Black Jade Buddha


From my Thai journal:

May 19, 2012

On one side, Black Jade Buddha, on the other, White Jade Buddha. Golden patterns climb, slither up red pillars. Rain echoes on the tiled roof as the wat’s barred walls let the cool air in. I am like the cool air, something that has been wafted in like the fragrance of unknowable blossoms which I suddenly sense as I consider the mystery of the Black Jade Buddha’s lidded eyes, his delicate posture in the midst of naked divination, the way his robe falls diagonal across his chest, the raised hand that says “Listen and consider, savor, let yourself move in the perfect way of knowledge, silence lets the Dharma shiver through…” The rain slackens, slows and settles into a calmer posture. On the wall I see legions of beings seated upon a flock of clouds in humble and attentive repose, a blue-skinned figure wielding a staff with a spinning wheel on the end, the Buddha multiplied in meditation ivory-browed and flawless as alien designs meander drunkenly into one another around him so that I am filled with dangerous enchantment, all this red and gold and sparkling that tempts me deeper into mystical loneliness on the wings of a dove, a delicious negation, can you see the white feathers twirling in the breeze where I once was? The air is a fountain that I drink from. Alone I stand in front of this jewelled throne, a vagabond rascal in the land of bodhisattvahs. Who will stretch their hand over rushing waters to help their kin across? Outside I see coiled nagas leering furiously, elephants offering a single flower in upheld trunks to the avatar of evolving. They curl together like spiraling wisps in a wall of smoke. In the adjoining wat I see a bigger Buddha seated in front of the Tree of Life. How big is he? Maybe 10 ft. seated. I say that as though I expect him to abandon his cross-legged position. Can you see the Buddha statue uncoiling himself in the dead of night, rising to full height and slowly stepping down the stairs, casting a giant shadow of solitude? Let me walk with you, Buddha! Let us walk to India. Show me where you were once a prince, show me the bodhi tree where you shed your top-knot and saw the pageantry of life pass before your eyes, show me the way to taste the sugar of salvation, the fruit of suffering…Memory, let the wet leaves glisten as they did then, as I left the wet wat and stepped back into the world, lost in my own love, lost in the longing that I felt.

Buddha & me

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