15 January 2012
THE INNER JEWEL
See the weary traveler;
How he suffers carrying everything he owns,
Ten years worth,
Twenty years worth,
Upset at how the years have gone.
And many have taken him in,
Offering him shelter from the constant storms.
But the storms are within him.
And in his anger, he can always find something wrong;
"The bed is too hard"
"They were not so kind"
"I am not welcome anywhere"
"This is not the truth I was meant to find".
One day he met a calm man
That in anger, he could not shake.
The men greeted each other with smiles and bows,
One in kindness, the other, fake.
"Would you take tea with me?", the calm man asked
"Yes thank you." the angry man replied.
So the man set off to make his tea
Leaving the angry man there for awhile.
And while he waited, his anger grew,
Harsh and loud like a storm of the sea.
He thought long about how rude his host was
For keeping him waiting,
And what he would say when he returned;
How he would show him humility.
Hours past and day became night
Finally the calm man returned with just one cup of tea.
"This is the best tea from my village." he said,
"We serve it for only most honored guests.
It takes a very long time to brew
because we can only pick and steep the leaves
when the leaves are just right."
The angry man sat staring at the beautiful tea cup
and the hot tea steaming inside
In it, he could see the many people picking the leaves.
He could hear their prayers and chants,
He could see their smiles,
How heavy their burdens were,
And yet, how light their lives seemed.
He looked deeper and could see the earth blossoming
The simply beauty of both flowers and trees.
At the bottom of the cup there was a single tea leaf
Rolled up like a pearl
"You left something in my tea." he said quietly.
The calm man smiled and touched the mans hands.
"Many decorate themselves with jewels." he said,
"But the grandest most beautiful jewel of all, is within.
Hidden beneath our fragility,
Hidden far beyond our every day sight,
Buried in the places we'd rather not go,
Beneath all the hurt we'd rather deny,
So in our tea, the curled green leaf is a reminder
to cultivate the inner jewels that cannot be seen."
"Then why did you offer it to me?" the angry man asked,
"I am not worthy of such things.
I hate and rage, am ungrateful and unkind.
I am a foolish man, foolish, cruel and blind.
I have hurt more than I have helped,
and have left so many feeling angry and used.
Why give me such a gift?
Why share with me this "precious jewel"?
"Every being is worthy.
Every being has such worth inside,
No matter how deep they bury it,
No matter how hard it is to find,
We offer only what we have to give
And ask nothing of you in return.
Drink the tea my friend,
May we all work with joy to cultivate and share
the very best of ourselves
We cannot always stop the storms,
But we can always learn to act in love, not abuse."
By Jenifer Edwards