As we move towards a brand new year, most of us would try to reflect the past year’s actions and to plan for the next year. We call this “New Year Resolution”. Many of my friends and students ask about the same thing. I know I am expected to say something about Covid-19, vegetarianism, environmentalism, compassion, loving kindness and many things. This is quite common new year message.

I have nothing much to share except one thing that has been coming up in my mind, in the middle of all the problems in the world caused by the unexpected Covid-19. I can almost say that the world and our lives have been turned upside down by this thing called Covid-19. As I have been nagging in many of my messages, we have no one to blame except ourselves. Our greed, anger, ignorance, pride, doubts and all sorts of emotions have brought us to this situation. But we do not realise and admit this. What do we do? We can only blame others, other countries, other people, except we ourselves.

For me, I feel that it’s because we are out of balance. The most difficult practice for any acrobat is balancing. To maintain harmony in the world, we need balancing of power, resources and complicated international relationships. The same applies to family, business, community and social activities.

Being in balance is very important. We can see how environmental imbalance has brought about disasters, including the outbreak of different deadly pandemics. In our life, if we don’t have a sense of balance between our desires and our inner good, we would also be doing all sorts of terrible activities that neither ultimately benefit ourselves nor others.

It doesn’t seem to be very difficult to understand. Who doesn’t know the meaning of “balance”? The problem is we normally don’t keep a mindful watch on this. Sometimes I feel we enjoy to be off balance. For example, when we are overly happy or overly sad, we overreact. This is a sign of imbalance. Most of us are in this imbalance state all the time. This is why we cannot live happily. Our life is like a roller coaster ride all the time. I think if you are constantly in excitement or disappointment, your health will be worn out.

As the year comes to a fresh new start, may I request you all to try to keep your balance. Keep your mind and body in balance. Then you can ride the waves of samsara safely and happily.