Art, essay, garden

Garden Buddha

We bought a Buddha statue from a local chain store called Rups Big Bear (fun and useful finds at great prices!) about a year ago, and it’s been a wonderful edition to our yard. I used to display it in a corner of our pool, imagining that it watches benevolently over our surroundings. I’ve since moved it to a corner of the patio beside the pool. I like how our garden has grown above it in its current location, creating a natural mise en scène.

While I’m not a Buddhist, I did study Buddhism during my 20s, when I was looking for ways to ground myself during tumultuous times. It was an exploration that developed from beginning a regular yoga practice when I was 23 or 24. It led me to attempts at meditation–but I never really got the concept back then. I used to think: Focusing on the breath is meditation?! I didn’t get how that would lead to calm and clarity.

I understand the concept a bit more nowadays. I don’t practice traditional meditation, which is breath-focused or mantra-based, but I’ve come to understand the gist of it.

Meditation can take on many forms. For me, the vehicles are vigorous exercise, quiet reflection and creative practices (art, music). Whatever the method, the end result should make you feel more grounded mentally, which is good for being able to focus and be present. Making time for this process regularly can help you be happier and more effective.

Our Buddha statue is a reminder of meditation and its effects. I love looking at the garden and seeing it. It instantly gives me a feeling of calm. There have been moments when I’ve been frustrated because of my impatience, and glancing at the statue has helped take a bit of the edge off. (I’d love to be able to prevent knee-jerk reactions, but that’s a work in progress.)

The drawing above is my ode to our garden Buddha.