Head of a Buddha, Indonesia, c. 800-850.
“This is the head of someone who excelled at reducing his own anxiety. Nobody really knows what features the Buddha had, so the artist has devoted his considerable skill to imagining a face that shows us what freedom from anxiety might look like. We’re being invited to look at the face with a desire to become like it is, to share the quality of mind it exhibits. The statue is arguing that it’s not enough just to hear what the Buddha said; we should use our visual responsiveness to implant his philosophy of calm more deeply in our lives. This sounds weird, but it is something we do anyway without noticing. We are attuned to the faces around us and pick up on the emotional signals that emanate from them. Spending time with the right faces is a very good idea, for we will become a little of what they already are.”
Via Art as Therapy.