LJM marks Earth Day 2020 by dedicating the merit of chanting

LJM marks Earth Day 2020 by dedicating the merit of chanting
LJM marks Earth Day 2020 by dedicating the merit of chanting 100 Millions of the Heart of Shurangama Sutra to halting COVID-19

The Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society (LJM) held a special Dharma function with sacred rituals to dedicate an accumulated total of 100 millions of chants of the Heart of Shurangama Sutra on April 22 for its participation in the World Earth Day 2020. The dedication was presented as a congregation of positive thoughts and blessings in prayers for world peace and global harmony, with the chants’ garnered virtues ascribed to flattening the curve of infections the soonest and the calamities banished. The LJM initiative “Shielding our Planet with Tranquility” was then launched at 9 PM, with all participants switching off lights and practice a 9-minute Chan meditation quietly to put to action what the LJM Founding Abbot, Dharma Master Hsin Tao, promotes as the ideals of “Loving the Earth, Loving Peace”.

COVID-19 has undoubtedly grabbed global attention thus far in 2020, and its impact on world economies and global communities turns increasingly severe. Dharma Master Hsin Tao says that “practicing the chants and maintaining a good heart is essential to our personal protective equipment (PPE). When chanting the Mantra, the heart calms down. People are safe with a steady heart. And the world is at peace when the heart is at peace.” Venerable Master Hsin Tao gave the instruction to chant the Heart of Shurangama Mantra already in the early stage of the pandemic and encouraged LJM followers worldwide to promote digital participation for aggregated impact in spite of the stay-at-home precautions that discourage public gathering.

The World Earth Day 2020 runs on the theme of “Climate Action” that encourages to NOT pass up on any opportunities to contribute to the mitigation of climate change, in the hope that our Planet would no longer be over-exploited. As such, there is an overlapping similarity to LJM’s environmental aspirations. The dedication of the accumulated chants and the 9-minute lights-out meditation at 9 PM was then featured as LJM’s live-streaming on Earth Day 2020.

Starting at 10 AM and in the presence of the three Golden Buddhas of Success, Perfection, and Peace at the Sheng Shan Monastery, a string trio ushered in the mantra-chanting that was being prepared for the announced dedication. The chanting’s frequency is essential to the intended resonance that went viral over the Internet to help calm down the global restlessness. People are reminded to care about all lives with compassion, and positive energies of blessings were thus sent to different parts of the world.

Following the string trio was the announcement ceremony of the accumulated chants by Master Chang Chun and other leading masters of global LJM branches in revealing the final count-up of the chants at 104,090,825 as they recited the LJM “Loving the Earth” proclamation and the 9-point pledge of a green lifestyle that encompasses tranquility, compassion, dialogue, veganism, recycle, smart energy, reduced carbon dioxide footprint, water conservation, and go green. The grand finale was a special ritual for the dedication of the chants in the presence of Buddha in prayers for a speedy eradication of the pandemic for the Earth to shun the collision course.

Master Chang Chun expressed gratitude to all who contributed to the collection of mantra-chantings. He also encouraged everyone to continue the practice after the formal dedication until the pandemic is finally eradicated. Master Chang Chun recounted the effort from Day One twelve weeks ago that ended on April 22 after 84 days to accomplish what LJM followers set out to achieve worldwide. The number goes further to indicate people’s mindfulness and compassion, and the transformation of people’s state of mind from fearful to peaceful. People’s reflection and awakening afforded a better understanding of the importance of life and peace, and many have determined to become vegetarians, among other impressive achievements thus observed.

Statistics show that a 9-minute lights-out by 1,000 people not only saves energy but also reduces carbon dioxide emission by 10kg. The global community of LJM followers did as advised by activating the 9-minute lights-out meditation, starting at 9 PM. The quiet practice afforded a chance for self-reflection and a quick mental inventory of LJM world peace philosophies and principles of ecology. It was hoped that the practice helps us recall what “Loving the Earth” is all about and what our pledges commit ourselves to. We are all reminded to give it our utmost efforts in contributing to the Earth’s self-healing mechanism. Starting on April 25 onwards, LJM is set to launch a 21-day advanced online program for a 1-million recitations of the Maha Karuna Dharani (Great Compassion Mantra) to carry on the power of the resonance in eradicating the pandemic.