Mirror in a Treasure Box
Once upon a time, there was a very poor man who owed lot of debts to others. One day, he fled to a deserted field and found a box there. Upon opening the box, he was so excited to discover that it was filled with gold and silver jewels along with a mirror inside. When he started to fetch those jewels, he was shocked and scared to see the portrait of a person in the mirror, witnessing him stealing these treasures. He said to the person in the mirror: "I thought this was an empty box and didn't expect you to be here, so please don't be offended." Then he ran away quickly without taking any of the jewels.
Laymen who encounter Dharma in their lives are like the poor who find the treasure box. While reaching out to learn from the treasure of Dharma, one’s ego often arises and distract the practitioner from focusing on the goal of liberation from rebirth. Due to inverted thoughts, sentient beings failed to let go of the notion of self-attachment. This will deviate the practitioner from all good deeds, merit, and retribution, just like the parable of the poor man abandoning the treasure box, while frightened by his own image in the mirror. We should learn to be humble and not to focus on our own interests. This way we could let go of our attachments and live a happy life and be at ease.