Happy Chinese/Lunar New Year

It’s Chinese/Lunar New Year Today. Hooray!

Budai - Laughing Buddha

The day is also the Buddhist celebration of Maitreya Buddha. Maitreya is often rendered as the fat, happy Buddha (confusingly, the fat, laughing Buddha is also sometimes Hotei/Budai, a wandering Chinese Chan Monk. A lot of people mistake the fat Buddha for the historical Buddha Gotama when its actually Maitreya/Hotei ). Maitreya is traditionally known as ‘the next Buddha’ who will appear when everyone has forgotten about Buddhism.

Over on Dharma Forest, there is a lovely description of one of Maitreya’s traits.

Maitreya is famous for having subdued his temper through learning “patience under insult.” You simply can’t upset him. Insults, curses, even blows will not get his goat or shake his equanimity. He has a big belly, not from greed for food but from holding all the chi (qi) that people have thrown at him. Swear at him, cut him off in traffic, insult his mother, he endures it all because he has subdued himself – – his false pride and vanity are long gone. He sees through the surface of relationships and understands that you wouldn’t be giving him grief if you had peace of mind. Why increase your afflictions by getting caught up in your unresolved drama? It has nothing to do with him, and he won’t waste a second of precious lifetime struggling with hurt feelings or animosity.

Hmmmm “Why increase your afflictions by getting caught up in your unresolved drama? It has nothing to do with him, and he won’t waste a second of precious lifetime struggling with hurt feelings or animosity.” Now that is good advice….

(via Angry Asian Buddhist)