Those Giant Heads Turn Out to Have Bodies

by | Mar 3, 2024 | Buddhism for All

There is an island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean called Easter Island that is famous for having hundreds of statues of giant heads carved from stone.  Some of my friends make jokes about them, but I tell them, “Whatever you say, those statues still come out a-head.” 

What many people did not know is those statues actually have bodies.  The statues are installed with the bodies buried in the ground up to the shoulders, which is why most photographs of them give the impression that they are only giant heads.  When scientists dug them up, they discovered that not only do those giant heads come with giant bodies, those giant bodies are decorated with intricate carvings.  A giant stone head is impressive enough, but when you dig the whole thing up, you discover how much more impressive it really is.

In the next few posts, we are doing a similar thing: we are digging deeper into the Dharma.  The Four Noble Truths are impressive enough, but underlying it is an entire body of foundational teachings.  When taken as a whole, it gives you an even more complete picture of Buddhism.


  • Reflect on this post with Angela: More often than not, there is more to things than meets the eye. If we insist on believing only what we see, or what we think, then we will miss the truth hidden in plain sight. As one of my teachers, Buddhist meditation teacherMingyur Rinpoche says, the truth is so near, it is like your eyelash. You cannot see it but it’s there all along. What insights, learning, or reflections came up for you from this article?

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Chade-Meng Tan

Meng is an award-winning engineer, international bestselling author, movie producer and philanthropist. His work has been nominated eight times for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Read Meng's story)

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