Lectures by Sayadaws at LJM Water-Land Dharma Assembly 2021 Guide Followers with Mindfulness on Their Journey of Dharma Practice

Lectures by Sayadaws at LJM Water-Land Dharma Assembly 2021 Guide Followers with Mindfulness on Their Journey of Dharma Practice
During the 21-day online retreat for the Ling Jiou Mountain (LJM) Water-Land Dharma Assembly 2021, LJM Founding Abbot - Dharma Master Hsin Tao - not only presided over the ritual procedures but invited Burmese Sadayaws to give post-event sermons at the Theravada Altar at the event's remote site. Both venerable masters offered kind words of encouragement to wish Buddhist students great advancement in mindfulness so that they remain blessed with good health and peaceful mind plus ever-increasing fortune and wisdom on their journey of Dharma studies under the guidance of the Four Noble Truths and the Eight Right Ways.

Following the completion of the Water-Dripping Ritual for Merit-Transfer as a part of the LJM Water-Land Dharma Assembly 2021 at the Theravada Altar, Ven. Bhaddanta Kumara of Yangon expressed sincere gratitude to Dharma Master Hsin Tao for the timely relief mission that was critical in keeping many schools and monasteries afloat in a Myanmar gravely troubled by COVID-19. The Mahasangha ended his remarks by using the Burmese phrase ‘Sadu, Sadu, Sadu’ to express his humility.

In the sermon he gave, Ven. Bhaddanta Kumara pointed out that it is an enormously blissful fortune and grand, virtuous karma to be part of the virtual event online, to experience the impermanence of the secular world via visualization practice, as well as to collectively achieve advancement in practicing Buddhism to acquire the benefit of Nirvana. Without our knowing, a lot of saddening losses and departures are happening as we speak, and most of us are at our wits’ end about the helplessness. Exactly for that, it is advisable to steer our consciousness, which we practice and visualize routinely, clear of the way.

Ven. Bhaddanta Kumara further said that people nowadays appear to see a lot, hear a lot, and know a lot thanks to information technologies. But there is a lack of willpower and the strength of spirituality in most people. It is understandably challenging for such people to learn Buddha's teachings. In the past, Bhikkhus and secular practitioners would focus on their studies and practice meditation to attain enough advancement and reach the status of Arhat and achieve the paramita of Nirvana. With all the distractions around, it is more demanding for practitioners to focus on Buddhism these days.

Ven. Bhaddanta Kumara also cautioned that to make progress in Buddhist practice, wishful thinking does not work. Instead, one must concretely get into the practice of visualization to keep up the consciousness, while cutting off distractions and learn to let go. In the Metta Sutta, Buddha reminds us to cherish the present life to make advancement in Buddhism and stay away from all hostility and danger, which help to keep all psychological and physical suffering at bay. The Mahasangha then completed the sermon by bestowing a blessing for peace and joy upon all sentient beings.

The late Bhaddanta Pandita Varabhivamsa, the former Rector at the Buddhist Pariyatti Sasana University in Mandalay, passed away on August 26. Mourning the great loss of a fellow disciple of Buddha, who excelled at practicing as well as promoting Buddhism, Dharma Master Hsin Tao went online to offer condolences with obituary remarks in commemoration of the glory, wisdom, and recognition of the late Sadayaw. Longtime cooperation with his late Burmese counterpart - whose departure is bemoaned as an irrevocable loss - has earned Dharma Master Hsin Tao some of the most prestigious official citations awarded to Buddhist leaders in Myanmar.

Dharma Master Hsin Tao also pointed out that great stories how Mingon Sayadaw as a Tripitaka Bhikku worked hard to establish the Buddhist Pariyatti Sasana University have shed light on ways for inspiration for the Master himself. The anecdote was shared to mainly indicate how Dharma Master Hsin Tao desires to work closely with likewise dedicated monastics in fulfilling the mission of ‘Loving the Earth / Loving Peace’. With regard to the recurring coronavirus pandemic, the Master calls out to the world for people to hold onto an unwavering faith that will ultimately help mitigate treacherous waters and reach safety.

What a bliss it was for LJM followers to partake in the Dharma event online and gain access to the enchanted sphere of the Four Nobles & the Six Ordinaries, to listen to Sutras and Dharma together with all present as one in a collective unison of practice, vibration, and resonance. The occasion was further blessed by Mahasanghas with limitless energy to fill everyone's heart with profound gratitude for the grace.