Amid the hustle and bustle of a sunny Saturday morning farmer’s market in Taipei, I wander into the Wenchang Temple grounds. Noise recedes, butterflies float. A small sculpted Buddha sits in the garden, holding a book in his left hand (was he left-handed?) and his right hand on a stack of books he has already read–or is about to read.

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As an avid reader I love this image. The serenity and focus of the Buddha amid the everyday secularism of folks filling their baskets with fruits, veggies, fish, and eggs captures the essence of a large Asian city: teeming multitudes each pursuing her or his path through this existence, essentially alone.

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