Not yet for sale: Giant Dalai Lama Heads.

June 12, 2009

Buddha head with my beloved Kat in the background. Boston, October 2008.

A good MetaFilter post about controversy surrounding the Dalai Lama and his detractors has turned into an interesting discussion of “Shopping Mall Buddhism” and the phenomenon of decorating your home with giant Buddha heads from Pier One. (My username = grapefruitmoon)

For the record: I don’t want to harsh anyone’s mellow, but this trend cheeses me off. No one decorates their home with giant crufixes if they are not Christian (though the Blessed Virgin does get passed around as kitsch these days). Buddhism isn’t really seen as a serious religion and is seen as “cute” or “trendy.” It’s Asian! It’s exotic! It’s got a big laughing fat guy! He’s like Santa! “Zen” has become a synonym for “peaceful,” which again, boggles my mind for its dismissiveness. 

That said: I have coveted Ganesh nightlights. How can you not? You wake up in the night and are guided to the bathroom by an elephant deity! That’s just awesome.

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