"NOTICE COMMONALITIES"
(By: Jeffrey Hopkins - "Cultivating Compassion: A Buddhist Perspective")

10-16-02 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #210
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Rev. Angus Bowen

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Story of the Week
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NOTICE COMMONALITIES
(By: Jeffrey Hopkins - "Cultivating Compassion: A Buddhist Perspective")

When he went to Europe for the first time, the Dalai Lama would arrive at a city and announce, "Everyone wants happiness, doesn't want suffering."

In India I had attended long lectures by him -- four to six hours a day, sixteen days running -- on complicated philosophy and psychology, but when he came to Europe, what did he have to say? "Everyone wants happiness, doesn't want suffering." He would come to the airport and announce that everyone wants happiness, doesn't want suffering. He'd have a news conference in the city and announce that everyone wants happiness, doesn't want suffering. In city after city after city. I thought. "What is wrong with him?" It caused me to wonder if it was even relevant. But it is relevant! For understanding that others are so much like oneself creates a different perspective, a startlingly changed worldview. When this view is internalized, you are no longer confronting another person over a divide, but meeting someone with whom you have much in common. You begin to feel you know the person. Indeed, you begin to feel you know everyone.

One of the marvelous advantages I accrued from traveling with the Dalai Lama as his chief English interpreter for ten years was that he usually gave the first part of a talk in English, and thus I could hear his message over and over again. Though I heard it thousands of times, "Everyone wants happiness, doesn't want suffering," rather than boring me it would draw me into thinking. "Yes, I need to internalize this attitude." I understood that on a personal, practical level, I had to bring this orientation into moment-by-moment behavior. When you have a headache and want to get rid of it, imagine it's the same for everyone. There isn't anyone who deliberately wants more headache.

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The Prayer
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Dear God,        
        Help us all to realize that we are Truly Brothers and Sisters. Though each and every one of us is Unique and Diverse, we all have You in Common... even if we each have different concepts as to what that really means.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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