Treasure Again

by Bob Schwartz


How could I know
When I first read this treasure
How I would wander away
This way and that.
Make no mistake that others
Had value
Like other food that feeds well
Medicine that soothes ills.
But all along there it stood
Waiting for me to look again
And see its simplicity.
No time wasted
Here it is.

It is easier than we might think to lose track of things that once inspired us, the way a match is lost once we use it to light a fire.

This verse refers to my turning back to the Dhammapada. It is the brief, most basic, and most widely-read collection of wisdom from the Buddha, whose recollected discourses fill volumes. Depending on which Buddhist trails you follow, just as with Jewish, Christian, Muslim, etc. trails, you will have read and heard plenty of excellent teaching from plenty of excellent teachers along the way. But there is something extraordinary about revisiting the first thing seen, the first coin from the treasure, which for many on the Buddhist way is The Dhammapada.

If you are curious to explore the Dhammapada, try this translation by Thomas Byrom or this one by Gil Fronsdal, both from Shambhala Publications.