We humans love all kinds of celebrations. We celebrate new year of all different traditions, we celebrate weddings, anniversaries, Mothers' Day, Fathers' Day, Valentine's Day, this festival and that festival. If we check deeply, most of our celebrations are disasters for many beings around us. The amount of meat we humans consume during celebrations which result in so many animals being sacrificed is simply unthinkable. I think, if these poor beings are able to communicate with us in a way like we humans communicate with each other, I am 100% sure that they would request us not to celebrate, because our joy and happiness are resulting in their pain and suffering. Besides, we know from news that in the time of festivals, the rate of accidents, violent incidents, crimes, unvirtuous deeds and so on so forth goes up due to excessive alcohol consumption, mindless behaviours and unwatched motivations that turn negative.

Celebrations are of course beautiful, as they are reminders of our happy gatherings and joyful traditions. Why not celebrate with the motivation of sharing happiness with all the beings? Is it not better to celebrate without inflicting pains on others?

Especially as spiritual practitioners and particularly as Buddhist practitioners, we are followers of Great Love and Great Compassion, we should not only pray and meditate on Great Love and Great Compassion, our actions should also reflect Great Love and Great ompassion.

In our lunar calendar, the first 15 days of a lunar year are considered to be most precious and sacred, and it is only one opportunity in the entire year to accumulate vast amount of merit or in other words, vast amount of demerit, depending on our deeds. This is the period celebrating the Buddha's performing miracles to transform the minds of non-believers of the law of karma. So we call the entire month "the Month of Miracles". I suggest that we all should use this opportunity to accumulate merit by not harming any beings and by dedicating our positive and loving thoughts towards all mother sentient beings. Not only we keep this compassionate motivation in our mind, but also we commit ourselves not to create sufferings for others, at least by not taking their lives, directly or indirectly. We should not be giving ourselves any excuse to miss this precious opportunity.

I have started my nuns on the recitation of Avalokiteshvara mantra and elaborated practice from the first day of the first lunar month, and we will continue for one month. Let me take this opportunity to invite all of you, my friends and students, to join us, in this extensive practice wherever you are, not only reciting mantra, but also doing positive activities to benefit others, to benefit this world. Happy Losar to all of you!

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