Firstly, we are near the end of 2022. I sincerely pray that it is the end of the pandemic throughout the world. For the last few years, during the pandemic we have all faced many challenges and tough times, this has made us not weak yet stronger: may this strength that we have gained during COVID last for the rest of our lives.
The pandemic taught us the value of the mind, no matter if one has power or success, nothing can protect us in this kind of time. Virtually the pandemic has taught us to not rush, as we usually spend so much of our energy and time on external power, we will find that nothing can truly protect us in that way. The Dharma has kept us protected, to have peace within, so the mind can then stay in the state protecting positivity and then experience a great sense of peace.
The reality is whatever we think, and whatever the world says – at the end of the day the cause of all our problems is our defilements. The only remedy for this is the Dharma, for just meeting the Dharma in this very lifetime is to recognise how fortunate we are, we have found the solution from beginningless time until today.
This is the reason why we have established our Dharma Centre. The Centre offers so many teachings, retreats, meditation sessions and courses. There is a direct benefit for those attending and then those people share their experiences with others outside the Centre, so in this way we have reached out to many people within this past year. In order to run the Centre for one person alone is impossible – we need collective effort. In this way I sincerely would like to thank the continually hard-working committee, the hard-working social media support, newsletters, etc. It is very hard to say everyone’s names here, I thank you all.
Thirdly, all the people helping with cooking throughout retreats, and the one’s organizing morning tea during meditation group times, etc. As well, the Centre has a very large acreage of land to care for – as in cutting grass, maintaining the road and so on. Those who offer karma yoga time and volunteers at other times, this offering is such a beautiful form. To those who came and participated in every program of Centre, the sponsors and friends, anyone who mentally contributes, and who offer economical contributions towards the Centre and to all Centre members, I thank you.
It is nearly Christmas time and welcoming in the New Year, so I encourage people to celebrate, to have a good time with your families and enjoy your lives. I sincerely request everyone to drive and travel safely and maybe not to drink too much!
I am truly looking forward to 2023, and as a team to flourish the Buddhadharma, and to free all beings from their defilements.