Over three hundred years ago, the Burmese army planned an attack to invade Thailand. At the time, the country was known as Siam. The Siamese monks were in possession of the most amazing Buddha statue. The statue is over 10 feet tall and weighs in excess of 2 1/2 tons. It is made of solid gold and is valued today at $200 MILLION dollars. The monks were determined to protect the shrine that meant so much to them. While it was priceless to them for reasons that transcend money; they knew that the Burmese would stop at nothing to steal the statue because of its tremendous monetary value. They covered the Golden Buddha with 12 inches of clay knowing that the warriors would totally ignore it and think it worthless. Sadly, the monks were slaughtered in the invasion and the secret of the Golden Buddha stayed hidden for two centuries. The Buddha itself though, remained safe.
In the mid 50’s, a monastery was to be relocated to make room for a new highway. The monks arranged for a crane to come and move the “Clay” Buddha to its new location. When the crane started to lift the statue, it was much heavier than expected and it began to crack. Wanting to protect the priceless shrine, the monks lowered it back down and decided to wait until the next day to bring more powerful equipment. To add insult to injury, the rains came so the monks lovingly covered the statue with tarps to keep the moisture away. In the dark of night, the head monk took his flashlight and went out to make sure the Buddha was adequately covered. When the light of the flashlight shone into the crack of the clay, he saw a glimmer…a reflection of something underneath that shroud of clay. He immediately started to carefully chisel away shards of clay to find that the glimmer grew brighter. Hours later, and all the clay removed…he was in the presence of a Buddha made of solid gold. It now resides in The Temple of the Golden Buddha in Bangkok, Thailand. Every year, millions of people go there to see this magnificent work of art and to worship at his feet. And to think, it may never have been uncovered…
This story touched me in so many ways; but, I think it is such a representation of what we do to our children when raising them. They come into this world as little miracles. They are creative and true to themselves. They believe in magic and dreams; and in an effort to protect them, we start layering on all these protective coatings. We instill fear in them where there is none. We instill doubt where there shouldn’t be because we don’t ever want them to be disappointed. We share all these silly little superstitions about broken mirrors, black cats, walking under ladders, eating peas on New Years Day, etc… We do it out of unconditional love and the desire to make their lives better. But, in the long run these ideas that we instill in them turn into self imposed limitations in their subconscious minds. They become part of their auto-pilot system that can steer them away from their true destiny. They block them from achieving their full potential. Furthermore, the removal of these limits from the subconscious mind is difficult. Mostly, the recognition that they are even there can go unnoticed for years. Think about it… the gold underneath that Buddha stayed hidden for centuries!!!!
I remember once when I was very young and I was playing jacks with my dear cousin, Ginger. My grandmother walked into the room and said, “Please be careful to pick up all those jacks because if you step on one it will kill you!” Now, she just meant that it would be painful; but, my little mind went into a tailspin. I was terrified to get up for fear that my life was in jeopardy! I scoured that floor to make sure I had gotten up every single jack and when I put them away I never took them back out again. My jack playing career was officially over! It didn’t matter about the jacks. I never really enjoyed playing with them that much anyway. The point is we have to be mindful of what we say to our small children especially in the first 6 years of their lives. Studies have shown that the belief system of children and primarily the subconscious mindset is developed in these formative years. We need to do everything in our power to make sure that what we say and do in their presence will lead to the ideas that will serve them well in their adult lives. That is how we protect our children!!
In closing, I want to say this to you. If you or someone you love needs a little help to chisel away the clay so that the gold can shine then you don’t have to look very far. There are amazing resources that are free to use that work wonders to cure the diseases growing in our subconscious minds. There are endless amounts of guided meditations available on You Tube. I love the ones from Kelly Howell. She has different ones for different issues (i.e. Anxiety Relief, Creating Success, Overcoming Fear, etc.). There are endless websites with positive affirmations available. There are amazing and enlightened people sharing valuable insights through newsletters and blogs and books and movies and videos. The list goes on and on. I have mentioned many of the names before. I recently “met” a person that has inspired me greatly and his name is Ryan Biddulph. Google him and check out his RB’s keys, his blog and his cash gifting program (The People’s Program). He is a person who believes in giving back and paying it forward and that is the kind of example we should all be following.
PS Thank you Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen for sharing the “Golden Buddha” story. They published it in “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and have spoken about it many times. I first heard about it from Jack.
PPS Imagine all the dreams coming true, imagine our children free from irrational fears, imagine them realizing their true passion and living it from a young age. You may say I’m a dreamer……but I’m not the only one!! John Lennon was one, too. Hope you enjoy “Imagine”…….