Friday, April 9, 2010

Batman Buddha

Look at this comic book thangka. Just look at it.

Thangkas are Buddhist icons. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a nice collection of them in its Asia exhibits, and the Honolulu Academy of Art displayed a huge amount of never-before-seen Bhutan thangkas back in 2008. My sister and I went to that exhibit and walked through room after room of ancient and beautiful representations of the Buddha, the bodhisattvas, and the myriad demons and demigods that populate the Buddhist mythos. At the end of our patience and energy, I turned to my sister and said, "Soooo many thangkas." Which pretty much sums up my feelings toward museums.

But seriously, how about that comic book thangka? It's the ultimate Zen kōan, something that cannot be understood by rational thinking but rather must be intuited. So look at that thangka. Just look at it.

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