Religion is supposed to be only a vehicle to the joy that has never known suffering, but often it causes so much suffering itself, fighting between religions on religious principles. It is everywhere the case, in east and west. That’s misuse of religion, not only for creating war but also torture. It is also bullying. That’s true in east and west. I am sorry to say, but it’s true.
Now is the time for us to have something pure, totally pure, in the principle of love and compassion, with the commitment of helping and serving. If it is true it will be slightly disorganized. The moment you try to organize and make it function properly, which we call “professional,” then all these other things come as part of it, in the name of religion, of helping, of service. Maybe we have to go back to the hippie – age. But they had their own problems too, sometimes even worse. So somehow we have to balance this. That’s very important. Really true.
It is the same thing in our everyday life. We call it an organized path or goal, organized in the way that will serve and help so many people, but also very similar to your own personal life, it is the same thing. It is a matter of one being bigger and one smaller. One has more people involved, the other fewer. But then it is yourself, your own life. Many of you lead very good lives. Looking at you and how you function, you say: hey it hurts people and you just can’t do that. Most of you, particularly in the West, people do that. Whether it is due to education, general knowledge or due to society or your individual person, it is very admirable that people do that. It is very important to keep that as principle. But having said that you can never do anything perfect. It is true. Everybody wants to do the right thing. But you can’t be too righteous. It won’t work.
It has to be less harmful for so many people and yourself too. You and your own family is your own personal responsibility right under your own nose. That’s the first priority. If you don’t do it, who else is going to do it? Nobody. That’s just everyday life. I am not talking about anything mystical or mysterious. So I am responsible to me and my family. As a spiritual person you are supposed to be responsible to all living beings. That’s what Buddha said. True, but the direct responsibility is my own life and the people who are connected with me. That’s my priority.
–Gelek Rimpoche, Jewel Heart Ann Arbor, March 10, 2013