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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

The Meaning of Life

Life is tumultuous, death is certain, and what comes next (if anything) is unknown. Like the waves and troughs formed by the surface of a vast sea, tossed by a mighty storm pleasures and pains come and go leaving us wondering, “what is the meaning of it all?

Ask the fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet and he’ll tell you that the meaning of life is found by accomplishing the two purposes by gathering the two accumulations. But what could that mean?

In the spirit of royal bodhichitta we accomplish full enlightenment (firstly) for ourselves that (secondly) we might help all others do likewise. Just as the locomotives of the (environmentally unsustainable) industrial revolution were fueled by timber and by coal our journey upon the Buddha’s eight-fold path is fueled by two things: the wisdom of letting go, as well as positive energy. And could a finer source of that be other than love and kindness?

As humanity stands, perched upon the precipice of the self-inflicted doom of fascism and jingoism as well as environmental unsustainability our only path forward is paved with compassion, cooperation, and insight: humanity’s true birthright, bestowed upon us by evolution.

But what awaits us after death? Materialism teaches us that the peaceful and joyous transition we seek can only be purchased with the currency of love. And the numerical discourses attributed to the Buddha assure us that this self-same loving-kindness is the key that unlocks the door to auspicious rebirth. What, then, is the meaning of life? Loving-kindness and the wisdom of letting-go!

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