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Copper or Gold, Which do you prefer?

August 30, 2008

From Tricycle’s Daily Dhama mailing

I’m trying to avoid little snippets and quotes like this, preferring spontaneious personal insights or experiences. This one struck me however because, for a very long time, I chose to hold onto my bit of copper rather than seek the gold. Perhaps you will see something of yourself in it.

Return to the Origiin

In a dream you may stray and lose your way home. You ask someone to show you how to return or copper crystalsyou pray to God or Buddhas to help you, but still you can’t get home. Once you rouse yourself from your dream-state, however, you find that you are in your own bed and realize that the only way you could have gotten home was to awaken yourself. This [kind of spiritual awakening] is called “return to the origin” or “rebirth in paradise.” It is the kind of inner realization that can be achieved with some training. . . . You would be making a serious error, however, were you to assume that this was true enlightenment in which there is no doubt about the nature of reality. You would be like a man who having found copper gives up the desire for gold.

– Bassui Tokusho Zenji, “Dharma Talk on One Mind,” in Daily Sutras
from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

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