New Year Message 2015 by Bhante Mahinda

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2015During New Year, it is traditional to wish each other happiness and prosperity.  So we need to ask: how to be happy & prosperous?

Start by being sincere and generous with your good wishes. When exchanging conventional new year greetings, your wishes must come from your heart. The good wishes you have for others will come back to you. What goes around comes around.

It is a good time to reflect on our existing wealth and prosperity. Where has it come from? Whatever we have now is what we have received. What we have received is what we have given. If wealth and prosperity are what you truly wish for yourself and others, then be generous. According to the law of cause and effect, the result of giving is that you will receive.

Generosity is the basis of all virtues. Virtues and good conduct are the basis of a happy and peaceful state of mind. The Buddhist way of life, based on the practice of DANA (generosity), SILA (good conduct) and BHAVANA (mental cultivation) is a way of life that supports the development of merits and wisdom.

In this way generosity lays the foundation, not only for material wealth and comfort, but also for the development of higher spiritual values.  Having a comfortable life in which your basic needs are more than met provides the conditions for you to pay more attention to the cultivation of your mind. Cultivating your mind will pave the way for you to walk the path to liberation. The merits generated by generosity will also enable you to have the resources to help others along the way.

Generosity will open your heart. It does not matter how much you give, but the sincere and generous spirit of mind with which it is done.

This year, be generous to share your wealth and material possessions. Be generous with your time and energy to give support to others. Be generous to invest more time and effort in your own spiritual cultivation. The development of wisdom, compassion and other spiritual values will pave the way for spiritual growth and for you to develop your full human potential. This is how to lay the foundations for happiness, wealth and prosperity, both materially and spiritually, in the coming year and beyond.

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2015 is the Year of the Goat, which is associated with harmony, creativity, peace and pleasure.  In China, the goat is seen as bringing peace. We all need to bring peace into our own hearts and minds, in order to bring peace to our families, communities, nations and the world. I rejoice with all those who have participated in Metta Circles and the Metta Workshop and retreats over the past year. This is how we can come together to bring peace to ourselves and those around us*.

I also rejoice with all those who have generously provided support and services towards Aloka Foundation over the past year and look forward to your continued support and participation in the coming year.

May you have long life, good health, peace and prosperity.  May all be well and happy.

With Metta,
Venerable Mahinda

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