In this moment, when I think of a bronze Buddha Statue, my imagination takes me to remembering the enchanted six armed bronze statue of Kali depicted in the Hollywood motion picture: “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, 1974.” Do any of you remember seeing the scene where Sinbad and his crew where just about to enter the sacred altar and then it’s guardian came to life? A 15 foot tall, six armed, bronze statue of Kali; where each hand had a sword, dagger or shield in it. Wow, I was on the edge of my seat and pinned to the TV screen! Well, that is, at least, how I am remembering it now as an adult. It has been quite some time since I have seen that particular movie and where the “facts” about the film may be unclear, my feelings, enthusiasm and excitement I felt then, are present now, just like it were yesterday!
What does all this have to do with owning a bronze Buddha Statue? Well, let me bring it all together. In my research I remember reading the teaching about the “Empty Chair” request from the Lord Buddha. This was His request, that his followers NOT make images of him but rather allowed his teachings and the effects of them to be the feeling images they held in hearts and thus passed on to one another. It was his wish that they get the “feelings of Love and Compassion” so clearly defined within themselves that would not matter the circumstances or facts on the screen of life- In effect, they would be transmitting God’s Universal, Unconditional Love from their experiencing of it personally to others with such passion that it didn’t matter if they got the “facts” right. For the essence of what was truly valuable and uplifting: “that remembered feeling image,” was both preeminent and predominate for all those around.
It is my opinion that a bronze Buddha statue is a perfect “fact” of contemplation that can help us to remember those best moments in our lives when we truly felt unconditionally accepted, loved, appreciated and free. I would like to see devotees and decorators both on the edges of their metaphorical seats- reliving these emotions every time they happen to view that bronze Buddha statue on their coffee table or shrine shelf.