“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free” Michaelangelo
After a particularly difficult yoga teacher training I vowed to never be part of that group again. So it was to my own surprise that I considered doing one more course with them years later. Why was it then that I had a change of heart? The reason is so astoundingly simple, the teacher taking the course was the one person that had come to me and shown me love, he had greeted me with a smile, and had talked and acted around me as if I was a Buddha in disguise. Nothing that had gone on during the week had affected his vision of me, to him I was worthy and noble and beautiful just like every other one of the participants.
We all have people in our life that have transmitted this to love to us. These are the ones who have stood by our side and loved us regardless of circumstance. This act of treating people like they are beautiful, and worthy is the first principle of Buddhist psychology. If we look at those around us as if they noble then we are likely to encourage them to feel and act that way also. If we take time out to see that bright side of people, rather than their misdoings then it can have a contagious effect. This is the purpose of the word Namaste. It means I see and honor what is holy in you. When we greet each other with this word we are saying we accept you as light, bright beautiful and noble.
Isn’t that what it is like when we fall in love? We see the perfection in that person. When we do it gets shone right back at us like a flashlight of love. However after some time we might start to see some cracks or flaws and stop seeing their beauty and nobility. We may start to get drawn into those imperfections, forgetting what it was we even liked about that person to start with.
Shifting our vision to see the Buddha within is a new way of living. Whatever someone is going through or however someone is acting or speaking, it asks us to go beyond the cracks or bumps and witness their underlying personal goodness. It encourages us to remember the wholeness and the love within that person.
Practice for this week: Choose someone in your home or workplace and view them with new eyes, eyes of respect and acknowledgement of the good within them. Go beyond the marble stony outer to the true beauty within.