Venerable Master Sheng Yen's New Year Talk 2007
This is the 96th year of the Republic of China, as well as year 2007 C.E.
At the beginning of the year, we usually say "Happy New Year," "Have a great year" to wish each other blessings. We all hope to receive good wishes.
Does good wishes work? Certainly.
I ask this question every year.
Yes, good wishes work.
When we all make a vow,
work towards the same goal,
wish for the same thing,
go in the same direction,
and help each other,
then our good wishes for each other will really work.
Also, One person's good wishes,
when combined with the good wishes of many others, become a joint vow.
Therefore, our new year's greeting cards and New Year scroll this year
contain four words.
These words: "Ho, Jin, Ping, An," means harmony, respect, and peace. And we also added the words "Great Vows." This means that we use our great vows to encourage one another, to help one another, and to wish one another blessings.
This year, we use these words to wish one another blessings.
There are also four sentences in our cards:
"Harmony brings everyone peace and happiness;
Respect makes every path a smooth one.
Let us treat all sentient beings equally, And nurture our world into a pure land."
These four sentences tells us how to put the four words, "Ho, Jin Pin, An," into practice.
Ho means harmony.
Jin means respect.
Pin means equality.
An means nurturing.
If each of us follows and uses the meaning of these four words and four sentences to encourage ourselves and others, and to wish each other blessings, we'll really have peace and things will go well with us, and we can turn our world into a pure land.
This is our good wish.
DDM's greatest achievement last year is that, as we established our Sangha system, we held a benediction ceremony for the new Abbot President.
This is a great historic event for our DDM community.
This means that, I used to be the head of DDM, but as the new Abbot President has been inaugurated,
I now became the Founder.
Now I simply hold the position of the Founder, and have handed over most administrative responsibilities to the second generation.
At various ceremonies and activities
on and off the Mountain, such as transmitting precepts and giving tonsures, I will play a secondary role while the new Abbot President will represent the DDM organizations.
This was a major event for us last year.
As for the meaning of great vows.
I'll now talk about making vows.
What are the vows we should all make?
As we continue to grow, we need funds, for example, for the newly established Buddhist College.
We also need funds for building and establishing the Dharma Drum University.
To reach our fund-raising goal, we still need to work hard.
We're still short of the goal.
Therefore, at the inauguration for the Lotus Bell, we started a campaign called "Great Vows".
As the Lotus Bell has now been completed, let's aim to increase the number of honorary directors. This is a task that requires everybody's help.
December 23, 2006, the day of the Bell's ceremony, was the starting point of this campaign.
But after the starting point, we hope that the number of honorary directors will increase rapidly, so that everybody can sow the seeds of blessings.
I hope you can all sow the seeds yourselves, or repeat your donation as an honorary director, or encourage your family and friends to become our honorary directors so they can join us in cultivating the great field of merit, and contribute their shares to the great cause of Buddhist education.
Meanwhile, in our organization,whether in the Sangha,in the Dharma-upholding system, or in any other division, I hope that we show more care about the members of our Dharma-upholding system. Therefore, in 2007 I have a wish.
I wish to make caring tours.
What do I want to care about and to encourage?
I'll go to various regions, not to ask for money, not to seek donations.
If I'm seeking anything, that is seeking karmic links to the Dharma.
I hope all of you work harder, make more efforts to understand the Buddhist doctrines, practice the Dharma, and put the Dharma into use in daily life.
If you make more efforts, then it will benefit your family, your career,and, especially, your body and mind.
If we can decrease our vexations, our family will be more harmonious, and the environment we live in or our career will have more of a smooth going. All this depends on the Dharma.
The Dharma of the DDM is to be used in daily life. It's practical Dharma. Besides repentance prostration, meditation, and reciting the Buddha!|s name or sutras, we should put the Dharma into practice in daily life.
This is our great vow.
This great vow will enable us to make advances in understanding and practicing the Dharma, and also in cultivating the field of merit, and in upholding and spreading the Dharma, that is, in helping all sentient beings.
In all these aspects, we make a great vow to reach our goals this year.
My blessing to you all for the new year.
I wish you ease of mind, joy, peace, happiness, and good health.