By Ella Tian& Jinger Ning
Dharma Master Cheng Yen says, "Sincerity, uprightness, faith, and steadfastness are our nourishing ground, while loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity are our smoothing breeze." With the theme of gratitude, respect, love, and sympathy, the 2020 Annual Lunar New Year Blessing Ceremony was held at the Tzu Chi Boston Office on January 18th.
The event kicked off with the performance of students in the martial art and Tai Chi classes, visualizing the combination of beauty and strength. Following was documentary Tzu Chi Tripitaka 2019, which looked back to 2019 on Tzu Chi volunteers dedicated themselves to relieve suffering regardless of race, religion, and nationality with a generous heart. The footprints of love are across the continent: Africa, Myanmar, the United States, Jordan, Turkey, and many other places. Many in the audience were moved by the loving acts of Tzu Chi volunteers and spotted wiping away tears during the screening. After the documentary, fourteen Tzu Chi volunteers presented a sign language interpretation of "Love Heals the World," after which three other volunteers gave a performance of "A Kind World "eulogizing Tzu Chi's spirit of Great Love, filling the venue with love in the hearts of the audience.
Under the lead of Tzu Chi volunteers, everyone lit up their candles, which symboled lighting up our hearts inside while illuminating others. Everyone prayed for the continuity of the circle of love holding up the lit candles. At the end of the event, everyone received a "red envelope of blessings and wisdom," a gift of gratitude and blessing from Dharma Master Cheng Yen, a wish that everyone's mind is pure and clean and would live a life with beauty and goodness. The event concluded with a hearty vegetarian dinner. Recyclable tableware was used to remind our respoinsibliies for our planet and resources. Before leaving, everyone received blessing bags and exquisite paper-cuts for the year of the mouse, representing the wish for a year of positivity and grace.
Photograph: Zhenlin Weng