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Why Does the Oldest Chinese Buddha Figure Slump?

June, 2019

 


The oldest surviving dated Chinese Buddha figure shows surprisingly slumped posture. Note the forward head, absence of a stacked spine, and tucked pelvis. He would not look out of place with a smartphone in his hand!

This surprisingly hunched Chinese Buddha figure is the oldest dated Chinese Buddha figure that has survived into modern times. The inscription on its base dates it to 338 AD, 500 years after Buddhism came to China from India. Compare the Chinese Buddha figure with this Indian Buddha figure from roughly 800-1000 AD…
 


This North Indian Buddha figure from the post-Gupta period (7th - 8th century AD) shows... Read more

Is Just Showing Up Enough?

January, 2021
A common saying in the United States is “Showing up is half the battle.” I would prefer that to read “Showing up is half the game.” This distinction notwithstanding, the saying speaks to the big difference between giving something a try and opting out of participating at all. But does this lowest-common-denominator approach predispose us toward laziness? And does it cheapen the earnest efforts of others? People make a big deal about perfectly adhering to routines, attending classes (or in pre-COVID times, the gym) daily, etc. As it turns out, however, the imperfect, fuzzy-edged effort has a great deal of value. Learn why in my latest blog post! Read more