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July 2020

August 2020

Our golden Buddha within

The person we become is sculpted by culturally defined principles and we gradually develop a self-image that may not reflect what we really are or want to be.

Many years ago in Thailand, there was a temple with a huge Golden Buddha. Word came to this village that an army was about to invade, so they covered the Golden Buddha with mud and concrete so it looked like a stone Buddha and the invading army would perceive no value in it. IMG_20200820_174509_427 (1)

Sure enough, the army rolled in and passed by the stone Buddha and had no reason to plunder it. For many years, the army occupied the village with this temple and Buddha. And there came a time where nobody remembered that the Buddha was golden.
 
And then one day, a young monk was meditating at the base of the Buddha, and a little piece of stone had chipped off revealing the gold underneath. The monk excitedly told the other monks and they started hammering at the statue until they unearthed the Golden Buddha.

The metaphor is that we are like that Buddha. Each of us is golden by nature. We are born golden, born knowing we are worthy and connected to our bliss. But then we grow up and we’re told to go to school, how to dress, how to act, what we ‘should’ do in every situation, so
then by the age of about six or seven we are pushed into predictable outcomes and predictable patterns of behaviour. There is no creativity.

The world that we think is real is just an illusion. The reality is that we are all full of potential.

One day you might have a wake-up call. If you’re not paying attention it might come in the form of a sledgehammer. If you’re paying attention it might be more like a feather duster.

When everything is wrong in your life – maybe you are overweight, in a relationship you don’t want, a job you hate, have addictions – that’s the sort of time you are most ripe for a sledgehammer blow from the universe.

My sledgehammer blow came three years ago in the form of a car crash. I was knocked out and as I came round I had a vision and could see the golden person under the stone exterior. The bang on my head cracked my armour.

I’m the hero of my own life now, not the victim of my life.

How about you? Once you see a little gold, are you willing to keep chipping off the stone casing that surrounds you?

The unfortunate thing is that many people live a whole lifetime without uncasing their golden Buddha.

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The present moment

Mindfulness is about grounding our attention in the present moment. It intensifies the experience of self-awareness.

If we don't concentrate on the 'now' we tend to become carried away by our thoughts about the past or future and lose touch with the present
moment. IMG_2759
 
Seneca observed that most human suffering relates to rumination about the past or worry about the future and that nobody confines his concern to the present moment. 
 
Seneca pointed out that "Wild beasts run away from dangers when they see them. Once they have escaped, they are free of anxiety. But we are tormented by both the future and the past." (Letters, 5).
 
We should live each moment as though we are seeing the world for the first or last time, whilst being aware that each instant intimately connects us to the totality of time and space.
Please support my work by visiting my shop at Jane Redfern Art or by making a donation through Paypal With much love and appreciation. Thank you ❤️

The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes

“The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes.” Friedrich Nietzsche. 20200805_164213

Sometimes we have to let the old us die to make way for the new.

The most fundamental property of our mind is its potential for growth. Unless we have the capacity to change our ideas and adjust our thinking and grow, our minds will wither and ossify.

We have to become greater than we are: this is what the universe is based on. We must aim for expansion…for increasing change…like a fractal which changes and becomes ever more detailed the longer and further we move into it.

The scientist who no longer questions, who rests on the dogma of his specialty, is no longer a scientist, he has become a preacher. There is always another level. Whatever we are good at we can get better.

Casting our skins because we have outgrown them: is there anything more natural than this? Yet we can see the results of this not happening all around us. We must be open to change if we want to improve our lives.

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we had planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell.

Please support my work by visiting my shop at Jane Redfern Art or by making a donation through Paypal With much love and appreciation. Thank you ❤️