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The Golden Buddha

14 Jan 2018   Shanti Gowans
In 1957, a monastery in Thailand was being relocated. A group of monks was put in charge of moving a giant clay Buddha. But in the midst of the move, one of the monks noticed a crack in the statue. This got them a little concerned about damaging it, so they decided to wait a day before continuing with their task. 
Later on, another monk came to check on the giant statue. He shined his torch over the entire Buddha to inspect it. But when he reached that crack, he saw something shiny reflect back at him. Obviously, this piqued his curiosity. So he took a hammer and chisel and began chipping away at the clay. And, as he knocked off piece after piece, the statue got brighter and brighter. After hours of work the monk looked up in amazement: Lo and behold, right before him was now standing a huge, solid golden Buddha!
How did this happen? 
Well, historians believe that the monks from centuries ago heard that the Burmese army was about to invade their country. These Burmese dudes were no angels, and would most certainly plunder the monastery and rob all their valuables. So the monks decided that if they were able to make the huge golden Buddha appear to be a mere stone statue, the Burmese wouldn’t see any value in it. 
The army came in to raid the place, but didn’t care about this huge chunk of what seemed  mere stone. Their protective scheme worked. Sadly, in the attack all the monks were killed, along with the knowledge of the golden Buddha. So it wasn’t until centuries later that this great treasure was discovered by accident. It was simply forgotten that underneath the superficial clay was pure, solid gold.
Like the Buddha’s clay casing, most of us unconsciously build an ‘outer shell’ around us that’s meant to protect us from the world. It usually occurs because of something disconcerting that happens to us, or that someone says or does to us, typically at an early age, but potentially at any point in our life. 
And because of the importance our mind gives to that protective shell, we eventually begin to believe that we are the ‘stone Buddha,’ and forget about the ‘pure gold’ that always remains inside our casing. 
But then something might happen in your life, an uncomfortable experience that gives you a ‘blow,’ and knocks a crack into your protective casing. It could be an injury, a divorce, a financial setback, the death of a loved one, a governmental change,  losing your job, having your house foreclosed on…anything that really scares and bugs you. The protective ‘shell’ is unable to keep the experience at bay, so we undergo the very kind of discomfort it was designed to protect us from. 
And because of the emotional turmoil that comes with it, we often miss the point of the experience, because, in that moment when a small piece of our armour is knocked off, we are really presented with an opening.
It’s in our moments of challenge that we get the chance to break out of our shell and shine bright again. We get to look inside and see our long-forgotten treasure that was always hidden within. 
You are being called to chip away your clay casing, uncover the inner gold that had always been concealed, and finally reveal your innate riches that have always been there waiting for you.
You may need a little help to expedite that process, and that help is here for you now (if you want it). Yoga and meditation offer the most powerful tools to chip away your clay and reveal your inner wealth.  Let’s chip away the clay together and reveal that inner treasure you may have long forgotten about. 


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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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