The Three TreasuresBy: Laura
According to Eastern tradition there are
three treasures on the pathway to enlightenment: simplicity, patience and
compassion. At first glance, such simple ideas. Yet after contemplation one
easily recognizes: it’s these basic thoughts, when woven into our day, that can
lead each of us to a contemplative, peaceful and more fulfilling life.
In this short article then, I invite you to take a page from Eastern
religion: explore the three treasures and become aware of your relationship to
The first treasure: simplicity. Simplicity in
thought and action. According to author Thomas Cleary in his translation of
Taoist Meditation, simplicity leads the seeker on the Way. Simplicity of
thought, he tells us, can often be brought about by silence. And in the
silence, we gain personal wisdom. If finding 10 or 20 minutes each day to rest
quietly or meditate could bring you closer to peace, would you be more
conscientious in devoting this time?
Simplicity of action, however, feels
a greater challenge. It involves priorities and discovering what is truly
important. Here’s how I personally handle this: When I feel overwhelmed by my
“to-do list” I create a game by challenging myself to let go of everything I
can do without. Then, I remove as many things as I can from my list. What I am
left with are those items of greatest importance. I devote as much time
necessary to completing each task with joy and precision.
now. What can you remove from the task list today that could bring you closer to
your life? What will you place your attention on?
Treasure number two: patience. Yes, the virtue. And just like
simplicity, it is also a challenge to move slowly through tasks until they
have been completed or to remain calm when dealing with someone outrageous.
I’ve found that we are often mirror images of others and attract to us parts of
ourselves. This is important to note as it could manifest positive or negative
events, depending on mindset. In this light, Inalya Vanzant reminds us to keep
thoughts pure. She tells us to remind ourselves: "I will gain more
understanding when I realize... how I interpret what comes at me is a reflection
of what is in me." When faced with a situation requiring patience ask yourself: Am I casting a positive
In this framework, more of my favorite wisdom comes
from author Richard Carlson in his new book: Easier Than You Think. In it he
explains, when we are with someone, we should make every effort to pay expert
attention to that person. This engages them and often can diffuse a stressful
situation by simply making them feel important. With this in mind, the next
time you engage in conversation or even a casual chat with someone: ask yourself if you are creating a
role model's image.
Compassion, the third treasure.
I often liken it to empathy. Although we cannot always know directly what it is
like to be another, we can value everyone’s need to be heard. Conflict or anger
is often a cry for help. We simply need to be aware of our circumstances in
effort to create compassion in our lives. We will be called to help others as
we become more enlightened vessels of peace. Events will come to us as a
reflection of what we need to heal in ourselves.
Thomas Cleary reminds
us we should always act in sincerity. In Taoist Meditation he writes: “to
choose what is good and hold onto it firmly is a matter of sincerity.”
Compassion, as well, challenges us to define what is most important to us; a
reoccurring theme throughout the three treasures. To me, this involves being
awake and aware in our lives to see the ways in which we are available to give
sincerity and service.
Today, be aware of the ways spirit is working
through you. Remember: You are the vessel of peace for others and the world. I
believe, the more we become vulnerable to trust and open ourselves to
sincerity, the more we can allow compassionate behavior into our lives and
become enlightened each and every day.
It is my
wish these positive ideas enhance your life and bring you peace. Be
conscious every day of the messages you are receiving, the people you meet, your
experiences. It is amazing the way these simple ideas can enrich your life exponentially. Go forth
then, and be aware. Place your attention on the three
treasures: in the darkness they will bring you light.
About the Author: Laura M. Turner is a
15-year veteran fitness instructor, fitness trainer and natural health
practitioner. She hosts www.body-and-beauty.com a website dedicated
to inspiring and educating others about the benefits of creativity, natural
health and fitness. Check out Laura's latest book Spiritual Fitness: The
Living Well or subscribe FREE to her online magazine The New Body News
and Wellness Letter: www.new-body-news.com