Buddha Statue

The Golden Buddha

A METAPHOR FOR GRIEF WORK

Many years ago in Thailand, there was a Monastery in a small village that had a beautiful Golden Buddha. Word came to this village that a rival army was about to invade, so the local monks meticulously covered the Golden Buddha with plaster and clay, making it look like it was made of stone.
 
When the army came through the village they passed by the stone Buddha, perceiving it as having no value. For many years, the army occupied the village, never knowing the true form of the Buddha. Decades passed and there eventually came a time when nobody remembered that the Buddha was made of gold and not of stone.

In 1957, the Monastery was set to receive some renovations. In preparation, the monks were preparing to move the statue. It was dry season and the air was particularly hot and arid. As the process began, one monk noticed a large crack on the surface of the statue. Curious, he beamed a light inside. Upon peering in, he discovered a golden light emanating from the crack. Immediately, he shared his discovery with his fellow monks. Shortly after, a group of them gathered with hammers and chisels to chip away at the plaster and clay. Soon, the group’s efforts revealed a great, great treasure: the statue was made of solid gold.

The beauty of this story is that the statue was purposely covered over with plaster and clay so it could survive difficult years. Much in the same way we cover our own innate goodness with defence strategies and coping mechanisms in order to survive difficult times.

What this story highlights is that the issue is not that we have the covering, but our relationship to it. Pain and suffering are natural and inevitable parts of being a living, breathing, feeling human being. In fact, the habit patterns we adopt are a mere reflection of our instinctual desire to survive in the best way we know how. The issue arises when we get so identified with the covering - the diseased self, the injured self, the addicted self, the achieving self, the anxious self, etc. - that we forget the one who is looking through the mask; our own true Self that is glimmering underneath.

Grief is often the first crack in our clay covering. Many times well intentioned people in our lives (friends, family, and even therapists) want to help us recover from grief and offer us some clay and mud to plaster our crack so we can move on in our life and “get back to normal”.

Instead of re-plastering, what if we gently and consciously chipped away at the mud casing that covers us, and reveal the beautiful golden light that is within?

Grief, Grief Support, Counselling,

Counsellor, Counselor, Therapy, Loss, Bereavement,
Pet Loss, Job Loss, Loss of Home, Loss of Direction,

Greif and Loss