contrary, it can open up in us a warm humor, a soft, strong

compassion we hardly knew we possessed, and so more and

more generosity toward all things and beings. The great

Tibetan saint Milarepa said: "Seeing emptiness, have compassion."

When through contemplation we really have seen the

emptiness and interdependence of all things and ourselves,

the world is revealed in a brighter, fresher, more sparkling

light as the infinitely reflecting net of jewels that Buddha

spoke of. We no longer have to protect ourselves or pretend,

and it becomes increasingly easy to do what one Tibetan

master has advised:

Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment

and aversion. Practice good-heartedness toward all beings. Be

loving and compassionate, no matter what others do to you. What

they will do will not matter so much when you see it as a dream.

The trick is to have positive intention during the dream. This is the

essential point This is true spirituality 10

True spirituality also is to be aware that if we are interdependent

with everything and everyone else, even our smallest,

least significant thought, word, and action have real consequences

throughout the universe. Throw a pebble into a pond.

It sends a shiver across the surface of the water. Ripples merge

into one another and create new ones. Everything is inextricably

interrelated: We come to realize we are responsible for

everything we do, say, or think, responsible in fact for ourselves,

everyone and everything else, and the entire universe.

The Dalai Lama has said:

In today's highly interdependent world, individuals and nations can

no longer resolve many of their problems by themselves. We need

one another. We must therefore develop a sense of universal

responsibility... It is our collective and individual responsibility to

protect and nurture the global family, to support its weaker members,

and to preserve and tend to the environment in which we all

live. 11


Impermanence has already revealed to us many truths, but

it has a final treasure still in its keeping, one that lies largely

hidden from us, unsuspected and unrecognized, yet most intimately

our own.

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