Week 21 – The Golden Buddha

 This post recounts the the story of the GOLDEN BUDDHA,  adapted by Jack Canfield, author of CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL.

chicken soup for the soul

Back in 1957 a group of monks from a monastery had to relocate a clay Buddha from their temple to a new location. The monastery was to be relocated to make room for the development of a highway through Bangkok. When the crane began to lift the giant idol, the weight of it was so tremendous that it began to crack. What’s more, rain began to fall. The head monk, who was concerned about damage to the sacred Buddha, decided to lower the statue back to the ground and cover it with a large canvas tarp to protect it from the rain.

stone image of buddha

Later that evening the head monk went to check on the Buddha. He shined his flashlight under the tarp to see if the Buddha was staying dry. As the light reached the crack, he noticed a little gleam shining back and thought it strange. As he took a closer look at this gleam of light, he wondered if there might be something underneath the clay. He went to fetch a chisel and hammer from the monastery and began to chip away at the clay. As he knocked off shards of clay, the little gleam grew brighter and bigger. Many hours of labor went by before the monk stood face to face with the extraordinary solid-gold Buddha.

coveredd cement parts buddha

Historians believe that several hundred years before the head monk’s discovery, the Burmese army was about to invade Thailand (then called Siam). The Siamese monks realizing that their country would soon be attacked covered their precious golden Buddha with an outer covering of clay in order to keep their treasure from being looted by the Burmese. Unfortunately, it appears that the Burmese slaughtered all the Siamese monks, and the well-kept secret of the golden Buddha remained intact until that fateful day in 1957.

What is the metaphor in this story?  Each of us is golden by nature at birth, we are each nature’s greatest miracle, we are connected to our bliss, and we are one with Christ.   Then we grow up a bit, go to school, learn about what boys’ do, what girls do, what white people do and what black people do.  Sometime between the ages of 6 and 10 we develop a casing (armor) around us, so we become the stone Buddha.  We grow up so more and something comes along to crack the casing – a divorce, a financial set back, an illness or injury.  This scares us and bugs us, and guess what a piece of the stone is knocked off.  In that moment, the stone (armor) is chipped away and we can see the gold inside.  From that point on, you will never be satisfied and you want to chip and pick away at the stone.  Because when you uncover the gold your brilliance will shine!

golden buddha image

You, my friend, who has read my many weeks of blogs through the journey of the Master Keys, has indeed uncovered the Golden Buddha within.  Like you I have  learned that this is the heroes journey.  This is a journey of moving from an unsatisfied life to a satisfied life, a journey to brilliantly shine.  A journey to become more vibrant, alive and definitely much happier.

My entry is rather short this week and I am actually using some content I will be using this week end.  I will be presenting at a seminar.  This actually is a step in actualizing my personal pivotal need – recognition for creative expression.  This, too, is one of my SMART goals which oddly enough is highlighted in the “yellow square.”  I woke up one night this week realizing that the gold within me is shining.  I sense the outpouring of God’s Love and Mercy. 

Until next week, I send you thoughts of Love and Peace.

Kris

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Week 20 – Where is the Kingdom of Heaven?

Today I begin this post with descriptions of two separate observations.

kingdom of heaven

Last Sunday I was walking toward the altar in line to take Communion.  At my church there is always two lines, I was on the left line.  As I accepted the “bread” from the priest directly on my right was a very young boy under the age of 2 years with matching green sweater and pants.  This little boy approached the priest with hands folded.

boy praying

 In that brief moment I saw a yellow aura glowing round about the little child.  The priest ( who must seem like a giant to this little guy), bend down, placed his hand on top and his head and gave him a prayer of blessing.  All of us “giants” stood silently and reverently in silence and awe.  This moment has brought me joy over and over again this week, because GOD, the omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent Creator  was indeed present within this moment.

spirtual power from god

What a beautiful gift we received.

The second observation occurred after mass.  There was a elderly couple sitting in the far, front pews.  The woman’s facial features indicated that she had no teeth in her mouth.  She may have had limiting eyesight, as well.  Next to her was her large elderly husband.  His posture was stooped.  No erectness  in carriage seen here.  His face lacked emotion. In fact, it was flat.  I didn’t see this gentleman give eye contact to any one during or after mass.   As I saw this couple later walking, they both shuffled and walked slowly.  The gentleman was holding the woman’s hand.  This couple looked like they had been beaten down by life.  Sadness swelled up within me.

imagesWas the Kingdom of Heaven in this moment?

kingdom of heaven in your heart

I shout from the mountain top– YES, because as I described the elder man was holding the hand of the woman.  A sign of Love and Compassion in a very brief moment.  Yes, indeed God was present!  The couple I fear, may have been a aware of it (remember these are observations not opinions!).

In part twenty Haanel writes:  We can fail to recognize this world within, and so exclude it from our consciousness, but it will still be the basic fact of all existence; and when we learn to recognize it, not only in ourselves, but in all persons, events, and things and circumstances we shall have found the “Kingdom of Heaven”  which we are told is “within” us. 

Two very simple momentary observations captures for me the lessons found here within part twenty.   Our thoughts are indeed the seat of our habits.  Disastrous thoughts lead to a conditions which breed unhappiness, lack, limitation, disease, poverty and discord.   Empowering thoughts, on the other hand, lead to a life rich in happiness, wealth and health!  Thinking, sitting and concentration upon that which we seek, is  indeed the Key to Heaven!

the key to the kingdom of heaven

When you begin to perceive that the essence of the Universal is within yourself-is you-you begin to do things; you begin to feel your power; it is the fuel which fires the imagination; which lights the torch of inspiration; which gives vitality to thought; which enables you to connect with all the invisible forces of the Universe.  It is this power which will enable you to plan fearlessly, to execute masterfully. (Charles Haanel)

Week 19 – The Vital Force

i am the shift

We, within the Master Key System course, were charged within these past two weeks to watch several movies.   The subject of this blog will  be a reflection upon the film, I AM.  

This non-fiction documentary is not only engaging but a transformative film that begins by posing two questions:  “what’s wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better?”

The creative force behind the inquiry is a leading Hollywood director — Tom Shadyac.  Maybe you haven’t heard of him, but I am sure you have heard of these great comedies:  Liar, Liar; Patch Adams, Ace Ventura Pet Detective; Bruce Almighty, and The Nutty Professor.  Shadyac was the creative force behind these hilarious films!   These films afforded Tom with all the Hollywood symbols – glamorous and extravagant jets, cars, mansions, vacations, exotic antiques, but he realized that having more was definitely less.jim carey 

Shadyac remarked; “Much to my surprise, the accumulation of material wealth was a neutral phenomenon, neither good or bad, and certainly did not buy happiness.”  He begins the process of down sizing and works at building a simpler, more responsible life. Until…. a cycling accident. 

downsizing

In  I AM.  Tom steps in front of the camera to share what happened to him after the severe cycling accident, which left him incapacitated, isolated and in pain for many months.  During this ordeal Shadyac comes to a point welcoming death as a release.  It is at this junction point that he confronts the end of life  issues and the seed I AM is born.  

Miraculously Tom’s symptoms recede and he is able to begin traveling again.  With a small film crew Tom sets out to interview the great minds in the 21st century, scientists, philosophers, religious, historians, and academia.  Initially he looks for the answers to the questions about what is wrong with the world, but actually discovers what is right with the world.

I so thoroughly enthralled with this film;  in fact, there were four points that resonated within me.  Do let me explain.

First and foremost Shadyac shares with us the viewer a discovery that it may be the heartthe heart

rather than the brain that is man’s primary organ of intelligence,  and that human consciousness and emotions can actually impact the physical world.   I enjoyed Shadyac’s humor by illustrating this point  using something as simple as a bowl of yogurt!

yogurt

Shadyac also highlights his revelation that science in the 21st century is discovering evidence about our hardwiring for connection and kindness from the Vagus nerve which release oxytocin at simply witnessing an act of compassion or kindness.  In addition, science identifies that mirror neuron causes us to literally feel another person’s pain.  This last statement takes my breath away.  Hmm… What I feel is really scientifically validated, after all!vagus nerve

I do think for me, at least, the most significant point I gathered from I AM  follows:  Shadyace reveals through the documentary what science tells us is one of the truths of the universe, as rather simple, but significant message.  We are all connected to each other and to everything around us.  There within us is a connection and unity to smallest ant and the gigantic elephant!  We are  even connected to every tree, every flower, every blade of grass!  

Taiwan trip 002

You and I are connected.  From this I gain a sense of wonderment and awe.  There within each of us we are united.   Through out this week, I have intensely read the following from Charles Haanel:

“And so it is with vital force.  Although we do now know what it is, and possibly may never know, we do know that it is a primary force which magnifies itself through living bodies, and that by  complying with the laws and principles by which it is governed, we can open ourselves to a more abundant inflow of this vital energy, and thus express the highest possible degree of mental, moral and spiritual efficiency.”

In this day and age of massive disconnect with modern technology of i pads, i tablets, i phones and smart phones,  there exists within all of us an invisible thread connecting one to another.  I am grateful to this vital force, this energy, this Infinite Wisdom, this Universal Mind, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent Creator, God.  I remain committed to sharing this message.  I pray you dear reader do too!

desmond tutu humanity quote 

Week 18 – Happiness and the Hero’s Journey

hero's journey call

Through out the journey of the Master Key System, Mark, Davene, Heather and Trish have emphasized again and again  the hero’s journey.    You may be asking yourself, “what is the hero’s journey?”    Joseph Campbell  studied over 4000 years of mythology from every corner of the world.   It was he who identified the hero’s journey.   Though the settings, the characters and outcomes were all different, there within each narrative was a  common thread connecting  each story.  Interestingly enough, the threads that connected one story to an another is actually the story of  our human experience, the stories of our past, the stories of our present and the stories that will evolve tomorrow.   The heroes are near and far.  The heroes are next door.  Want some classic examples?  Watch:  Harry Potter, Star Wars or The Wizard of Oz.

Campbell identified “…  the hero as one who ventures forth from the world of common days into a region of supernatural wonder:  fabulous forces are encountered and decisive victory is won:  the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with power to bestow boons on fellow man.”    The hero  sacrifices something of himself to a cause greater than himself.   Because this description of the hero’s journey is from Wikipedia, I got the dictionary out as I had never heard of the word, “boon” before.   “Boon” is defined as  a benefit bestowed especially in response to a request; a timely blessing, benefit.  Hmm.. interesting.

I am awakening to the hero that lies within me.   I have pondered the question proposed by Mark; “What am I pretending not to know?”  When I first heard this I stopped dead in my tracks.  Then I sat and thought about the answer to this question for a day or two. What has troubled me  all along was the my lack of happiness.  Why am I unhappy.  I knew intellectually that no possession, no place, no experience, no perfect job,  no one person could  ever make me feel happy.  Yet, here I was playing tricks with my mind and saying to myself; “… Kris you can be happy once you achieve your pin level, once you achieve your goal of six more buildings..”  Who was I kidding? …only myself!    No more do I give in to this faulty way of thinking.  I give myself permission to let go!  (Trish, if you are reading this thank YOU for sharing your story as it WAS my story!)

This week has been rather exhilarating.  To get happiness, you have to give happiness, right???!!!.  So every encounter has genuinely been one of happiness.  Amazing thing, I would end each conversation with the bank teller, the grocery store clerk, a tenant – BE HAPPY!  I have watched people’s facial expressions turn to zeal, joy and enthusiasm.  Pretty incredible….

This morning I was interviewing a prospective individual to be a tenant in one of my rental units.  I was so impressed with the sparkle in her eye, the smile on her face, the erectness in her posture, the stride in her walk.  Rosemary was a happy woman.  Here was happiness greeting me on a sunny, bitter, cold day!  How lovely…  We talked for a long while, and I learned that she was a costume designer and seamstress for the Contemporary Arts Center within our city.  Right here in front of me stood a woman who was following her bliss, living her dream, doing was she loved to do.  It was an instant connection.

walt whitman and john burroughs

 John Burroughs once wrote; ..” blessed is the [wo]man who has some congenial work, some occupation in which he can put his heart, and which affords a complete outlet to all the forces there are in him.”

john burroughs with children

happiness, purpose quote

Like so many others who lived the good life, Burroughs felt in later years the need to share his philosophy with others, to pass on his secret of happiness.  “Keep the currents moving,” he urged.  “Don’t let life stagnate.”  Today he is perhaps as well remembered for his reflections on happiness as his for his poems and essays.   Many, many years ago I came across this book, LIGHT FROM MANY LAMPS, copy right 1951.  This is a treasured book in my library.  Time and Time again I have referred to it. This paragraph is a reference once again to this lovely book that has worn thin on my shelf from much use.    The most fitting quote to conclude this week’s blog post is this:  “The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”  (Joseph Addison)   

Until next week, Be Happy!

Kris

P.S.  Thank you Rosemary for the inspiration for my blog post!