Greetings, Ven. guests, teachers, and students,
In the new year of 2020, we welcome a new chapter with the 2nd opening ceremony for the Winter School of the University for Life and Peace in Yangon. We are extremely grateful for the blessing of the Buddha and sublimity of all kinds, as well as the protection of the Dharmapalas. Lastly, I’d like to thank you all for traveling a long way to be here for the same wish.
Before we begin, let’s take a moment to pray for the millions of lives lost in the ongoing wildfires, and those who are struggling to survive in Australia. This heavy tragedy has brought us immense pain. The blazing fire has burned an area larger than Denmark, or 45 Hong Kongs. The area is four to five times larger than the damaged size of the 2019 Amazon rainforest bushfire. What can we do?
This is a tug of war between the ecosystem and time. Mankind has already received countless warnings about the danger and crises that the global warming imposed. But there’s also a shot to overcome it. We must be assertive and decisive to act. Under the guidance of spiritual awareness, we must take action wholeheartedly.
The subject of this year is, “Healing the Earth: Transforming Ecosystem and Technology”. This is a crucial step we must take. We focus on the effective and optimal applications of technology in environmental crises. Every profession offers a method in helping with the ecosystem. We’re calling for help from all for their best knowledge and resources from different professions. Our consumer behavior should not put our environment at stake.
We are very grateful for the support from prestigious professors and outstanding students who feel concerned and obligated to act. Aware of the circumstances, faculty members and students from the University of Yangon and the State Pariyatti Sasana University, Yangon also attend this program. With your participation, we are assured that this program is appreciated and considered of importance. An optimal result is expected. Let us inspire the courage to tackle this challenge and lead to a breakthrough. Although it is a ten-day course, I believe that new ideas and pivotal points would come forth with high quality and intensive education.
We’re drafting a blueprint in Myanmar with: a graduate school in Yangon; a designated land for the university in Bago; a consecutive program from secondary to post-secondary in Naung Mon. Altogether, it is an educational entity integrated with spirituality and technology. Myanmar is a land where Buddha and his teachings are recollected and still in practice. How to work with contemporary cultural shock? There should be remedial solutions in counteracting the global consumerism, which is trending but detrimental to the environment.
This team shares the same determination. I’m here to invite you with utmost sincerity to take part in the healing movement of “Love Earth, Love Peace” - by all means and at all times. All the efforts are to advance the civilization of mankind and implant the peaceful genetics in the ecosystem. Our interconnectedness must thrive to the fullest to overcome global crises.
On a different note, the Sayadaw Sitagu flew from Kayah State to join us today. He blessed and encouraged the Winter School. May the connection and interaction between Buddhism and the world be more active. A bright future of peace ecology promised.