The sign read: Dharma Flourishing Dinner: Continuing the Legacy of Centuries of Meditation Lineage. It was Hong Kong’s second gala dinner in support of the Milarepa Center, held June 21, 2014, and its purpose and spirit were captured in Rinpoche’s speech.
Organizing Committee! Distinguished Guests! Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to this important night. It is a great pleasure for me to be with all of you this evening.
I see so many of you again from last year and I also see new faces. This has become an outstanding annual fundraising-event to which wise, compassionate, hard working and generous people—both local and international—have contributed. I congratulate everyone on this effort.
Since we gathered last year we have made much progress on the Milarepa Center. The work has been primarily to build the roads that lead from the main street to the four buildings of the Milarepa Center. You can even see a video of it that we have posted on the Dharmakaya web site. And I can tell you that I spent some time in the mud inspecting the work!
But our work has only just begun. We must now build and endow the four buildings that are a physical manifestation of the ultimate goal: to decrease the intensity of mental anguish of human beings on this earth.
We achieve this goal by teaching people the skills of awareness: Awareness of their own inborn quality of goodness; awareness that to be a human being is to be confronted with difficulties, change, and suffering during life; and awareness of step-by-step methods to understand that the mind is the true source of our suffering as well as the window through which we can actually eliminate our suffering.
These teachings can lead to profound personal transformation. Every person touched by the teachings, even in the smallest way, can have a positive impact on them. So, we must dedicate our efforts to the perpetual teaching and learning of these wisdom teachings for this and future generations.
The Milarepa Center creates an environment where we preserve, practice and promote the skillful wisdom and its applications that are so important to all of humanity. That is our immediate and most pressing goal – to build the right physical environment. The space will be dedicated to a range of activities promoting mental and spiritual well-being through meditative awareness skills. It includes a main meditation and teaching hall, a library, residential quarters for teachers and separate retreat rooms.
Tonight we are here to give—to support these goals. Tonight is a charity event and, as at all charity events, the purpose is to give. However, just as the organizing committee has created the right environment tonight for giving, so also do the teachings tell us about the quality of our giving:
Real giving should come from the heart. When you give from the heart it feels good. Giving from the heart is natural, we are born with this innate virtue, and it shines like a light when we do it in this way. It is different from normal giving—when you truly give from the heart without reservation you can feel your happiness instantaneously. You are accumulating great merit for the future. It benefits the receiver while it is benefiting you. Deep giving from the heart is a win-win for everyone.
Our ancestors knew this. That’s why they preserved the wisdom teachings that we are able to learn and to teach today. Now, as the world changes exponentially—and ever faster—there is an even greater urgency to preserve these teachings for future generations. That preservation is the core reason we are building the Milarepa Center.
And today you are part of it. By giving generously from our hearts, we preserve this extraordinary gift from our ancestors. By giving generously from our hearts, we help make the world a better place to live. By giving generously from our hearts, we help ensure that everyone has a chance to experience the true meaning of their life.
I want to finish with a personal note of thanks to all our donors and volunteers for your contributions. Thank you all for being with us and supporting this meaningful undertaking.
Please visit the Dharmakaya Facebook page for more pictures from this event.