Sounding the Lotus Bell to Offer Blessings for the Year of the Rabbit
On the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year, Abbot President of Dharma Drum Mountain, Venerable Guo Dong, President of the Republic of China, Mr. Ying-Jou Ma, Premier of the Executive Yuan, Mr. Dun-Yi Wu, and Mayor of the New Taipei City, Mr. Li-Lun Chu, attended the New Year Prayer Ceremony at Lotus Bell Park in the Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education, Jinshan District of New Taipei City.
The ceremony included sounding the Lotus bell 108 times, symbolizing the offering of blessings to the people of Taiwan as well as for praying for peace.
The event attracted close to one thousand people joining in prayers for peace and prosperity. Following the prayer session, the first sound of the Lotus Bell resonated at ten o’clock amidst the enchanting drone of the DDM Sangha and devoted attendees’ chanting of the Buddhist scriptures. The last 108th sound of the bell greeted a new beginning, welcoming the New Year.
Venerable Guo Dong shared in his Dharma talk how the DDM Sangha have been diligently upholding the important work towards ‘uplifting the character of humanity, and building a pure land on earth’, in line with the spirit of Venerable Master Sheng Yen’s teachings.
In commemorating the Chinese lunar year of the rabbit, the Abbot President encouraged participants to embrace their spiritual development towards a peaceful mind and eternal happiness. He reminded them that seeking peace and happiness in life can never come about through material enjoyment, stressing that it is only through embracing spiritual development that peace and good fortune can be attained.
Following the Abbot President’s blessings and Dharma talks, President Ying-Jou Ma, Premier Dun-Yi Wu, Mayor Li-Lun Chu all joined him on the stage, each offering their blessings to the people and praying for peace. The Republic of China also honored its 100th birthday.
The New Year holiday continues until 7 February. DDM has taken this opportunity to offer specially designed inspirational and educational games and activities at the Center, in the hope that people can enjoy having fun with Chan Buddhism and, at the same time, experience the importance of maintaining the mind in peace and the body at ease.
(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)