Evolution, Growth and Finding Your Golden Buddha

Evolution, Growth and Finding Your Golden Buddha

Several hundred years ago, a group of monks in Thailand (then Siam) had a big golden Buddha. Word arrived that the Burmese were about to invade. Rather than have their enemies get their mitts on their beloved (and highly valuable) statue, the monks decided to disguise its worth by covering it with clay.

Their plan worked: the Burmese arrived and figured the statue wasn’t worth looting. They also killed off all of the monks, who took the secret of the statue’s true identity to their graves.

Fast forward to the 1950s and the monastery was being relocated to make room for a Bangkok highway. As part of the relocation, the monks went to move the statue and found that it was strangely heavy—so heavy that they would likely damage it unless they upgraded their statue-moving equipment. It had also started to rain, so the monks covered it up until they could figure out what to do in the morning. Later that night, the head monk went to check on the statue.

As he shone his torch over the statue, he noticed a crack. Damn. But the crack was… gleaming? He went to get a chisel and started removing the clay around the crack.

Hours later, he found himself standing in front of the solid gold Buddha that had been there all along.

We all have our own version of “the golden Buddha” inside us. Throughout our lives, it just gets covered until we forget it’s still in there at all.

Personal growth work is about figuring out how the heck to re-discover our golden Buddha and uncover it again. If you want to stretch the metaphor about as far as it can go, once we’ve uncovered our golden Buddha, they can shine on the people around us.

It’s a reminder that we are all valuable in our own ways—if we’re willing to do what it takes to remove the clay. Let’s use these Covid-19 isolation times to rediscover our golden Buddha. 


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