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Zentraveler on the Laughing Buddha.

Laughing Buddha

Laughing Buddha

Sometimes when life seems to bog you down a bit you could use a hug or a lift. We often times see the laughing Buddha in our travels and wonder what does he know that we don’t…since he seems to be laughing at the world: Guess what I think he has it all figured out and is laughing at our constant struggle in the developed world. So here’s a dude that seems to be way ahead of his time and is willing to laugh at the world…helping you along the way. That’s my kind of a guy.

There are those beings who have vowed not to enter Nirvana until they have helped all others realize enlightenment. Hotei is this kind of Bodhisattva. He is one of the Shichi Fukujin, the Seven Japanese Shinto-Gods of Luck. His fat stomach, which protrudes from the robes he wears, symbolizes the largeness of his soul. It is also a symbol of happiness, luck, and generosity. His large elongated earlobes are a sign of wisdom. Hotei as a wandering monk who goes around and takes the sadness from the people of this world. Just his appearance has the ability to cheer anyone up from a bad day. His largely exposed, pot-belly stomach protrudes in front of him as he continues to laugh through never-ending-time.

He is admired for his happiness, plenitude, contentment and his loving and cheerful character. This deity of abundance, children and joy is often shown carrying a cloth sack (That Which Never Empties) filled with many precious items, including rice plants (indicating wealth), candy for children, food, or the woes of the world. Tracing his origins from a mix of Buddhist and Shinto religions, Hotei is from the time of the Liang Dynasty. Tradition has it that a Buddhist Zen monk by the name of Pu-Tai lived then. Because of his benevolent nature he was regarded as a bodhisattva, but due to his large protruding stomach, he was caricatured as the “Laughing Buddha.” He is also dubbed the Loving or Friendly One. Some sources affirm that he was an incarnation of the Bodhisattva Miroku, the Buddhist Savior of the Future.

Chocolate Deities’ Laughing Buddha travels the world spreading joy and happiness wherever he goes. His whimsical spirit reminds us to always keep our sense of humor. There is a tradition that if a group of strangers gather together on New Year’s Eve and ask Hotei for the same gift, provided they truly believe he will grant it, Hotei will indeed give them what they ask for.

Many believe that rubbing the Buddha’s belly brings joy, luck and prosperity. Research Credits: http://www.chocolatedeties.com They have a great website be sure and check them out…

So there you have it …sometimes you have to rely on the masters rather than trying to do it all yourself. If you want a mentor that is even larger than Justin Beiber you could not find better advice even if you were looking for it. Or could you?

QUOTE:“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky”

THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW:According to Feng Shui theory, for instance, the ideal placement for the Laughing Buddha statue in your home is directly opposite the main door in the living room. This way, the Buddha will be the first thing a person sees as he enters his house. Additionally, it is said that the Laughing Buddha should be positioned on an elevated surface, since placing it directly on the ground would be considered a sign of disrespect.

THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Your frowns and your lousy persona…learn from the master and laugh all the way to the bank. Which bank? You figure it out grasshopper and then you will know.

ZENTRAVELER SAYS:What are you laughing at grasshopper? You are going to die anyway. Maybe a better reason to laugh…since it doesn’t cost anything more and uses less facial muscles than frowning.

From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on.

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Filed under Blogging, Chocolate Buddha, love luck prosperity, Practical Zen, Uncategorized, Zen Buddihism