Given a period of general decline, which we now seem to be in -- the Kali Yuga, a phase of plague, famine, and war that has been described a "the end of the end" -- what language would the Blessed One skillfully use to resolve the world's demise? In contrast to the physical reality of his own age, nature itself seems now threatened with extinction. If we believe that, what is the significance of meditative practices in the modern world, particularly when the "extinction" clock reads two minutes to midnight? Can we spend our time in seclusion and contemplation -- even if, of course, we are not striving only for our own enlightenment but for all sentient beings as well? Is enlightenment more important than saving the world? Or is enlightenment the only way of saving the world? ... It is time for inner city meditators. Time for Victorious Ones to get their hands dirty in the myriad hell and hungry-ghost worlds of the Planet. Time for bhikkus and bhikkunis to understand the addictions of television and the comforts of the corporate state. Time for spiritual warriors to taste the toxic garbage of a collapsing ecology. If there is to be any more "time."
- Rudolph Wurlitzer, Hard Travel to Sacred Places