The Bodhisattva Promise is about wishing to help all beings. How does one do this in a practical way?

In 1972, when Hannah and I were more or less the first to start, I also thought that I had to do everything for everybody. I tried it and quickly fell on my nose because when the hat doesn’t fit, it simply doesn’t fit. In the meantime, I’ve come down from my high horse of wanting to help everyone; now I stick to the ones who can understand what I’m saying. Fortunately, we are not the only people who do things for others. Among the socialists, Christians, Hindus, and the other Buddhist schools, there are also people who are there for those who aren’t drawn to my way of working or to our groups. We don’t need to take care of the mentally ill or the welfare cases because there are people who are trained and paid to do that. And we are happy about their good work.

We also contribute our part to this by paying our taxes—for example, with 80 cents on every liter of gas we pump and with 19% sales tax on everything we buy. This is why we don’t need to do anything more than to stay true to our own thing. We do what is right and what we ourselves have understood. There are other hats for other heads, so we don’t need to water down our teachings nor make them simpler. It is just not our responsibility to offer something that fits everyone. Instead, we want to convey what we have in a clear and sensible manner. This way everyone who has a head or heart for it can come into contact with a pure transmission and clear teachings.

We take care of the people who would otherwise find nothing anywhere else—people who are too critical and independent and who think too clearly to feel at home under a god or in a hierarchical system. We offer these people a field where they can grow and learn.