In a Buddhist practice or event, we emphasize the need to do the three main parts with mindfulness - Preliminary, Main and Concluding Part. I wish to revise this teaching with you in conjunction with the recent events to celebrate the Guan Yin or Avaloketesvara Anniversary held in conjunction with the 25th Anniversary of the Than Hsiang Buddhist Welfare Association.
I would like to thank all of our Sangha members, staff and lay members for the hard work they had put into organizing the events of the Guan Yin celebration over the past months to prepare for the Lecture Series on Guan Yin, the Great Compassion Repentance Ceremony (Da Bei Chan), Guan Yin Gold Medallion Launching and the Float Procession. I know many of you worked very hard for these events.
All the events went very smoothly thanks to the blessings of the Triple Gem.
Many members also contributed to the smooth running events with good Preparation (Preliminary) and Execution (Main), I hope that all of you derived a lot of Dharmic joy from these activities.
The series of events for the Guan Yin celebration climaxed last Saturday with the Float Procession.
Today I will do the Concluding Part with you this morning and also a final review meeting with participating members tonight.
1. Preliminary Part:
For all the major events, plans were drafted, discussed in detail and duties were allocated. Publicity was also carried out. We paid attention to important details. Good preparation is essential to ensure the subsequent smooth running of the activities.
At the preliminary stage, motive is very important. We should not have personal gain and fame as our motives.
We used Bodhicitta as our motive to organize and participate in the events. Bodhicitta is the aspiration to gain the highest goal of Buddhahood and a wish to benefit all sentient beings. In our practice along the path leading to Buddhahood, we need to accumulate merits and wisdom. Our participation in religious activities help us to do this for ourselves as well as for benefiting other sentient beings.
2. Main Part:
The planned activities were carried out on different days at the venues selected with the involvement of Buddhist devotees and members of the public. Members assigned with their respective duties faithfully executed the plans with good cooperation and coordination. It is also important for us to participate with an attitude to serve the participants to bring faith and Dharmic joy to them.
The highlight of the celebrations was the Float Procession, which involved thousands of people. Many other Buddhist Temples and Organizations also participated in this event to render support to Than Hsiang. We are very grateful to them for this support. This was the first time in 25 years we had organized an activity like this. The event made it possible for the large scale participation of Buddhists as well as members of the public. We could see that many Buddhists participated with great faith, sincerity and Dharmic joy. The streets were also lined up with many devotees and members of the public, who had an opportunity to witness a Buddhist Procession of Guan Yin Bodhisattva. At the end of the procession, I received messages from members who were very moved with Dharmic joy with the event.
3. Concluding Part:
After each event, we need to clean up the respective venue and return things to their original places.
We also do a thorough review of the events to retain the good points and work on weaknesses so that we can do better in future occasions. In the review, we develop gratitude (gan en xin) towards others' selfless contributions and rejoice in the merits (sui xi gong de), and develop humility (chan hui xin) on one's limited contribution and observe how one can do better. This is an attitude where we attribute the successes to the contribution and the participation of others and we attribute the failures to ourselves.
Finally, in line with our initial motive, we transfer the merits of the meritoriously successful events, to all sentient beings and wish that all of them may attain Buddhahood.