On December 5, 2015, over 800 people from 32 cities and countries connected online to recite the Words of the Buddha together. A joint effort of 84000 and Siddhartha’s Intent, this was the first time that a sutra resounding had been organized using an online platform.
After a welcome speech by Sarah Wilkinson, North America team lead for 84000, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, chair of 84000, gave a short opening speech before beginning the resounding. He reminded us that the only way to peace and harmony comes through the recognition of our inherent inner strength. After stressing the importance of liberating not just our selves but also others from the knot of delusion, Rinpoche advised that the way to do that is through listening to the words of the Buddha.
We would like to thank all of the coordinators for all of the hard work that was involved in making this happen. With the success of this resounding, we hope that this will be the first of many.
This online resounding is the brainchild of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche. It was first suggested in October 2013 when Rinpoche was in Bodh Gaya. He thought it would be good for the resounding to take place in different parts of the world, with people connecting online and doing it together.
An event planning team was formed in February to explore the possibility of making Rinpoche’s idea a reality. As there had been no prior experience in conducting a resounding of any magnitude online, the team decided it would be best to keep it somewhat small and manageable for a trial run.
With the help of coordinators from Siddhartha’s Intent, the first ever Global Live Resounding was born.
Please find below the transcripts of the opening speeches and a short video capturing the highlights of the event:
Audio recording of opening speech by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche:
Please click on the links below to read the speech transcripts:
Hello! Good morning, good afternoon, good evening to everyone from around the world, and welcome to 84000’s first online global resounding. I’m Sarah Wilkinson, the North America team lead for 84000, and on behalf of 84000, we’re thrilled to see so many people from so many different locations around the world connecting together online, all for the purpose of reciting the Words of the Buddha.
This online resounding is the brainchild of Rinpoche and is a joint effort of Siddhartha’s Intent and 84000. We would like to thank all of the coordinators from the 32 cities and countries joining us today, and for all of the hard work that was involved in making this happen.
Before we begin, I’ll just give a very brief explanation of what exactly is involved in a sutra resounding, and how we will go about doing it: The sutra resounding comes from the ancient monastic tradition of reading aloud the entire 70,000 pages of Kangyur, or the complete collection of the words of the Buddha. Each monk is responsible for a different volume or section of those 1000 volumes, and together they read their particular sections aloud, creating a cacophony of sound. As you might imagine, this may take weeks or months, depending upon the number of those participating.
As most of you know, the 84000 team has been working tirelessly to translate the Kangyur into modern languages, and it is from these translations that we will be reading today. Because of the efforts of our translators, teachers, and our committed and generous supporters, 20,000 pages are now in the process of translation, 1,000 of which are currently available online. So, in similar spirit to the traditional practice, today we are going to emulate the monastics in this ancient tradition by reading the recently translated sutras aloud.
Please take the sutras that you have in hand, and turn to any page to begin reading. We’d like to have as much of the texts read as possible, so do your best to read a different section from that of your neighbor. The key is to read loudly and clearly, so that the sound of the sutra reading pervades the universe — all the while keeping at the forefront of our minds the knowledge that “society is basically good.”
We remember our dharma brothers and sisters who are joining us offline, and invite all sentient beings with an auspicious connection to draw near to our gatherings to receive the shower of sound of the Buddha’s teachings.
So, with that, I’d now like to invite Rinpoche to say a few words and to begin the resounding.
So… a very warm welcome to this gathering. It is difficult to convince people, in this day and age, how material growth is not a sound and ultimate answer to all our endless failure[s], uncertainty, anxiety, which in turn leads to global destruction, terrorism, international conflict, domestic conflicts, and above all, conflict within oneself.
But nevertheless, there are pockets of people like ourselves… I guess, at the risk of being too proud, there are a few people who believe that [the] only answer, and the way to peace and harmony, and not just peace and harmony, but even seemingly mundane good life, management, leadership, raising children, building good communication and also a sound and healthy and non-harming growth, even on [the] material level — really depends so much on how much we utilize inner strength. Inner strength that no one can really, sort of, empower upon you, that we cannot download from somewhere, that we can only recognize this inner strength that we have it, inherently. And by doing so — generating, nurturing it, generating it, strengthening it and putting [it] into action — this is the only way that we can save ourselves, so to speak, and, in turn, save the rest of the world.
And there are definitely many different ways. But many of us we come to the conclusion that only through the Words of the Buddha, only through the guidance of Shakyamuni Buddha, specifically known as the Prince Siddhartha or Gautama, only his teachings and the way for generations for centuries, have provided peace and harmony.
So, it is quite a … what do you call it, um … quite amazing that the resounding practice is now something that we could do in this fashion. Like um, I believe that there is about 32 different nations right this very moment, all at the least motivating in the similar direction, and resounding the words of the Gautama the Buddha. And um, I’m sure this is going to bring a lot of benefit in many myriad ways.
So, before we begin, I would like to invite everyone to settle ourselves first. And when I say “settle,” I’m not talking about sort of sitting and making ourselves physically comfortable — that, of course — but I’m also talking about really preparing ourselves mentally, and the way to do that is really nothing exotic. I’m not suggesting any ritual, but simply sitting. And, no matter what occurs in our mind, be it negative thoughts, hideous thinking, be it positive thoughts, whatever it is, not to get carried away, not to be judgmental to oneself, completely like a baby looking at a fresco, completely in the manner of non-judgmental, let us for one minute, just sit.
Ok. Next, let us tune our motivation by first acknowledging that no matter what kind of problem we have in this worldly situation, ultimately none of these problems can be fixed because the compounded life, by nature, is dukkha, pain, anxiety, uncertain, dependent, and, therefore, unreliable. Only way to un-entangle, sort of, untangle ourselves, only way to undo ourselves from this knot of delusion, this entanglement, is through seeing the truth. And for this, let us tune our motivation: that for this reason we will resound the words of the Buddha.
Next, liberation is not only for the individual self. All the beings, in one way or another, are connected to us. All these sentient beings, they have sacrificed so much for us in many of our past lives, and these sentient beings need to also be liberated from their delusion and entanglement. Only way to do that is through listening to the words of the Buddha. So please, generate that motivation.
And now, thinking in several different ways, thinking that we are in the presence of the Shakyamuni Buddha, or [that] the text that you are reading is none other than the Shakyamuni Buddha himself… so, in this way, when you read, you are directly, without any interference, without any interpretation, you are directly getting in touch with the Shakyamuni Buddha himself. With this pure perception, let us now begin reading the Sutras.