Servants of Peace

ONE OF MY OLDEST STUDENTS, who has watched

this book develop over the years, asked me not so long ago:

'What in your heart of hearts do you really want to happen

through this book when it is published?" The image immediately

came into my mind of Lama Tseten, whom as a boy I

had seen dying, and of his calm and gentle dignity in death.

I found myself saying: "I want every human being not to be

afraid of death, or of life; I want every human being to die

at peace, and surrounded by the wisest, clearest, and most

tender care, and to find the ultimate happiness that can only

come from an understanding of the nature of mind and

of reality"

Thomas Merton wrote: "What can we gain by sailing to

the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates

us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages

of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless,

but disastrous." 1 We spend millions of dollars every minute on

training people to kill and destroy, and on bombs and planes

and missiles. But we spend hardly anything, in comparison, on

teaching human beings the nature of life and death, and helping

them, when they come to die, to face and understand

what is happening to them. What a terrifying, sad situation

this is, and how revealing it is of our ignorance and our lack

of true love for ourselves and for each other! More than anything,

I pray that the book I have written could contribute in

some small way to changing this situation in the world, could

help awaken as many people as possible to the urgency of the

need for spiritual transformation, and the urgency of the need

to be responsible for ourselves and others. We are all potential

buddhas, and we all desire to live in peace and die in peace.

When will humanity really understand that, and truly create a

society that reflects in all of its areas and activities that simple,


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