A Most Precious Gem, Right Under Our Nose
Awareness is the essence of our existence. It is within our reach all the time, and yet most of us do not recognize that. A Tibetan legend tells of a poor family who lived in a mud hovel with a small firepit in the center, and a smoke hole through the thatched roof. Twigs and grasses were set in the gap among three flat rocks which were placed just far enough apart for one small pot to rest on top. One day a treasure hunter came to the village and went from door to door looking for bargains. The woman laughed when he showed up, explaining, “We are the poorest family and have nothing that would interest you.”Suddenly the man sprang from the doorway to the firepit, his eyes wide with surprise. He examined the rocks and told her, “Can’t you see? These rocks are laced with diamond crystals! I will sell them for you and you will be the richest people in the district.” He left with the precious gems, and several months later he returned with enough gold coins to turn the paupers into wealthy landowners. They had been rich all along but had not known it. Our awareness is our greatest treasure and we already have it, but we do not know it.
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
from In Love with the World, What a Monk Can Teach You About Living from Nearly Dying