The Gold is Right Here

"The basic notion of lojong is that we can make friends with what we reject, what we see as 'bad' in ourselves and in other people. At the same time, we could learn to be generous with what we cherish, what we see as 'good.' If we begin to live in this way, something in us that may have been buried for a long time begins to ripen. Traditionally, this 'something' is called bodhichitta, or 'awakened heart.' It's something that we already have but usually have not yet discovered.

It's as if we were poor, homeless, hungry, and cold, and although we didn't know it, right under the ground where we always slept was a pot of gold. That gold is bodhichitta. Our confusion and misery come from not knowing that the gold is right here--and from always looking somewhere else. When we talk about joy, enlightenment, waking up, or awakening bodhichitta, all that means is that we know the gold is right here, and we realize that it's been here all along."