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The Buddha of Suburbia: But shaped hedge sparks a religious hate campaign by villagers

It took them 30 years to create a garden of Zen-like calm.

But the peace has been shattered for Raymond and Sacha Hubbard after they had one of their bushes trimmed – into the shape of a Buddha.

An anonymous detractor has written to the couple warning them their enlightened topiary will bring a curse upon their Grade II listed home.

The letter, which arrived by second class post, read: ‘It is with sorrow that we saw you cutting and shaping your bushes into a Buddha. Are you not aware that having such an idol of worship will bring a curse upon you? Keep the thing and you have the spirit that goes with you.’

It goes on to quote Psalm 115 in the Bible, usually interpreted as…

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an insistence that believers should acknowledge the existence of only one God.The ‘Buddha bush’ is one of over 3,000 types of plant which thrive at the Hubbards’ five-bedroom 1850 home – Hill House Garden and Nursery – near Ashburton in south Devon. The six-acre grounds are open to the public ‘just to wander around’.
Mr Hubbard, who attends Church of England services, accused those behind the letter of ‘cowardice’.

He added: ‘Who can visit our nursery and is such a religious fanatic that they are frightened by a box hedge? We’ve got a Greek Temple too – so we’re multicultural. And I thought Buddhism was the most peaceful of all the religions.’

The Hubbards have not contacted the police over the letter, and have no intention of altering the Buddha bush.

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We comb the internet, looking for news stories related to all forms of meditation, whether Buddhist or not. To date we have posted thousands of news stories that cover everything from meditation and health to meditating celebrities. When we publish a story that's favorable to or critical of one form of meditation, this does not imply that we agree with the stance of the original news story. Read more articles by .



Comment from Bodhipaksa
Time: April 1, 2011, 11:06 am

There’s a bit of religious confusion in this Daily Mail article. The bush appears to be cut in the shape, not of the Buddha, but of Po Tei, who is a fat, jolly gentleman dressed as a monk, and who has the role of being a kind og household deity of prosperity.

It’s a bit like thinking that Santa Claus is Christ.

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