Chan Meditation & Technology: Ling Jiou Mountain takes Action to heal the Earth
The Ling Jiou Mountain (LJM) Winter School 2020 as a pilot project for the future University for Life & Peace in Yangon, Myanmar came to a fruit-bearing closing for its fortnight program on January 18. The theme of Winter School 2020 was ‘Healing the Earth: Transformative Actions of Ecology & Technology’, to which both the faculty and the student body contributed by putting their brilliant minds together for actionable wisdom meeting the demand of the challenge in healing the Earth.
An extracurricular event was a ceremony for the donation of K200Mn (the Burmese currency of Kyat) injected into the reserve fund for the future University for Life & Peace by LIU Zheng-Xiang, the Chairman and the CEO of the Fully Light Group of companies. The gift was made because Liu was deeply impressed by LJM Founding Abbot Dharma Master Hsin Tao's action in creating the future University for the ideals of loving the Earth and ecology, and the efforts for sustainability. Mr.KU Chi, the General Manager of Fully Light Group Yangon Region was present on the occasion on Liu's behalf.
A short film documenting highlights of the Winter School 2020 program, such as the visit to the 3 major reservoirs and the meditation and prayers in front of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda, produced happy smiles as screen images rekindled warm flashbacks. Dharma Master Hsin Tao made a present to every faculty lecturer for their all-out efforts.
Phyo Phyo Wai of Myanmar said that she was both excited and bewildered a bit at the beginning but then realized that the program was solid, and she learned about the tranquility inside by means of yoga and Chan meditation. She also practiced mindfulness while at it. She knows with certainty that the Earth is exposed to unprecedented crises, and it is critical to address ecological issues by bringing together professionals with different expertise. Interactions and group discussions helped her outgrow her habitual way of thinking, and she made a promise to herself to continue practicing things she learned to care about the Earth even after the program ended.
Winter School 2020 program saw the inclusion of meditative practice and the participants loved it. Professor Michael von Brueck pointed out that ‘halt’ and ‘observation’ are characteristic of Chan meditation - in that ‘halt’ means focus and concentration, whereas ‘observation’ refers to insight that allows see-through to the essence of things. Chan meditation awakens our spirituality that heals ourselves as well as the Earth. The explanation is not mere theory and changes only result from actual deeds. We must have the capacity of insight to influence and to impact. Thus accordingly, the LJM Maha Kusala Yama School of Sramaneras in Naung Mon is a good case in point. Professor von Brueck also said that we find ourselves in the long river of history and transformations are necessary, in that mankind must transform to adapt to changing environments to survive. We need to have the courage and a loving heart for the Earth to change the way things are and use technologies to heal the Earth. Calamities will take tolls on the Earth if changes fail to happen.
Dharma Master Hsin Tao expressed appreciation for the all-out efforts on the part of each and every faculty member. He also expressed gratitude to the donation by the Fully Light Group and his readiness for the future University was thus further enhanced. Venerable Master Hsin Tao pointed out that ecology is a diversified symbiosis and an interdependent co-existence. Put succinctly that means we are OK when you are OK. Spirituality is a balance between our innate nature and the external ecology, and that equilibrium between the individual and personal world and the collective universe is what the future University for Life & Peace is all about. Awakened spirituality allows a clear insight into our innermost self, and only when such is the case that we will be on the right track to go about resolving problems to ultimately reach an equilibrium between the inside and the outside.
In closing, Dharma Master Hsin Tao reminded everyone to bring back two precious treasures from the Winter School 2020 program, i.e. Chan meditation and (a new perception of) technology. Chan meditation guides us on the way back to spirituality and the realization that our heart at peace can tune positive energy for resonance in sync with the universe to bring out an equilibrium that settles disputes and imbalance. Awakened spirituality creates a strength that is love and compassion. The other treasure is the wisdom to put technology to good use to heal the Earth by transforming damages inflicted upon the Earth via manmade disasters.
Following the closing ceremony, the LJM Winter School 2020 program in Yangon came to a satisfying end that signals the beginning of a new chapter for every participant. All members of both the faculty and the student body are seeds of peace for global ecology. As Dharma Master Hsin Tao’s blueprint for the future University for Life & Peace unfolds, Winter School participants will take part and share the Earth-healing actions that manifest the ideals of ‘Loving the Earth / Loving Peace’. With that, it becomes clear that the future University for Life & Peace has the trigger mechanism to help turn the world’s common fate around and keep alive the hope that the Earth forever remains a fertile home for a diversified and interdependent symbiosis.