Sitagu Sayadaw gives full Support to University for Life & Peace
To emphasize the goal of making more positive application of technologies to benefit our planet.
The 2nd experimental Winter School of the Ling Jiou Mountain (LJM) University for Life & Peace held its commencement ceremony on January 8, 2020, in Yangon Myanmar, attracting elites from all over to dedicate themselves to "Loving the Earth". Venerable Dr. Ashin Nyanissara, best known as Sitagu Sayadaw and founder and head of the Sitagu Buddhist Academies, personally graced the occasion and made a gift of a golden stupa for blessings. Winter School faculty and student body, together with all guests and visitors, also said special prayers for lives lost in the still-burning inferno of wildfires in Australia.
The auspicious occasion was attended by significant guests of honor to give their blessings, including Venerable Dr. Ashin Nyanissara 'Sitagu Sayadaw', Venerable Dr. Kumara 'Bhaddanta' (Rector of the State Pariyatti Sasana University),Venerable Dr. Therasabha, Assistant Professor of State Pariyatti Sasana University,Director U Sein Maw (Head of Yangon Region Religious Affairs, Department of Religious and Cultural Affairs, Myanmar), U Sein Maw, Director (Head of Yangon Region Religious Affairs) Department of Religious and Culture Affairs Myanmar, U Khin Maung Htun, Former Yangon Director of General, Dr. Myo Thet (Representative of the Taipei Trade Office of Myanmar),U Thein Win, Director of Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture,Professor Daw Cho Cho Aung], Director of International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University and Senior Adviser of Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture,. Devi Thant Sin, Founder of Global Green Group and Founder of Myanmar Green Network Prof Than Than Sein, Vice President, Myanmar Organic Association and U Thet Win, Senior Managing Director of Shwe Than Lwin Co., Ltd... etc. Dharma Master Hsin Tao invited everyone to join him in praying for the lives of all sentient beings lost in the Australian wildfires. Members of the faculty come from eight countries including the US, England, China, Myanmar, and Malaysia, whereas the student body consists of people from eleven internationally acclaimed universities such as Yale, Cambridge, the Beijing University, etc. Winter School 2020 aims at achieving plans on 'Transformative Actions of Ecology & Technology' via intensive studies in the short span of a fortnight. The Royal Music Band of Myanmar was on hand to dedicate a performance of blessing for a successful run-through of the two-week Winter School program.
Venerable Dr. Ashin Nyanissara 'Sitagu Sayadaw' expressed delight in attending the commencement ceremony of Winter School 2020. He pointed out that the theme of the program on 'Healing the Earth' is exactly right, in that Buddha also offered medicine to heal people as well as the world two-and-a-half millennia ago, which is Buddhism. Buddha's teachings spread out from India and everyone ought to learn from, and heed at, them as examples abound. Samadhi helps us focus on the present moment and we can practice it by way of meditation. Sila (Precepts) helps us remove wanton thoughts of greed/anger/ignorance to attain peace of mind and the University for Life & Peace is dedicated to that. Banyan (prajnaparamita or perfect wisdom) leads to the awareness of oneself and our original selves are immune from evil thoughts and worries. Sitagu Sayadaw said that he is happy that Dharma Master Hsin Tao has set out to do all these, as they both are borne out of the same root and they must cooperate to eradicate the Earth of her ailments.
Sitagu Sayadaw is very close to Dharma Master Hsin Tao as the founding abbot of the LJM Buddhist Society and has visited the LJM Wu Sheng Monasteries and the Museum of World Religions (WMR) with a still strong impression of the complete set of replicas in models to scale of religious monuments. What he saw in Naung Mon as to Dharma Master Hsin Tao's commitment to local development in education as well as in ecological conservation moved him so much so that upon learning that the Maha Kusala Yama Monastery will build a golden stupa, Sitagu Sayadaw generously committed to making it a gift of donation of his. A ceremony for the donation coincided with the auspicious occasion of the opening of Winter School 2020.
Venerable Dr. Kumara 'Bhaddanta', Rector of the State Pariyatti Sasana University, pointed out that there is a saying in the Pali language that knowledge and wisdom are treasures of mankind. Winter School 2020 features many professionally acclaimed academicians to teach and pass on the essence of their expertise to benefit all involved. It is sincerely hoped that the students would participate with undivided attention to learn and master what is shared, so that they, too, become future treasures of Myanmar and of the world.
The movie "Awakening Action" shown at the commencement indicates that the Earth is on a course of destruction and only actions of awakening could help halt and curb the climate change crises. A saddened Dharma Master Hsin Tao said that the run-away disaster of the Australian wildfires has already destroyed an area the size of Denmark or that of Hong Kong times 45, and is equivalent to a 4-to-5-fold of the Amazon wildfires of 2019. What is there left for us to do? He further stressed that it belongs to the LJM mission to achieve interfaith cooperation of environmental protection, and only when the LJM ideal of 'Loving the Earth' becomes a truly global campaign that it will prove helpful to the ecology.
While expressing genuine appreciation for all the world's support to the University for Life & Peace project, Dharma Master Hsin Tao pointed to the Winter School 2020 theme of 'Healing the Earth - A Transformative Action of Ecology & Technology' to emphasize the goal of making more positive application of technologies to benefit our planet. It is his hope that the program's expertly designed curriculum with a built-in mechanism for interactive education will optimize the resonance of wisdom induced from within and between the faculty and the student body. It is furthermore hoped that such a gyrating resonance will ignite action plans to trigger worldwide reflections of self-examination, modifications, and ultimately changes of people's habits and lifestyles for the better and in the best interest of sustainable ecology.
Professor Michael von Brueck,head of academic development of ULP, in charge of the future University's Board of International Advisors referred to the 'Fridays for Future' movement promoted by the Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg as attracting the following of many of the Y and the Z generations, plus support by many scientists. He said that also highlights the fact that a lot more needs yet to be done for ecology, and there is the need to come up with a viable solution to environmental issues. We must achieve a workable and constructive strategy that guides our teaching, hands-on learning, meditation, and practice of mindfulness. We do not make the effort for just the elites as a fraction of the population, but we endeavor together for the humankind collectively.
Dharma Master Hsin Tao said in closing that the Winter School program is a link to higher education and as such, it is admittedly not big in scale but possesses immense forward-looking value. Dharma Master further cordially invites everyone to join in the healing action of 'Loving the Earth / Loving Peace', by injecting genes of wisdom and compassion into people's education towards the ultimate goal of changing the fate of the world for our life communities.