At Buddha Mind Monastery, we promote the Zen practice and propagate the truths of Buddhism. To celebrate the Chinese New Year, we held the New Year Medicine Buddha ceremony and Chinese New Year celebration. These enabled us to learn the Bodhisattva’s spirit of benefiting oneself and others. Furthermore, they helped to facilitate the cultural exchange between the East and the West.
On that day, the weather was sunny with a light breeze. Around 9:00 am, all the Dharma supporters gathered at the Buddha Mind Monastery. Amid the melodious chanting and Dharma instruments, the assembly recited the “Medicine Crystal Radiance Tathagata’s Vow and Merit Sutra.” Master Jian Tai, the Abbess of the Buddha Mind Monastery, gave a Dharma lecture in both Chinese and English to elucidate the merit and virtue of chanting the Medicine Buddha Sutra. The Medicine Buddha makes a great vow to cure the physical illnesses and eradicate the vexations of sentient beings. Only when we have a peaceful mind and healthy body and broadly cultivate virtues and blessings, will the wonderful function of our inherent wisdom naturally manifest.
After the Dharma ceremony, there were many performances. They began with New Year songs, sung in Chinese by eight students from our Mandarin Learning class. Next were two-part singing of Buddhist songs, nunchakus, Tai Chi, electronic piano, and recitation of Chinese prose. These performances fully demonstrated the richness of Chinese culture. The dance, “Fairy offers Fortune”, as an offering to the Buddha, performed by Zweng-Yen Liang with devotion, won much applause and response. In the end, the ribbon dance and the gifting of fortune envelopes further added to the joyful atmosphere of the Chinese New Year celebration.
“In the New Year and new spring, all things are renewed;
Each new day, our mind is awakened, clear and bright as the moon.
Day and night, anytime is springtime.”
In the New Year, we should have greater realizations and breakthroughs. In all circumstances we hope this mind will be clear, aware, and in command, then each day will be a good day, and every year a good year.
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