By Dario Rivarossa.


    According to current commonplace, the main difference between Buddhist meditation and Christian faith is that the Nirvana is “faceless” while the New Testament God has a specific face, namely the one of Jesus of Nazareth.

    But, is it completely exact?

    The first thing we think about, when Buddhism is mentioned, is nothing else than Śākyamuni’s wise countenance, isn’t it? (unfortunately, often in the “wrong” fat version).

    On the other hand, Medieval theologians, who happened to be more skilled than their updated colleagues, said that it was IMPOSSIBLE to paint a portrait of Jesus. Either because the artist, however a saint, did never succeed in fulfilling the picture, or because the very face of Jesus was so shining that no one could even catch it.

    More than that, Jesus many times showed himself in a half-Buddhistic fashion. For example when he spoke to Saint Francis of Assisi in the shape of the San Damiano Crucifix, which belongs to the genre called “Vigilans”, i.e. Awoken, Open-eyed. Although nailed to the cross, his body looks light and relaxed.

    Not to mention the image of himself Jesus left after rising from death: perfectly midway between Gruenewald’s or Bacon’s Passions, and Buddha’s lack of passions – the holy Shroud.

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