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Prajna Paramita root ball statue created by Elizabeth Sawyer and Barton Stone over the last six years. The ceremony to celebrate the completion was on August 25th at the Back Porch Zendo near Occidental.

From Bay Tree Burl to Buddhamama
by Elizabeth Sawyer

photo by Howard Klein

BUDDAMAMA.  Here is a photo of the Buddhamama burl after cut was made to begin the relief.  We have decided to keep the roots as the "halo" behind the figure, which Barton and Elizabeth are still making prototypes for.


"Literally Bhumisparsha translates into 'touching the earth'. It is more commonly known as the 'earth witness' mudra. This mudra, formed with all five fingers of the right hand extended to touch the ground, symbolizes the Buddha's enlightenment under the bodhi tree, when he summoned the earth goddess, Sthavara, to bear witness to his attainment of enlightenment. The right hand, placed upon the right knee in earth-pressing mudra, and complemented by the left hand-which is held flat in the lap in the dhyana mudra of meditation, symbolizes the union of method and wisdom, samasara and nirvana, and also the realizations of the conventional and ultimate truths. It is in this posture that Shakyamuni overcame the obstructions of Mara while meditating on Truth".

Barton Stone and Elizabeth feel strongly about depicting this earth witness mudra in the Buddhamama.



6:45 7:15 Zazen (Zen Meditation)
7:15 7:30 Service
7:30 8:30 Tea and a talk followed by open discussion

We sit two short periods of zazen with a 5 minute kinhin (walking meditation) in between  or one long period of zazen after which we will have a brief Soto Zen service during which we chant the Heart Sutra and the Ennmei Juku Kannon (Kwan Yin) Gyo . Talk, tea, discussion follows.  Well-being ceremony by request.

Contact: Elizabeth Sawyer at 707-874-1133 or

3533 Hillcrest Ave, Sebastopol CA 95472,  (Near Occidental).

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