In the last line, Karmapa prays that unbearable compassion may be born within us. Now, it sounds as though unbearable here means that you’re so compassionate that you can’t stand it, and you scream and yell and jump up and down, something like that. But it doesn’t mean that. Zömay means that we are unable to ignore the suffering. We will not just go about our own business. Because of knowing what the potential of all sentient beings is, because of knowing that every sentient being is, in essence, a buddha, then we put our own effort into realizing Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings. That is the idea of unbearable here. We can’t afford to be lethargic. Compassion is so strong that it will not allow us to be lethargic. It will not allow us to be selfish. That is what unbearable compassion is.
No matter how good a basic academic and even multicultural education we give our children, it will come to naught, if they do not understand their intimate co-creative place in relationship to the trees, forests, oceans, whales, stars, and timeless beginningless source. Rather, in a fragmented world/paradigm such an education becomes reduced to gaining comparative comfort and material wealth/wellbeing in a competitive and corrupt world system/paradigm, where folk seek an ersatz happy truce, but never will they find true happiness in that way, guaranteed.
Nuclear waste from weapons production is much more difficult to store, transport, and handle because it is viscous/liquid. The plan was to store these in metal containers 2000 feet deep in the ground near their massive nuclear facility in Hanford, Washington above the Columbia River gorge. Predictably, these steel containers began leaking, while stopping these leaks is a major concern today. Please click on title for the complete report.
To make the transition to a life-sustaining society, we must retrieve that ancestral capacity–in other words, act like ancestors. We need to attune to longer, ecological rhythms and nourish a strong, felt connection with past and future generations. For us as agents of change, this isn’t easy, because to intervene in the political and legislative decisions of the Industrial Growth Society, we fall by necessity into its tempo. We race to find and pull the levers before it is too late to save this forest, or stop that weapons program. Nonetheless, we can learn again to drink at deeper wells.
We can enjoy a wider sense of identity than that prescribed by the Industrial Growth Society. It is both our birthright and our necessity for survival. Here are words from Arne Naess’ ground-breaking talk introducing the concept of the ecological self.
“For at least 2500 years, humankind has struggled with basic questions about who we are, what we are heading for, what kind of reality we are part of. Two thousand five hundred years is a short period in the lifetime of a species, and still less in the lifetime of the Earth, on whose surface we belong as mobile parts.