Polishing beryl

Traditionally, the process of polishing beryl, a much-prized gem, consisted of three steps: first, the stone was immersed in saltwater and scoured with coarse cloth; then it was immersed in vinegar and scrubbed with woollen rags; and finally it was buffed with plain water and fine tissues. In the same way, our afflicted emotions and wrong views are removed gradually.  

First, we abandon gross wrongdoing (killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct, intoxication), which impede peace and clarity.  

The second step is the practice of virtue (generosity, morality, patience, effort, concentration, wisdom), which allows natural perfection to be glimpsed and affirmed.  

Finally, the most subtle obstructions are removed through stable calm abiding and profound insight. 

This is the essential formulation of the Buddha’s teaching:

Abandon wrongdoing. Practice virtue. Purify the mind.

About Tashi Nyima

I am a Dharma student, and aspire to be a companion on the path. I trust that these texts can offer a general approach and basic tools for practicing the Buddha's way to enlightenment. ||| Soy un estudiante del Dharma, y aspiro a ser un compañero en el sendero. Espero que estos textos ofrezcan a algunos un mapa general y herramientas básicas para la práctica del sendero a la iluminación que nos ofrece el Buda.
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3 Responses to Polishing beryl

  1. David Yeshe Green says:

    Beryl, according to some sources, is actually the ‘vaidurya’ referred to in the scriptures, especially with reference to the Medicine Buddha.

    I spent some time in Rajasthan and watched jewellers prepare, cut and poish gemstones.
    Each stone had qualities of brilliance and also flaws, and the skill of the jeweller was to kake the best of both.

    In the same way, the good Master will treat each student individually, with all their flaws and all their potential, and polish those potentials until the student is the very best they can be.

    However, a gemstone is inert, whilst a student is capable of examining their own talents, potentials and flaws and working with the master to become aglow with the light of the Dharma.

  2. Laura Plumb says:

    Love this. Thank you.

  3. Yue-han Su says:

    A vivid and useful analogy — thank you!

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