Buddhas are attracted by Buddhas. The new big Buddha at the Temple is inviting curiosity from animals, birds and all beings -- children, walkers, drivers, dogs. There's something magnetic about his solid serenity. We all want to be with him and sit with him.
The name Buddha derives from a Sanskrit word that means "awake." The big Temple Buddha is a Chinese sculpture of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, who lived around 2600 years ago. He stated very clearly that he was not a God -- simply a human being who had discovered a way to realize the truth of this life, to see beyond his own delusions and find clarity.
Buddha images are meant to inspire us to awaken to this unvarnished reality, not to be worshiped or venerated. And yet we human beings forget that this awakened nature exists inside every one of us, and so we look to others, rather than to ourselves. The invitation of the big Temple Buddha is to recognize him as a mirror, not as an image of something outside of you.
Buddhas are attracted by Buddhas. When you stand or sit before a Buddha figure, when you bow or offer incense, please know that you are bowing in gratitude to the awakened nature within you. May you see Buddhas everywhere!