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Thread: The Buddha of Oakland

  1. #1

    The Buddha of Oakland

    I've just read about the Buddha of Oakland:

    https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-11-...orhood-oakland

    I'm familiar with Guerrilla Gardening, where people plant flowers in random disused plots of public land and I wondered about doing some Guerrilla Buddha-ing? Placing small statues and incense as a shrine in weird and wonderful places? Or is that edging toward proselytising?

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by EnlistedHipster View Post
    I've just read about the Buddha of Oakland:

    https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-11-...orhood-oakland

    I'm familiar with Guerrilla Gardening, where people plant flowers in random disused plots of public land and I wondered about doing some Guerrilla Buddha-ing? Placing small statues and incense as a shrine in weird and wonderful places? Or is that edging toward proselytising?

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah
    Hey Neil,

    Why would you think that they are trying to convert? People have temples, churches, and such on city streets ... maybe this is just an open concept?

    Any gesture that helps bring a community together to take care of it and all who live there, is a good thing. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  3. #3
    Hi Shingen,

    Sorry, badly worded on my part - I was suggesting placing small shrines myself but was worried if I did it might be taken as trying to convert people. Personally I don't think it would be but I wondered if others might.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by EnlistedHipster View Post
    Hi Shingen,

    Sorry, badly worded on my part - I was suggesting placing small shrines myself but was worried if I did it might be taken as trying to convert people. Personally I don't think it would be but I wondered if others might.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah
    Hey Neil,

    No worries, I hear yah ... if you feel it would help, then you do that. People are funny creatures and we can't please them all, so yes some folks may take it the wrong way. However, actions speak loader then words and I feel when folks see what your intention is you will receive positive feedback/results.

    I did a retreat with Treeleaf in Oakland/San Fran a few years ago and I do have to say, those places do little an injection of love, compassion, and open mindedness.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  5. #5
    This story was also posted over in this thread: https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...l=1#post243983

    I think there is an important aspect to the story that is getting overlooked as to why the Buddha statue made a difference in this location. As the story states there is a woman Vina Vo who is Buddhist and adopted the statue. She was encouraged by a church member to go and take care of it.

    In this situation, I believe, it was because of the veneration of the Buddha by a Buddhists that changed the area. The story points out that the statue was there for a year and it did slow down the dumping; but that it was really after someone started to care for it as a shrine that things really changed.

    So while the headline is heartwarming, to think that just placing a Buddha could make that big of a difference; I feel it is really the woman who has been caring for it and developing a community around it is really the hero of the story. She is the one who changed how that corner looks.

    Just like with guerrilla gardening, it takes someone to tend to the flowers and to encourage others to help with the efforts to make the garden grow and become a place that people want to keep that way.

    I believe placing anything with the intention of caring for it and changing the space will make a difference. Here's another example of how someone cared for an area and changed it... the cozy bus stop. https://www.demilked.com/cozy-bus-stop-makeover-devon/

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  6. #6
    This is a nice idea but it depends on where you are. Many places would embrace this. I have a wooded area next to my home with a trash dumping problem. So hey maybe this would work. But something tells me if you put up a buddha statue like this in the US bible belt, let's be real. I doubt it would be well received by the locals.

    Gassho
    STlah
    James

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
    This is a nice idea but it depends on where you are. Many places would embrace this. I have a wooded area next to my home with a trash dumping problem. So hey maybe this would work. But something tells me if you put up a buddha statue like this in the US bible belt, let's be real. I doubt it would be well received by the locals.

    Gassho
    STlah
    James
    From the article Enlisted Hipster posted

    "Stevenson isn’t religious at all. But his wife bought a Buddha at a local Ace Hardware store, and inspiration struck. They thought the statue might shift the energy in the neighborhood.

    Stevenson epoxied the Buddha to a rock on the corner to ward off potential vandals. “I would have stuck Christ up there if he would have kept the mattresses off,” he says. “I don’t care who’s doing it.","

    Gassho
    Ishin
    Sat Today, Lah
    Grateful for your practice

  8. #8
    After walking around today it did occur to me that it might be best to place them on a route I would walk past often so I could keep it tidy, change the incense etc. Just an idea, we'll see.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLaH

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by EnlistedHipster View Post
    After walking around today it did occur to me that it might be best to place them on a route I would walk past often so I could keep it tidy, change the incense etc. Just an idea, we'll see.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLaH
    Neil, personally I think this is a lovely idea, go for it.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  10. #10
    Let us know what happens if you do.

    Of course, this being the wild west, we also should not be surprised if someone spray paints, smashes, steals or sits on the Buddha (both people and pigeons). Like what happened to the robot below. That is okay ... the Buddha does not care. Perhaps its mere presence will have amazing effects.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/2143851/canadian-hitchhiking-robot-destroyed-on-trip-across-us.html[/url]


    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    I've found a spot for my first Guerrilla Buddha. There's a little wall near the entrance to the train station that lots of people will pass on the way to work. I'm expecting some sort of vandalism but hey, if it gives one person cause to stop and think then that's ok.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by EnlistedHipster View Post
    I've found a spot for my first Guerrilla Buddha. There's a little wall near the entrance to the train station that lots of people will pass on the way to work. I'm expecting some sort of vandalism but hey, if it gives one person cause to stop and think then that's ok.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah


    Vandalism or no vandalism, Buddha is always just Buddha and his message is always the same.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  13. #13
    Don't wish for vandalism. If it happens, place another Buddha and stay positive.
    gassho, Shokai
    stlah
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Shokai View Post
    Don't wish for vandalism. If it happens, place another Buddha and stay positive.
    gassho, Shokai
    stlah
    If someone "steals" the Buddha too, remember that the True Buddha cannot be taken or given ... and also, perhaps the stolen Buddha will have a good effect in the home of someone with an angry heart.

    This is a wonderful project!

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  15. #15
    I have finally got my first Buddha of Suburbia in place.

    If he's still there later I'll add some incense.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah

    rsz_dsc_0153.jpg

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by EnlistedHipster View Post
    I have finally got my first Buddha of Suburbia in place.

    If he's still there later I'll add some incense.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah

    rsz_dsc_0153.jpg
    Looks good!

    Gassho Kyotai
    St

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Shingen View Post


    Vandalism or no vandalism, Buddha is always just Buddha and his message is always the same.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH


    Gassho
    Kendrick
    Sat/Lah
    “Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.” ― Dōgen

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by EnlistedHipster View Post
    I have finally got my first Buddha of Suburbia in place.

    If he's still there later I'll add some incense.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah

    rsz_dsc_0153.jpg
    Ah, I love the way he is perched there with the ivy flowing past. A perfect little shrine.

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  19. #19
    And he's gone. Hopefully he is bringing someone some comfort.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah

    Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by EnlistedHipster View Post
    And he's gone. Hopefully he is bringing someone some comfort.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah

    Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by EnlistedHipster View Post
    And he's gone. Hopefully he is bringing someone some comfort.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah

    Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk
    Hopefully or maybe he is just having a visit with someone who is needed a little support. Whether there or someone else, Buddha is always present and here in each moment and place.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  22. #22
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by EnlistedHipster View Post
    And he's gone. Hopefully he is bringing someone some comfort.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah

    Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk
    I love this attitude. About 30 years ago I was living in what I guess you could call a squat. It couldn't be secured, you had to enter by climbing from a stairwell out and around nothing and in through a window, and during the day you had to be quiet so as to not attract attention from the offices below. Because it couldn't be secured whatever possessions you had were at risk of being liberated by someone else who knew about the space. You had a choice of getting all bent out of shape about having things stolen or you could choose to say that obviously someone else needed it more than me. I chose the latter but I suspect that if my car (which I was previously living in) had been stolen I'd have gotten a little bit bent out of shape haha.
    I do love guerrilla tactics like this though Neil. I used to superglue plastic toy army men facing their weapons towards CCTV cameras and the like. That idea wasn't mine but I thought it was great so started doing it myself. A friend of mine makes seed bombs which she drops in various places wherever she goes.
    Gassho
    Anna
    Sat today
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Anna View Post
    I love this attitude. About 30 years ago I was living in what I guess you could call a squat. It couldn't be secured, you had to enter by climbing from a stairwell out and around nothing and in through a window, and during the day you had to be quiet so as to not attract attention from the offices below. Because it couldn't be secured whatever possessions you had were at risk of being liberated by someone else who knew about the space. You had a choice of getting all bent out of shape about having things stolen or you could choose to say that obviously someone else needed it more than me. I chose the latter but I suspect that if my car (which I was previously living in) had been stolen I'd have gotten a little bit bent out of shape haha.
    I do love guerrilla tactics like this though Neil. I used to superglue plastic toy army men facing their weapons towards CCTV cameras and the like. That idea wasn't mine but I thought it was great so started doing it myself. A friend of mine makes seed bombs which she drops in various places wherever she goes.
    Gassho
    Anna
    Sat today
    I'm glad you like it, Anna. I borrowed the idea from the guerilla gardening movement. I like the idea of the seed bombs though, my wife and I were talking about sowing wildflower seeds in public spaces maybe we'll try seed bombs too - just my little bit of praxis, comrade.

    Gassho,

    Neil

    StLah.

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