Precious Treasure – Metta Teachings

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Karma means we have had many former lives and many more will follow. Each lifetime could well see us born into an entirely different culture, and if the culture is evolved, then it can serve us by helping us to develop our own evolution to become a free being, rather than dominating us to produce or die for the culture itself. Unfortunately, this dark age goes against the grain, and has mostg of the planet striving for all the wrong ideals. We see ourselves as hopelessly lost in a world that is constantly urging us to worship only money and power.

Human life itself is a precious treasure. The metaphor of the Buddhist sutras is that the human embodiment, especially with all wits intact, and especially in a country where there’s a teaching and the idea that evolutionary liberation is possible, then such a life is the precious jewel of the human embodiment. And the Buddha said, if you lose through suicide your precious human life, endowed with liberty and opportunity, that precious jewel that you have now, it’s like throwing a jewel in the trash.

And, to get it back, to work your way back through generosity, morality, patience, wisdom, meditation, to achieve these virtues and come back to be a human, will be as likely as if the old turtle, (who lives in the great ocean and surfaces once every hundred years,) were to surface and put his neck through the hole in a golden yoke that just happens to be floating in the ocean. So, what a treasure it is to have a human life.

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There is the idea that there are treasures everywhere if we had the wisdom to see. There’s the story about the great adept Padma Sambhava in one of his biographies. Someone gave him a bag of gold dust. He took the bag and scattered it to the wind, and the person was really shocked because he had spent a long time collecting this – it was his offering. Then Padma Sambhava snapped his fingers and shared his vision for a moment with that person: they perceived all of the mountains and sky and everything as solid gold, they saw that there was no difference between the earth itself and the gold.

Enlightened vision sees everything as a treasure anyway, and the only thing that makes us not see everything that way is our ignorant self-obsession which makes us feel that the universe is an alien thing, separated from us, that we’re against it and we must conquer it. By this way of thinking, we are fighting a losing battle with the universe. That’s the notion of ignorance in Buddhism. And the ignorance is what makes us unable to find the hidden treasure right in our own cells, right in our own atoms, right in our own brains…

-Robert Thurman