Snails, anecdotally, voluntarily, climbed upon Gautama Siddhartha’s chrome dome in 563 BC to cool his nonthinking thinking brain and to help him to wake up to the morning star! Daffy Duck added bumps to Elmer Fudd’s bald pate to “read his mind’, phrenologically, with a hammer to make us laugh. East meets West! Bodhisattva meets Herr Doktor Quack a la Warner Bros. & the DSM-V! I wore this rainbow fright wig & a clown suit in 1991 to celebrate my niece Rachel’s 9th Birthday. Today, I share this polychromatic toupee on this concrete daibutsu garden statue to remind us of the millions of people on our beloved but exploited planet who are anonymous & on the spectrum of income inequality, LGBTransQ+, excluded minority, home-less, immigrant(60M), human trafficked(20M), starving, or a species of being threatened with extinction, genocide, or unimaginable suffering.
Phil George’s gorgeous black walnut “Broken Branch” altar table represents the discontinuity & ephemerality of our zigzag zen path to freedom….” we walk crooked but we go straight”. When taking the Jukai Vows of becoming a lay monk or bodhisattva in the field, one must sew a broken green pine branch to the back of ones Rakusu or biblike patchwork robe to remind us to practice 24/7/365 without expectation of reward or merit. Wherever you are on the spectrum of life & death, there is hope in establishing a still point in yourself, your closet of fears & craving, or from beneath your wig of anonymity & re-entering the world of constant change (samsara/nirvana) safely & soundly.
Despite the fake news, climate change denials, food & water proxy wars, political gridlock, pretenses of modern art, anomie & inertia of old age, sickness & death, you are encouraged RIGHT NOW to pluck the wig off ole Shakyamu-ni,put it on, cough up whatever hairballs of daily living that have been holding you back, take a deep breath, & share your best belly laugh with us here in this very gallery space & then, start shaking that rainbow buddha feather your Mama & Papa gave ya! As Hakuin Zenji said many years ago ..” This very body is the buddha! This very place is the Buddhaland!” Gassho!