The statue above represents the Bhumisparsha mudra, or the moment of the Buddha’s enlightenment.

After many years of training and study, it is said that a monk called Siddhartha Gautama vowed one day to sit under a Bodhi tree until he realized enlightenment. He knew he was very close to completely breaking through his suffering and achieving nirvana.

During the night, he was attacked by the terrible Mara, who tried to frighten Siddhartha from his seat under the Bodhi tree. When nothing else would work, Mara put him to the final test, using a weapon all people come up against: doubt.

It was at this point that Siddhartha reached out his right hand to touch the earth, asking her to vouch for his goodness. And the earth itself roared, “I bear you witness!” Howling, Mara retreated and disappeared.

And in that moment, with the last obstacle to enlightenment having been met and vanquished, Siddhartha Gautama realized enlightenment and became a Buddha.


I’m called Kim. I’m a curious student of buddhist thought and a practitioner of mindfulness in my everyday life. I have a degree in Philosophy, which has served me well despite never helping on job applications. I’m also a mother and a grandmother. I endeavor to live my life with grace, walking lightly on the earth.