My Buddy of Abundance
This is Budai, not Buddha. If you're like myself and many others, you've probably made the same mistake and it's ok. Budai, known as Hotei in Japan, was a Chinese monk who has come to symbolize abundance and contentment; despite being a poor monk, he was known to be happy, eccentric and always carried that bag-o-tricks with him that could supply children with candy and monks with rice, among other things. I'm not an expert on these matters, so take my understandings with a grain of salt, but I'm happy to have mistakenly bought this fat, happy "Buddha" and even happier to have learned his real story.
So Budai is poor, but content, joyful even, based on his laugh. He doesn't have much, but he always seems to have what you need and he shares it with great relish. He's one of the only major figures in Buddhism depicted smiling so much! If he's not goals, I don't know what is.
Right now, we're two months into the US' response to the global pandemic, or at least that's how long my region of the country has been under stay-at-home orders. I've got much to be grateful for during this time, with health, work and a home that I'm happy to spend time at. I know it's not so good for many others and I wish I could pull something out of my cloth sack to help, like our buddy Budai. For sure, if you're reading this and need something, hit me up and I'll see what I can do!
One thing I've been particularly grateful for is the time to use and explore all the tools of my yoga practice, both on my mat and beyond. Yoga asana (the poses, you dig?) is something I can do anywhere to keep my body happy. Meditation and breathing are helping to keep me calm and focused to do my job and stay in my house without getting too stir crazy. And the basis of yoga, the Yamas and Niyamas, keep me healthy and grounded, grateful and hopefully humble for all that I've got.
I like Budai because I see him as a symbol for the abundance we've all got within us. A yoga practice isn't going to fix all the external problems, but it can help us respond to them better, be a little more balanced and less stressed to manage the things outside of our control. And we've got all those tools, if we just practice and use them. I also like Budai because he's just so jolly to give what he's got to those who need it, which is a trait I hope to cultivate. I'm not as intuitive as his cloth sack, knowing exactly what someone might need, but I'm happy to try to figure it out. Wishing you all contentment and abundance during this difficult time.