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The Talk “A Good Wish for the World”
at Dharma Drum Vancouver Centre

On Saturday, September7, Abbot President Venerable Guo Huei favoured us with a talk entitled "A Good Wish for the World" conducted in Chinese with simultaneous translation.

The Venerable outlined a five-point process (Vow, Wish, Promise, Do and Fulfill) to make progress through our lives. The "Vow" portion of his talk included references to Samantabhadra's ten vows, the Four Bodhisattva Vows as well as the voluminous Avatamsaka Sutra. Throughout his talk were sprinkled accessible illustrations and daily-life examples. The "Wish" (don't we all wish for something?) should not be frivolous nor should it be over-reaching. No matter what form the outcome takes, we should remain thankful. The "Promise" brings the aforementioned concerns down to earth, requiring our will to follow through. It may only be a matter of making lists and planning what we will do. "Do" is the execution of all of the above -- something demanding resolve as well as adjustment and harmonization. After all, the world is constantly changing and we are closely interconnected, so be able to adapt to changes and challenges. "Fulfill" embraces the outcome of all of the above -- the fruition which benefits us all. He made a point of benefiting the self as well as others.

The Venerable sought to help us to remember all this by suggesting acronym-like abbreviations. I'm not sure it would help me, though it slowly spawned in me an awareness of what was happening during the talk. Via his academic-leaning talk he was actualizing that which he was suggesting. It was a calm and heartfelt endeavour which was as inspirational as it was informative. In spite of the challenges of language differences and the subtleties of the subject, I came away positively affected and grateful for his service and leadership. We were very fortunate.

Written by Mark Simmons
Dharma Drum Vancouver Center

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