The event started off with chanting by all which was followed by the transcribing of the Heart Sutra.
The Abbott furthermore explained that the year 2012’s Chinese zodiac sign is that of the Water Dragon, which only occurs once every 60 years. He elaborated on the character traits of people born in the year of the Water Dragon and how authoritative these personalities usually are. Ven Hui Fang asked attendees what kind of year 2012 will be. Many expect 2012 to bring about the end of the world, perhaps because they mistakenly think of Mayan or Hindu cosmologies as linear rather than cyclical. From a Feng Shui standpoint 2012, the year of the Yang Water Dragon, brings many possibilities for good fortune.
He explained that most people know that water covers two thirds of our planet and comprises 95% of our bodies; and that we simply cannot live without it. In Chinese element theory, water produces wood, which signifies growth and is the natural element of the dragon. Associated with thunder, lightning and arousal, the Water Dragon personifies creativity at its best.
Ven Hui Fang also read a message from Venerable Master Hsing Yun, Founder of Fo Guang Shan Monastery, in which he welcomes the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Dragon, and dedicated his New Year’s blessing with the message “Heavenly Blessing and Protection”. The Grand Master encouraged all to cultivate a mind that not only offers blessing and protection to oneself, but also to one’s family and friends and that we all should aim to develop a mind that serves others with benevolence and righteousness.
The evening’s events concluded in a grand finale of fireworks and the traditional lighting of Chinese lanterns which faint light engulfed the Nan Hua Temple in a shroud of romantic ambience and filled the air with an energy bursting of hope, love, compassion and peace.