Wednesday, July 6, 2011

WWDD (What would Daruma do?)

I am fascinated by Daruma, the name the Japanese call Bodhidharma, a 5th century monk who was the founder of Zen Buddhism. Images of Daruma are very common in Japan and dolls and figures of him often allude to how centered he was as a result of all his meditation. Legend has it he meditated for so long that his legs atrophied and fell off. There are Daruma toys that due to a rounded bottom come back upright after you try to tip them over. I have a toy that consists of a Daruma figure on top of a stack of wooden cylinders. Using the mallet that is included, one tries to knock each of those cylinders out from under Daruma without upsetting him. This game is almost a form of meditation; one needs to concentrate and center oneself to succeed. The version I have is 15" (38 cm.)
One of my favorite things about Daruma is that although he is so centered, he is often depicted as rather wild-eyed and ill-tempered. So as I waited in line last week to rebook after my second cancelled flight of the day, I liked the fact that a famous holy man could be depicted like this a 3" (7.6 cm) figure.
Even if he felt ill-tempered I imagine he wouldn't have yelled at the ticket agent and neither did I.
   The next day when I got up at 4:30 a.m. for my third attempt at leaving town, I could identify with this small (1 3/4"/4.4cm) carving of Daruma yawning.

1 comment:

lindsay said...

I forgot to tell you- I finally have a blog. Well, it's not mine, but it will have to do. Katie started it for us and I've been keeping it up. Hope you like it! (recommendations for topics are welcome...)