8. Karmapa Mikyö Dorje
The practice of the Dharma is a matter of serious importance; people have to realize that. It is a precious opportunity that has come about, one that has never come about before. It is very precious because it is so rare.
The time in which you can use the opportunity is quite limited, and this makes it even more precious. I would like to repeat that a rare and precious opportunity which has never come before has manifested when you find the Dharma in your life. It is a historic situation, a landmark. But the time to take advantage of this opportunity, again, is limited. Therefore we have to realize the great value of the opportunity.
The best way to do this is to engage oneself in the practice of the Dharma as sincerely as possible. Otherwise the opportunity could fade away. There is this danger, most certainly, that one could lose this opportunity. It could become more and more distant, and this would be a very unfortunate situation.
It is like crystals that are put together with a piece of a diamond in the same container. They are all regarded as the same. They are neglected, dust settles on them, and they cannot be appreciated any more. But if, on the other hand, they are cleaned and the diamond is placed on a gold stand with light shining on it, then you will, of course, be able to appreciate it. You will see very clearly that it is a diamond, and that it is not an ordinary crystal. That degree of understanding and recognition is very important.