If we cannot be kind
even to a single small ant,
how can be be kind
to other boundless beings?
In 1982 His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet was dining in France with the 10th Pawo Rinpoche… Just then the elderly Pawo Rinpoche spied an ant struggling across the polished floor, wending its way toward the sun… [He] no longer had use of his legs. He requested the Dalai Lama to be so kind as to rescue the little creature and help it on its way. His Holiness did so with alacrity, blessing the insect with a whispered benediction. Gently, he carried the insect across the regal chamber and set it down safely in the warm sun. Chuckling with delight, he rejoined his venerable colleague.
‘Now I have done a service for you, Rinpoche. Your old eyes are better than mine! People talk about emptiness and high Mahayana philosophy, but loving regard for the equality of all that lives is the true sign of a Bodhisattva.’ His Holiness himself later recounted the story, during a teaching in France about the necessity of compassion, selfless service, and universal responsibility. ‘My religion is loving-kindness,’ he stated.
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