"What is it that so touches us about a single caring act or a life surrendered into service? Perhaps we see our deepest yearnings reflected in others, and this encourages us to believe in our own purity and beauty. These are no longer just ideals to strive for. We can reach them, we can be that way. Images of compassion beckon and encourage us onward.

"Each time we drop our masks and meet heart-to-heart, reassuring one another simply by the quality of our presence, we experience a profound bond which we intuitively understand is nourishing everyone. Each time we quiet our mind, our listening becomes sharp and clear, deep and perceptive; we realize that we know more than we thought we knew, and can reach out and hear, as if from inside, the heart of someone's pain. Each time we are able to remain open to suffering, despite our fear and defensiveness, we sense a love in us which becomes increasingly unconditional.

"We can see in this mosaic of limitations and strength a still deeper teaching. Common to all those habits which hinder us is a sense of separateness; we are divided within ourselves and cut off from others. Common to all those moments and actions which truly seem to help, however, is the experience of unity; the mind and the heart work in harmony, and barriers between us dissolve."