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 2023, we at Plum Village, offer you our ‘New Year’s Prayer to Mother Earth and Our Ancestors’.
Dear Respected Ancestors, both Spiritual and Genetic,
Dear Respected Thay,
In this sacred moment, entering the year 2023, we know that you are all here with us. Although Thay, you may not be with us in physical form, we feel your presence in all your continuation bodies. We hear your voice in the birdsong and rustling bamboo, and feel your footsteps on the legendary Plum Village paths. We see your continuation in every one of your students around the world, and in your diverse sangha body, which is still nourished by your Dharma and continues to grow, evolve and flourish.
Dear Thay, dear Mother Earth, dear Ancestors, the year 2022 has really been a year of deep gratitude and of taking stock of the wonders and beauty that you have offered us. The tinkling raindrops that accompany our sitting sessions, the trumpeting cranes echoing the joy of going together as a sangha, the splendid colors that burst forth or fade out at the start and end of each day. Time and again we have taken refuge in the depth and richness of your teachings: from the wonders of nature to the practices that have helped us to love ourselves and each other again; from the radical insights that have kept us free from polarization to the encouragements to build a beloved community that could be a model for true peace. We are truly fortunate to be your physical, genetic and spiritual children.
Dear Thay, dear Mother Earth, dear Ancestors, we promise that in the year 2023 we will continue to practice bringing more lightness and harmony, joy and compassion into our homes, our sanghas, and the world. We promise to cultivate openness, to practice deep listening and compassionate speech so that we can truly be present and take good care of one another. We promise to cultivate the insight of interbeing, to see the sangha’s happiness as our own happiness and to harness and take refuge in collective insight as we practice, study, play and work together. And may each of us continue to cultivate our mind of love, learning to love without discrimination and to embrace all beings without exception.
We know that the world is undergoing deep crises. We promise to look deeply at our actions of body, speech and mind, to recognize and transform the harm we are presently causing ourselves and mother Earth. We promise not to close our eyes but to face the suffering in ourselves and in the world with great courage and non-fear. We also vow to continue your work of discovering, exploring and restoring a beautiful culture of spirituality, so that we can offer society the kind of energy, joy and beauty that can heal and protect ourselves and our planet.
Please continue to lend us your wisdom and compassion, and please be our witness as we make these aspirations.
We humbly offer incense, flowers, fruit, tea, our love and faithfulness, and touch the earth four times before you.
31st December 2022