Lately, I've been thinking a lot about diamonds. I am a jeweler from long ago so these amazing stones have been in my consciousness for a long time. This last week, diamonds, and more specifically, diamond cutting, has taken on a whole other meaning.
A good friend turned me onto the book The Diamond Cutter, The Buddha On Managing Your Business and Your Life, by Geshe Michael Roach. This practical application of Buddhist philosophies to the world of business did a profound job of tying everything together that I believe in, and helped me find some diamonds of my own.
Raw diamonds look like nothing more than brownish or greenish pebbles. It takes a trained eye and a lot of knowledge and patience to know where to start cutting into the skin of the stone, and how to locate the biggest and clearest part of the diamond within the raw stone. Roach links this process to the concept of emptiness: a completely neutral substance (the diamond) could hide incredible value if the stone turns out flawless, or a sore disappointment if there are inclusions and coloration. The stone itself is empty of meaning; it is still the hardest and strongest mineral on earth.
When we approach any situation from a place of emptiness, the are a many different possibilities for outcomes. Since we tend to have a very limited capacity for emptiness in our lives, chances are we have already assigned a meaning to the situation (good or bad). This severely limits our current choices, and also sets us up for the same limitation for our future outcomes.
Here's my diamond from this principle: applying emptiness to any situation gives me the opportunity to track my automatic behaviors and the chance to consider whether the opposite behavior of my default reaction would be the better choice to set myself up for better future outcomes. Doing that has brought a lot of new sparkle to my life—there are more diamonds in your life than you think!!