A Ha! Not Looking For Buddha

You Can’t Hurry Love, No You Just Have to Wait

“Namaste,” we greet each other. The light in me sees the light in you. I’ve loved this, conceptually, since my first introduction to it years ago. I imagine all sorts of lovely images when I say it; beautiful curly tendrils of warm sunshine emanating from my core, reaching out to meld with your golden curly tendrils. My lovely baby Buddha, shiny and golden, seated atop his purple cushion, waving furiously in greeting at your baby Buddha. I love the idea that we are looking past each other’s frayed yoga pants and sweaty tank tops and saluting that special thing within.

Lately though, my baby Buddha has not been working or playing well with others. My life is a bit chaotic. When things get off kilter for me, I cannot help but imagine that my baby Buddha is grumpy, arms crossed, pouting. Definitely not waving at anyone, he might even have stuck his tongue out at someone this morning. In fact, I think he’s gotten off his cushion all together and has gone in search of serious mischief.

Lost: One Grumpy Mr. Sunshine

When this happens it can be a challenge to lure him back. I’m never totally sure why he’s run off in the first place, though I imagine it is because I didn’t give him something he needed. I struggle a bit with the “care and feeding” of my baby Buddha. I go along fine, giving him love, letting him give me and others love, embracing our moments together, keeping my desire to control things at bay, and he, in return, helps me take things as they come, helps me appreciate what I have, who I am, and what I do.

Invariably, however, I forget to appreciate him, or I accidentally back over him with my ego. He usually gives me a few chances to straighten up and fly right, but if I don’t settle down and spend some quality time with him, he stomps off and I am left sorry, sad, scared and lonely without him. My inner light dims, indicating baby Buddha has gone AWOL and immediately those familiar vultures, Doubt and Worry begin to circle. I know they would just love to dig their talons into his fat, fleshy little thighs. They would make short order of him if they could only find him.

FYI: Cranky Pants Buddha Doesn’t Eat Chocolate

Much like there is no perfect recipe for his feeding, there is no exact road map to locate him once he’s gone missing. I will tell you though, just in case you’re ever faced with this situation, that he is never successfully lured with chocolate or wine, or overindulgence of any sort. Neither is he lured by foot stomping, teeth gnashing, swearing or any other pig-headed behavior.

The trick seems to be not looking for him at all. Much like hunting for rainbows would be pointless and frustrating, because they always come only when the conditions are right. I must find him without looking. So, I set about tidying up his space. I open the windows in his little temple, and let in fresh air. I sweep out the cobwebs that have accumulated in the corners and I fluff the dust off of his cushion. I must focus completely on this work, without a thought or care for his return. I must let go of the anxiety, and the worry that he has abandoned me forever, once and for all. I must embrace the love I feel for him and for myself and let go of all doubt.

Found: Mr. Spacious is a little sneaky, too

It’s no fair to peek and see if he’s hiding just outside the door. It never works. Only when I truly let go of the desire to know when he’s coming back can I look around, know that I have tidied as best I can, and trust myself to walk away.

When I can do this, he comes back. He takes his sweet time, occasionally, but he always returns.

Sometimes I actually get to see him come back, running across the room with his impish grin, clutching his robes so that he won’t trip, leaping the last few steps and hurling himself onto his throne, giggling madly.

But sometimes I don’t see him come back, and it isn’t until I have another opportunity to salute someone else’s Buddha that I realize mine is already on his cushion, waving back. Namaste, little friend, welcome home.

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