Thursday, October 28, 2010

October Break - Buddhas in the Grove - October 29th, 2010

Buddhas in the Grove

(October break in the French school. Marie-Do, Camille, the children and I went away for the weekend. We rented a car and drove up to Vang Vieng. Here are some impressions from our road)

A short and enchanted walk from our hotel in Ban Houey Than on the way took us to the archeological site of Vang Xang.

For information about this and other archeological sites near Vientiane I highly recommend a wonderful book, Promenade Achéologique Dans Les Environs De Vientiane, published here by Monument Books, ISBN 978-974-7660-66-1

These Buddhas were carved out of the rock in the 15th Century. The hand position most common in the group; one hand raised and index and thumb joined, is called argumentative Buddha.

Even in his argumentative state, Buddha seems awfully calm to me. Of course, they were well nourished, with plenty of mineral water and Red Bull to drink.

I say that the walk to the opening in the woods was enchanted because (not for the first time…) I felt a strong presence in the forest. Every bamboo grove and strip of banana trees, each path and boulder seemed alive with something so pluralistic and whimsical that it is totally outside the realm of my Hebraic monotheistic frame of reference.

Our severe sand-storm of a desert God is nearly swept away by the billions of bamboo leave slivers and multi-coloured butterflies, dragon-flies and something else that looks like the menacing armed forces from another – much smaller, planet.

Red ants, toads, slithering things abound and rustle. Movement is so omnipresent I wonder how Buddha got it into his mind to meditate.

After we got to the Buddhas, we were joined by a family, a monk and a nun who gracefully invited us to join them for their blessing. We sat there as candles were lit, hands were joined and foreheads were touched to the mat.

We left before it finished, though. We westerners are an impetuous lot, unhappy without our continual movement and need for change.

No comments:

Post a Comment