There's no place to hide the true self. When the universe disintegrates, "it" remains indestructible. The true self doesn't have a problem, ultimately, because it's none other than the universe. The whole universe. Not just this earth. Not just this country. Not just this body. Not just this monastery. The whole catastrophe. And when the universe disintegrates, "it" remains indestructible. What is this it? When you realize it, you'll see that "it" will always be here, even though this great earth may be a dead planet. "It" can't be destroyed. "It" is indestructible. This gigantic body ultimately has no abode. There's no place to put it. It fills the whole universe. So it's true that from an absolute perspective, we don't have to worry. But it's also true that we live in a relative world—a world in which there is a beginning and an end, and we are rushing toward that end. So what can we do?

Individuals can do a lot. Take a short hike through the forest and remind yourself what it's all about and why it's worth fighting for and saving. You can resolve to speak out about this foolishness that's going on in Washington—speak to your representatives. Tell them that you want them to get off their butts and make some real legislation that actually protects the waters, that cleans up the air, that stops carbon dioxide emissions. And it's not enough to do it once. You have to do it again and again and again. Hound them. Call them. They count the number of calls. They count the number of e-mails. They count the number of letters. Same thing is true at the state level.

Ultimately, each one of us has to realize that this is our earth. It's our life. We don't want to save this beautiful planet in order to make money off of it. We want to save it because it's worth saving. Because it's important to all beings. Because everybody deserves a good, clean, clear glass of water without having to pay $5 for it. Everybody deserves to be able to heat their house and drive their car without creating pollution. Everybody deserves the foods and resources they need to sustain themselves without abusing the earth. And we can do it. We can save this great earth if we do not give up, if we do not become complacent or remain self-centered.

So keep asking yourself, how do I turn the self and return to the mountains, rivers and the great earth? What is it that I am calling mountains, rivers and the great earth? Where do I find myself in this great matter?