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Lions Roar : January 2016
and interdependent. Our life depends on one another. And as you begin to realize that, you can’t help but be grateful. Responsibility for the Gift of Life Along with this gift of life comes some respon- sibility for supporting life, participating in tak- ing care of this fabulous gift of life on this earth that we’ve been given. And this is a particularly important point now in our history, as we find that the way we are living is endangering the continuity of life. We see that we have to make some changes in the way we use fossil fuels, because we are in danger of poisoning ourselves and changing the climate of this earth sufficiently to make it uninhabitable, at least by creatures such as we are. There is a responsibility to having received this gift of life, and that is to take care of it in whatever way we can. I heard this quote some time ago: “Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” So we find out where we can make whatever contribu- tion we can to the care of the earth and the other beings with whom we share it. Good Evening, Bodhisattvas The Dalai Lama’s bodhisattva vow is “Every day, think as you wake up: Today I am fortunate to have woken up. I am alive. I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it. I’m going to use my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts toward others. I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” This is our essen- tial vow as bodhisattvas. And of course, you are all bodhisattvas. Suzuki Roshi always used to begin his talks with “Good evening, bodhisattvas.” That’s what we’re here for, to be awake beings. And awake beings are awake to the deep connection we have with everything, with all living beings. We are all of one life, and we need to take care of that life so that it continues generation after generation. It’s All about Love and Joy I got a call that a dear friend of mine, who received precepts from me years ago when I lived at Green Gulch, was dying. I arranged with her husband to go and see her and give her the HOT OFF THE PRESS SEEDS FOR A BOUNDLESS LIFE by Zenkei Blanche Hartman Shambhala Publications; 192 pp., $16.95 (paperback) SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2016 82