The Jewel

The old master taught beneath a great tree in the temple yard. One day a student said, Master, how may I know the truth when I see a thing differently than my friend?

The master told the students to imagine an emerald. He said to look at it closely and see the truth of it. After a few minutes he told the students to return from their contemplation and tell what they had seen.

The student who had asked the question said, I saw light moving within the beautiful deep green translucence of the jewel and remembered that there is light within the truth.

The next student said, The facets of the lustrous jewel reflected the light into different directions. Some of the rays were brighter and some were more subtle. So I received the insight that the jeweled path to enlightenment might not be without darkness, and it might set out in a direction other than what I had thought.

The next student said, I thought of the worth of the jewel and knew that beauty is of great value.

The next student said, I contemplated the great age of the jewel and was reminded that a thing that takes ages to come into being and endures for ages is also subject to impermanence and just as the mayfly must eventually cease to be.

The last student said, While contemplating the jewel I knew that truth is the greatest jewel of all.

The master replied to the students, You have all spoken truly. Now you see that more than one true thing may be spoken about whatever is perceived.