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Lions Roar : May 2009
SHAMBHALA SUN MAy 2009 17 because it leads to happiness and success. Garbage is a metaphor for our discursive mind, which lacks trust and confidence in the source of true happiness, loving-kindness and compassion. When we first get a glimpse of the wish-fulfilling jewel, we might not believe that it is with us all along, so we embark on a spiritual journey in search of it. Some people feel that they can find the wish-fulfilling jewel only by going into some kind of deep meditation retreat; others think they can find it by going to India or Tibet. But when they get there—in addition to getting a stomach ache, jetlag, and everything else—they wake up to the fact that they could have just as easily found the jewel back home. It isn’t necessary to travel to exotic places in order to find our true heart. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing—walk- ing down the street or washing dishes—our precious jewel of a mind is there to be discovered. When we know our own compas- sion, we can rely on it to accomplish our wishes. We have the wisdom to remember the source of true happiness and live our lives accordingly. Compassion is the best way to lead life fully, not just in terms of the spiritual, but also the mundane. Yet some of us seem to think that we can’t practice compassion between Monday and Friday, or that acting compassionately just doesn’t accord with reality. Maybe we have thoughts of compassion, but we’re not able to live up to them. So another necessary element is courage. The Jewel You Carry With You Even beyond diamonds and rubies, the most valuable gem is the compassionate, loving nature of your own being. Sakyong MiphaM on uncovering this treasure. One OF MY FavOrITe TexTS is an ancient instruction given by a high lama to the prince of Dege, a kingdom in eastern Tibet. The lama told the prince, who was about to become ruler of the huge kingdom, “In order to become successful in this world, you need three qualities: wisdom, compassion, and courage. These three will lead to a successful, happy, and fulfilled life.” The first quality, wisdom, means knowing what brings true happiness. Most of us go through life being fooled. The Tibetan word for “fool” means someone who keeps doing the same thing again and again, expecting a different result each time. Because fools don’t know how happiness really comes about, they’re al- ways chasing after happiness thinking that it depends on other people or things like food and clothing. a wise individual, in contrast, knows how to move forward instead of in circles, be- cause he or she knows the true source of happiness: the mind. In one of the most beautiful Buddhist poems, the great Indian teacher Shantideva compares the true nature of our mind to an incredibly large jewel lying in a heap of garbage we walk past every day. This is the jewel of bodhichitta— the compassionate and lov- ing nature of our own being. It is called the wish-fulfilling jewel phOTOBYJaMeSWaInWrIGhTWWW.GaruDaTraDInG.COM Sakyong MiphaM Rinpoche is the spiritual leader of Shambhala, an international network of Buddhist meditation and retreat centers. he is the author of Turning the Mind into an ally and ruling Your World.