A different picture of the Buddha

Today I wanted to share this leaked picture from the anime The Rebirth of Buddha. The anime is made by Toei Company and Kofuku-no-Kagaku (Science of Happiness / Happy Science), based on the book by Ryuho Okawa.

Anyway, I really like this picture. It is a bit like an icon. (In the classic sense, not the computer sense.) It is the artist’s depiction of the Buddha as he might look if he had been born in the world in our time.

Of course, the Buddha might have been born into one of several different bodies, in different possible places and at slightly different possible times, and still have had essentially the same ministry. The Buddha is not a historical accident, not simply a product of his genes and his upbringing. Of course these provide the flavor and the form, the container if you will. But it is the deliberate choices he makes, driven by his spirit and his destiny, that makes him unfold as a Buddha.

Of course, most of us are not the Buddha, but something similar holds true for us. If we live for many decades, our own choices will more and more shape our lives, and our inheritance less and less, for better or for worse. If you have a strong spirit, your life will be that much less accident and more choice. Or that is what I believe, based on what I have seen.

Do you want to try the thing he is doing in this picture? It may be a bit hard to see because of all the light, but basically here is what you do:  You put your palms together in front of you, firmly but not hard, at a natural angle. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and calm your mind. Just will it to be calm and quiet, don’t nervously check up on it. Now open your heart and emit a bright, warm light.  Well, at first it will probably be pretty weak, but don’t worry. It’s not like you are aiming to impress anyone. After all, this light is only visible to spiritual sight.

Then, what is the point of it? Well, it is Light. It drives away Darkness. It causes happiness. Anyway, if you don’t want to, nobody is forcing you.

Each of us has in the center of our spiritual heart a connection from Heaven, like plumbing or electric wire. Since you are human, you probably have this whether you know it or not.  Much like you can turn the tap and water comes out with force even if you have not dragged it up from a well yourself and lifted it to great height, or you turn a switch and a light bulb lights up even if you are not running around turning a dynamo yourself. It comes from outside but it only shows up inside, like the light in the light bulb does not come in through the window to be reflected in the bulb, but is still not a product of the bulb itself. Does that make sense?