June 19, 2013

The Imperfections of the Buddha. ~ Sharon Cormier

You never know where you will find the Buddha.

I’m not speaking of the Buddha, but of an antique Buddha that I bought in a small shop in Key West. I was out bike riding with a friend when we passed by the shop and this Buddha statue was shining out at me from the window. It was an unexpected sight in Key West. I had to go back and look closer.

Sitting there amid a clutter of eclectic items was this serene golden Buddha, almost as if he were asking me to take him out of there, to recognize him and appreciate what he stood for. Leaning my bike against the window, I entered the shop.

It was dim after the harsh sunlight and I stood still for a moment, which seemed appropriate. After all, I was searching for a Buddha.

The owner, a soft spoken woman with a halo of reddish hair, came over and took the Buddha from the window. She told me the story of how he came to be in her shop. A wealthy resident of Key West in the 1950s traveled a great deal to Thailand and brought three of these Buddhas back. This was the last of the trio and it was over 150 years old. I held the small wooden statute, felt the age and agelessness of it—and I bought it.

I gently placed the wrapped package in the basket of the bike and we rode back. Once I was back in the condo, I released him from the bindings of paper and set him on the table. The small delicate features of a Thai Buddha were serene, the smile subtle. Then I noticed that the top of one ear was broken, that there was also a large groove on the side of the base.

He was imperfect, and even more beautiful because of those imperfections.

Photo by the author

I knew the Buddha, the real Buddha would be nodding in approval, maybe even laughing.

He knew that life was imperfect. That was what he spent his life telling all who would listen: life is imperfect, but there are ways to deal with it. There are ways to find stillness and peace in spite of all the imperfections.

That was why this Buddha had called to me. For the first time in many months I didn’t mind the long red scar on my face, the scar that saved my life.

I understood that this Buddha’s beauty was in his imperfection. My beauty is in my imperfections. Life is perfect as it is.

You never know where you will find the Buddha.




Sharon Cormier is a RYT 500 yoga teacher and teaches in Connecticut. She is the author of Where The Lotus Blooms: Finding Inner Peace through Mindfulness, Yoga and Meditation and co-author of AFGEs: A Guide to Self-Awareness and Change. You can email her at [email protected]


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