What do we mean to ‘reveal the true you’?
The Clay Buddha
Jack Kornfield reminds us in ‘The Wise Heart’ of a story from Thailand. A clay statue of a Buddha had sat for hundreds of years in a village square. One day a villager noticed a crack in it and had a closer look. From inside the statue he caught a glimpse of luminous gold. As he and his friends began to uncover the dirt and layers of plaster and clay, they discovered a beautiful work of art – a shining, golden buddha.
In a similar way, we as humans ‘cover our innate nobility…. forget our essential nature’.
We deal with life by putting up defences and masks; armour to protect ourselves. We want to prove that we’re capable, and pretend we’re not sad or scared, to fool everyone that we’re ok. We cover up our vulnerable, open and honest selves. We believe that we must become hardened and strong to survive this world.
We did it first as children – fitting in so we weren’t left out, or shutting down because experiences were so difficult or painful.
We did it then, and we do it now. We put on brave faces, suppress the painful feelings, pretend, build barriers, survive … the list goes on. Do you recognise this kind of behaviour?
So, like the Buddha statue, we forget that each of us has a shining, vulnerable and beautiful inner being – some call it our Buddha nature, our soul, our essence, our higher self. We have numerous terms for it.
But most importantly – remember it’s there. That beneath all the defensive thoughts and behaviours, we’re really ok, we’re more than ok!
Meditate to soften the armour
When you sit and meditate – you’re not struggling to become something else – something better or different. You are sitting and allowing the layers of armour to soften and dissolve, layer upon layer of disguises.
It’s not easy being vulnerable and sharing that with others, but you can start with yourself, observe your patterns of negative thinking and behaviours, and realise that you don’t have to continue believing them or recycling them.
First: Observe and notice recurring thought patterns.
Second: Untangle yourself from these thoughts by focussing on your breath.
Third: Surrender and let go of each thought, however many times it may return.
Fourth: Replace negative thoughts with loving thoughts towards yourself
‘With compassion and patience, we can all learn to gently release what has been, and let the stream of life carry us forward.’
How are you getting on with dissolving your old layers of armour? Can you sometimes reveal the true you!
More about ‘Letting Go’