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Buddhism in the News

Showing posts with label chaokun suthee thammanuwat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chaokun suthee thammanuwat. Show all posts

Monday, November 19, 2012

President Obama Visits Wat Pho Monastery in Bangkok, Thailand.

The above image is one of my favorite pictures of late. U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State Clinton recently visited Wat Pho monastery and head-monk, Chaokun Suthee Thammanuwat in Thailand, Bangkok (link). The American leaders both observed the Buddhist tradition of removing shoes before ending a temple. In the blue trousers is U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The one wearing socks and dark blue slacks is President Obama. The head-monk is the one wearing orange.

I find this image so striking and full of lessons. The photo is poignant reminder that regardless of our station in life, we are all sentient beings having the same worth and importance. If I didn't mention the names, we'd never know who those feet represent. In this angle, President Obama isn't the most powerful man in the world but simply another sentient walking the path of life.

The picture evokes letting go of our egos and the self-important images we sometimes display. This photo transcends their lofty titles of president, secretary and monk to expose them as being just like the rest of us. They must walk the path of samsara like all of us. They have weaknesses, attachments and set-backs like any other human being, regardless of their importance. How wonderful a lesson it is to view life from alternative perceptions and angles. In this case, literally!!

~i bow to the buddha within all beings~

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