Author Topic: 11th Avenue Buddha  (Read 11896 times)

sonamdhargey

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11th Avenue Buddha
« on: September 30, 2012, 10:58:31 AM »
Nice story i found about a Buddha Statue that had change the neighborhood.:)

Here's a wonderful story that I heard this morning, about a couple who solved a problem with a Buddha.

Dan and Lu Stevenson of Oakland, California, wanted to do something to clean up their neighborhood. A traffic median on a street corner had become a dumping ground for garbage, old mattresses, and other rubbish. The city took days to respond to calls to clean it up. The corner also became a magnet for drug trafficking, public urination, and graffiti.

So in 2009 Dan went to a hardware store and bought a little concrete meditating Buddha. He installed the Buddha on the median with epoxy and rebar. Dan and Lu are not Buddhists; Dan said he thought of installing the Buddha because "he was a neutral being that denotes compassion, brotherhood, and peace," and he thought the presence of a Buddha would "change the energy" on the street corner.

Soon there was a slight change -- the garbage and graffiti still arrived, but it was being dumped on the other side of the street divide. In the first year, the dumping, drug, graffiti, and urination problems were reduced about 50 percent, Dan Stevenson said.

In the second year, an anonymous neighbor painted the Buddha white. Then people began to leave offerings of flowers and fruit. During this time the illegal dumping all but disappeared.

Other people in the neighborhood began to pick up around the Buddha, so neighbors were around all hours of the day. The graffiti artists, drug pushers, etc. no longer had the corner to themselves, and moved elsewhere.

The little concrete Buddha became a neighborhood focal point. People on walks would stop there to view the Buddha and talk to other neighbors on walks.

A Vietnamese couple came and asked if they could build a shelter with a roof over the Buddha. In some parts of Asia it is considered disrespectful to leave a Buddha out in the open. Soon the neighborhood Buddha had a pretty, bright red "house."

But then someone complained to the city of Oakland that there was a religious display on public property, and a public works supervisor came and said the Buddha would have to be removed. The city would jackhammer the Buddha into bits if no one else took him away.

The neighbors immediately began to call and write city government officials asking to keep the 11th Avenue Buddha. Oakland now says it has postponed dismantling the Buddha and is "studying the situation."

Soruce:http://buddhism.about.com/b/2012/07/15/the-11th-avenue-buddha.htm

RedLantern

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Re: 11th Avenue Buddha
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2012, 02:50:23 PM »
A story about how one person's intention to uplift their environment and their willingness to take action that sparks that loving kindness and love of beauty in the hearts of others.
Hopefully the legal situation will be resolved to the greatest benefit of all involved.Regardless of how it turns out ,the deeper message of how we're inter-connected in all kinds of wondrous and wonderful ways,and how the smallest of actions has effects we could never have imagined.
An interesting story and I hope the authorities is wise enough to honor the community's desires and leave the statue where it is.

buddhalovely

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Re: 11th Avenue Buddha
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2012, 02:35:17 PM »
Though the article mentions that “Kernighan insists there are no plans to tear out the Buddha just yet” and that the complaint is simply being investigated at this point, a group entitled “SavetheBuddha” has sprung up on Facebook. Kernighan also posted the following on SavetheBuddha’s wall:

“My Council office has heard from many about the Buddha figure on 11th Avenue. Most neighbors agree that the Buddha figure’s presence has helped to alleviate illegal dumping and to bring a sense of community to the neighborhood. These positive outcomes make me want to see the figure remain. I’ve expressed that hope to the Public Works Department. They are investigating various issues involved. There is a downside, though, to the Buddha figure’s current location. People who arrive to pay respects are doing so partially in the street. I worry for their safety and the potential hazard this creates for people driving through that area.

“I have asked Public Works to inform me and the neighborhood before taking any action. For now they are looking at the issues. I will keep neighbors posted on any recommendations. In the meantime, I would be interested in any solutions proposed by the community regarding the traffic safety issues.”

Recent News is that Pat Kernighan, Councilwoman for Oakland District 2, confirmed on Tuesday 17th July that the City of Oakland has no plans to remove the 11th Avenue Buddha.
 
Peace ...........

pgdharma

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Re: 11th Avenue Buddha
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2012, 03:36:51 PM »

From a perspective point of view:-

This Buddha was installed at this spot in 2009 and those people that pass by and contemplate the Buddha have yet to cause ANY traffic or pedestrian issues.

Because of the positioning of the Buddha and the angle of the turn range of an automobile, a person or persons standing in front of the Buddha are well out of the way of any passing vehicle.

In addition, on the approach from either direction of the street curve there are speed bumps so traffic has to slow in that area.

The corner visibility in the area is clear so anyone driving has the ability to have a clear sight line for safety for themselves and any pedestrian at this location. Even at night.

As Councilwoman Kernighan expressed on the 11th Avenue Buddha Facebook page that she would be interested in any solutions proposed by the community regarding the traffic safety issues, Dan Stevenson mentioned “that standing at the Buddha is as safe as standing in and crossing any pedestrian crosswalk in this city. It is important to accept the fact that safety is the responsibility of each of us, driver and pedestrian, and in the case of the 11th Avenue Buddha, leaving well enough alone is the best approach for the City of Oakland to take”

 
 

DS Star

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Re: 11th Avenue Buddha
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2012, 07:13:13 AM »
This is indeed a very beautiful story.

What made it more beautiful is because both Dan and Lu are not Buddhists yet they understand the positive and subtle yet 'powerful' blessings from a divine being like Buddha can bestow upon us.

"Dan said he thought of installing the Buddha because "he was a neutral being that denotes compassion, brotherhood, and peace," and he thought the presence of a Buddha would "change the energy" on the street corner."

Dan is absolutely correct; placing a Buddha statue or image will definitely pacifies negative energy in that area. Buddha image is said to be able to bring harmony and prosperous among the communities in its area.

"Buddha images serve as visual mantras and are contemplated by adherents of Buddhism in order to realize their deepest meaning." - Scott McGregor

Tenzin K

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Re: 11th Avenue Buddha
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2012, 07:03:49 PM »
As often found in Buddhist texts, the virtues of sustaining the Buddha Dharma (one of which is by building the Buddha images) are summarized into ten major points:

1) Any of your misdeeds done in previous lives will fade away, while heavy ones will lighten.

2) You gain protection by auspicious devas or deities and remain unharmed by diseases, flood, fires, thefts, wars, or imprisonment.

3) You are released from the cycle of hatred and revenge.

4) You are safe from the harm of yaksas, evil spirits, poisonous snakes, even famished tigers.

5) Your body and soul are in bliss; daytime no threats, night time no nightmares. Your skin complexion is radiant, stamina is at its peak, and every act you commit is auspicious.

6) Your engagement in the Buddha Dharma naturally fulfills all your living necessities: food, clothes, harmonious family, fortune, and long life.

7) Your words or actions spark amiability in humans and gods. No matter where you go, you are welcome, loved, and respected by others.

8) You constantly grow into a wise, healthy, and happy person. For a female, you will turn into a male when time has come.

9) You are exempted from being born in the lower realms (animals, hungry ghosts, hell beings) and instead you only stay in the higher realms (gods, humans). Not only are you outwardly good-looking, but you also innately possess wisdom and great fortune.

10) You have the capacity to help any sentient beings to build virtues. Wherever you are born, you will be close to Buddhas and Dharma perpetually until you attain the Enlightenment.


Jessie Fong

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Re: 11th Avenue Buddha
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2012, 03:29:16 AM »
A Vietnamese couple came and asked if they could build a shelter with a roof over the Buddha. In some parts of Asia it is considered disrespectful to leave a Buddha out in the open. Soon the neighborhood Buddha had a pretty, bright red "house."

But then someone complained to the city of Oakland that there was a religious display on public property, and a public works supervisor came and said the Buddha would have to be removed. The city would jackhammer the Buddha into bits if no one else took him away.

The neighbors immediately began to call and write city government officials asking to keep the 11th Avenue Buddha. Oakland now says it has postponed dismantling the Buddha and is "studying the situation."



This reminds me of certain Asean countries where they place small red houses with Buddha images along the roads, under the trees, in front of their office premises - more often times, these are images of land deities.

This is representative of a small shrine.

rossoneri

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Re: 11th Avenue Buddha
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2012, 05:52:14 AM »
I can't help but kept on thinking how wonderful it is to have a Buddha statue been placed at 11th Avenue. Instantly, without any knowledge about Buddhism but out of good intention the used to be "dumped area" is been cleared from those illegal activities.
It clearly shows that people are respectful towards any religion in this world. This should be the way, we should always learn to respect each other, practice compassion, love and kindness.


bambi

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Re: 11th Avenue Buddha
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2012, 05:53:31 AM »
Indeed a nice story. It was really nice to have a Buddha statue whereby people who walked by get to see and have a seed planted. Not only that, even the environment and neighborhood became friendly and caring. Something that was of a dumping ground was changed into a place of offerings. I like the part where the anonymous person painted the Buddha and made it look better. Its too bad that people out of ignorance are complaining about the place. I hope that the council will let 11th Avenue Buddha stay where it is and understand how much it has changed the surroundings. Thank you for the wonderful story.

Tenzin Malgyur

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Re: 11th Avenue Buddha
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2012, 02:27:06 PM »
This is an interesting story. I am so surprised the dumping of garbage and urination stopped completely after two years of placing the Buddha statue at the site. I guessed the buddha statue did really changed the energy of the of the corner. Even the bad characters that used to frequent the site decided to move their meeting place else where. It is just too bad the authorities have to remove to statue because religious display are not allowed on public property. Maybe they prefer to have garbage and old mattresses together with the drug pushers back there?