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buddha t-shirt

August 29, 2010

There is an AMAZING t-shirt and other goods company called Dharma Rose. In their inventory, besides Celtic jewelry and incense and candles and all those sorts of things, they have the most beautiful t-shirts!

Dharma Rose is selling the BEST Buddha t shirt I have ever seen.

Ok, so I haven’t seen many Buddha t-shirts, but I have seen many Buddha designs – on postcards, posters, book covers, etc.

The design on this Buddha t-shirt looks the best to me.

The shirt is a very very light blue, and the design is sort of a clay-green. I can’t really describe it in words.

The picture of Buddha is in a circle -sort of a hand-drawn circle like what the Japanese call an “enso” – or “enzo.”

The picture of Buddha is a simple clay statue – of the young Buddha sitting in meditation. The statue is a little strange, in that the Buddha appears to be facing somewhat downward, as compared to every other statue or image of the young Buddha, who, while still having eyes closed, is facing forward. Buddha looking down is a little odd, so the shirt is not perfect, but still..

Here’s the irony. Buddhists are supposed to practice non-attachment.

Here I am looking at this shirt online with something close to lust. The word “lust” can be used for any kind of intense desire. You might have heard the phrase, “lust for gold,” or “wanderlust.”

I’m looking at this shirt, and saying… “I gotta have it I gotta have it I gotta..!!!!”

That is attachment.

I gotta have it in my closet. I gotta have it to wear.

Why do I want to wear it?

So I can show those darn Christians and Mormons that I ain’t no darn Christian and Mormon, I’m a Buddhist, darn it!!

That is ego! Hey look at me! I’m DIFFERENT from you! I’m better.

That is ego.

The other reason I want the shirt?

It’s simply the appreciation of the design. I don’t think that is a bad thing.

The shirt, for some unfathomable reason, is being discontinued. Inventory limited to stock on hand. The shirt is $24.00 plus shipping, which is expensive for even a really cool boutique kind of shirt. The reason for the price is that the cotton is organic.

I’ve never worn organic cotton – maybe because it is processed differently from the vast majority of cotton shirts, it is much more scratchy. I have VERY sensitive skin. Most shirts t-shirts being sold recently are terribly scratchy.

Maybe organic cotton shirts really are scratchy, and other people know this, and don’t buy this particular Buddha t-shirt because it is made of organic cotton, and because it is expensive. I don’t know.

What I do know is that the shirt being in limited supply makes me want it even more – an increased sense of urgency. Which could be entirely made-up. Maybe they have a ton of these shirts, and they just haven’t been selling, so to get rid of overstock before the next shipment, they say quantity is limited.

I doubt it though. I call me naive and simple, but I really do believe there are at least a few honest merchants. I believe they are being honest about this shirt having been discontinued.

Maybe there will be a shirt left in my size (XXL), maybe not.

Guess what one of the things will be that I will be obsessing over?

That’s right, the Buddha t-shirt.

Even though I remember the Zen saying, “Should you see the Buddha along the road, kill him.”

This saying means -even focusing on the image of the Buddha or the Buddha himself creates attachment. Focusing on the Buddha while meditating is particularly problematic. Nevermind that any Zen group or temple you go to is going to have at least one big statue of Buddha, with incense and maybe flowers placed in front of it, perhaps. And there will be prostrations and bows done facing the Buddha.. yet more paradoxes.

Maybe it’s ok to get the Buddha t-shirt. Maybe it’s just my over-over-worried self-condemning mind causing the problem.

I have found the irony interesting though, being attached to a shirt bearing the image of the one man most responsible for the doctrine of non-attachment.

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