Buddha energy is transforming an Oakland neighborhood. The statue has literally brought a vibe of love, worship, and transformation to this block. And now some even claiming it a holy site.
Five years ago a neighborhood resident Dan Stevenson’s wife bought a Buddha statue at an Ace hardware. While Stevenson is not religious he was tired of how the corner was deteriorating. He was inspired by the statue and decided to epoxy the Buddha to a rock at the corner of 11th Avenue and East 19th Street in the Eastlake Neighborhood of Oakland.
He was hoping it would bring about an energetic shift to the unkempt and unwelcome loitering at the corner. The block a former place of convergence for drug deals, feces, graffiti, junk, and crime, now a holy site. Stevenson is enthralled at the transformation of the statue since he first brought it to the corner it now is adorned in colors and blooms, the corner cleaned up and a neighborhood exponentially rid of crime.
The most remarkable part of this growing place of worship, Oakland police say crime has gone down in the area by more than 43% since the first statue was placed there.
Since the placement of the first statue more than 6 years ago the corner has transformed into an immense shrine calling on daily rituals and worship. There are ceremonial chants and prayers that take place every day.
Not long after the Buddha first appeared another resident Vina Vo took on ownership of caring for the first Buddha. Her husband building a structure for protection for the Buddha. Vina honoring him daily by cleaning and bringing offerings of fruit, flowers, candles, and incense. And even an audio recorder in the shrine playing religious chants 24/7. And not long thereafter other worshippers followed suit bringing their very own offerings of candles, fruit, flowers, and ornaments to further adorn the Buddha.
And since this holy corner of worship has grown from the standalone Buddha to a second hand-built structure along with a second great force. While Buddha sat in His solitary for many years at the corner alone He now has what I’d imagine would be welcome company. A second statue of the female deity, the Chinese goddess of compassion Kwan Yin has been placed at the site. Kwan Yin sits alongside the Buddha offering more of the same much welcomed peace, love, light and of course compassion.
Worshippers mostly Vietnamese pray and meditate daily. Religous ceremonies and prayers happen each and every day at this intersection having transformed an entire neighborhood.
It is a well-known fact that energy magnifies and manifests where there is focused intent. Here the energy has certainly magnified and quantified into what some residents and worshippers now deem a revered sacred and holy site.
And this topic is one that is very near and dear to my heart. As a seeker I’m always drawn to the miracles in life. The Gurus and prophets who performed miracles. Guru Nanak who turned water into a river near the banks of the river where he sat.
Jesus walking on water or turning water to wine. Buddha defying physiology and sitting under the Bodhi tree without food or water in Samadhi for days on end.