I can’t think of a more unlikely place to hear someone share a Zen parable than in the middle of a Peloton spin cycle class! At least, I couldn’t until yesterday when Denis Morton (@DenisMortonPeloton on Facebook, denis__morton on Instagram) shared the story of the Golden Buddha.
Now, I have to admit, I’ve been exposed to more than my share of Zen parables and unlikely philosophical conversations. But the majority of them took place at the shop with me acting as the moderator. This one took place after a ten-minute warmup ride, toward the beginning of a thirty-minute Reset ride. Not exactly where you would expect a Peloton instructor to share something like that. And, yet…
If you can get past all the supplemental questions that immediately come to mind, the most important question is probably why? Why bring it up? I believe the answer goes to the heart of self-help and personal development. Here’s what Denis had to share.
Before anyone can remember, in a land lost deep in an Asian jungle, there was a Golden Buddha. Large and glorious in every respect. When word came that a neighboring country was about to invade the Monk’s and the surrounding villagers decided to hide the Buddha under a layer of mud and rock for fear it would be plundered.
They were successful. The invading army ignored what appeared to be the large earthen Buddha as they continued on their journey of conquest. They occupied the land for so long the memory of the Golden Buddha was lost. Lost until a Monk sitting at the foot of the Buddha dropped his water gourd and chipped a chunk of the mud off revealing what was hidden below.
Ultimately, the entire village came to chip away at the veneer covering the precious statue, uncovering the treasure that had been hidden for so long. The metaphor was clear. Each of us is born a Golden Buddha—knowing everything. Perfect in every way.
As we grow. As we are taught. Layer upon layer of mud and stone is cast upon each of us obscuring the treasure each of us has to offer the world. Until, sadly, we begin to see ourselves as the Stone Buddha, plain and ordinary. Not as we are, or truly could be.
We don’t have to wait for the gold to reveal itself. Each of us can begin the process of searching for the treasure that is rightfully ours. A treasure hid in plain sight.
How many layers of mud and stone obscure who you are or could be? What must you do to free yourself? That was the message Denis Morton had to share. A message I now share with you.Denis MortonGolden Buddhahidden treasurePelotonZen Parable