Observing Vesak Day 2021 as a Global Interfaith Community

National Headquarters  | May 28, 2021
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In observance of the birth, enlightenment, and passing of the Buddha, the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation held a digital interfaith ceremony centered on prayer and contemplation as we each make strides on the common path toward healing from the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Reflecting upon the heart of the matter, this year’s event was titled “Healing the World: Prayers and Reflections For All Sentient Beings.” Therefore, on May 26th, 2021, this event offered a unique experience for individuals to come together in the spirit of the Buddha’s teachings to bestow their wisdom and support regarding how to respond to and recover from the impacts of the confluence of crises we face today as a global community. 

Special guests included 20 representatives from multilateral agencies and various faith traditions from around the world. During the special event, these esteemed minds offered prayers and shared their visions for the future — and how through interfaith partnership, we can simultaneously address the impacts of the pandemic and build climate resilience around the world.

We did not look after our planet. And by not looking after our planet, we failed to look after one another. And by failing to look after one another we failed to look after ourselves, because our existence and our very survival is interdependent on one another and on this very planet that we have the privilege to be in and breathe the air of.

Dr. Azza Karam, Religions For Peace

The global response to COVID-19 has heightened many existing barriers and paused progress across the board in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is likewise through the combined lenses of compassion, interconnectedness, and service to humanity, that the faith communities look to the road to recovery from the pandemic in order to build a more equitable and just society.

How we rebuild from the pandemic will likewise shape our world for generations to come. And thus, positive engagement with diverse organizations is critical to the whole of society, as is recovery grounded in awareness of the experiences of all sentient beings.

Let us give rise to sincere piety and selfless love. That is what we should do together. May the weather everywhere be favorable and the pandemic be eased soon. For that to happen, it takes time. During this time, we should work in unity and harmony with one another.`

Dharma Master Cheng Yen

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