Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Your Voice Beneath the Plaster

This will be a somewhat unusual post. First, I want to share a story with you.

Wat Traimit, a temple in Thailand that dates back to the 13th century, today houses a Buddha statue whose ancient image is about 900 years old. When the Burmese were about to sack the city, it was covered in plaster to hide its value. Two centuries later, still in plaster, it was thought to be worth very little. But in 1957, when the image was being moved to a new temple in Bangkok, it slipped from a crane and was left in the mud by workmen. In the morning, a temple monk, who had dreamed that the statue was divinely inspired, went to see the Buddha image. Through a crack in the plaster he saw a glint of yellow, and discovered that the statue was pure gold.

This story inspired me to consider the correlation of our own spirit that lies innate in all of us. Like the monks who protected the statue, we too cover ourselves in our own form of plaster, designed to protect that very spirit. To me, the plaster is composed of many things, with perhaps many layers. Childhood trauma, social conditioning, judgment, hardships. The beauty of this analogy, is that despite the many layers of "plasters" we have applied to protect ourselves, beneath it all is pure gold. The purity of our Spirit, the light that seeks the crack, longing for expression and freedom. Had the presumed worthless statue never been dropped and cracked, perhaps the glistening gold would never have been discovered.

Today I was reminded that we are all born with innate gifts that are ours to give to the world. If your life feels as if you have been dropped from a crane, if you are indeed "cracking," then perhaps it is meant to unveil the deeply resonating gold of your soul. Hardships are never easy. Life can seem unfair. But in the end, it is up to us to allow that resident Divinity a voice, to allow the plaster to fall away, and trust that we are here for a reason. Given space, time, and patience, that reason will let itself be known. But like the monk who was inspired to look more closely, it is up to us to do the take time to listen to the whisper from within.

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