Kunzang Palyul Choling 28 Years of Compassion, Refuge , Outreach KPC-DonorBook-Lowres - Page 5

W hen I first heard the phrase, “Dedicated to the liberation and salvation of all sentient be- ings,” I felt it was one of the most potent and powerful statements that one could make, to dedicate all of one’s efforts to the liberation and salvation of all sentient beings. In the beginning we hear it as beautiful and meaningful, but eventually we have to learn exactly what it means and define the terms. At first we tend to think mostly of our family and friends. For those of us who love animals, we may include our pets in that number and other animals that we favor. The real mean- ing of that phrase goes far beyond that, to the point that we understand the depth and breadth of the condition of suffering on this planet and have empathy for all creatures that live. The Buddha teaches us that all sentient beings are equal. Logically that would imply, first of all, that we need to accumulate or attain this sense of impartiality and equanimity. He also teaches us that while all sentient beings are equal, there are many more of them than there are of us. There is one of me. If I were to profess concern for others, I would have to take the comfort and well- being of these other sentient beings over my own because it’s pure and simple reason- ableness. It is logical that the needs of the many would outweigh the needs of the one. When we travel to other places what is the first thing we notice? The differences. It’s hard to remember that all sentient beings are exactly equal. According to the Buddha, in our nature we are the same. To achieve the understanding of that must become a way of life. It is a living path including whatever formal practice people do, but also their ordinary life. To get to the point where one refuses to leave this world until it is a better place. To work for the cessation of suffering. Look at the world around you. To accomplish the end of suffering is going to take some kind of radical change. That starts with each one of us holding the line on ethics, morality and love. Saying where you are, these qualities will exist, so that all sentient beings may be happy and free of suffering. What if we as spiritual people, in our interfacing with the world, took that on. What if we took on that responsibility with joy, realizing only good could come out of it? Why is it so inconceivable that we could see the end of hatred, bigotry and prejudice? Why can’t we see that in this lifetime? Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo From “Interfacing with Our World”