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The Abbot President presents a speech at the Town Hall of Downtown Flushing, New York

On the evening of 12 July 2009, the Abbot President Venerable Guo Dong arrived at the Town Hall of Downtown Flushing in New York to make a public speech entitled "The Dignity of One's Life". It attracted nearly three hundred people.

How should one strengthen oneself in the face of dealing with difficulties derived from external circumstances? The Abbot President encouraged participants to confront difficulties with a positive attitude, instead of holding on to the negatives.

Rather than complaining about the external circumstances, he suggested that one who is able to maintain peace in the mind would be better able to utilize the opportunities and resources available at the time to create a new beginning for oneself.

The Most Venerable Master Sheng Yen, founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, often taught people the 'Four Attitudes' to handle the difficulties they have in their life: face it, accept it, deal with it and let go of it. The 'Four Attitudes' have been part of the 'Six Ethics of the Mind' which the Master had long propagated in Taiwan.

Venerable Guo Dong pointed out that if one is able to understand the nature of emptiness, no-self, impermanence and cause-and-effect, then one will be able to fearlessly confront any difficulties in life with no vexations. Therefore, one will become a person without an ego who is able to contribute towards the interest of others at all times.

He concluded his speech by encouraging everyone to actively share by using the power of virtue into every corner of society, so that one can create happiness when faced with difficulties, and even generate peace and happiness amidst the economic recession.

After the conclusion of the speech, a Refuge Taking Ceremony was performed with eleven people taking refuge.

(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)

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