In 2012 I photographed Buddha on many different occasions as I travelled across South East Asia. In the end only two of those pictures were ever chosen as a ‘picture of the day’ (one in Malaysia, and the other in Japan). In fact, in Thailand I photographed one Buddha every day for a week, not out of some religious devotion, but because I liked the shot and felt it would make a good ‘picture of the day.’ In the end though, none of the photographs I took of that Buddha ever made it onto 366.
So today, I’m featuring Buddha again. I’m a long way from South East Asia, and in fact, the Buddha in today’s picture is in a private garden in North London not too far from Camden Town. It’s the garden of a friend of mine who, like a lot of people who have Buddha statues, isn’t a Buddhist or religious in any way. In this case, Buddha is simply a garden ornament, chosen to add a calming nature to my friend’s beautiful Japanese-themed garden.
I don’t suppose the Buddha would care a great deal about being merely a garden ornament. As religious icons go, Buddha doesn’t seem as divisive as others. I mean, a Christ on the cross would surely evoke an entirely different feel.
I suspect that Buddha is a more welcome figure in people’s gardens because, in general, those who speak on his behalf don’t say nearly as much hateful and close-minded nonsense as those who speak for many other religious icons.