Wednesday, January 2, 2019




Buddhist ceremony calls for world peace

Buddhist Association of the U.S. President Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi (far left) calls for world peace and harmony

KENT CLIFFS – A peaceful and spiritual New Year’s morning was celebrated at the Chuang Yen Monastery in western Kent.

Under sunny skies with temperatures hovering around 50 degrees, the Buddhist Association of the U.S. welcomed more than 400 men, women and children to an annual Interfaith Prayer for World Peace at the sprawling retreat that featured talks by members of all faiths — Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim.

The President of the Buddhist Association of the United States, Bhikkhu Bodhi, asked those in attendance to pray for world peace. “Visualize the earth filled with light as well as the dove of love and peace. That ball of light will descend upon the earth enveloping the planet bringing justice, peace and love.”

Bodhi said “everyone must work together to establish peace throughout the world. Peace will only come if we become mindful of our actions since small careless actions can become catastrophic for millions.”

Hans Hallundbaek, UN representative for the International Prison Chaplains’ Association, prayed that “peace will prevail on earth in 2019,” while Father Tom Orlans of Graymoor in Garrison told the large gathering, “Always seek peace with others and remember to be loved as to love.”

Rabbi Harry Pell of the Solomon Schechter School described the year gone by as one filled with “fear and despair. Fear leads to bullying and violence. The main ingredient for a better world in 2019 is worldwide peace that will result in a love for mankind. We must radiate health and kindness this year.”

Chaplain Sana Shabazz of the Muslim faith also prayed for peace. “Peace is found in our hearts. Middle Easterners want peace; Israel wants peace. People in Putnam County desire peace but we all must remember that peace rises from within. We must all strive for attaining peace in our inner world which will lead to world peace.”

And the Vice President of the Buddhist Council of New York, the Venerable T. Nakagagi’s wish for the New Year: “May all people of our planet be happy, well and free from suffering, violence and fear. May we all live together in harmony and have mutual respect for each other. May 2019, become a year that undergoes a decisive moment towards peace and disarmament around the world.”

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