"Here are some practices for healing the world. These are not solutions, but tools for looking at ourselves and what we do. Each of them is nearly impossible to realize. I take this phrase — 'nearly impossible' — as a challenge to do all that I can.

• "The Bodhisattva precepts boil down to one essential principle: not to live at the expense of other beings. This is simple to say, and very difficult to do.

• "Each of us must take complete responsibility for the world, as if the world's fate depended on our words and actions. Whether we know it or not, it does.

• "An old Zen teaching says, 'Not knowing is most intimate.' But this is different from knowing nothing or willfully closing one's eyes. Considering the suffering of myself and others, naturally I study everything I can find. It is when I study and perhaps feel I am developing some mastery or understanding, that I know that my understanding is incomplete and will always be so. That incompleteness is 'not knowing.' To accept that about oneself and to press on is to be intimate with the world.

• "Act mindfully and correctly, irrespective of results. Do things because they are the proper things to do. It may seem as if one's own modest efforts at conservation have no impact, but recall the Jataka tale in which a parrot carried water, drop by drop, to save his forest from spreading fires. His singleminded and seemingly hopeless dedication inspired a god's tears, which quenched the flames.

• "Thinking globally, acting locally is good, but limited. One must also think locally and act globally. That means simultaneously working to curb consumption at home, at work, in one's town, and pushing our elected representatives to enact legislation and policies that have impact on a national and international level. Our national moral authority flows from a willingness to make personal sacrifices.

• " 'Entrusting flowers to the wind and entrusting birds to the season . . .' When I recognize that my life and everything in it has been freely given to me, how can I deny this gift to all other beings, and to the planet itself? Take only what one needs and allow all things to be free and fully themselves.

"I have no idea if such practices and policies will prove successful. Despite the efforts of our best minds and most powerful computers, we don't know what the future will bring.

"But the world is what you make it. . ."