As we traveled through the Mohave Desert in California we came across many unexpected curiosities. One if which was this golden Buddha statue in the "protection pose" just sitting out in the middle of nowhere. Now I am not an expert on Buddhism but I am both intrigued and inspired by the practice and philosophies. I'm learning all I can about this world so that I can keep with me the things that inspire me.
You've probably seen many statues similar to this in peoples homes, gardens and places of business. They are more than beautiful decor though, as they have significant and unique meanings depending on their poses and hand gestures. This particular statue we encountered, although missing a hand, was positioned in the Protection pose.
You can identify this pose by the left hand resting with palm open outward as a sign of meditation. This is called Dhyana in Sanskrit. The opposing right hand is held outward at around shoulder height with fingers pointing toward the heavens as though gesturing someone to stop.
These statues are not gods, but rather symbolizing a state of being. This particular pose, Abhaya, is the idea of strengthening your boundaries while opening your heart with confidence. Thus allowing you to be more fearless in your engagement in the world because you are safe to do so. It is a reminder to clear the noise and live greatly in this moment because you have just arrived safely and triumphantly to it.
The takeaway is that I will never pass another Buddha statue without acknowledging its symbolism and being reminded to be more present and aware of with myself. Also, to continue learning and opening my mind to cultural, spiritual and ideological differences in this amazingly diverse world. Traveling is enriching us in so many ways and we hope you're reaping the benefits as well. As always. Thank you for being here and sharing this moment in time with us.
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