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One of my favorite parables is about a group of monks who moved a giant clay Buddha statue from their temple to a new location in 1957.  When the crane lifted the massive idol, the weight was so tremendous that the Buddha appeared to crack.  The head monk was very concerned about damaging the sacred Buddha, so he 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, he went to check on the Buddha statue.  When he shined his flashlight under the tarp, the monk noticed a gleam of light shining through a crack in the clay.  As he took a closer look, he wondered if there might be something underneath the clay.  With chisels and hammers, the monks began to carefully chip away at the thick clay.  As they chiseled off pieces of clay, the little gleam grew bigger and brighter.  After many hours of chiseling, the monks stepped back and stared in awe at the sight of a solid golden Buddha.

Several hundred years earlier, Thai monks had covered their precious golden Buddha with clay in order to keep it from being looted by the Burmese army.  All of the monks were killed in an ensuing battle, but their well-kept secret of the golden Buddha had remained intact.

This story is dear to my heart, because it reminds us that underneath our thick shells there is a beautiful and magnificent Golden Buddha just waiting to be discovered and celebrated.  As we go through our lives, we unconsciously add to our protective shells, applying more layers of armor with our limited beliefs, superior ego, patterns, and life experiences, masking our shadows and continuing to endure a lifetime of suffering.

Piece by piece, you can unveil the real treasure that lies beneath your outer shell.  With faith, courage and diligence, you have the power to chip away at the layers of clay that are imprisoning your true essence, your beauty, and your worth, freeing your radiant soul to shine bright and be seen.

AFFIRMATION OF THE WEEK:  You can try many ways to  get rid of the darkness, but  none is as effective as simply increasing the light.