Hand in Hand toward Harmony

Some people are extreme in life, going either left or right. They set strict boundaries between high and low, large and small, or superior and inferior. There are people who follow the book to the letter, refusing any possible changes. But if we humans practice our ability to think and empathize, we can be more expansive in our thinking and follow the Middle Way. We can always make room for a little more or a little less. As long as we are going in the right direction and everyone is happy, we can complete any project peacefully. Our universe is full of possibilities for peaceful coexistence.

The 2001 BLIA Young Adult Division Annual Conference was held in Malaysia, with the theme, “Hand in Hand toward Harmony.” Since we can join hands together, we should cooperate with one another. All of us live in the same circle. We should seek to do so in harmony. We should not be inflexible. Life is like a large block of wood. It is easy to cut it into long or short logs, or saw it into square or rectangular blocks. However, it is much more difficult to work it into round shapes. Likewise, being well-rounded and harmonious in life takes extra effort.

If you ask what the shape of the sun is, the answer is round, as are the moon and the earth. Things like water pipes, woks, and dining tables are all also round. Moreover, there is the ideal of the “round table” meeting. Shapes like squares, rectangles, or even hexagons all have hard angles that cause problems. But if something is round or oval, there are no sharp points. As long as we are complete and well-rounded, others will find it easy to accept us.

What is the shape of time? Time is formless, but if perceived from the standpoint of seasonal changes, it is a circular. A clock moves in a twelve-hour circle, going on and on. Life is also a cycle, moving from birth to aging, sickness to death, just like the cycle of reincarnation. The universe also passes through the cycle of formation, abiding, destruction, and emptiness. Wheels on carts are also round, so that they can travel long and far. How can we not live a well-rounded and harmonious life?

We need to be harmonious in our actions, human relations, and our speech. Otherwise, we will create discord and leave things incomplete, making it difficult for us to be accepted by others. When we sing, our voice should be sweet and mellow. When we write, our strokes should be well-rounded and smooth. The heart of heaven and the virtues of the earth are all rounded. So too are the human heart and our Buddha nature.

The most beautiful things in the universe are round, true, kind, pure, and smooth. In order to find ultimate beauty in life, we have to begin by being complete and well-rounded. May the younger generation be able to live in harmony with their family, and may they fulfill their responsibilities in life with vigor. In working toward our future, let us draw a circle as large as the universe. Let us all march forward with diligence and assurance, hand in hand, towards roundness and harmony.