Click on picture to enlarge.
We saw a lot of Buddha statues, hundereds may be thousands and all of them, with very few exceptions, showed him sitting with his legs crossed and his left hand with palm up in his lap and his right hand down so the finger tips touched the ground. I asked our guide why this posture was so dominant. He said, if I remember correctly, that during meditation both hands are in his lap, the right hand on top of the left, both with palms up. When the meditation is ended his right hand reaches down to the ground to connect to the “outside world” after a time spent on the “inside world”.
I liked that idea that we must not forget that we are living in a world with others, but in order to relate to that world we must also have order in our “inner world”. “How can you trust others if you can not trust yourself ? How can you like others, if you don’t like yourself ? How can you love others, if you don’t love yourself ?”
But I noticed a difference on the statues that I did not get an explaination on.
The first picture is taken in the Pindaya cave, the second in the Swedagon complex in Yangon and the last in the temple at Twante, a small village with a big temple, in the Irrawaddy delta outside Yangon. The difference I noticed, and I think it is a significant difference, is his eyes. In the first picture they are closed and Buddha is completely in his own inner world. In the second picture, his eyes are open, but he is still not connecting with the outside world. But in the last picture he is looking at the world, and may be at you and me.