Saturday, May 19, 2007

Chinese idols


Worship
Shanghai, China, May 2007 [Click to enlarge]
Quick thanks: I'm blown away by the supportive comments you've all shared with me since I posted about my recent decision to shift my career into another lane/gear/direction (see here and here if you're just joining us.) It means so much to me that I'm surrounded by a community that cares. It's amazing how rich an environment we've created by simply saving charged particles to magnetic devices in faraway towns. It's so much more than virtual, and so very treasured. Thank you all, because encouragement is the fuel that drives future success. It's nice to know I'm not alone in any of this.
This is one of my favorite images from the entire trip. There's something in the reflected light, the tone, the composition, something, that speaks to me and says that this is one of those magic moment images.

I took this at a Buddhist temple, a lush oasis of calm in the middle of a bustling city. Although the religion itself is rather far from my own belief system, I have long admired the places of worship of other religions. There's a certain comfort and peace to these places that is almost universal. (No Mom, I'm not converting. I just like the architecture and the lessons it can teach us. End digression.)

I took this as we headed out at the end of our visit. I turned back and saw this scene. Others in my group were already taking pictures of it as well, but I wanted to see if I could do the scene justice. I'm weird like that: sometimes, I just want to see it through my own lens before deciding if it's worth capturing. In this case, it was an emphatic yes.

Your turn: Do you learn from other religions? If so, what?

12 comments:

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

BEAUTIFUL picture, my dear Carmi! There is often much to be learned from other religeons, I find, as long as they aren't filled with dogma and judgement about where I will end up if I don't believe as they do! Budhism seems to me to be a very peaceful loving religion...This picture of the Budha certainly has a great peacefulness about it. What a rich trip this was Carmi...

Now, I'm waiting for your visit to Los Angeles, whenever...!(lol(
Michele sent me back to you today, my dear.

Moi said...

there's something really magical abt this one as u noted...cant put it into words...but something very mystical..

margalit said...

I can't think of NOT learning from other religions. Some of the learning is very negative (think Pat Robertson/Jerry Farwell) and upsetting (think Taliban), other stuff is inspiring (Dalai Lama), others are confusing (Sufism) and still others are just plain beautiful (hinduism, buddhism, Judaism). For me, not learning about how other religions function, and how the influence their adherants and the world at large is a dangerous practice. If we don't make an attempt to understand differences, we end up in serious altercations (think 1492 Spain). YKWIM?

Blue Monkey Jammies said...

As always your photographs are a spectacular mix of thought provoking, sigh inducing windows on the world. Thank you so much for sharing them Carmi!

We have a few Buddha's around the house and garden. One in particular, made of simple rough mixed concrete makes you smile every time you glance his way.

I'm with OOLOTH on this one. We can all learn from religions that suggest a peaceful course rather than an overzealous and destructive one to others.

kenju said...

I know we can learn from other religions and other disciplines. Even if there is nothing we want to adopt from another religion, we can admire the way the adherents live their beliefs! This is a great image, Carmi. So many of them are taken facing the statue. It is nice to see a side view.

chase said...

Very nice photo. I too like to watch those statues of Buddha or other Chinese gods and goddesses. The angle of the photo gives it a very mysterious but serene atmosphere.

Anna said...

I love the perspective of this shot Carmi. The golds are so pretty. So far, my favorite from your trip! :)

I am so glad that you have gotten so much encouragement about your job. I am sure that fills you up a bit as your start this process.

Jeremiah Andrews said...

Carmi...

Great pics and great news about the change of life. How exciting...

What do I learn from the World's Religions? I now have a degree in Religious Studies. Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and even Islam are similar. Judaism brings the history of biblical times, Christianity brings us the teachings of Jesus and the writers of the NT. Islam brings us a wealth of information about the Prophet. Not all Islam is bad. If you've ever sat in a Sufi temple watching the dervish spin, it is quite incredible.

Buddhism - I spent this last year of my studies, studying Jainism and Buddhism. I love Eastern Religions. Because they remove us from the set in stone monotheistic religions and they beckon us to see life differently. In the Eastern Religions, we move away from materialism and our addiction to all things corporeal.

We take notice of the breath and our place in the grand scheme of things. Buddhism teaches us some most important lessons that we can take into our every day lives.

We stand in the middle of the path as life passes us by. We have the decision to either engage or disengage. We also can decide how much of the world around us, we will allow to affect us. That there is the Yin and Yang, that life is on the wheel, and as the Buddhist teaches us - we work off the karma that we need to, hopefully when we die we will get off the wheel of samsara, or rebirth...

The Jains tell us that we are reborn according the the karma we carry out of this life and into the next. Jains are very close to Buddhist beliefs but they differ in some specific ways.

Whether you are of the Monotheistic religious traditions or you adopt or even convert to a polytheistic religious belief system, ALL world religions can influence us to live better lives today.

The Buddha was a wise man and taught many great lessons that remain at bay because the West is so set in its religious beliefs to even consider what we could all learn, adopt and put into action in our own worlds.

Imagine if the world of today stopped for one moment and remembered to listen to the breath and the beating heart ....

Wars would stop, life would change and our children would have a much better world to grow into...

WOW... I did learn something in four years of study...

Cheerio Carmi,
I wish you all good things.

Jeremy

Awareness said...

I love this picture Carmi....the larger figure seemingly protecting the smaller one in the front. The gold and blue are stunning together.


Understanding different religions and different perspectives and beliefs is core to my own learning. I also believe it is necessary in order for all of us to be empathic to others in this global community.


I have been reading a lot of different authors/spiritual people lately who seem to come from different perspectives. I've read a few books written by the Dalai Lama this year....what a beautiful man. His humility and compassion are inspiring. I have also read a few books written by Catholic priests......their writing is accessible and is full of strong faith. I like that....as my own is always growing, though I don't feel like I'm fully there yet.

I have read many stories pertaining to the Jewish faith as I have always been fascinated by tradition and the strong familial bonds.

I would like to learn more about the Muslim religion......but havent pursued this path yet, though I have worked with women of the Muslim faith and have learned a great deal from them.

I have friends who are Quakers, and have had many conversations with them about their Sunday "meetings" and their feelings about war etc.

We live in such a wonderful country, don't we? I mean, the tapestry of faith we have access to is amazing! Because of our opportunities to learn from one another in our own country, I believe we can be strong leaders in the peacemaking and keeping.....

ok...that's enough........old blatherer tonight.... :)

Sarch said...

Carmi my belief system is certainly different than that of the followers where this picture is taken, but I admit that is a beautiful photograph!

Evey said...

Hey Carmi,

Wanted to let you know i have stopped in to your blog a few times as of late. Ever since you left a comment on mine actually. I thought it was about time I left you a comment and let you know I enjoy your blog and I hope you will return to mine.

napaboaniya said...

Hi!
Thanks for dropping by my photoblog :)
Here's a lovely shot of the goddess.