My dear friends and students, another year has passed and we are each getting older and more experienced, and hopefully more compassionate, more loving, kinder and wiser. For me, 2015 and 2016 were interesting, challenging and sometimes testing. In 2015, Nepal suffered major earthquakes and aftershocks, destroying homes and lives, we managed in our own little ways to help and support those in need. Despite the difficulties, we managed to cycle more than 10,000km and continue our commitment to promote gender equality and eco-friendly way of living. I must thank my nuns for giving me the support to persevere in such physically difficult activities, I would even say that to persist in one’s own commitment itself is a great test.
I also would like to thank all my colleagues as well as my children for actively advocating the messages of Lord Buddha through different presentations, in the form of rituals, retreats, public activities, interactions and so on so forth. Most importantly for the support that they give me despite whatever difficulties they themselves might be facing. When I said my “children”, I refer to my spiritual sons and daughters, the tulkus, the monks and nuns, who are like my own children.
My friends and supporters of the lineage are the biggest encouragement for me, whether with their presence or their continuous and unwavering commitment to serve all the beings. In fact, we all exist in this world interdependently and we need each other. While students need teachers, the opposite is also applicable.
Many have requested me to give some practical advice for the new year. I guess there are many things I would like to share. First of all is to move on with a positive attitude. Whatever mistakes we have made, let us face them, understand them and promise not to make them again. Whatever good deeds we have done, we must continue with the motivation to benefit others. I believe, being selfless is the smartest way of being selfish. We gain so much by not expecting anything in return.
As followers of Lord Buddha, it is important that whether we are celebrating or going through the hardships, we must constantly remind ourselves to be in equanimity and always keep the motivation to benefit all beings, as many as possible, especially the beings in Nepal. For me, I believe and feel that the most important and effective way to benefit others is through active humanitarian work and preserving our natural environment. Nothing can be more beneficial than this. While we say goodbye to the past and welcome to the fresh new year, while we reflect on what went wrong and what went well, we must not only repent for our wrongdoings, but also encourage ourselves for the positive change we have made in our lives and the lives of others. Abandoning the negative and embracing the positive is something that we must continue to do, moving into the new year.
Last but not least, we shall join hand, engage in prayers for all wholeheartedly and as the new year begins, we put our heart and actions into making this world a better place. Together we can definitely make a difference.