Phra Sanitwong Wuttiwangso, Director of the Communications Department at Wat Phra Dhammakaya, stated that the events of this year’s Earth Day (Friday, April 22nd, 2016) at Wat Phra Dhammakaya will focus on giving generosity, observing the Precepts, and practicing meditation and to foster world peace through the teachings of the Lord Buddha. These meritorious events include:
- 6.00 AM: Alms-offering ceremony to 100,000 monks and novices from the AEC Summer Ordination Program, at the Grand Meditation Square of the Great Dhammakaya Cetiya; the presiding monk will be the Most Venerable Somdej Phra Buddhacariya, Ecclesiastical Head of the Eastern sector and Abbot of Wat Traimit Wittayaram
- 9.30 AM: Morning chanting and meditation
- 10.30 AM: Offering Sanghadana (midday meal) to 100,000 monks and novices
- 1.30 PM: Ceremony to cast the 3rd gold statue of Khun Yai Acariya Chand Khonnokyoong
- 2.30 PM: Chanting the Jayamangala Gatha and Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, spreading loving-kindness, and making earnest wishes for world peace.
- 3.00 PM: Ceremony to bestow an honorary doctorate degree and 64 prestigious awards upon the Most Venerable Phrathepyanmahamuni from the Sangha, academic institutions, and international Buddhist organizations from more than 30 nations.
Earth Day was initiated by a United States senator, the Honorable Gaylord Nelson, who campaigned to raise awareness and gather political support for the environmental issues of the day. Later on, the World Fellowship of Buddhist Youth (WFBY) petitioned for April 22nd to be known as “Dhamma Earth Day” under the motto “Clean the World, Clean the Mind,” because the most precious resource in the world is the human mind, which should be kept pure and pristine.
“This will be the 19th year that Wat Phra Dhammakaya is organizing Dhamma Earth Day so that the Four Buddhist Communities (monks, novices, laymen and laywomen) throughout the world can assemble to practice the teachings of the Lord Buddha – to refrain from bad deeds, perform good deeds, and purify the mind by giving generosity, keeping the Precepts, and meditating. These activities will purify our mind, body, and speech and keep us from causing harms to others, so that the world can experience peace and true happiness. In addition, the inner peace we experience from meditation can be shared with everyone in the world,” said Phra Sanitwong.