Monday, September 6, 2010


"32 Marks of the Buddha" (detail), mixed media and found objects on wood, 2008

The photo shows the inside of a small wooden altar.  Somehow I don't seem to have a picture of the whole piece.  I was inspired just by the idea of a buddha having 32 (not 33 or 77, but precisely 32!) distinguishing marks  Here is the list of his 32 marks.  Try reading it as if it were a poem.
  1. He has feet with a level sole
  2. He has the mark of a thousand-spoked wheel on the soles of his feet
  3. He has projecting heels 
  4. He has long fingers and toes 
  5. His hands and feet are soft-skinned 
  6. He has net-like lines on palms and soles 
  7. He has high raised ankles
  8. He has taut calf muscles like an antelope 
  9. He can touch his knees with the palms of his hands without bending
  10. His sexual organs are concealed in a sheath, producing smegma which has a fragrant odor 
  11. His skin is the color of gold
  12. His skin is so fine that no dust can attach to it
  13. His body hairs are separate with one hair per pore 
  14. His body hair is blue-black and curls in clockwise rings
  15. He has an upright stance 
  16. He has the seven convexities of the flesh 
  17. He has an immense torso like that of a lion 
  18. The furrow between his shoulders is filled in 
  19. The distance from hand-to-hand and head-to-toe is equal 
  20. He has a round and smooth neck 
  21. He has sensitive taste-buds 
  22. His jaw is like that of lion's 
  23. He has a nice smile
  24. His teeth are evenly spaced 
  25. His teeth are without gaps in-between 
  26. His teeth are quite white
  27. He has a large, long tongue 
  28. He has a voice like that of a Brahma
  29. He has sapphire blue eyes 
  30. He has eyelashes like an ox 
  31. He has a white soft wisp of hair in the center of the brow 
  32. His head is like a royal turban 
The list confirms that I have a long way to go before I'd be recognized as a buddha.  Nevertheless, I keep hoping.  Of course, the smegma part is a bit of a problem.

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