Tiny Buddha’s tranquility infects Oakland neighborhood

Last year I took a two month trip to Thailand, with a three-week segue to India, where we followed the trail of the Buddha’s life: his place of birth, meditation under the Bodhi tree leading to enlightenment, first teaching, and death. Many temples, and hundreds of Buddha statues later, I can say that despite their cultural and historical variations, they all spread an enigmatic smile that holds the surrounding atmosphere in tranquility.

For many years, that half smile upon its wooden statue has also graced my own mantle.

Where else might such small gestures as purchasing a two foot high stone Buddha statue from Ace Hardware to place on a median strip in a graffiti- and trash-strewn, drug-riddled corner in an Oakland neighborhood clean up the area and reduce crime by 82%? And it gets even better. Read on.

Buddha seems to bring tranquility to Oakland neighborhood

Image: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle.

Image: Paul Chinn, The Chronicle.



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