Friday, January 14, 2011

Of balance and boundaries

When I saw this Buddha, sitting at the foot of the steps in The Dapper Frog, I couldn't not go down the stairs to visit; couldn't not take a picture.

... and isn't that an interesting phrase -- "couldn't not"?  It's the equivalent of "just had to," but somehow captures more of the resistance, the approach/avoidance I was feeling.

Which is also, I see, reflected in the sculpture's hand positions.  The left hand is gently cradling -- could be an invitation, a gesture of pride, pointing to something nearby, could be simply indicating that he is holding a space for me, or for something in himself.

But the right hand clearly says" Stop; come no closer" and even goes on to imply "I am too busy for your petty concerns at this time."  There is a clear separation: this is not a greeting, the thumb is not crooked in the classic hand symbol; this just feels like a "no"  -- and is further emphasized by his slight frown.  It feels a bit (and surely I'm projecting here) like "Don't bug me, I'm meditating!"

And somehow what I see in that is a sense of balance; a knowingness, of what is acceptable and what is not, of what is welcome and what is not, of what is growth-producing and what is not.  I think what I'm seeing is a visual representation of the importance of boundaries -- something I've been struggling a bit with lately -- and I'm finding that clarity very appealing.

Yes, we are one with the universe; brothers and sisters to all of creation.  But that doesn't mean we always need to be open to the demands of those around us.  We need to strike a balance; to find time for ourselves and occasionally declare ourselves off limits if we are to stay centered and sane.  And in finding, making space for, and achieving that balance we can begin again to feel the light of love that bathes us all.


Maureen said...

So many people I know have been talking about their need to give time to themselves, to get back into balance. I wonder if it's a little because we're all starting a new year and want to give ourselves what we found ourselves denying as the last year was ending.

I just gave me entire morning to laundry and baking a carrot cake for a birthday today. Don't mind the latter at all. Now I'm giving myself time to read and catch up. All good.

Louise Gallagher said...

time well spent Maureen.

Diane -- beautiful balance in this post.

Traditionally... it is thought the palm facing outward is about dispelling fear, and is a universal gesture of protection, benevolence, and peace. In this combination, the other hand in his lap symbolizes the realization of wisdom and ultimate truths with the conventional.

Diane Walker said...

Thanks so much, Louise, for explaining that: isn't it interesting how differently I read that! My lesson for today is (as was yesterday's lesson) all about understanding how much of what we see in the events around us is place there as a projection of our own mental states; so interesting!

Cheryl said...

To put another spin on the palm out gesture, I just read yesterday in Thomm Hartmann's "The Prophet's Way" that facing your right palm toward someone is a way to extend your light to them, giving them a blessing, so to speak ...not sure that applies here, but I think it is so interesting that you post this photo the day after I read that bit of information.

Diane Walker said...

So interesting, isn't it, that there are so many ways of reading this gesture...

Joyce Wycoff said...

Love this post and the comments about it. Reinforces for me the thought that what we see is in large part a reflection of what is within us.