As all the 2022 Chinese New Year’s lanterns came down, light continued to radiate brightly on The Day of Giving — Feb. 26 — a monthly day for Hsi Lai volunteers to gather together and give their precious time and energy.Venerable Zhi Xing, Head of Social Education and Outreach of Hsi Lai Temple, led more than 50 volunteers to return the temple back to its original nature — the state before Chinese New Year’s. Volunteers from Hsi Lai Subchapter, BLIA YAD Los Angeles I and Los Angeles II, University of the West, and Scout Troops congregated in the courtyard ready to give. Venerable explained that the decorations of the Lantern Festival were a manifestation of the empty nature of Dependent Origination. All the decorations brought joy to all who came and saw the lanterns but once the celebration ended, taking down and letting-go of the decorations is important too — symbolizing impermanence. Everything would be back to whatever it was before. Through the willingness to let go of all those magnificent decorations, the temple would be back to its true, original, pure, humble, dignified face, as Buddha-Dharma truly is.
Volunteer Neal Golub expressed nothing could be compared to “giving” when a true need of others is met. Crystal Xu, President of BLIA YAD Los Angeles I, said, “It means a lot more when one is able to “give” rather than receive on The Day of Giving. Whenever one gives, one’s self always gains more benefits than others.”