New Year greetings to all!
Once again, it is time to reflect and recall all the goodness we have done during the past year, and resolve to improve and transform ourselves in the coming year. How we fare in the coming year will ultimately be determined by our own thoughts, speech and bodily actions.
Whatever may be in store for us in the lunar Year of the Rabbit – a symbol of longevity, peace and prosperity – we either need to make the best use of all the positive influences to further our wellbeing, or counter the effects of certain negative forces and change the course of things through the cultivation of spiritual values.
The celebration of Lunar New Year (as with other culturally-related new years) is well known for traditional practices such as respecting elders, being generous, seeking forgiveness, and so on. These wholesome actions are conducive to peace, harmony and prosperity within the family. In addition, we also need to cultivate certain values that will equip us to meet the challenges of our time.
Metta and Mindfulness are two very important ‘tools’ that will help us to meet the challenges of our time. Both are now the subject of scientific investigation around the world, and there are a growing number of studies which demonstrate their benefits – especially in mental health and interpersonal relationships.
For more than 10 years, we have been promoting the awareness and cultivation of Metta, or loving-kindness meditation, through various activities such as 24Hr Metta, Metta Round the World, Metta Circles, Metta Conventions, and the Million Minutes of Metta and Mindfulness initiative.
We rejoice with all the individuals and groups from around the world who participated in Metta Circles and the Million Minutes of Metta and Mindfulness initiative at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and collectively clocked in over 6 million minutes by 13 July 2022.
Between July and October 2022, the Aloka Online Dhamma Course (AODC) on Mindfulness, based on the Maha-Satipatthana Sutta as taught by the Buddha, was also successfully conducted. More than 500 participants completed the course, and many have indicated their interest to further their practice in smaller groups at different locations. (Sadhu to all the coordinators and volunteers who have made this online course possible.)
In the coming year, we look forward to having your continued support and assistance to reach out and share the practice of Metta and Mindfulness with members, devotees and Dhamma friends. For those who have completed the online course on Mindfulness, we hope you will make greater commitment to take your practice to another level.
We also rejoice with all our Dana providers who have generously supported us throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
We look forward to having your continued support and participation in the coming year.
Wishing you all a happy and prosperous New Year.
May you and all members of your family be blessed with a long, healthy and happy life.
May the blessings of the Buddha Dhamma Sangha be with you all, always.