The least religious guy I know just installed a 500lb Buddha in his backyard. My new friend Matt has an affinity for all things Thai and likes to import stuff, and I have a long-developing soft spot for the Buddha. As we all know, historically, the Buddha was male: his name was Siddhartha Gautama. The king of his tribe in Nepal, he called himself “Buddha” because it connotes being awakened by light. So far so good I’m thinking as no one in this story has yet died for my immoralities.
This Buddha, however, she is female. Long since pioneered by the likes of the Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin, it is possible for the Buddha to transcend gender and even, shock horror, take an enchanting female form. Today this is all conceivable even while the Rotary Club of Hamilton, Bermuda remains strictly male only (I did get to take my lovely wife to dinner there as a reluctant guest). Guanyin is considered a goddess of healing and a Taoist immortal, among other reverential appellations.
As a bonus my new Buddha also has a third eye, or Chakra: a gate that leads to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness. So many fascinating features! I look forward to her good company in the years ahead, and yes, she will be decorated at Christmas.