Year of the Wood Horse (2014) is a year full of true spirit, grit, determination, vitality and endurance. In East Asia the Year of the Horse is considered a fortunate period. A white celestial cloud Horse is associated with Kannon Bosatsu (Avalokitasvara Bodhisattva) that flies through the heavens, bringing peace and blessings. The sun is brightest and the plants are strong, having reached maturity. The Horse's earthly branch (the 7th) is the element Fire. What an extraordinarily great time to be alive. You will find many wonderful ways to explore this new time.
The New Year offers everyone an opportunity or rebirth, at least a new start. Some people make resolutions, others eschew such. Whether symbolic or in line with astrological influences the New Year is a great opportunity to redefine, or at the very least refine, who we are. This is a great to time to observe new things, it is even worthwhile if we fall back on our bad habits by the beginning of February - or earlier. A basic Buddhist tenet (One of the Three Marks of Existence) is that of impermanence. Change is always present, whether we wish it or not. What is important in this time is to see one's life as unfolding, changing, and be supple. Be willing to move around obstacles and explore new ways of flowing through this realm. The Tendai Buddhist Institute sangha and leadership are here to join you in this process; person-to-person, occasion-to-occasion. Life is precious, live it as it is, strive, regroup, relax and be grateful for the opportunities it offers.
From Shumon and I Akemashite omedetō-gozaimasu (Happy New Year).
Love and Gassho . . . Monshin
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