Several years ago I was fortunate enough to attend a three day workshop presented by Dan Siegel, MD at Kripalu Center in Massachusetts. In case you haven’t heard of him, Dan Siegel is a psychiatrist, author and preeminent researcher in the field of interpersonal neurobiology. The workshop was on meditation and consciousness.
For three straight days he spoke extemporaneously to the group of 150 or so participants. He led us in a series of meditations to ever deepening layers of consciousness and awareness, and took questions from the group.
I found him to be amazingly articulate, intelligent, grounded and very available and inviting. At one point I had a question I wanted to ask. In all honesty I can no longer remember exactly what the question was. I do recall rehearsing it in my mind in preparation for standing up in the group and asking it.
But as I arose from my seat it in front of the large group, I was struck by a bit of stage fright and dissembled. I tacked a preamble onto my question, saying, “Well, I’m not the Buddha, but…”
He immediately interrupted me and said, “Don’t be so quick to say you’re not the Buddha!.”
It felt like a lightening bolt had gone off in my body and brain.
It was as if his words had pierced layers of unreality, denial, and illusion and traveled directly into the core place of my Buddha nature. By naming it so clearly, he allowed me to name it inside myself.
In that moment, I FELT my Buddha nature. And inside my mind, I said, “Oh, right.”
Some years earlier an intuitive counselor had cautioned me to watch how I gave away my personal power in my use of words. It was an astute warning and one that I had taken to heart. Siegel’s deftly offered interruption moved this knowing from the level of thought into one of bone deep awareness.
Time, as it is wont to do, moved forward. I recall that he expanded a little on his comment. I went on to ask my question which he answered, and then I sat down.
Yet ever since that moment, I have been able to locate this Buddha self inside of me. It is as if once having found it, I always know where it is. And I know the truth of it.
I am the Buddha. And so are you.
Can you feel the Buddha in you? Or are you denying it, discounting it, ignoring it, or otherwise not owning the reality of your Buddha self?
Don’t be so quick to say you’re not the Buddha.
Photo credit: NLewis via Flckr.