Friday, July 05, 2013

Self improvement

Everything in nature is interconnected; nothing can live unto itself alone. 

Our every thought, feeling, and deed impact upon the world around us, for good or ill. 

The idea that anything is totally separate from anything else is called in Buddhism the heresy of separateness. 

We are all part of one vast, incomprehensible Whole

We all sprang from one divine source aeons ago, and to that source we shall all return. 

It is our duty to work with nature rather than against it, and to help one another along the path. 

Every effort at self-improvement and every effort to help others, make a contribution, however small, to the progress of all humanity.

The highest and most noble ideal that we can try to live up to is called in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition the bodhisattva ideal. 

bodhisattva is a human being who has advanced so far on the path of spiritual progress that he has attained enlightenment and reached the threshold of nirvana. 

But rather than entering the peace and bliss of nirvana, which would rule out any further active involvement in human affairs, he renounces nirvana and returns to earth to help struggling humanity. 

This spirit of self-sacrifice is beautifully captured in the vow of the Chinese bodhisattva Kwan Yin:
Never will I seek or receive private, individual salvation; never will I enter into final peace alone; but forever, and everywhere will I live and strive for the redemption of every creature throughout the world.
It is the constant aspiration to realize this ideal, and above all the constant effort to practice compassion and brotherhood in our daily lives, that is the surest path to enlightenment.

David Pratt

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