Evolution of a Buddha – Day 1

clay on rock — same thing, at different point on the time continuum

Recently I’d led a Buddha-making workshop at a nearby Zen Center, and as I’ve done in the past, I suggested that the makers might consider not firing their Buddha figures. Why not place the finished Buddhas outside and watch them change over time? Wouldn’t that be an interesting exercise in observing change, along with our attachment to our efforts?

I’ve made this suggestion at every workshop that I’ve led, and to this date, I don’t think anyone has ever taken me up on the offer.

So it occurred to me that I should take it on myself. How liberating. Something new….

I had a fairly large amount of clay that had gotten too stiff to throw and shape easily. I’d use that. How to shape? Nearby, on my studio bench, a mallet caught my eye. Then there was that stacked pile of slate that I’d received years and years ago that had never found its purpose.

We began. And by we, I mean the clay and I. We’d been working together for so long, over 40 years, and I couldn’t possibly talk about making anything from the vantage point of myself alone. And are we not, if you were to stretch out time to its farthest imaginable extent, the same material?