Just Doing Our Share for Ecology - You are most welcome to download the LJM digital calendar 2021

Just Doing Our Share for Ecology - You are most welcome to download the LJM digital calendar 2021
We at Ling Jiou Mountain used to print our desktop calendars and they were popular with our followers. For a host of reasons ranging from environmental considerations, concerns for deforestation, digital penetration in people’s daily life, etc., we decided to change that to a digital version from 2021 onwards. You can just download it or import the file into your personal Google calendar.

To download the LJM Calendar 2021, click on the link : https://ljm093.pse.is/3bjuf5

Motifs for our desktop calendar change from year to year. It was the School for Sramaneras at Naung Mon in Myanmar for 2018. Artist impressions of LJM buildings and mountain scapes highlighting ecology were the subject matters for 2019. Then, works of photography by a LJM volunteer LI Xin-Nan were featured for 2020.

The LJM digital calendar 2021 for the Year of the Ox carries both the international calendar and the lunar version, and besides major public holidays, it also indicates special days of Buddhism, as well as major events of Ling Jiou Mountain. The graphic layout goes easy on the eye to curate and display contents including calligraphy by the LJM Founding Abbot, Dharma Master Hsin Tao, photographs of boulder stones in the mountains where the LJM is situated, the fable of the Ten Oxherding explained in details, Dharma phrases and quotes, anecdotes and Chan stories, etc.

The famous picture series of ‘Ten Oxherding’ was ascribed to the Chan master Kuoan of the 12th century. It employs a series of drawings to depict the stages of how a shepherd tamed his ox to suggest the phased monastic practices demanded of a Buddhist practitioner to reach enlightenment. The ox or bull has been one of the most popular similes in Buddhism for its mild temper and hard work. And enlightenment is only possible when the basics are solid and thorough.

According to the calendar’s creative team, people all have his/her own ‘Ten Oxherding’ that serve as individual route maps for Buddhist studies toward enlightenment. The guidepost does not work with words, languages, knowledge, logical reasoning, or other thinking processes. It could be just a simple boulder stone on your daily pathway in plain sight. Don’t look for it, but try to see it with the mind’s eye while deepening/intensifying your routine practices in Buddhism day in and day out. That’s how you uncover the treasure within.

The famous saying that ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ comes to mind when watching the Ling Jiou Mountain and looking at its many boulder stones that are constant companions to the LJM residential monastics and practitioners - and reflecting how contemplative stares must have been cast at them, and monologues from the hearts quietly communicated with them on people’s journeys en route to awakening. The analogy here is based on the fact that the Chinese words for ‘stone’, ‘solid’, and ‘ten’ are phonetically identical to help us borrow the LJM boulder stones to create metaphors that bridge the similes of the Oxherding - by inviting everyone to come to visit LJM and join our Peace meditations.

The ten LJM boulder stones that metaphorically represent the ten oxherding are respectively The Ashoka Pillar, Stone Sculpture of Samantabhadra’s Footprints, The Sacred Founding Cornerstone, The Eagle’s Head, The Peace on Earth, The Four Heavenly Guardian Kings (Deva), The Fa-Hua Cave, The Stone of the Indigenous People, The ‘Wind’ Stone, and The Five-Hundred Arhats. However, we hasten to point out that the Stone of the Indigenous People is not yet available for public viewing.

In closing, we would like to share one of our popular LJM quotes: ‘Chan Meditation makes every day a good day and peace of mind reassure yearlong peace’, as Chan and Compassion are the cornerstones of the LJM tradition. Of the activities organized by LJM and planned for the Year of the Ox 2021, that is the seasonal offering of short-term Chan retreats pecked to the four seasons under the headings of ‘Spring Awakening, Summer Journeys, Autumn Frolics, Winter Arts’. You are herewith cordially invited to pencil the dates in and join us to embark on a journey of the heart.