According to the Asian calendar, 2017 will be the Year of the Fire Rooster. The prominent characteristic of the Rooster is announcing a new dawn, a wakeup call. What an appropriate symbol for this time! The previous year 2016 was the Year of the Monkey. Is this serendipity or what? The clever monkey. Monkey business on steroids!
Other qualities of the rooster (also known as the hen) are: Alertness — Readiness to take action —First to show up — Last to leave — Willingness to take a chance, but with precision — Awareness — Preparedness — Not easily giving up— Knowing when to wait — Knowing when to observe — Knowing when to act — Knowing when to rest.
All of these qualities will be necessary in order to confront and negotiate the topsy-turvy dismantling of our governmental agencies, which were originally meant to protect the environment and the Earth itself, for the sake of greed and wholesale unabashed exploitation. All of the public institutions that are the interdependently interwoven fabric of our lives are scheduled to be demolished. These are hard facts, not speculation. To our astonishment, they are being played out right in front of our eyes.
This presents us with a great challenge: to maintain our composure and our practice in the midst of difficult feelings, emotional pain, and mental strain.
On a positive note, I wish you, our sangha, your families, friends, and neighbors, and the entire world of suffering beings of which there are untold numbers, great happiness in this holy day, Whole Earth season and new 2017.