Despite the chilly weather and rain, over two thousand followers of the triple gem gathered together to welcome the Year of the Dragon at the Lotus Park at the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education.
Those who attended eagerly anticipated the coming of the New Year as a fresh start. Attendees faithfully chanted Buddhist scriptures for repentance while joyfully awaiting the blissful sounds of the Lotus Bell.
Amidst the holy sounds of chanting, the Lotus Bell was struck by four male monastics at ten o'clock in the evening. The sound was beautiful, and each time the monastics continued to ring the bell, the sound echoed across the DDM World Center. The peaceful sounds of the bell brought serenity into everyone's hearts, casting sorrow and vexations away.
In addition to the Abbot President Venerable Guo Dong and the President of the Republic of China, Ying-Jeou Ma, Premier of the Executive Yuan, Dun-Yi Wu, also attended the assembly to offer their warmest blessings, make their vows, and to pray for peace and happiness together with the Abbot President.
The 108th strike of the Lotus Bell at the mid night brought the assembly to a close, all participants joyfully bid farewell to the Year of Rabbit (2011) and greeted the Year of Dragon (2012).
As the evening drew to an end, Abbot President Venerable Guo Dong led President Ma and other participants to walk slowly around the Lotus Bell with palms joined while chanting the holy name ‘Nan-Mo-A-Mi-Tou-Fo’ for peace and the nurturing of self-merit.
(translated by Jin Yang/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)