MUD! I spent all day outside in the mud helping my husband repair a broken well line so we could restore water flow to our house. With muck boots and the right mindset, I found myself deep in muddy red clay for hours. It was not how I intended to spend my day but it was my day nonetheless. Life happens. Curveballs. You can either deal with the mud knowing it is only temporary or you can get stuck in the muck because you convince yourself there’s no way out.
This reminded me of one of my favorite stories about a Thai Buddah statue.
In the early 19th century a twelve foot tall statue, fashioned of mud plaster, carefully painted and decorated with bits of colored glass, was relocated from a neglected and abandoned temple to a minor temple in Bangkok. Although beautiful, it was generally considered valueless. There it sat for over a hundred years.
In the 1930’s, the temple where the mud Buddha resided was abandoned. The statue was moved to another temple in Bangkok. However that modest temple simply had no room for the huge statue inside. Since it was made of mud plaster, it couldn’t be left outside unprotected. So it was housed under a simple tin roof for the next twenty years.
In 1957 plans were made to relocate the temple to make room for the development of a highway through Bangkok. The statue would need to be moved again. The tin shelter was torn down and a crane was brought in. As the heavy statue was lifted from its resting place it began to rain heavily. Worried about the rain damaging the statue, the crew began to rush.
The situation grew worse when a rope broke. The Buddha fell into the mud. The construction crew decided to wait until the next day to try moving the heavy statue again and covered the plaster statue with a tarp.
A monk volunteered to keep watch over the fallen Buddha to ensure that the tarp did not blow away in the rain and wind. All night, the storm challenged the monk, but he kept the tarp in place as best he could, until exhausted, he fell asleep.
The monk was so tired he slept through the rain, dreaming as he lay at the base of the Buddha. He dreamed that the Buddha was divine, that it was very precious. The dream was so vivid and profound that he awoke with a start.
The monk was panicked to discover that while he lay dreaming, the tarp had blown off exposing the statue to the driving rain. The monk became distraught, realizing that he had fallen asleep on his watch and therefore was responsible for the ruin of the divine statue.
As he stood helplessly watching the rain wash away the paint, a stroke of lighting lit up the night sky. In that moment the monk saw a brilliant yellow glint shine from beneath the mud. Peering closer he saw that when the Buddha had fallen, the plaster had cracked. The rain had been washing over the split, widening the crack along the surface.
The monk began to push away the mud, revealing a miraculous sight. Under the painted mud was the gleam of gold! He ran to wake the other monks and soon they set to clearing the mud from the statue. Under the plaster they found a massive solid gold statue of Buddha!
Historians believe that several hundred years before the monk’s discovery, the Burmese army was about to invade Thailand (then called Siam). The Siamese monks, realizing that their country would soon be attacked, covered their precious golden Buddha with an outer covering of clay in order to keep their treasure from being looted by the Burmese. Unfortunately, it appears that the Burmese slaughtered all the Siamese monks, and the well-kept secret of the golden Buddha remained intact until that fateful day in 1957. Over the years more mud was added, more paint applied until to all it seemed a crude and worthless object.
Today, the Golden Buddha sits in the temple of Wat Traimit in Bangkok, Thailand. At 5.5 tons, it is the largest solid gold statue in the world!
(Pause to reflect)
Throughout our life, we pile layer upon layer of clay over our own Golden Buddha. And the heaviest layer of clay is is the one we apply to ourselves. It’s our own limited thinking and our unconscious conditioning.
The other layers of clay get added on from external influences (parents, schools and teachers, bosses and co-workers, society, the media, the church, government and corporations). Eventually,our clay shell becomes so thick that we forget that our very own Golden Buddha is there. You’re probably thinking…
So, Sandi, how do I find my Golden Buddha? What’s my higher purpose in this life? You already know it. All we need to do is start chipping away at the clay and rediscovering those things you were passionate about as you grew up. We’ll reconnect with why we first went into our profession or that job we really, really loved. We recall the times when we were in the magic flow and time stood still. We keep chipping away at the clay layer by layer until you gleam again.
I would love to help you rediscover your life’s purpose. We have many options from a one on one exclusive program to several group courses that last anywhere from a few days to a few months. You choose what’s right for you. I would be honored to talk with you about your path and how I can help you shine.
Love and Light,