The teaching on precious human life shows us that this human body of ours has the potential to allow us to accomplish significant and vast things, not only for ourselves, but for many others. It points out just what an opportunity this human body represents. All human beings are fundamentally endowed with love, compassion and other positive qualities, not as products of religious practice, but as something present within us all right from birth. The most important thing, and the basis of Dharma practice, is for us to value these innate human qualities, and work to enhance and develop them.
We cannot be good Dharma practitioners without striving to become good human beings. This underscores the need for our Dharma practice to take place within our life, not outside of it. Practicing Dharma means transforming ourselves and enhancing the positive qualities we possess. This is a key point.
Being human brings with it the opportunity to become a better human being, and that opportunity also represents a responsibility.
The 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, “Nurturing Compassion, Teachings from the First Visit to Europe”, p46.