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Inspired to learn more about the crisis in Tibet recently by watching the excellent movie Tibet: Cry Of The Snow Lion, I signed up to receive Snow Lion Publications' weekly quotes by the Dalai Lama.

The first arrived a couple of days ago and I wanted to share it here:

When we practice, initially, as a basis we control ourselves, stopping the bad actions which hurt others as much as we can. This is defensive. After that, when we develop certain qualifications, then as an active goal we should help others. In the first stage, sometimes we need isolation while pursuing our own inner development; however, after you have some confidence, some strength, you must remain with, contact, and serve society in any field -- health, education, politics, or whatever.

There are people who call themselves religious-minded, trying to show this by dressing in a peculiar manner, maintaining a peculiar way of life, and isolating themselves from the rest of society. That is wrong. A scripture of mind-purification (mind-training) says, "Transform your inner viewpoint, but leave your external appearance as it is." This is important. Because the very purpose of practicing the Great Vehicle is service for others, you should not isolate yourselves from society. In order to serve, in order to help, you must remain in society.

-- by His Holiness the Dalai Lama from The Dalai Lama, A Policy of Kindness, published by Snow Lion Publications
The book this quote was taken from is available from Snow Lion for a special Internet price of $8.76, plus shipping (which is $5 for orders under $20, although they do have a $10 minimum order).  The full table of contents, plus the first chapter (which reprints the Dalai Lama's Nobel Prize speech), can be read online here.