Moving Into the World

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"What should I do?"

The mandalic image in the hub of the Wheel symbolizes the genesis of an engaged spirituality. Since compassion and commitment must arise or be aroused repeatedly, the spirit of this path permeates all others.

Buddhist activist Fran Peavey reports that after many years of involvement, she still asks herself the same basic questions: "For the past fifteen years, most mornings I have sat and meditated and asked myself what I could do to help the world. What is the work of today and what is the work of this time?"

In the Wheel, all forms of service and work for social change become potential vehicles of bodhisattva practice. If you think, "Somebody ought to do something about that," that somebody might be you.

"There are so many urgent problems," a student asked Thich Nhat Hanh. "What should I do?"

"Take one thing and do it very deeply and carefully," he replied, "and you will be doing everything at the same time."

In this sense, the path of moving into the world broadcasts a question, and each of the surrounding paths in the Wheel proposes an answer to that question.

How does a vow differ from an aspiration? Do you have an aspiration that could come to life more fully as a vow?

Further: Write several short verses that express some of your current aspirations.

When one does find a starting point, and takes a first step, one crosses a threshold. Is it stepping out, or stepping in?