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A New Year - Looking deeply into our life and relationships...

Posted by Chan Phap Ho at Jan 04, 2013 03:25 AM |
During our annual Holiday Retreat we celebrated New Years Eve. We practiced walking in candle light each step in joy and peace, sitting meditation and at midnight the bell and drum of Insight was invited. We continued the celebration with chanting and a New Year's prayer, which you can find below.

New Year Prayer to Mother Earth, Father Sun

and all Our Ancestors in the Year 2013


Dear Beloved Mother Earth - Bodhisattva Mahagaia

Dear Beloved Father Sun – Bodhisattva Mahavairocana Tathagata

Dear Beloved Ancestors, both Spiritual and Genetic,

We present ourselves before you at this solemn moment of the New Year to mindfully express our gratitude and our deep aspiration as a spiritual family. We know that Mother Earth, Father Sun and our ancestors are always present and alive in us and that you are a solid place of refuge for all us.

Dear Father Sun, your infinite light is the nourishing source of all species. You are our sun, you are Amitabha, you are a great Buddha, a great Bodhisattva, our Great Tathagata Sun, our source of limitless light and life. Your light shines upon Mother Earth offering us warmth and beauty, helping Mother Earth to nourish us and make life possible for all species. When we pay homage to Mother Earth, we see you in Mother Earth. You are not only in the sky but you are also in the earth and you are ever present in Mother Earth and in us. Every morning, you manifest from the East like a bright pink disc, a vast halo shining radiantly in the ten directions. You are the kindest of Fathers with the great ability to understand and be compassionate and yet at the same time you are incredibly bold and courageous.

We continuously practice looking deeply to see that there is a heart inside of each and everyone of us. If our heart were to stop beating, then we would die instantly. But when we look up towards the sky, we know that you, Father Sun, are also our heart. You are not just outside of this tiny body of ours, you are part of the whole cosmos, a part of our solar system. If you were to disappear, then our life as well as that of Mother Earth would end too. Therefore, we aspire to look deeply to see you, Father Sun as our heart, to be able to see the interrelationship, the inter-being nature between Father Sun, Mother Earth, us and all beings. We aspire to practice to love Mother Earth, Father Sun and to love one another with the radiant insight of non-duality and inter-being in order to help us transcend all kinds of discrimination, fear, jealousy, resentment, hatred and despair.

Dear Mother Earth, breathing in, we see that we and all of our ancestors are your children. With your patience, stability, endurance and creativity you have raised us and guided us tirelessly through many lifetimes. You have given birth to us as well as to countless Great Beings, Buddhas, Saints, and Bodhisattvas. You are the great Earth, you are Terra, you are Gaia, you are this beautiful blue planet. You are the Earth Refreshing Bodhisattva–fragrant, cool, and kind. We see that though we and our ancestors have made many mistakes, you have always forgiven us. Each time we return to you, you are ready to open your arms and embrace us.

Because of our wrong perceptions and discrimination we have lived a life of separation, hatred, loneliness, suffering, and despair. We have allowed individualism to prevail, and it has caused a lot of damage and hardship to you and to ourselves. We have run after fame, wealth, power, and sensual pleasures and have forgotten that these pursuits can never bring us true happiness.

We have spent many lifetimes not able to recognize your presence as the Pure Land, as the Kingdom of God, as the most wondrous home that we have. We have run after a distant Promised Land, in heaven or in the future. This has caused us and you much suffering. Tonight as we touch the Earth, we let go and offer you and our ancestors our true presence. We have arrived. You are our home, our only home.

We have learned that only love and compassion can make our lives meaningful, allowing us to protect and preserve your beauty, and allowing us to heal ourselves. We can learn to live as one family -- as a community of brothers and sisters, all children of the same Great Mother Earth, Great Father Sun giving our descendants a chance for a healthy and a bright future. We know that only through building brotherhood and sisterhood in the present moment can we make this bright future a reality on earth.

Dear Mother Earth, Dear Father Sun and Dear Ancestors, tonight, on the occasion of the New Year 2013, we give rise to the deep aspiration to begin anew. We would like to begin anew and ask for your forgiveness for all the mistakes we have made. With great respect we make the deep aspiration and promise to learn to breathe and walk mindfully each moment of our daily life. We shall learn to live simply and learn to love with compassion and non-discrimination, as you do. We shall learn to listen to your voice, Mother Earth, Father Sun, to understand you more deeply in order to hear the guidance you and our ancestors offer us. We promise that we shall learn to remain openhearted so that we will be able to communicate better with the members of our family and our community. We aspire to look and to listen with the eyes and ears of our family and our community. We aspire to use peaceful and loving speech with our brothers, sisters, friends and children. So that we may live in harmony and peace, in the very heart of our family and our community, just as bees in the same beehive and cells in the same body. We aspire to learn to see the happiness and well-being of our family and community as our own happiness and well-being.

We promise to stop running away from our suffering, but to practice recognizing, embracing and transforming it. Only by understanding the roots of our suffering can we heal and touch true happiness, and at the same time, restore your beauty and freshness.

You have been calling out to us for many lifetimes and some of us have been able to hear your pain. Countless times you have asked us this question: “Can I have faith and confidence in you? Can I count on you?” In this solemn moment, with palms joined and with one heart, we respectfully offer to you our sincere answer: “Holy and Compassionate Father Sun and Mother Earth, you can count on us. You can have faith and confidence in us.”

We shall practice for you, Mother Earth, Father Sun, for all our ancestors and future generations so that joy, peace, harmony and love will always be present in this world. Please accept our offerings of incense, flowers, fruit, tea, and love. Respected Father Sun, Respected Mother Earth, Dear Ancestors please have trust in us.

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