Myriad Candlelights at Shwedagon Pagoda to Heal the Earth
Nothing is more luminous than our own heart and mind when in tranquility, and that is our innate spirituality.
The Winter School 2020 program of the Ling Jiou Mountain (LJM) University for Life & Peace project is, in essence, education on the ecology of a diversified symbiosis as well as a spiritual education. A recent off-site activity led to the visit to three major reservoirs of Yangon at Hlawga, Gyo Phyu, and Phugyi respectively, for personal experience and observation. The Winter School 2020 group also visited Yangon’s world-famous tourist attraction of the Shwedagon Pagoda to kindle a myriad candlelights for a quiet session of meditation and prayers for the loss of countless lives fallen in the Australian Bushfires as well as for the long-stay of Buddha’s Dharma on a safe and secure Earth.
Flanked by young Sramanas from Yangon and Naung Mon and leading Winter School 2020 participants, Dharma Master Hsin Tao took the 100-plus strong entourage to the Shwedagon Pagoda and lit up ten thousand candles to pay respect and homage. A sizeable flower signage showing the abbreviation of the future University for Life & Peace in three capital letters ‘ULP’ served as the background for a group photo of the visitors. Whereas Venerable Master Hsin Tao took the lead in practicing meditation and paying tribute to Buddhas by circulating the Pagoda, Winter School 2020 participants were quick to optimize the opportunities by seeking answers from Dharma Master Hsin Tao to their respective questions.
One participant was curious why the calming and harmonious atmosphere of the Shwedagon Pagoda triggered a sensation similar to a prior experience felt during the visit to an aged construction in Hungary. Dharma Master Hsin Tao responded by pointing to the empowering strengths of religion that help steady and steer our way in business and life in general. There is love in every one of us, but we need to love to manifest that sense of belonging and of happiness. The Master further said that nothing is more luminous than our own heart and mind when in tranquility, and that is our innate spirituality, only sometimes kept away from us and oftentimes enshrouded by wanton desires that know no limits.
Winter School 2020 programs start daily with yoga in the morning and wrap up at night with meditation. Program design has a built-in mechanism to help participants retrieve spirituality in different ways. The visit to Shwedagon Pagoda suffices to illustrate the claim just made. The student body of Winter School 2020 expressed genuine appreciation for the program design that loop in both spirituality and ecology, and the innovative teaching methodology has made life-changing experiences possible.
Dharma Master Hsin Tao inserts a constant reminder in the program back-to-back, in that spirituality is love and without which the spirituality itself would be nowhere. Love means the care for, and inclusion of, people, things, and all sentient beings. When there is love within us, the desire to protect ecology comes naturally, which goes a long way in rendering it obvious that awakened humanitarianism must function as the base to all projects of sustainability. And spirituality makes us understand that a diversified symbiosis and an interdependent coexistence have since day one been the basic game rule of ecology that allows positive interactions for life to go on eternally.
Right in front of the glittering Shwedagon Pagoda, Dharma Master Hsin Tao quietly led a session of meditation. The energy field that arose amidst the quiet and harmony of the group meditation allowed access to our innate spirituality besides the sense of bonding between ourselves and the universe. The Master then led the group in citing and chanting prayers to let our collective heart and mind vibrate the Earth’s magnetic field with a resonance so much so that the power of our hearts at peace jumpstart its self-healing capacities for Mother Earth and everything in it, too.