Monday, March 9, 2009

Significant Symbolic Gestures

Symbolism is very important to cultures around the world. For Buddhists, the lotus blossom is a very prominent symbol. Even with coming up for the name of this blog I thought about what the Louts Sutra means in eastern culture, the discourse of Buddha towards the end of his life, which was written in India about 1st century BCE. Although the myth is that this text was written during Buddha's life and stored for 500 years with the dragons because the peoples of his time were not ready for this knowledge. Still today, it is a rare text to come across.

Most Buddha images will have a lotus blossom in the Buddha's if it is a clue. However, what draws me to many religious texts were not so much about the doctrines and dogmas, but how they were written in codes and riddles leaving the reader with something to ponder. To motivate the reader to exercise the matter that lies within their skulls.
Even this display of wrapped prayer strips tied together with long strings. It could be the act itself is enough for someone to have a little faith that someone cares about the struggles, dreams, and wishes one has. The real need to be validated, to release their troubles to someone other that those closest to them. Perhaps it serves as a form of therapy that needs to exist outside of therapists and counselors.
I personally thought that someone had died when I saw one of these displays. I wanted to extend my condolences. However, instead when you see one of these floral displays in front of a business, it is a wish for success for a new business. So once again, I do see how different we can be when we apply our own culture outside of our realm. Shame on me.
Finally, I thought about how it is a rare thing for friends of the same gender to walk arm in arm or to hold hands. Our natural tendency to be protective of our personal space. I have to say that I was personally startled the first time I was grabbed by the hand. It just really isn't done. To walk arm-in-arm, clutching each other is such an act of familiarity that I had to stop myself from being so rigid. I get shocked by the innocence, and somehow that just makes me smile. I still get surprised.

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