In each of our countless lives in beginningless samsara, we must have had parents. In fact, we have taken birth so often that, at one time or another, every single sentient being must have been our mother or father. When we think of all these beings who have been our parents wandering helplessly for so long in samsara, like blind people who have lost their way, we cannot but feel tremendous compassion for them.
Compassion by itself, however, is not enough; they need actual help. But as long as our minds are still limited by attachment, just giving them food, clothing, money, or simply affection will only bring them a limited and temporary happiness at best. What we must do is to ﬁnd a way to liberate them completely from suffering. This can only be done by putting the teachings of Dharma into practice.
True compassion is directed impartially toward all sentient beings, without discriminating between those who are friends and those who are enemies. With this compassion constantly in mind, we should perform every positive act, even offering a single ﬂower or reciting a single mantra, with the wish that it may beneﬁt all living creatures without exception.
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
from the book On the Path to Enlightenment: Heart Advice from the Great Tibetan Masters
translated by Matthieu Ricard
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