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cherishing each other

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avalokitesvaraMy hospice co-workers gave me a farewell party yesterday. We spoke of the things we hold dear, of the love and respect we have for each other and the work we do; of sadness and of gratitude. Sadness because a chapter has ended and we must grieve; gratitude for having had the rare opportunity to walk together on the path of service and compassion.

In the simple words often employed by the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan view is that–

“by genuinely cherishing all living beings we shall always act with loving kindness, in a friendly and considerate way, and they will return our kindness. Others will not act unpleasantly towards us, and there will be no basis for conflict or dispute. People will come to like us, and our relationships will be more stable and satisfying.”

source: Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. (2000). Eight steps to happiness: the Buddhist way of loving kindness. Glen Spey, NY: Tharpa Publ., p. 51.

image: Avalokitesvara is the bodhisattva of compassion. Known in East Asia as Guan Yin or Kannon, s/he holds a special place in Tibetan Buddhism where the Dalai Lama is seen as a manifestation of its qualities. Avalokitesvara is portrayed as either or both male and female, uniting the opposites; also as having a thousand arms with which to aid the suffering multitudes.

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