Dependent Origination
Ven. Master Hsing Yun

The Heart Sutra says, "form is emptiness, emptiness is form." The flowing movement of our lives through the material world is an example of "form that is empty", while the connectedness of our lives in the vast world around us is an example of "emptiness that is form." This is why when Buddhism speaks of "this world" it means that nothing less than the limitless, infinite world of all phenomena in the universe. When it speaks of "life", it means nothing less than the limitless, infinite life that permeates all things everywhere.
Today, the world's problems are more complex and more numerous than ever before. War, terrorism, religious intolerance, environmental pollution, and a general breakdown of morals across the globe has produced conditions in which it can be very difficult for people to live with a sense of peace and security. If all of us can fully comprehend the natural laws that were taught by the Buddha, and if all of us can work together to build a world founded upon these laws, then we will succeed in creating a Pure Land upon this earth, a land in which all people can feel secure within their natural right to a life that is free of fear and the unsettling disturbances that arise whenever sentient beings act in ignorance of the larger truths that govern the lives of all of us.
The Avatamsaka Sutra says of dependent origination: "Phenomena do not arise independently; they arise dependent on each other.
Dependent origination is a natural law that governs everything in the universe, but it is felt most deeply by each one of us within the intimate details of our daily lives. Once we understand this, we will be in a position to appreciate that our lives are not the result of a single cause but that they arise instead from a complex confluence of causes and conditions. Our lives arise from the karmic seeds that we ourselves have planted in the past. When these seeds grow, they manifest as our experiences.
This old saying (above) goes right to the point. If we understand the natural law of dependent origination, then we will be prepared for whatever may happen to us, and we will not be afraid. In addition to this, we will also understand how to make this natural law in our favour, for we will understand that our futures are created by what we do in the present. If we till the land and plant good seeds in the spring, then by autumn we will reap a great harvest and when winter comes we will not be afraid for we will know that our supplies will see us through. In like manner, no one need fear old age for if we use our youth and middle age to work hard, then we will be satisfied with our lives when we grow old. All of us should face hardship with courage and thus, by our resolve, plant the seeds of strength for a future harvest. When we increase the wisdom of society by our good behaviour, we inspire others to live lives of joy and kindness.