the Buddha of the future, rests in Tushita heaven until the time arrives for him
to manifest on earth to lead suffering sentient beings out of the confusion of
a degenerate time, presumed to be five thousand years after the appearance of
the Gautama Buddha.
This Maitreya, carved from the most adamantine of materials, radiates an
atmosphere of softness and warmth in the pinks and greys of its polychromed surface.
The future Buddha stands on a double lotus throne, a lotus aureole behind his
head set into the flaming mandorla that surrounds him. He is attired in fine robes
and ornaments, with his head, hands and feet retaining much of their gold. His
face bears an _expression of quiescent tenderness, and is typical of sculpture
of the Song period, which continued to embody the full forms and lyrical movement
of the Tang dynasty. All Buddhas represent the one eternal pure consciousness
existing at all times, in all places and throughout every dimension, yet our conditioned
mind can only grasp this ubiquity in the form of a pantheon of personages, therefore
Maitreya Buddha waits serenely in the future.