On New Year’s Eve each year, we gather as a four-fold community to express our aspirations for the New Year. As we enter 2022, we at Plum Village, offer you our New Year’s Prayer to Mother Earth and Our Ancestors.
Dear Thầy, Dear Ancestors, Dear Mother Earth,
We know that you are present in this very moment, and that you are always there for us to take refuge in. We have come together as a spiritual family in this solemn moment of the New Year to express our gratitude and aspiration, and to begin anew.
2021 has been another challenging year, as the pandemic continues and we do our best to adapt to new ways of living. Many of us have rediscovered the preciousness of life, the value of harmony in relationships, and the need for a spiritual dimension in our life. Amidst all the difficulties, we have begun the journey of healing injustice and inequality, and have awakened more to the needs of the Earth. At the same time, there have been moments when we allowed seeds of anxiety, restlessness, and fear to be watered in our hearts. Overwhelmed by strong emotions and wrong perceptions, we were unable to take refuge in the practice. And so, tonight, we wish to renew our commitment to strengthen our practice of mindful breathing and walking; to cultivate patience and compassion; and to take refuge in our Beloved Community, so we can be a true continuation of Thầy and our spiritual ancestors.
In the past year, as a global human family, we recognize that we have continued to allow greed, craving and consumerism to prevail. We have run after status, power, material possessions and sensual comforts, forgetting that these things can never bring us true happiness and freedom. We have caused great harm to ourselves and our beloved planet, endangering Mother Earth’s wonders, beauty and balance. In the coming year, we are determined to simplify our life, to consume less, to live more deeply and with gratitude, and to remember that in the present moment we already have enough conditions to be happy.
This past year we have also continued to allow fanaticism and intolerance to divide us as a human family, investing more in weapons and military than in taking care of each other and the Earth. We have made one another suffer, discriminating on the basis of religion, views, ethnicity and nationality. Fear and ignorance has led us to close our hearts and to abandon those in peril. We forget that we are interdependent, and that our own happiness and suffering depends on the happiness and suffering of others. In this coming year, we make a commitment to do our best to live with the insight of interbeing, to transform our collective fear at the roots, and to be present for those who suffer.
As we touch the Earth, we express our gratitude to you, our beloved teacher Thầy and our ancestors. You have given us a path of practice and a spiritual family to take refuge in. We know that together, we can face our challenges and realize our aspirations. We trust that within us, there is the wisdom of non-discrimination, inclusiveness, great compassion, right action, and non-fear, transmitted to us by you. In this solemn moment, we make the vow to practice wholeheartedly, and to strengthen the well-being and spiritual courage of our community, so we can open up the path for our own generation and for generations to come.
Dear Thầy, Dear Ancestors, Dear Mother Earth, please accept our offerings of incense, flowers, fruit and tea, as a sign of our deepest respect, and love.
31st December 2021