Weekly Gem #150 Looking upon everyone with compassion
Location: This hidden gem is in the Ryozen Kannon Shrine in Kyoto, Japan (see the Clue Me! Map). She may look like a Buddha, but isn't quite. She's a Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara, a person who has nearly become a Buddha. But she has sacrificed her own transition to enlightenment in order to share her mercy and compassion with all people.
Her compassion is very appropriate and necessary in this case, as she resides in this shrine that includes a memorial to all soldiers of all countries who died in WW II. But her gaze and her influence extend far beyond this shrine ... it is taught that anyone who provides compassion and assistance to others, any time and any place, is helping the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara achieve her goals of spreading compassion to all people at all times. While this may seem like a difficult goal to accomplish, she has a simple answer. All it takes is for each person to help when help is needed, and suddenly the world has changed ...
We suggest you visit her mid afternoon, when the lighting on her and the mountain backdrop makes for a glorious view. And you'll still have time to visit a nearby location, which you'll want to leave by sunset ... see Weekly Gem #151.
Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.
The statue of the goddess of mercy at Ryozen Kannon
Why It's Interesting
While it may seem ancient, especially since there are so many temples and statues nearby that are hundreds of years old, this one has only been around for a few decades. It was built in 1955 as a memorial to all soldiers who died in World War II.