Buddhist tradition teaches its followers to regard all life as precious. The astronauts who leave the earth have also rediscovered this truth. One set of Russian cosmonauts described it this way: “We brought up small fish to the space station for certain investigations. We were to be there three months. After about three weeks the fish began to die. How sorry we felt for them! What we didn’t do to try to save them! On earth we take great pleasure in fishing, but when you are alone and far away from anything terrestrial, any appearance of life is especially welcome. You see just how precious life is.” In this same spirit, one astronaut, when his capsule landed, opened the hatch to smell the moist air of earth. “I actually got down and put it to my cheek. I got down and kissed the earth.”
from A Path with Hearth; A Guide to the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life
Chapter: Did I Love Well?