We have only to look at the continuing drumbeat of bad news regarding present-day Buddhist teachers, leaders and institutions to realize that Buddhists -- like people of every faith -- come in all shapes and sizes.
Richie had truly "seen" Sharon -- her vulnerability and spirit, and he'd expressed his care by mirroring her goodness. It took another year and a half for her to tell him what those gifts had meant to her, and to apologize. But because he hadn't given up on her, a thaw had begun.
I have visited, prayed, chanted, bowed and meditated in many, if not most, of the great houses of worship of this evanescent world. And at this holy time of year, I send my warmest wishes and prayers for your health and well-being.
Instead of asking, "How can I get out of this situation?" the bodhisattva asks, "What can I contribute to make this situation better?" Today, more than ever, we need to understand the bodhisattva path as a spiritual archetype that offers a new vision of human possibility.
Being a mindful human, balancing personal responsibility with interdependence, is a perfect challenge for this fragile era on Planet Earth. It's a challenge way harder than charging iPhones and hosting a few dozen bourgeousie refugees.
To "not seek" is to evolve without intention, without conscious direction stemming from an awakening heart; while "to seek" is a never-ending process of investigation -- to refine discernment and strengthen direction.
As he passed, I heard two sounds that would symbolize for me how the Dalai Lama works in both the political and spiritual worlds -- a soft, deeply wise chuckle, and the flapping of his rubber flip-flops, en route to helping others.