I was at a hotel spa today, doing a little ‘hotel crashing‘ and enjoying the luxury of a sauna, steam room, and swimming pool. As I wandered from the pool to the steam room, I passed this statue of Buddha. Nothing unusual there right? But how come that’s not unusual? Why is it that in a place thats supposed to be all about relaxation and wellbeing, Buddha isn’t seen as out of place?
Imagine for a moment a spa. It’s decorated in a modern contemporary style, with warm natural colors. There’s a pool, a smoothly lit sauna, a steam room with coloured lights slowly fading in and out.
But now imagine that in a corner somewhere between the sauna and the pool, under the indoor tree, there’s Jesus. He’s standing, head tilted slightly to one side, arms outstretched with his palms showing the bloody wounds of crucifixion. Now look over to the wall by the steam room. There’s Jesus again, hanging on the cross, as limp as the robes that hang by the steam room door next to him.
That just wouldn’t happen. Jesus statues in a spa would be a style faux pas for sure. I feel bad for Jesus in a way. He’s just to controversial, too religious, and socially awkward. It’s like he got mixed up in the wrong company and now he’s become toxic. Buddha, on the other hand, is calm and peaceful. He doesn’t cause a scene or upset anyone, he’s neutral.
I borrowed today’s title from a great podcast called ‘Criminal.’ Listen to ‘He’s neutral,’ the tale of how a cheap little Buddha statue cleaned up a neighbourhood in the USA.
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