The Lazy Yogi writes at Reality Sandwich:
If we desire enlightenment only for ourselves, then living in society will seem like a hindrance. Everything will appear as an obstacle keeping you from your spiritual lifestyle and practices. You will feel a drive to escape, perhaps to nature or to an ashram. But wherever you go, your mind comes with you.
A key component is Motivation. If you seek peace and enlightenment only for yourself, then the world will continually get in the way. However, the Tibetan Buddhists have a different thought in mind. They aspire to enlightenment for the benefit of all Beings.
If we want to live in a beautiful and awakened world of majesty and harmony, then all change must start with ourselves. But we cannot wait until we are perfect before extending compassion to the world. Therefore even as we walk the path, we must also create the space to allow others to do so as well.
This is not a matter of teaching or outreach. This means treating everyone and everything as it truly is: an extension of existence.
Part of the Bodhisattva Vow is: ”The beings in all the worlds are numberless, I vow to save them.”
This does not mean going one by one and leading each by hand down the path to enlightenment. This means seeing into and accepting their inner nature for what it already and always is: You.
Living in the world requires you to understand the interdependence of all things, not just below the surface but also ON the surface.
When you can get on everyone’s side, not their ego’s sides mind you but the Soul’s side, then you will no longer find society to be a hindrance to your path. Far from it! Every moment of conflict is an opportunity to make room for clarity to emerge within yourself. Whether or not the same happens for other people is not your concern, so long as you continually give others every opportunity to emerge with you.
With this attitude, the greatest obstacle to spiritual development in the modern age becomes a vehicle for your own salvation and peace.
Read more here.