It is the beginning of a New Year. A time when many of us reflect on the year past and think about changes we can make to get our lives back in balance and moving forward in the right direction. You might have begun healthy changes for the physical body such as adding exercise or choosing a different diet for weight management. You might have also incorporated trying to declutter and are making choices to live life in more simpler terms. Have you also considered adding practices to improve your mental or spiritual body? One practice I began in 2012 was establishing a daily spiritual practice of meditation and reflective journaling from my readings of A Course in Miracles and The Science of Mind. Having a daily spiritual practice allows me to begin my day anchored in truth and provides an opportunity for me to be aware of my spiritual self so that I can start my day shining brightly from my radiant true self.
Being a Reiki Practitioner, I am aware of the Intelligent Life Force energy that surrounds us, flows through us, and connects us to everything else on this physical planet. This spiritual energy is invisible and exists in its original state of harmony, peace, love, truth, and beauty. It is complete and perfect and available to us all at all times. The problem is that many of us are not aware that inside each of us, whether we are plant, animal, or human, is our true Divine and radiant self just waiting to be rediscovered, turned on, and celebrated. Unlike, plants and animals, we have forgotten that we are connected to this spiritual enenrgy and also interconnected to everything else through it. It is like electricity, which is invisible yet present. We must flip the switch to get the electricity/energy flowing.
The story of the Golden Buddha gives an example of what is hidden inside our physical bodies.
In 1957 a group of monks needed to relocate a giant clay Buddha statue from their temple to a new location, since their monastery was being relocated to make room for a highway through Bangkok. When the crane lifted the massive idol, the weight of it was so tremendous that it began to crack. The head monk, who was concerned about damaging the scared Buddha, decided to lower the statue back to the ground and cover it with a large canvas tarp to protect it from the coming rain. Later that evening the monk went to check on the statue. He shined his flashlight under the tarp to see if the Buddha was staying dry and noticed a gleam of light shining through the crack in the clay. As he took a closer look, he wondered if there might be something underneath the clay. He ran to wake the other monks. With a chisel and a hammer in hand, the monks began to carefully chip away the thick clay from the Buddha. As they knocked off shards of clay, the little gleam grew brighter and bigger. Hours after chiseling, the monks stepped back and stared in awe at the sight before them. There, in front of the monks. stood a solid gold Buddha. Historians believe the Buddha had been covered with clay by Thai monks several hundred years earlier. After realizing their country would soon be attacked by the Burmese army, these monks covered their precious golden Buddha with an outer covering of clay in order to keep their treasure from being looted by the Burmese. Unfortunately, all of the monks were killed in the attack, but their well kept secret of the golden Buddha remained intact until its discovery in 1957.
Gabriella Berstein describes the importance of the story of the Golden Buddha by saying -Inside we are all Golden Buddhas but we grew up to believe we were made of clay. Our ego's false perceptions led us to grow into the belief system that covered our inner light. We've spent years, maybe decades, masking our truth. It is time to embrace our light and connect with the Golden Buddha within. Your job is to keep chiseling at the layers to uncover more and more each day.
I believe we can all choose the year 2016 to be the one where we begin the work of chiseling away at the layers that hide our true radiant selves. This is work you must do for yourself. But fortunately, there are many tools and practices that can aid you as you begin to rediscover your True Self. Having a Reiki treatment, taking a Level I Reiki class, which is all about beginning the path of self discovery, learning to mediate, or just being consistent about being still and focusing on your breath are all excellent choices you can make. Any of these can help you to find the awareness and power to chip away at the layers that are hiding your true, authentic, radiant self. Once you realize that you are a spiritual being and so is everyone else, your life begins to change. Slowly the judgements, doubts, anger, and worries begin to fall away like the shards of clay and you begin to step into the flow of life. Make a conscious decision to begin today.
I will end with a quote from Wendell Berry. "It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work. And when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey".