When I Came Face To Face With Buddha…
When I Came Face To Face With Buddha…
I vividly recall as a young child in school reading a picture book which depicted people who were upset and crying, and a young prince who was walking away. The prince, Siddhartha Gautama, lead a sheltered and comfortable life; a stark contrast to the intense pain of other people that he saw, which made him yearn to know why the suffering existed in the first place. He followed his deepest calling to surrender the materialistic world in order to find the meaning of life, and to discover the path to possibly eradicate suffering and problems. Siddhartha’s journey of meditation and inner insights would lead him on a path to become the Buddha. This was my first experience of learning about the Enlightened One, which left a deep impression in my young mind.
I was so intensely moved by the story, for as children, we all dream of being the son or daughter of a king and queen; and here was Siddhartha, who was handed every worldly desire on silver platter, but he walked away from it. A would-be king gave it all up to pursue the true meaning in life, for he recognized that his true path lay inward, not outward; and he thus became a leader by following his unique path in life.
Having been so touched by Siddhartha’s story, I felt honoured when I was selected to perform the role of Gautam Buddha in a school performance. I still remember feeling very excited while I was being dressed and prepared as Buddha, being covered with gold paint, and sitting in a statue post for over 6 hours. I wasn’t the least concerned about sitting still for so long- a feat which I now consider rather remarkable, as my monkey mind was a lot quieter in those days!
After that, I continued to learn more stories about Buddha in school. Coincidentally, my sister was born on the eve of Buddha Purnima, so our family would always refer to her as “the Golden One”. Dad even took us to visit Bodh Gaya, a prominent Buddhist pilgrimage site in the state of Bihar, where I sat amongst the peepal trees. It was such a serene experience, to be sitting on the ground with my back again the trees, as I imagined what it would be like to sit in meditation and experience a deep state of tranquility.
Although I had been introduced to Buddha, I never had a truly personal connection with him until later in my adult life when I visited the Wat Pho Temple in Bangkok and came face to face with the Reclining Buddha. The sheer size and grandeur of the golden statue was overwhelming in its intensity. As I stood in front of his face, I could very literally feel him gaze into my soul, and that’s when I knew that my own personal connection with Buddha had begun. I felt immensely at peace, which inspired me to listen to Buddhist chants and visit temples. Through my travels, I discovered one of my favourite chants, Om Mane Padme Hum, which inspired me to write a poem of the same title. I am delighted to share it with you here:
Looking back, I realize how much I personally resonate with the story of Buddha when he was still a young prince. Having a very comfortable childhood and then a successful corporate career, I literally walked away from it all in search of real meaning and true inner peace in my life. As a result, I felt inspired to share my learnings with others after receiving my own personal insights and put together a free booklet on how to create inner peace and harmony through detachment by cutting the ties the bind.
As I connected more with my new level of deep calmness, I came to the realization that the golden key to achieving profound inner peace is detachment. Detachment helped me to put things in focus and free myself from unnecessary burdens and problems that held me back, thus allowing me to feel more peace and become more calm and loving.
To help you attain more inner peace in your life, I have created a free guided meditation below (click on the orange play button below) as my gift to you on the eve of Buddha’s birthday (and my sister’s birthday!). I wish you a very blessed Buddha Purnima, and may you experience true inner peace!
Download the meditation here – https://soundcloud.com/rangana-rupavi-choudhuri/inner-peace-meditation
Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD)
About the author: Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD) is a dynamic international speaker and trainer. She loves being able to share alternate therapy and coaching skills that enable real and rapid transformations. With a PhD in Cancer Research and her background in running a multi-billion dollar international business, she is currently the Founder of Vitality Living College.
Learn more about Vitality Living College: http://vitalitylivingcollege.info/about-us/
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(Image credits: www.sacredgemsca.tumblr.com, www.crystallinks.com, www.buddhistpage.com, www.richard-seaman.com)