The Buddha has suggested that we are without a mother and father to take care of things for us. Mother Earth, once thought to be all-forgiving and capable of absorbing any abuse we could heap upon her, is not the infinitely benevolent resource we thought she was. As we learn of our own mothers at a certain point of maturity, Mother Earth can and does get worn down by giving and forgiving in the face of our persistent demands. And our Father who is in heaven, though perhaps immensely old and lord over a host of devas (as the Buddhists view him), is nevertheless subject to the laws of karma and is not sufficiently omnipotent to make it all work out for us in the end. If we do not care for one another, who else will care for us? Who among us has the right to say of another, “He is of no use to us?” For better or worse, whether we like it or not, we are all in this together. Learning how to care for one another is a central part of the path and of the practice.

– Andrew Olendzki, Ph.D., “Medicine for the World,” from the Summer 2008 Tricycle. Read the complete article.

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