Old Navy, purveyor of yoga mats and matching bags as well as cheap clothes for the entire family, occasionally slaps a Buddhist logo on a shirt. Here’s their latest version, available now for just $14.50.
My question for you dharma warriors: this is a good thing, right? The more mainstream yoga and Buddhist imagery gets, the more peaceful the world becomes …right?
OK. Fine. But even if you’re willing to agree with me on that, do you think putting an image of the Buddha on a t-shirt actually spreads Buddhism? Well, maybe. I think it certainly makes the concept more approachable. Less esoteric and unknowable, perhaps. There’s still a big leap between seeing a t-shirt for sale and dropping in on your first meditation group, but hey. I’m willing to be an optimist about it.
But then the inner cynic, as always, chimes in: this is crass commercialism. Don’t buy it! Half of what Old Navy sells is probably manufactured by slave laborers in China (which opens up a whole ‘nother can of worms). Same goes for all the bead bracelets and dharma trinkets for sale at any given head shop. Making money off the Buddha just cheapens the whole thing.
Now I’m completely of two minds here. What do you think? Buy the shirt, or not?