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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pleasant Memories of Trip to Japan

The Daibatsu, Giant Buddha in Kamakura, Japan

Memories of happy days in Japan. In 1989 I was lucky enough to visit Tokyo and Kamakura for a week. It was a work trip for my husband, but since the work was for the skateboard magazine he worked for, it was all casual, youth-oriented, and fun. He's a photographer and I love taking photos. We shot many photos of Buddha statues and shrines in Tokyo. Tokyo was the most different-to-where-I-live place that I'd ever been to. You didn't eat or drink on the street. It really felt completely different culturally than Southern California. I loved it. From a bar at the top of our hotel, we looked out across nighttime Tokyo stretching endlessly all around. It was limitless.

For a side trip, we took the train with our friend Nisi to Kamakura. We visited the giant Buddha statue in the photo above. You entered through a door at the base on the side, walked down a few stairs, and you were inside the giant metal Buddha. I tried to remember while I was inside that we're always inside the Buddha, especially if we practice that idea. If you're not Buddhist, that's not meant to sound preachy, but it's a little bit like the idea of God being everywhere. So since then I've carried the image of myself, small and relatively young, in the interior of a large, enveloping Buddha. It's a reminder of how I want to feel now—protected, loved, able to send that feeling out to others.

On the train, as we passed giant heads of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas built into the Japanese hills, I thought how wonderful it was to create massive religious art. In the U.S. it relates mainly to the giant memorial crosses on hills in this area. I just wish we could have images from all religions erected as reminders of our inner lives.

So right now, I have a vision of prayers going from all those praying throughout the world, radiating like light to all the statues and shrines in Japan, sending them even more power and strength than they already represent. And they in turn, radiate power, love and strength throughout the country. They come alive with rainbow light.


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