Wat Pho

how to recline with ease

Aside Posted on Updated on

buddhaLearning to let go and just Be sounds easy. As a westerner I gravitate to the idea of sitting quietly to contemplate great Truths. I see myself practising Dharma, back against an ancient tree, toes buried in the soft soil, my mind freeing itself from ignorance, attachment and anger.

But I share the Western scourge, a nagging culturally-programmed little voice that has the propensity to demand action rather than rest. To Do rather than Be.

It was on a busy tour of Thailand that I was profoundly impacted with the beneficial implications of mastering the latter.

Wat Pho, or Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is home to a 46 metre long, gold-leaf plated Buddha that oozes beauty, peace and serenity… even though the Buddha is surrounded by hoards of tourists and locals, chattering non-stop and infringing on her space. This may be a sculpture, but the artists have captured an essence that permeates the atmosphere as if the Buddha was truely alive.

In her presence I was reminded that inner serenity is possible, even in the midst of chaos. That the cliche “beauty emanates from within” is based on truth. That how I walk and position my body, particularly when others are around, says much about what’s happening on the inside.

I felt her lesson is to master the art of reclining with ease, amid whatever circumstance I may find myself. To hold love in my heart, and by a natural sequence, emanate love to those around me. To practice purity of thought, to rest and project my mind outwards in search of deep Truths. And ultimately to recline, into a state of blissful Being.