Friday, March 9, 2012

Shitennoji Nyoirin Kannon - Profoundly Moving Images by Ron Reznick

Shitennoji Nyoirin Kannon

One day I discovered the wondrous website of Ron Reznick.  After that I couldn't stay away. He has exquisite images of nature, shrines, temples, flowers, and places from all over the world. But I fell in love with these Buddhist images--as they both calmed and lifted my heart.

I was captivated by his use of the word rosary--as I equated that word with but one religion--Catholicism, but he used the word to describe part of the symbolism in the image shown on the right.

"The six-armed Shingon representation of Nyoirin Kannon is another form of  Avalokiteshvara," Ron has written on his site. 

An image of Avalokiteshvara is shown below. (For information on Avalokiteshvara, see Wikipedia with description and image by Jean-Pierre Dalbera;--his image is shown below. She Who Hears the Cries of the World are words that surely fit the visual.)

Ron's images of Shitennoji Nyoirin Kannon, "Shown Sitting on a lotus flower, the six arms each represent one of the Karmic realms, and a vow to save beings in the six realms of rebirth:

The right hand holding the rosary represents the vow to save all beings in the animal realm; the right hand holding the wish-fulfilling jewel represent the vow to save begins in the realm of the hungry ghosts; the right hand touching the cheek represent the vow to save beings in hell; the left hand touching the lotus throne represent the vow to save beings in the realm of demons; the left hand holding a lotus flower represent the vow to save beings in the human realm; and lastly the left hand reaching back to touch the Dharma Wheel represent the vow to save beings in the Deva realm."

I'd like to offer blessings in honor of all Buddhists at the Palyul Monastic Association in Baltimore and also all members of Clouds in Water Zen Center in Saint Paul, MN. There are participants at Clouds in Water this weekend engaged in Embracing the Present Moment with No Escape - A 12-Step & Buddhism Retreat lead by Byakuren Judith Ragir.  

For those participating in the 12-Step and Buddhism retreat, I humbly offer a prayer I wrote about surrender (and one
I've used in prayer): The Prayer of the Confederate Soldier.

The Prayer of the Confederate Soldier

Lord, I surrender,
My white flag a symbol
Of my powerlessness
Over so much:
My addictions and cravings,
My sins and ailings,
That repeat like
A played-out battle of defeat;
I surrender all pretense,
Facade, my dance before my God,
And I all white like the moon
Luminous in the night;
Lay bare my past,
Feeling acceptance and peace
At last...this soldier
That marches just for Thee.

Connie Nelson Ahlberg / All Rights Reserved.

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