Gifts exchange celebration 2021!

Report by Bhikkhu Gyanabodhi
----------------------------
Just as every year, on the 31st night 2020 IBC had organized a gift exchange celebration with its members that include directors, professors, lecturers, students and staffs. The ceremony started with the Buddhist chanting of three traditions – Theravāda, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna. The Theravāda chanting was led by venerable Anandajoti, the Mahāyāna chanting was led by the venerable Zhen Sheng and the Vajrayāna chanting was conducted by venerable Dolma. The next segment after the chanting was important talks given by venerable Anandajoti, venerable Zhen Yuan and professor Kapila respectively. All three speakers pointed out how bad was the year that we all had to go through and wished that the coming year would bring happiness and joy to everyone. Venerable Anandajoti stated that at this point in time we need to reflect on what we have done in the last year and what we can do in the next year for our own good and for the good of others (bahujanahitāya bahujanasukhāya). He also said that the month January was named after the roman god Janus (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janus) who is depicted to have two faces – one looking into the past and the other looking into the future. And he said that the January month in a way serves the same purpose as we are entering into a new year leaving behind the old year. Venerable Zhen Yuan stressed that we now know how to handle a crisis situation like covid-19. She thanked everyone in the IBC and said that her goal for the New Year is to be a happy person and she wished the same for everyone. Prof. Kapila stated that as we are aware of the covid-19 situation, we need be more conscious of our life and actions. We have to be more mindful and careful in our thoughts and actions and we need develop a good heart to help each other. After the sharing of the three speakers, a cake cutting ceremony was done to celebrate the New Year. The next program involves gifts exchange followed by some song performances by the members.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year 2021.