(Reverand Yin Tak is the Abbess and Director of Tung Lin Kok Yuen, Canada Society)
The term "Buddhist Orders" in Sanskrit is "Sangha". If translated literally, it means "The Six Harmonic Unities":
The Buddha set up such basic rules for the establishment and maintenance of a Buddhist Order. With these rules, all people with different afflictions, habits, and attachments can come together. They can also commit themselves in their "refinery furnace" of the Six Harmonic Unities for the training of blending together. As a result, different personalities can be harmonized, and different characters can get together expediently. Thus the spirit of the harmony in the monasteries can take place in order to pursue the ideal for liberation. It is the meaning of the harmony of the Buddhist Orders.
The "Buddhist Orders" is also called the "Six Harmonic Reverences". Unity and reverence are indivisible and consistent. If we treat people with the sense of harmony, we will respect them with reverence. If people respect each other, harmony will exist. If we can repect each other in harmony, our hearts will become straight forward, open, calm, clear and brilliant. In this world, everything is neither good nor bad to begin with. It all depends on how you take it with your heart. If you take it with the heart of affliction, jealousy and repelling, you will encounter a world of ugliness, disgust and misery. If you take it with the heart of harmony, compassion and wisdom, to accept all the things in the world, then you will see all human phenomena are equal, harmonious, beautiful and peaceful. If all people do the same, the real peace in the world will emerge.
The Buddhist Dharma teaches us to depart from suffering and to attain happiness in pursuit of the liberation in our lives. However, the liberation in lives cannot be achieved by seeking refuge in another world. In fact, we can find the ideal life in our practical living world. As long as we can understand and realize that the existence of the universe of both sentient and non-sentient is of the same nature as our own and that they are interdependent, then we will find a true harmony. We will find that a tree, a flower or a leaf will all blend with us. That is to say, the sentient beings are living in my heart and I live in the hearts of the other sentient beings. Their suffering and happiness are my suffering and happiness. Other sentient beings and myself, my body and my mind and the outside world all merge with each other without any hindrance.
When we encounter the restraints and problems in our lives, we can find the solutions with wisdom, kindness, compassion, harmony and respect. Therefore, we can live in the state of bliss, freedom and liberation all the time.
Although Tung Lin Kok Yuen Monastery is a new place of Buddhist assembly in Vancouver, Canada, it has the aspiration to succeed in the spirit of the Buddha, to cultivate the Buddhist Way. We endeavour, internally, to harmonize and enrich the physical and mental activities among our colleagues in cultivating the Buddhist Way by the principle of the Six Harmonic Reverences, and externally, to put ourselves into society, mix with and bring benefit to society for the sake of attaining real peace and happiness for mankind.
We sincerely hope that this new Bodhi tree can grow continuously and rapidly,
so that it can bring its power of ideal vow into play, and help bringing the
Buddhist sunlight to illuminate every corner of the world.