There’s a famous story author Alan Cohen tells about The Golden Buddha:
"Many years ago in Thailand was a temple with a huge Golden Buddha. Word came to this village that an army was about to invade, so they covered the Golden Buddha with mud and concrete so it looked like a stone Buddha and the invading army would perceive no value in it.
Sure enough, the army rolled in and passed by the stone Buddha and had no reason to plunder it. For many years, the army occupied the village with this temple and Buddha. And there was a time where nobody remembered that the Buddha was golden.
And then one day, a young monk was meditating at the base of the Buddha, and a little piece of gold chipped off. The monk excitedly told the other monks and they started hammering at the statue and realized it was a Golden Buddha.
The metaphor is that each of us is golden by nature.
We are born knowing everything. But then we go to school and learn a certain way to live, and put a 'casing of mud stone over the Buddha.' And we start to believe we are the stone Buddha, not the golden one.
Then something comes along that cracks our casing and knocks off a piece of our armor and in that moment, we look inside and see the gold. At that moment, all we want to do the rest of our life is pick away the stone because the gold is so much more fun!"
Have you sensed the Golden Buddha within?
What crack or break in your life, that one time felt like the most terrible thing in the world, turned out to reveal some hidden power?
Once you see a little gold, are you willing to keep chipping off the mud and concrete casing that surrounds you?
The unfortunate thing is that many people live a whole lifetime without uncasing their Golden Buddha.
Sarvapelli Radakrishnan said: “If man misses his destiny, Nature is not in a hurry; she will catch him someday and compel him to fulfill her secret purpose.”
In other words, the universe doesn’t care if you want to skip a lifetime or two before you dig.
Look around at all the people who are wrapped in a mud and concete casing, numb to life, whether by intoxicants or fear or uncertainty. They let the chips, the breaks, the cracks in their armor remain just that — chips, breaks, cracks — and so they feel chipped, broken, and cracked their whole life.
So how do you dig?
- By sharing something very personal with another, you trigger a chemical reaction in their mind and body, creating a connection. In other words, reveal to others what you have been through. It makes you relatable, human, golden.
- By exploring the nature of your personal struggle, you understand it is a sort of exercise for the soul. Just like one who wants to get strong purposefully adds resistance on the treadmill at the gym, some deep part of you sought resistance in life so that it could help you learn and grow. Once you realize that, you graduate and move forward.
- By looking in the mirror and finding the ability to perceive your beauty rather than your blemishes, you see the Golden Buddha. But when a survey by Dove Soap shows that only 2% of women consider themselves “beautiful,” that means so many of us look in the mirror and only see the mud and concrete casing.
Today, every day…dig. Dig. Dig like crazy. Never stop.
You are meant to be awesome and beautiful and brilliant. You know that! Own it!