mad in pursuit notebook

DISPATCHED FROM THE CROSSROADS

Bliss & Blam!

usOverdosed on post-debate mid-meltdown palaver and speculation, Jim and I went on an outing.

The local seminary hosted a viewing of Tibetan Buddhist relics. It turned out to be a fundraising event for the Maitreya Project -- the building of a giant Buddha shrine in northeast India, along with educational and healthcare systems for the surrounding community. They are planning this monument to loving-kindness and inner peace to be a dazzling world wonder.

The exhibit was organized as a sacred space, with little meditation areas and a chance to participate (slightly) in the rituals of Tibetan Buddhism. This branch of Buddhism has a lot of rituals analogous to classic Catholicism -- angels/spirit guides, rosary beads, saintly relics, holy water, and vibrant, gold-illuminated decorations and banners. Personally, I subscribe more to the Zen branch of Buddhism (Zen is to Tibetan as Quaker is to Catholic), but the experience was very peaceful.

Our next stop was the 4th Annual Animation Show at the Eastman House. This "best" animation show was truly amazing from a technical point of view. But why were 80% the animations so violent? Everyone, everything zooming around, bopping stabbing crushing slamming eyes-popping heads-exploding slicing dicing killing. Holy cow, I guess we were all sensitized because of the Buddhist exhibit. A lady behind us was laughing her ass off, but she finally wore herself out.

Makes me think. While a few quiet people are building a monument to inner peace in a far corner of India, the rest of the world can seem to get enough of thumping one another, with glee. I guess that pretty well sums it up.

9.28.2008

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