Article by Gan Bee Ching | Photographs by Gan Jia Cheng
On Sunday 1 June, the first ‘Gimhāna Retreat’ Service Sunday brought together a packed hall of devotees at Nalanda Centre to participate in pūja, chanting and meditation. Thereafter, Bro. Tan gave an uplifting Dhamma teaching on how to ensure social harmony.
One’s spiritual well-being is closely connected with his interpersonal well-being. When one has harmonious relationship with other people, then there is also the corresponding inner peace. In the Anguttara Nikāya, the Buddha prescribed four ways conducive to harmonious relations with others, namely: 1) being generous; 2) having pleasant and kind speech; 3) altruism; and 4) fairness.
Bro. Tan shared many practical experiences to illustrate those points to devotees, and emphasized the importance of self-cultivation in resolving problems. In line with the “Horse” theme of this Gimhāna Retreat, he quoted a story from a Sanskrit text where the Buddha tamed a wild stallion with sincerity, kindness, and calmness.
Devotees also developed closer spiritual bonds with each other during the interactive group discussion. The service concluded joyfully with inspired faith and gratitude towards the teachings. The congregation later dedicated merits to all beings, and to the successful completion of Nalanda Centre’s building expansion. Sadhu anumodana!