The Golden Buddha

During this recent “rainy” season, I’ve been working in the kitchen canning and freezing the summer harvest from our front yard garden.  In the spirit of “Nurturing Your Nature” I’ve been watching YouTube videos on the teachings of the late Joseph Campbell, and specifically on the “The Hear With a Thousand Faces.”

On of this videos was “The Golden Buddha,” and the summary that follows was written by Carolyn Tate.

In 1957 an entire Monastery in Thailand was being relocated by a group of monks. One day they were moving a giant clay Buddha when one of the monks noticed a large crack in the clay.  On closer investigation, he saw there was a golden light emanating from the crack. The monk used a hammer and a chisel to chip away at the clay exterior until he revealed that the statue was in fact made of solid gold.

Historians believe the Buddha had been covered with clay by Thai monks several hundred years earlier to protect it from an attack by the Burmese army. In the attack, all the monks had been killed and it wasn’t until 1957 that this great treasure was actually discovered.

And so how does this story help us to nurture our nature? What happens over the course of our life is that we pile layer upon layer of clay over our own Golden Buddha. The heaviest layer of clay is of our own doing – 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, we are so laden with clay that we forget that the Golden Buddha is there all the time.

The secret to finding our Golden Buddha lies not in the future, but in our past. We need to do is start chipping away at the clay and rediscovering those things we were passionate about as we grew up.

I do hope that you find the story of the “Golden Buddha” as told by Alan Cohen helpful.