Friday, Apr 19th

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Master's Teaching

【Photo by Khor Siew Ai】

As an ordinary person, we give rise to all sorts of thoughts in our mind. They enter and exit our mind constantly. When we give rise to a kind thought, we may act on it and do a good deed to help others. When we give rise to an unwholesome thought, such as an angry one, we may say something mean to others. Our actions are greatly influenced by our thoughts.

【Photo by Lee Kok Keong】

When a renowned Taiwanese writer and staff of a leading newspaper in Taiwan visited Dharma Master Cheng Yen, the newspaper's Deputy Editor-in-Chief commented that Tzu Chi's international relief work has helped Taiwan become more visible in the international community.  Given this, he was interested in Tzu Chi's international relief capacity, and asked the Master how she analyzes, prioritizes, and decides which disasters to get involved in.  How does she manage such a large number of volunteers worldwide, and mobilize them to make  Tzu Chi as effective as it is in international aid work?

【Photo by Cheong Huey Chiat】

In his lifetime, the Buddha met many different kinds of people. Some were kings and ministers of court, others were people who lived in abject poverty, yet others were prominent and influential people of society. In fact, the Buddha interacted with people from all walks of life. Depending on the people he encountered, he would offer the teaching most suited to their condition in life. But no matter who he spoke to, his purpose in giving teachings was always the same—to help people awaken from delusion so they may aspire to learn the Dharma, realize the true nature of life, and begin walking the path of enlightenment.

【Photo by Kee Boon Soo】

Practicing the Bodhisattva way, one of the most important qualities we need to nurture is patient endurance – the capacity to bear with unpleasant and trying circumstances. Patient endurance gives us the power to rise above difficult situations and overcome our inner afflictions rather than be overcome by them.

【Photo by Lee Kok Keong】

"As inhabitants of the earth, we are nourished and sustained by Mother Earth who provides us our food and all the resources for life.  If she is healthy and well, we will be healthy and well.  Our fates are intertwined." —Dharma Master Cheng Yen

【Photo by Wong Poh Fatt】

When a renowned writer in Taiwan visited Dharma Master Cheng Yen, he marveled that besides alleviating people's suffering, Tzu Chi has inspired altruism in many, many people in Taiwan, so that they're willing to work together to help others. Because of this, Tzu Chi has been able to help people in over 70 countries around the world. He sought to better understand how Tzu Chi has been able to do this.

【Photo by Soo Chee Han】

When members of the Buddhist Japanese humanitarian organization Rissho Kosei Kai visited Tzu Chi and met Dharma Master Cheng Yen, a young woman in the group spoke about how, while she was visiting, she was struck by the way Tzu Chi volunteers all aspire to have the same spirit as their teacher, Dharma Master Cheng Yen. This had inspired her to make the resolution to cultivate herself and aspire to the same spirit as the founder of her organization, Rev. Nikkyo Niwano. However, she could foresee this would not be easy for her because her personality is rather strong-willed and stubborn. Therefore, she asked the Master for her advice on how one can cultivate oneself and stay committed to self-cultivation.

【Photo by Sam Pin Fook】

When she visited Dharma Master Cheng Yen, a former government official from Singapore expressed how touched she was by some of Tzu Chi's ways of doing charity.  She gave the example of how people often make donations through the ATM or automatic money transfers, as they find this convenient, but she sees the way Tzu Chi's commissioners go out of their way to collect donations in person from the donor.  She finds this a unique and touching practice.

【Photo by Lee Mun Keat】

In Buddhism, we speak of ten realms of existence: the six mundane realms of humans, animals, hungry ghosts, and asuras, as well as heaven and hell; and the four saintly realms of the sravakas, pratyekabuddhas, bodhisattvas, and Buddhas. Actually, at this very moment, we can experience any of the ten realms—it all depends on the direction of our thoughts. With a compassionate, wise thought, in that moment, we can be in an enlightened realm. With a greedy or stingy thought, we can be in an unenlightened one. In the course of one day, we can go through all ten realms.

【Photo by Wong Khay Chin】

Buddha Day is a day of deep and sacred meaning. It is a day when we remember what the Buddha's coming into the world brings to humanity and to our lives. Throughout the ages, many saints have appeared in the world to guide people and enable them to live a life of wisdom. Their teachings have become the world's great religions. Just as there is Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus, on Buddha Day, we commemorate the birth of the Buddha.

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