty much bound with certain Bodhisattva figures: Avalokiteshvara is one of them, but Buddha also shared the feature.
Yet, considering the late dating (mostly half century later than Saddharmapundarika as far as I searched), this form simply can be a late visual rendering (maybe an innovation on the silk-road?). But anyway this is a nice one, in my view, as it captures skillfully the movement mentioned in the text.
(One of other occurences in the Chinese canon –《佛說羅摩伽經》T294/860c28: 寶花承足，步虛而來 — seems to spell out that these ratnapadmavikramin bodhisattvas are walking in a miraculous way. And Sanskrit evidence shows the crystalization of this figure into one bodhisattva entitled with this very name.)
I have been wondering if these feet-lotus imageries as a whole were created to be a visual counterpart of padakamala in the first place, and later artists reinvented such a karmadharaya analogy into something else, some other “compound”. There must be some research on the topic. If any of you happen to know any, I would be very happy to know.
In the end of each alley, there’s a paradox,
Into which if one falls, it’s a garden.
note: Madhyamaka philosophy, Alice in Wonderland. I might be totally wrong, but these two worlds of ideas resonate with each other in such a beautiful way! Despite of the seemingly logical approach of Nāgārjuna, his appeal for the absurdity of ontological language eschew the possibility to reach the insight with reasoning. Alice, meanwhile, found a smile without face 🙂
It is part of me, who dreamt a thousand times of being lost on her way home.
It is the home of my childhood, in a messy shell of illegal houses.
The lichen on the tarnished walls, the smell of mildew, the dim dull darkness fed me with songs of raindrops –
I want to keep quiet now to let you hear it.