Thank you for joining the Vesak Day celebration, and congratulations on your
encountering the Awakened Way. We celebrate the Buddha’s birth, awakening, and
complete nirvana. His birth for awakening and nirvana is unique and epoch-making,
because he was awakened to the fact that all beings are karma-heirs, -owners,
-refuged, and he provided us with the concrete way to still karmas, see the Dharma in
nirvana, and save the world from destruction.
The Cosmic Calendar tells us that the Milky Way formed on May 1, the sun shined
forth on September 9, and that this was followed by the earth’s formation and life
starting respectively on September 14 and 25. Our Production Revolution started
only 20 seconds (10,000 years) ago, the Civilization (Urbanization) Revolution with
its pyramidal system of classes, colonies, wars, etc., 10 seconds ago, and the Spiritual
Revolution, countering it, began 5 seconds ago.
Buddhism is the teaching of the Buddha, Awakened One, and the teaching of
becoming awakened for anyone regardless of age, gender, race, etc. It is important
for us all, individually and collectively, for all beings throughout time and space, as
mankind’s karmas are culprits of the global problematique (interrelated problems) of
war, terrorism, global warming, nuclear disasters, the 6th mass extinction, etc.,
which started only 10 seconds ago.
Buddhism tells us that we are putthu-jana (Pali), interpreted as mass births (pṛthu-
jana, Sanskrit) or separate births (pṛthak-jana, Skt.). From a superficial view we
think we are separate and we discriminate inside and out, but this is not the reality.
We are composed of 50 to 100 trillion cells, most of which contain genes (500 times
between the earth and the sun), as well as blood veins (2.5 times around the globe)
and gut bacteria (10 times more than our cells).
Scientific research is revealing more and more about the wonderful work of our life
(all existing life forms are now 4 billion years old, carrying our genes renewing,
regulating, rewarding, etc.), through the evolution of our ancestors’ effort with all
other living forms and living conditions on earth under the stars. Findings suggest
that gut bacteria have roles beyond digestion, absorption, etc., including those
related to temperament, obesity, the immune function, etc.
Research has found that meditation enhances not only mental functions, but also
physical components like brain systems. Our breathing is especially unique and vital
in controlling usually uncontrollable functions such as heart rate, blood pressure,
hormone balance, nerve function, etc. They say, “Long breathing (iki: 息: heart
radical with nose later meaning self) is long life (iki：生: germination from the
earth).” Wecan cultivate our good posture, breathing, and mental state from
sinfulness (separated, small, selfish) to holiness (wholly wholesome).
Buddhism teaches the two truths, conventional and ultimate or karmic and akarmic.
The Buddha said that we cannot reach the limit of the world by walking. We can
witness the limit of the world in karma and that beyond it, which is only attained by
sitting, stilling karmas, seeing the Dharma in nirvana, and waking from delusions
just like waking from dreams. No delusion, discrimination, eyes, self, karma, death
(mata, mṛtyu), etc. are witnessed through constant cultivation.
We call animals “moving stuff” (dobutsu: 動物) and plants “still stuff” (seibutsu: 静
物). As we move, we take our sense of our bodies as selves, and outside them, but
sitting still sees the world in unity and equality like a tree. Tree and true came from
the same root, deru or dhṛ (root of dharma), meaning “enduring.” Trees can endure
10,000 years, because they are harmonious with wind, water, the sun, snow, etc.,
giving us oxygen, flowers, fruits, etc. We can become holy and taste immortality (a-