There's only one point.
There's only one point is the nineteenth of fifty-nine mind training slogans -- the Dalai Lama trained and practiced with these slogans most of his life. The honorable Garchen Rinpoche practiced and taught these slogans to fellow prisoners in a labor camp in China.
There is only one point. I was reminded of Garchen Rinpoche's story as I was reviewing the first chapter of Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication, which opens with quote from Etty Hillesum, a Jewish woman from Holland that died at Auschwitz. Her writings have been compared to Rilke and her practice, like that of Garchen Rinpoche, was one of understanding and compassion until the time of her death.
Disturbed life: Monument for Etty Hillesum
There is only one point. Like many passages in the Bible and Koran, the slogan has passed through centuries of Buddhist tradition.
It's so easy. So straightforward. So simple, it's almost too easy to forget. The primary message of the slogan is one of a shared reality. A world we all share — whatever we're experiencing and whatever our individual stories are. All the other slogans can be rolled into There is only one point.
View from the top of the Musée d'Orsay.
Right now, the reality we share threatens the extinction of many lives and life forms, including ours. There is only one point: Right now, the point is global warming and the approaching talks in Paris.
Without doubt, horrid things are happening in our world and in my own country. Many have been neglected and need immediate attention. People have every right to be impatient and angry because economic giants and politicians of our world haven't listened: Inattention and a lack of compassion and empathy are replicated from one circumstance to the next as efficiently as genes.
To the politicians of our world: Is bombing a country that already has been demolished listening? Does further bombing represent a change of heart? How is it that "When all we have is love" gets translated into more bombing?
Are those that remain in Syria and Iraq able to continue life with integrity, caring for their families as a normal person would? President Francois Hollande is horrified at the attacks on Paris, as am I. But our countries have treated those countries, these people no different than you or I, to the same destruction thousands and thousands of times over. What choice do they have? Whether it's refugees from Syria or the Daesh, our world can only expect more of the same shock-and-awe. The same in droves, as the conditions of our world deteriorate: There is only one point.
When I traveled to Paris the trip I took was 'Paris by alone'. Paris by alone, with hundreds of stories as my companion. In some ways, much like the Daesh, Paris with all its stories represented a life I wanted but never had. My days in Paris were a sadness. Beautiful Paris, beautiful sadness for days and chances that had passed through my life without my knowing.
There is only one point. If empathy exists, if compassion exists, take that sadness, that beauty, that desire we all have for belonging, that love for friends, family and country, and reach agreement on carbon emissions.
There is only one point: When all we have is love.