Today dawns bright and cloudy in Singapore. The clouds shield the island city from the hot equatorial sun, and the humid breeze is soft and warm. Immense skyscrapers dot the skyline of this ultramodern city where the first-ever Wisdom 2.0 conference in Asia, attended by 500 people from 26 countries, has ended. Now Jack and I teach a daylong at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery (KMSPKS), the largest Buddhist temple here, with a Hall of Great Strength, a Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas, and a Hall of No Form, which boasts a giant Buddha and holds 2000 people.
It’s fitting that we teach in the Hall of Great Compassion, dedicated to Kuan Yin, for this whole week we’ve received so much kindness and caring from Singaporeans. We taught and listened to teachings about compassionate leadership during the conference. And I’ve been heartened by Pope Francis’s encyclical about climate change. Several of this little island’s most enticing tourist spots, including a biome to preserve cloud forest flora, are built on land reclaimed from the South China Sea. Thriving Singapore’s very existence is threatened by rising sea levels.
Elizabeth Rice called my attention to an essay written by Bhikkhu Bodhi* joining hands with Pope Francis on the occasion of his encyclical about climate change. I recommend it to all of you. (Click here for that article)
I can’t imagine a better expression of self-compassion than for us to see ourselves and the whole living world as one. May we identify with all beings, all species, past, present and future. May each one of us share responsibility and take joy in creating a healthy, enlightened world! May we all flourish and peacefully co-exist in this, our precious human incarnation!
*Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi is an American Buddhist monk, translator of Pali Buddhist texts, and the founder of Buddhist Global Relief.