Monday, April 25, 2011

Stepping back onto the path

Now that Lent has passed, I've decided it's time to shift focus back to Buddhism for a bit.  It's partly, I think, a resistance to (or distaste for) the high drama of Holy Week.

Not that I don't find meaning and symbolism there, but Christianity for me is no longer about the death and resurrection of Jesus; it's about the steadiness of his teachings; that consistent message that the Kingdom of Heaven is here, and now.  So a shift to Buddhism is a way of getting back to that central message, a way of stepping back onto the path that feels most central for me.

So I'm re-reading -- at least, until something convinces me otherwise -- Jack Kornfield's classic, The Wise Heart.  And already, just a few pages in, I am feeling calmer, more centered -- and hearing echoes of Desmond Tutu's Made for Goodness.  Kornfield is telling the story of the giant clay buddha statue -- ancient and revered -- that cracked to reveal "one of the largest and most luminous gold images of Buddha ever created in Southeast Asia.... this shining work of art had been covered in plaster and clay to protect it during times of conflict and unrest.  In much the same way, each of us has encountered threatening situations that lead us to cover our innate nobility.  

Just as the people of Sukotai had forgotten about the golden Buddha, we too have forgotten our essential nature.  Much of the time we operate from the protective layer.  The primary aim of Buddhist psychology is to help us see beneath this armoring and bring out our original goodness, called our Buddha nature."

That's the path, I think -- at least the one that lures me today: I want it to lead me to my original goodness, my Buddha nature: the me I was born to be, so that I can also see and honor the you that you were born to be.

And as I look at this image I created yesterday, I'm amused to see that blush of gold at the end of this long walkway -- must be that golden Buddha nature!  It looks a bit far away at the moment, but I suspect the path is shorter than it looks; it's all a matter of perspective.  However far away it is -- I'm looking forward to the journey.


Louise Gallagher said...

How lovely is your Buddha nature and the gold that resonates from your heart.


Susan Richmond said...

I just love the images you have been working on these last few weeks. This one with it's love entrance especially spoke to me.

Diane Walker said...

Thanks so much!