Snowmen always make me smile. Ever since I encountered the idea of a Snow Buddha
in the haiku of Kobayashi Issa, I have been fascinated and delighted by the concept.
Although I’m not a buddhist, I concur that there is no intermediary between the individual
and the divine, that we each need to strive to be “awakened” and enlightened, and that
impermanence (flux, change) is the state of all things. [Buddha is not god; the word means
For me, a snow Buddha represents creativity and play, along with the cycle that returns
all things to their original state and begins anew. The end of one year and the beginning
of a new year seems like an especially good time to think about — and, if possible, make
— snow Buddhas. So let’s end 2004 and begin 2005 with thoughts, photos (click for the original,
full-sized versions), and haiku featuring snow Buddhas. May this annual cycle bring enlightenment
and joy! [update: Start here to see our multi-faceted, 3-part series about snowmen.]
In two verses of his Remembrance of Buddha, Rev. Tasogare Shinju tells us:
The snow Buddha knows something
Water and air.
I need to breathe and drink,
so hurry up and melt.
Who can say it.
Great compost heap.
Naturally, Kobayashi Issa has some interesting perspectives to add:
even a lump of it
making a Buddha of you
is hard too
a sparrow chirping
in his lap…
instead of his chores
a snow Buddha
he’s holding one
guard the haiku
I beseech you!
– click here for two dozen snow/buddha haiku
just enough snow
for a Buddha —
too much snow
the kids make a snow buddha
a puppy laps up
our snow buddha
snow turns to rain –
our Buddha’s visit
………………….. by dagosan / David Giacalone
the children’s hangers
clatter in the closet
a Buddha on the lawn
with coal eyes