From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Monday, June 30, 2014

Smokey the Buddha Bear turns 70

Smokey and Friends   (USDA photo)
Those who view Smokey the Bear as merely a seven-decades-strong icon seem unaware of his eternal Buddha nature.

Poet Gary Snyder was obviously not one to overlook such spiritual essentials.  He was able to peer deeply within the true
raison d’etre of Smokey, afterwards sharing these pearls of insight with all sentient beings:  Once in the Jurassic about 150 million years ago, the Great Sun Buddha… showed himself in his true form of SMOKEY THE BEAR.

Snyder's "Smokey the Bear Sutra" goes on to explain that this ursine manifestation of divine truth revealed itself in the following ways:  wielding a shovel “that digs to the truth beneath appearances,” standing on hind legs that show “he is aroused and watchful,” wearing
the work overalls of oppressed “slaves and laborers,” plus a broad-brimmed hat that is “symbolic of the forces that guard the wilderness.”

And, oh - his belly!  By its very roundness and fullness, Smokey’s bountiful midsection indicates “his kind nature and that the great earth has food enough for everyone who loves her and trusts her.”

Snyder concludes this Smokey Sutra by assuring those who recite it faithfully an infinite amount of “ripened blackberries to eat and a sunny spot under a pine tree to sit at.”


Copyright June 30, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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