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A New Year to Interact with Sincerity and Impartiality

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Writer Jogye Date28 Dec 2022 Read1,052 Comment0


A New Year to Interact with Sincerity and Impartiality

The New Year’ sun, a perfect circle, has arisen to illuminate myriad phenomena; mountains and oceans dance, and people of the city and the country sing together with a joyful heart. 

The morning of the New Year’s Day brings countless blessings, and myriad beings are renewed.

Yet, a number of the world’s citizens today are in confrontation against each other, and the sounds of division and discord are heard everywhere. The roar of guns is exchanged between the North and the West while high tensions overflow in several places to the East and the South. Looking back, the Great Wall—stretching miles and miles in length—is trod under the feet of tourists while horses and elephants—which once energetically ran across battlefields in the past—are locked behind the walls of zoos. Now is the time to put a halt to the marvelous but fleeting feats we once performed standing on the blade of a guillotine, and use our talents to make hoes and ploughshares from molten spears and swords.

In the morning of the Year of the Water Rabbit, we share the axiom that the world is one household and humanity is one body, which is aptly described in Buddhism as “Heaven and earth spring from the same root, and myriad things are of the same essence.” Only going forward toward compassion and peaceful coexistence sheds genuine light on all of humanity. The spirit of the non-duality of self and others—which consoles alienated neighbors considerately—provides a foundation for participating readily in sharing pain in order to overcome times of trial and tribulation. It is also high time to cultivate Manjusri’s wisdom, inherent in each of us, to resolve the issues of our era, like our low birth rate, our aging population, and the world’s climate crisis. We should search for ways to coexist in order to live our lives to overcome any pandemic, and in our daily lives, we should unite as one like “two rabbits pounding rice in a mortar together harmoniously.”

The Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism will continue to communicate sincerely with the world, and to interact with the fourfold Buddhist community impartially. In order to help each individual regain equanimity through Seon meditation whenever they are vexed by any of the 84,000 kinds of afflictions, and to help each individual find their own path, we will proactively act as a compass for this era. To begin a new millennium, we will also support a national movement to set upright the Rock-Carved Buddha of Yeoram Valley on Mt. Namsan in Gyeongju.

Time flows from yesterday to today, and from today to tomorrow. However, time does not necessarily flow unimpeded from the present to the future because the present is connected to the past, and the past is interconnected with the future. Thus, the ancient sages said, “As long as the present is not as good as the past, the future won’t be as good as the present.” Accordingly, if the New Year is not as good as last year, next year won’t be as good as this year.

In the Year of the Water Rabbit, let us pound the drum of harmony and coexistence. With the Dharma rain of truth, we should do our best to help myriad things be renewed and each being find their right place.

With my utmost heart, I pray that all families be filled with the blessings of all buddhas.

In the morning of the New Year, the Year of the Water Rabbit

Ven. Jinu, President of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.

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