Winter Solstice
Lunar New Year 2011 - Countdown to 2012: Collective Enlightenment
An Interfaith Buddhist Call to GLOBAL ENLIGHTENMENT
Listen to this talk:
Lunar New Year 2011 - Countdown to 2012: Collective Enlightenment (13 min.) MP3
Transcript of a talk delivered by Brother ChiSing
February 13, 2011 - Dallas, Texas

The date of 12-21-12 is approaching and there's a lot of people talking about it from different points of view. And I am convinced personally that that date has significance. Although what that significance is, I do not know. I personally don't take it literally, but more symbolically as basically a symbolic date to remind us that it's time. The pivotal point in history is upon us, whether it is in two years from now, or three years, or four years, it's sometime in the next ten years. There's no doubt about it. Ask the scientists. Ask the spiritual teachers. Ask anyone who's in the know. We don't have a lot of time to create that pivot in history so that we can go in a direction that's going to be more mindful and more positive.
Video: "Countdown to 2012:
Collective Enlightenment"
An Interfaith Buddhist Call to GLOBAL ENLIGHTENMENT
A Dharma talk
given by Brother ChiSing at the
2011 Lunar New Year Celebration
February 13, 2011
Dallas, Texas

Or click here to go to this video on YouTube.
We have to make the changes now. But you might think, "What can I do? I'm just a small little person."

But did you feel the energy in the room tonight, just by sitting in the stillness? Did you feel that? See, you have a lot more power than you realize. Just your presence is enough. Whenever someone has given you a flower, do you critique every petal, or the color? Or do you just enjoy the flower... its beautiful presence? And maybe the flower just cost a dollar. So it's cheap. It's not much worth anything. Maybe the flower's made of certain chemicals in combination, which adds up to only 59 cents that you can buy at some chemical store. But that's not the real worth of the flower. Just the presence of the flower is its worth and its power. And it can light of the face of anyone who can truly mindfully receive it and see it. So just our presence is enough. Just to be who you are is enough.

So, what can we do to be part of the pivotal shift in history on that symbolic date of 12-21-12? By the way, I like playing with the numbers, you know. 12, 21, 12. Isn't that interesting? And by the way, the actual date of the Winter Solstice of that year happens to be exactly at 11:11 Universal Time. So, those of you seeing 11:11 on the clock a lot, that's probably why... It's pointing to that time. I've been seeing it for eleven years now, so...

It's very interesting because 11:11 is oneness. Everything is in alignment. Even though you think you're totally off, everything's on time in your life. Everything, even the negative, is on time to help shift you ito the place where you need to be in right now and in the future.

And 12-21-12... one two, two, one, one, two. What does that mean? To me, we start off in history with our priorities with ONE divine order taking place. And then the TWO, meaning our human creativity, is secondary. It has its place within the primary unfoldment of the divine order. Oneness was first. And then two-ness. But, because of the development of our ego in evolution, which is actually okay too, but, it's just kind of gotten a little bit crazy. But sometimes history has to do that, evolution has to do that... has to over-emphasize something to learn how it works and then come back to balance. Right? That's what happened in history. We used to be very femine-based, you know, worshipping the earth, mother goddess. And then suddenly, these masculine powerful male gods and men took over and so a lot of our history, um HIS-tory in the last two thousand years has been has been that male dominance which links to the left brain kind of ego. And that's okay. We just need to learn how this works. Now we do. So now we revsere it. Put it back into balance. Okay? So that male and female can be equal partners together and the left and right sides of the brain can be evolved equally together. And, so, that's what's happening. We start off with divine order, ONE, taking primary priority, and TWO, taking its place within that. Then we reverse it, with our, trying to figure our ego in this, thinking that TWO was first, and divine order, ONE, unity, was not first in order.

But now, this is a time in history we can reverse that back to the original divine order. But this time, even though it's ONE - TWO, it's not the same ONE-TWO at the beginning. You see? It's never the same. In the beginning, it was that ONE- TWO, but in total naive innocence. But now that we come back to that divine order, divine order first, you know unity which gives rise to diversity. Then it's no longer naive innocence. It's a mature knowing and powerful knowing and being and doing. So there is a difference.

It's like that Zen saying, "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water." "After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water." But there's a difference, isn't there? Because one is before enlightenment and the other is after. But you see, before it's just to you... you're not really seeing the significance of you you're really doing. And then afterward, you're still doing the same thing and yet, there's such a difference. So, don't think that enlightenment's going to be... you're going to become these totally different beings. Really enlightenment, that's just simply being who you are now, but fully and deeply, in all aspects.

And part of this enlightenment has to be collective and not just personal. You know, several centuries ago, we could afford to have a few personal enlightenments here and there. It was fine. You know, Buddha, Jesus, this and that person... that's okay. But today, we cannot afford little, random personal enlightenments here and there because that's not going to cut it anymore.

We need a mass movement of collective enlightenment... of whole communities becoming enlightened together, families being enlightened together, friendships and partnerships being enlightened together. This is a time of enlightened relationship, and no longer enlightened, just being by yourself. But it's about relational enlightenment. That's why I believe that the next two or three years is very crucial.

And this is the year where our mantra is: "Sangham Sharanam Gacchami." I take refuge in the Sangha. I take refuge in the community. I take refuge in this collective enlightenment.

And then next year, "Dharmam Sharanam Gacchami." I take refuge in the Dharma, in the truth, in wisdom, in insight, in revelation, which we need to shine that out to the world because this what the world needs right now, instead of delusion and error and misinformation.

And then, after 12-21-12, it will be the year 2013, which will be the third mantra, "Buddham Sharanam Gaccami." I take refuge in the Buddha. I take refuge in enlightenment, in the truth of who we are, in the Buddha that is all of us.

So hopefully that will be a very enlightened year. But who knows? We'll see what happens after 12-21-12. But personally, I think it's more symbolic. So it may take a few more years or several more decades. But we've got to do it now.

So the emphasis right now, if we want to be part of this movement, because we have only less than two years, if you want to be part of this movement toward collective global enlightenment, we have to say, "Yes" to our part now. Don't wait until 2012 or 2013. You know? We have to start now. So, make this year your year of Sangham Sharanam Gaccami, your year of taking refuge in the Sangha, your year of being Sangha.

So, how does that play out practically? Well, first of all, it means going to Sangha every week instead of randomly once every few months. I mean, that was okay in the past. Like, it was okay that there were personal enlightenments here or there randomly. And it was okay that we could say, "maybe," or, "I'll wait." But now, we can only say "yes" or "no." Because "maybe" doesn't cut it anymore. You have to say either "yes" or "no" to this global enlightenment. And you're part of it. There's no other answer.

If you don't say anything, you're actually saying "no." So you have to say something and I hope that you're saying "yes." It's not just "yes" from one part of yourself. That's why we practice meditation and all these other things, because there's parts of us that say, "yes, no, no, yes, yes, yes, no, no, yes." It's all a jumble. That's why we practice -- so they all say "yes" at the same time. I know that's true in my life. There's lots of parts... I say "yes" on one side but there's another side that says, "no, no, no, yes, yes, no, no." It's crazy. You know?

But that's why we need to practice, personally, but also collectively. We can't afford not to practice collectively anymore. The time of personal practice is over. It's over from this point forward. Only collective practice is going to cut it.

So practice with your Sangha at least once a week. And maybe find other groups, so just in case you miss one day of the week, you can go another day of the week. So you never miss more than seven days at a time being with a group in spiritual practice. It's so important right now. I personally have to do it every day. So I try to do it every day. And of course, you know there are different kinds of practices, like, daily meditation practice at home, weekly practice with a group, going to retreats, things like that. But of all of those practices, the most important over the next two years is the Sangha practice. Because, if you have weekly Sangha, you'll keep being reminded to do your personal daily home practice. Because every week, they keep talking about that. Right? I always talk about that, practice at home. So, you'll always be reminded and you'll be reminded of retreats that are coming up like with Thich Nhat Hanh in the Summer and the Fall. You'll always hear about retreats coming up... weekend retreats, week-long retreats because of the Sangha, because of the spiritual community. That's why that is most important right now.

So, commit yourself to the Sangha this year, because you won't be able to really commit yourself to Dharma or Buddha if you cannot commit to this foundation of Sangha. Sangha is the foundation.

We're all little lights like stars. But only together do they form a constellation that is more than the sum of its parts. And we're each like little drops of water. By itself, a drop of water will evaporate very easily. But when we add our drops of water together, we form a great and mighty river of Sangha, a great and mighty river of Dharma, a great and mighty river of Buddha who is unstoppable, who will be the source of healing in this world that we so desperately need. All the hungry children in the world are crying out to us to be the Sangha because without us, that future wil be very very dim, and the present will also stay dim.

So be Sangha for the sake of all who are crying out to us to be the light that we are meant to be. They are looking up to us. We might not feel like we are very much. Just being ourselves is enough. Just being a flower in that presence is enough. So be that star. Be that drop of water. But be all that together, and you will be powerful.

You are powerful.

Namo Amitabha.

Transcribed by Cornell Kinderknecht

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