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A Letter to Dharma Community

Updated: Mar 31, 2021

Dear Friends and Members of Jinyin Temple,

We hope this message finds you and your loved ones well, and we hope you are all safe and healthy and living through the pandemic without too many hardships. After a lengthy hiatus since early 2020, January 2021 marked our public virtual Dharma community reunion. We at Jinyin Temple are extremely grateful for both the moral and financial support from our old and new friends.

Humanity has been through many trials throughout history but most recently, our human family is more stressed than ever and the social fabric is being torn. Our world has reached a heart-wrenching milestone during mid-January, 2021: the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed over two million lives. People are suffering both physically and emotionally on a global scale. Economic downturn, public health workforce shortage, climate change have become the defining crises of our time. We humans have extraordinary potential for goodness, but also an immense power to do harm. There is still too much greed, selfishness, and indifference in the world. Some who choose to only search for power have lost regard for their fellow human beings.

On the 8th day of the 12th lunar month (January 20, 2021), we celebrated Bodhi Day, a day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), attained enlightenment in deep meditation, founded the Buddhist faith, and became our great teacher. On January 23rd, we held our first online chanting service with Dharma brothers and sisters around the world. Our central message is clear: We are in an alarming situation and the normal rules do not seem to apply. We will always strive to promote world peace, stability, and sustainable harmony by embodying and communicating the teachings of the Buddha.

We all have the mani-jewel within us which represents our Buddha-nature, but because of the three poisons of ignorance, attachment, and aversion, we may only see the various colors emitted by the jewel, but not the purity of the jewel or Buddha-nature itself. That is why it is important to cultivate compassion, mindfulness, and altruistic love through practices.

According to Neuroscientist Richard Davidson, there are four totally independent brain circuits that influence our lasting well-being. The first is our ability to maintain positive states. The second is our ability to recover from negative states. The third circuit is our ability to focus and avoid mind-wandering. The fourth is our ability to be generous. It all depends on what we want. Altruism is the wish: May others be happy. May the positive aspiration of others be fulfilled. May others be spared of suffering. May the root of other people’s suffering be vanished.

An altruistic world requires both individual change and societal change. Let’s not forget love and compassion reside in all of us. We can choose to perceive the world and society with a judgmental and condemning mind, or look at the same world and society with more openhearted acceptance and compassion. Then we will find that as if our inner state of mind has the power to change the physical and social world around us. What we choose to fight for today will trickle down to the next generations to come. The world calls for individual change, local commitment, and global responsibility. We need to come together to fortify our mind and find freedom of our heart, and to deepen wisdom and manifest compassion through training and practice. We at Jinyin Temple strive to embody what we hope to see — a just, loving world, and to love and serve humanity.

ॐ मणिपद्मे हूँ Oṃ Maṇi Padme Hūṃ

In utmost reverence to the sacred mantra! All beings have Buddha nature just like the rare maṇi-jewel. As long as people purify their bodies, speech and minds with perseverance like the pure lotus flower, they will reveal their true nature and become enlightened. This is the fundamental and amazing essence of enlightenment for all Buddhas!

As we chant the Six-Syllable Mantra of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, we take in the suffering of others with each inbreath, and send out positive energy to benefit them on each outbreath.

Let the boundless love of our heart spread to every corner of the world. May there be no more hatred or hostility. May all living beings rejoice in the goodwill that has been brought forth by this love we share!

Jinyin Temple Joint Palms


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