” It is not necessary to have any particular spiritual path in this life in order to learn from [illness, failure, sorrow, success] . . . It is not essential to have a guru, to eat this way or not eat this way, to talk this way or any way. Some part of this education of the spirit in you will happen to you in this life. That is so for every soul. . . . But if you care about your mind, you see, if you don’t stir up the energies of your mind by hurting some person or some animal, by using your body in a way that is not a healthy way, if you meditate, or say prayers, if you have some quiet in your life instead of keeping all the time busy with noise and errands, if you cultivate good thoughts and feelings where you can instead of bad thoughts and feelings, if you do this then you will . . . compound your learning.
It doesn’t not mean you are better person than the one who does not do these things. It means you will squeeze all the juice from this life that there is to squeeze. You will not waste your time here, that you have been given, that is so precious we do not realize until the moment we die. You will not waste this precious time, do you see? This is the best kind of being an environmentalist person. This is not misusing the gifts of this world. Do you see?” says Ripoche, the monk in Roland Merullo’s Breakfast with Buddha.