Buddhism offers us the hope of finding a safe refuge beyond the body in the blissful emptiness of the mind through letting go. Thus to a Buddhist who has faith the response to the possible end of the world or to the end of our lives is the same. Meditate and practice Dhamma before its too late! For those with less faith in a possibility of life after death but faith enough to meditate, the same practice can still win the refuge of a source of peace and stability of mind through difficult times.
Our first refuge will be the natural mindfulness that comes from virtue, from a lack of remorse that takes the mind into the past and a letting go of the desire that pulls the mind into the future. This path of faith culminates in samādhi that seems a bit like finding a way within our minds to blast off into space! Yet where will we end up? Do we know?
And what about the world?
If we add wisdom to such faith we realise that we can find a safe space, a deeper refuge within the world. If the world survives or ends we can we stay right where we are, within the empty mind. Then we know where we will end up. We will end up right here. We can get to know this emptiness here and now and find that it is naturally full of spiritual qualities. We find out how this emptiness relates to any phenomenon that comes within it in a way that it remains empty and free. We learn how to relate to all the movement of the world and remain still, at peace, secure. Then, here in this down to earth spirituality, compassion also flowers and the practice becomes wider, not just about meditation.
Then wisdom takes us to the highest refuge. This is the wisdom that sees the impermanence of all things and lets go. The mind that lets go like this is then not withdrawn but detached, the mind is in the world but not of the world. And yet to see and let go completely the mind must be able to look on from a secure refuge. Building such a refuge is therefore our task.