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“At the beginning of the Foundation Service Seminar, we were reminded of the stories of ‘The Four Harmonious Friends’ and how each one of us is responsible for leading the other into virtue; how each one of us is at a different level yet needing each other to actualize even the smallest of tasks; how each one of us must cherish others more than oneself; and how each one of us should be willing to ask for help, to receive help and to offer help,” Helen Patrin, coordinator for FPMT Australia, wrote in Mandala January-March 2014. “What we learned from these stories is that actualizing the vast vision of both Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche rests on our ability to internalize these ideas and to offer our service to FPMT in accordance with them. We are all but a small part of the ever growing FPMT mandala, and we can achieve so much more when we are working together harmoniously.”
As told by Venerable Ribur Rinpoche
At first, there was just the bird, and the tree was just a little sprout. The bird could scratch around on the ground and find little bits of plant to eat. The bird was unable to fly, so the bird could only eat what it could find near to the ground. As the tree grew, it became difficult for the bird to get enough food to eat.
Then, the rabbit came. The rabbit would eat what was on the ground and would lift the bird up on his back so that the bird could reach the growing tree. In this way, they both had enough to eat. However, as the tree continued to grow, it started to become too high for the bird, even on the back of the rabbit.
Then, the monkey came. The monkey could climb up into the tree and drop the fruit from the tree onto the ground for the rabbit and the bird. However, it was difficult to get to the fruit at the very top of the tree.
Then, the elephant came. With the elephant, if all the animals helped each other, they could reach the fruit at the top of the tree; and, in this way, there was plenty for all of them to eat.
From Mandala January-March 2014
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About Mandala Publications
Mandala Publications is the official publication of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), an international charitable organization founded by two Tibetan Buddhist masters, Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-1984) and Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. FPMT is a vibrant international community, with a network of 160 affiliate centers, projects and services, and members in more than 30 countries.
Mandala print magazine is published in January, April, July and October. Mandala is available via the Friends of FPMT program.