By Bhante Mahinda, General Advisor of BMSM
New Year greetings to all!
Once again, it is time to reflect and recall all the goodness we have done during the past year, and resolve to improve and transform ourselves in the coming year. How we fare in the coming year will ultimately be determined by our own thoughts, speech and bodily actions.
Whatever may be in store for us in the lunar Year of the Rabbit – a symbol of longevity, peace and prosperity – we either need to make the best use of all the positive influences to further our wellbeing, or counter the effects of certain negative forces and change the course of things through the cultivation of spiritual values.
The celebration of Lunar New Year (as with other culturally-related new years) is well known for traditional practices such as respecting elders, being generous, seeking forgiveness, and so on. These wholesome actions are conducive to peace, harmony and prosperity within the family. In addition, we also need to cultivate certain values that will equip us to meet the challenges of our time.
Metta and Mindfulness are two very important ‘tools’ that will help us to meet the challenges of our time. Both are now the subject of scientific investigation around the world, and there are a growing number of studies which demonstrate their benefits – especially in mental health and interpersonal relationships.
For more than 10 years, we have been promoting the awareness and cultivation of Metta, or loving-kindness meditation, through various activities such as 24Hr Metta, Metta Round the World, Metta Circles, Metta Conventions, and the Million Minutes of Metta and Mindfulness initiative.
We rejoice with all the individuals and groups from around the world who participated in Metta Circles and the Million Minutes of Metta and Mindfulness initiative at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and collectively clocked in over 6 million minutes by 13 July 2022.
Between July and October 2022, the Aloka Online Dhamma Course (AODC) on Mindfulness, based on the Maha-Satipatthana Sutta as taught by the Buddha, was also successfully conducted. More than 500 participants (including BMSM members and Dhamma friends) completed the course, and many have indicated their interest to further their practice in smaller groups in different locations.
The year 2022 was also a significant year for BMSM as it marked the 60th anniversary of its founding. Much effort was put in by the members of the Central Management Committee (CMC) to celebrate the occasion in a meaningful way through “Touching Lives with Dhamma”: connecting, communicating and engaging with both existing and new members.
We rejoice with all the participants from the various BMSM branches who joined the 3-days National Delegates Conference for a meeting of minds and to chart the way forward. We also say “Sadhu” to all who have joined us in the BMSM Volunteers engagement programme.
In the coming year, we look forward to your continued support and assistance. Your sincere and earnest effort in the cultivation of Metta and Mindfulness will enable us to render services to one another in the true spirit of Dhammadutas.
Wishing you all a happy and prosperous New Year.
May you and all members of your family be blessed with a long, healthy and happy life.
May the blessings of the Buddha Dhamma Sangha be with you all, always.