By Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni
On the 31st of December 2013 we had a small celebration at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage to welcome the Year 2014.
We started with an afternoon tea together. After the sun set at 7.26pm, we toasted each other with a glass of juice and lots of good wishes to welcome the New Year.
The formal celebration was held in the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. We lit the candles and incense and chanted the ‘Homage to the Triple Gem’ and asked for forgiveness from the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. After paying homage to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, we chanted the ‘Metta Sutta’ – The Buddha’s Words on Lovingkindness – continuously, to send our good wishes to each other and to all beings everywhere. During the chanting of the ‘Metta Sutta’, each one of us took turns to light a floating candle and then put it into a bowl water. The lighting of the candle signifies our aspiration to follow in the footsteps of the Buddha, to practise for liberation and freedom. The light of the candle signifies our good wishes of peace, harmony and lovingkindness to ourselves and to all beings.
During the evening celebration, we especially light the ‘Light of ‘Harmony’- the aspiration of harmony in our heart. In order to achieve this beautiful harmony we need to put in the ‘Right Effort’ to practise the various skills and crafts of the Dhamma, such as harmlessness, lovingkindness, compassion, practice of right speech, not to take what is not given and not to take drugs and alcohol that disturb our mind, and meditation. These wholesome skills and crafts of the Dhamma enable us to create the different sounds and notes that give us the beautiful ‘Harmony in our Heart’.
We continued the evening with meditation and the sharing of merits with all beings. The celebration finished at 9pm.
Happy New Year to all of you from Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage.