Images of buddhas or bodhisattvas are fundamentally understood as representations of awakened qualities within our own selves, and within all beings. That is what is bowed down to. This is true not only of statues, but also for living teachers, who may or may not be appreciated as individual people. Teachers are venerated especially for expressing the awakened quality possible for all of us, and for representing the tradition that has maintained this teaching.
---Taigen Dan Leighton---
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